If Your Church is Stuck: Examine Your Vision and Core Values

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In order to move forward on a path to create a culture where multiplication is commonplace, there are three key foundation elements that need to be quickly established. The church or organization must:

 Clarify and Communicate its Vision and Values.

 The word vision in a church context often makes people nervous.  However, God communicated with his prophets with vision.  For example, in Ezekiel 37 remember this exchange with God and the prophet? “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” [1]

The Eerdmans Bible dictionary describes how vision is an old biblical tradition.  “In the biblical tradition visions were a means by which Jews and Christians experienced God’s self-revelation and were able to learn about the future. In the patriarchal period even before Moses God revealed himself and Israel’s destiny through dreams (Gen. 28) or the appearance of an angel (chs. 16, 18).” [2]

As I talk about vision it is the idea that God is providing His Church with a divine revelation about its future work for the kingdom.  Visions that are given to us by God are always bigger than us and can only be accomplished with His strength and direction. Will Mancini, in his book, “Church Unique”, makes this critical point about vision, “God is the chief visionary who leads us to push forward, not with arrogance but with confidence, because we know we are a part of His divine chain reaction.” We must be clear about this point; vision is from God. Vision may seem far beyond our reach and, if so, that may be an indicator that we are heading in the right direction. If the vision is comfortably within our capabilities, God does not receive the glory. But if the vision is “God-sized” in scope, meaning impossible without God’s intervention, then God receives the Glory and Him alone!

Your values are defined by two key questions:

 How Are You Sharing Your Story (Narrative)?

What stories you highlight in your public assemblies (worship) communicate what you value.  What do you talk most frequently about with your people? What are the metrics you commonly measure? Do worship attendance, the dollars collected toward the budget or the numbers of people in Bible study define who you are? These things are important indicators of church health. Do you want those to be measurements of success?

What are You Doing (Behaviors)?

We can have the best intentions, but in the end, people judge you by your actions. How are you investing your time? That’s what determines your values. Your behavior reveals your real core values. Where you invest your time, talents, and treasure express to the organization what you value.

What is the message you are communicating with your tribe? The stories you are highlighting are necessary. Shifting to missions may be as simple as telling different stories. Try modeling the behavior you want to be emulated.

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with vision is making a positive difference.” Joel Barker

It’s our time to make a kingdom difference!

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eze 37:1–3). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Myers, A. C. (1987). In The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (p. 1040). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

4 Comments on “If Your Church is Stuck: Examine Your Vision and Core Values

  1. Very well said. The church has to teach its vision and God’s Word. The church I attended for many years kept having issues with not meeting budget, but when asked about why they didn’t teach on giving they said they didn’t want to seem like all they were doing was wanting money. There are biblical principles that so many don’t even know about, especially new Christians.

    Liked by 1 person

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