Shortly after worship at church last Sunday night our lead pastor began his sermon by talking about how once a year the leadership decides to focus a couple weeks on the vision of the church. Brilliant! They do this a little differently each year, and what followed on Sunday made for one of the best church services I’ve attended. He spent the evening talking about Esther and relating her story to the vision of our church. We, like Esther are here now in this specific place, situation, job, neighborhood, church, etc “For Such A Time As This.”
One of the strengths I appreciate about my church is not only their mission, but the drive to accomplish it. More than that, the vision is actively shared with other churches in Chicago, and the church partners with them instead of “competing.” Attendees and partners know exactly what they are a part of, what their investment in the church yields, and who it serves (another strength is that once a year they break down the finances in detail for the church to see during the service). Many churches would be well served to pause for a week or two and share about why exactly it is that they do what they do, what that has grown from, where that is leading, and how people can grab on and dive into a bigger part of the action.
And yes, this is a GREAT way to not only encourage and increase giving to the church, but to get people excited about giving to the church. Transparency and action such as this leaves people wanting more and results in increased investment in the church, and its vision and mission. Many times this kind of vision presentation precedes a capital project or another specific season of accelerated generosity. The same principles that guide a church’s vision during a campaign should be as or more evident every week – after all most campaigns exist to fund the vision while leading people through a discipleship process in the area of generosity.
By the way, here is the vision: To be a biblical community where the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives, renews the city, and impacts the world. One dream is that through partnerships with other churches, planting, and multi-site strategy, there would be a Bible based church in every neighborhood of the city – within walking distance of every person in the city.