Recession-proof Christian Life
3/7/11 at 09:06 AM 0 Comments

Why Visioning for a Church Organisation makes sense. Part I

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Someone had asked last week for help on this...and I thought to make this extract available on my blog in two parts ... Also please read post – Biblical Considerations for Strategic Visioning  ... which warns us on how not to proceed on a self-driven ambitious tangent. The objectives of a Visioning Process would generally include:

1.Validating the organization’s mandate or call ;

2.Articulating the organization’s core ideology (what it believes)and envisioned future ( where it expects to be) and

3.Articulating organization’s strategic objectives and plan i.e. essentially a path.

Habakuk 2[2]  And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by. [3]  For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.

There are however few differences between how this is done in a classic business context compared to a faith organisation.

Businesses can be aspirational but they live primarily by sight.  A strong element of realism and use of probabilities based on perceived context is often the basis of actions. Contingency plans provide escape routes and are used to manage unexpected deviations.  Faith organisations are driven by a spiritual paradigm that is not just at variance but actually opposes the natural evidence.

Galatians 5[17]  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Consensus, participation and stakeholder management are key to successful implementation in a business context. Faith organisations will lean on divine direction – and this may be through a participative scenario but is more often heavily top-down.

Exodus 12[50]  Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

Business Visions are strongly driven by context...both external and internal assessments create ideas on opportunities and threats and areas of advantage as well as capabilities that can be leveraged. While context can provide information useful for prayer and developing ideas, a divine vision tends to be less bound by contextual challenges. By definition, if God is behind it – then it can be done. Contextual boundaries appear to want to limit what God wants to do.

Luke 1[37]  For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Visioning is still worthwhile for faith organisation if not highly valuable perhaps for 5 main reasons.

1.It provides a platform to share vision and associated challenges and discusses best practise and improvement opportunities within the organisation. Also a great training and experience sharing opportunity

2.It enhances interpersonal bonding that enhances discipleship as leadership are visible and felt by other stakeholders. Weaknesses shared bring groups together and enhances a sense of shared destiny.

3.It documents a commitment and enhances clarity of direction ... what is written tends to be given extra thought. People tend to be more diligent when they commit to documented goals and objectives. Also creates a culture of accountability and some basis to track progress and performance...and ( at least earthly) reward.

4.Analysis findings, Research and Information shared can be helpful and revealing

5.Excellence and order is typically associated with a good documentation and planning culture.

Chaos is not spiritual.  

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