Our Vision Process

Overview

The goal of this process is to focus the efforts and gifts of our congregation in the achievement of between four and eight Big, Hairy, Achievable Goals (BHAGs). We will know the process is a success if 

  • Everyone in the congregation is aware of and has thoroughly discussed our goals for the future before they are discussed at our Church Council,

  • There is a strong consensus that these goals have come from the church, and not from a particular constituency within the church,

  • The goals are exciting and important enough to be worth making significant changes to focus our efforts and resources in accomplishing them

  • ·After three years, the congregation can identify how these gifts have drawn us into the Kingdom of God

BHAGs might include launching new worshipping communities, or re-arranging the worship schedule of our current services, or revising job descriptions for pastoral, program, and/or support staff to direct their time toward these goals, or establishing a new mission in our community or deepening our investment of time, people, and money in an existing mission. 

For example, we might decide that we want to begin an after-school program in order to offer a Christ-centered fine arts ministry to our neighborhood. And we might decide that in order to accomplish this, we need a significant investment of volunteer hours and financial support. Part of the visioning process requires considering whether we will be using untapped volunteer hours and money, or whether we are willing to re-direct volunteer hours and money from existing programs.

Agreement on our vision may not be unanimous (and, indeed, a decision that brings unanimous agreement is probably too small or ill-defined to make a meaningful difference) but in order for it to carry force, it will need a strong consensus.  As we draw near to the final adoption of our goals, we will make use of The Church Guide For Making Decisions Togetherby Terence Corkin and Julia Kuhn Wallace, which describes a consensus-driven approach for deciding significant questions in the life the church. 

Timeline

Phase 1 — June and July (completed)

o   Review local demographic data

o   Preach about discernment

o   Recruit and train Vision Team

o   Long-Range planning identifies 8-16 possible goals for our church, including as many as 2 short-term goals

Phase 2 — August and September

o   Hold 20 home meetings to meet with every congregant (click here to sign up for a home meeting)

o   Conduct Church History Event - read the facilitator’s report from the Church History Event here

o   Long-range planning identifies 8-16 possible goals for our church, including 2 short-term goals

Phase 3 — October, November, and December

o   Interview community leaders

o   Conduct a Norms and Values Event

o   Long-Range planning identifies 8-16 possible goals for our church, including 2 short-term goals

Phase — January, February, and March

o   Church prays and fasts over the Long-Range Planning Team for 7 days

o   Long-range planning distills all of the possible goals into 4-8 recommended goals

o   Church prays and fasts over those goals for 30 days

o   Church adopts final goal statement at church council meeting on March 13

o   Final goals are handed to Finance and LRP (and possibly new teams) for implementation