Vision Input

For the past 18 months our church community has been going through the process of having a “philosophical audit.”  Through a “gap analysis” it became apparent that there were differing opinions on what the values of the organizational were, which transpired into differing opinions of strategy and effectiveness.

So, this diconnect launched us on a very long journey of re-formulating our values, purpose, and now our vision for the future.  Through many collaborative sessions with senior leadership, ministry staff, and the lay people of our church, a 5-year vision has been developed.  Our plan is to launch the “final product” to our congregration this August.

As the “tag lines” are fairly set in stone (which are aligned with our values), the goals and strategies are still being tweaked as we go through the VERY hard process realignment (staff, finances, ministy model, etc.).  Please lend any feedback or insight in regards to the proposed direction, communication process, or realignment necessities:

Embrace Tomorrow

New lives, New places

Everyone in a group, Every group with a ministry

Bless our cities, Bless the world

Following are the further details (goals) within this 5-year vision:

New lives

  • Having 60% of our attendees who have been Christians for over 20 years (down from 80%).

New places

  • 5 venues
  • 4 sites
  • 2-4 facilities expansions/rennovations

Everyone in a group

  • 60% in an HABF/ABF (from 40%)

Every group with a ministry

  • 100% of the groups taking on a local, ministry partnership

Bless our cities

  • 1500 people engaged in Chapel Community Service opportunities.

Bless the world
Expand the impact of Fresh Passion

  • The complete development of five more Dalit Education Centers
  • The training of 600 India Pastors
  • The construction of four new water supply systems in Mozambique villages.
  • Supporting 12 Mozambique leaders in local Bible school & raising three new kids ministry workers.

Deepen our global commitment

  • 20 students committed to our “1 Year” missions service
  • The raising of five, long-term, cross-cultural missionaries
  • The adoption of one unreached people group

Critical thought and feedback?


~ by Dave Smith on June 10, 2008.

10 Responses to “Vision Input”

  1. What happened to the 2020 vision that was rolled out with the 2nd campus? Never hear about that anymore.

    Interesting timing given that senior leadership is still in transition.

    Interesting that you frame “new lives” almost as “new bodies” who are merely believers with less tenure than the current crop. Why not “new believers”?

    What will happen to the X-men?

    What will happen to the current mission statement?

    I’ll be interested to see the follow through. My perception is that we are constantly in a state of re-org. Change is good. And so is focus.

    Fresh Passion is one of the best things going – glad to see be a central piece.

    “Bless the world” seems well developed…not so much with “Bless our ciities”.

    Everyone in a group – agree. But, do our style of ABF’s need a makeover?

  2. Great ambitions! Are they all reasonable/attainable? Will frustration result from setting unrealistic goals?

    In particular, I think 60% ABF/HABF is pretty steep. But it all depends on how you are measuring. Are you measuring enrollment or attendance?

    I also think it’s a HUGE jump to go from 20% to 40% of <20/yr-believers. First, that will require a shift in DNA – caring more about reaching people than keeping people (yes, sometimes you can do both but sometimes you have to choose). And second, why set the bar at the 20-year mark? Why not make it more explicitly about winning new believers?

    I do agree with Anthony… It would be nice for The Chapel to stick with one vision/mission/strategy for more than 4 years.

    All that said, I love what you’re doing, the process, and the heart with which you are doing it. I think the time is right, and if Paul is really convicted about this and owns this and lets you run with it, it could be amazing for the church.

  3. Was the previous vision/mission/strategy archaic, ineffective, ambiguous or other?

    Nice packaging and layout of concepts – very ambitious goals – but what/where is the practical strategy (i.e. – trimming the clutter, focusing efforts, simplifying movement)

    If you are changing/altering the current structure – what does that communicate to the body? How do you earn the trust, respect & adoption of this new verbage (especially considering the perpetual turnover)?

    I am sure all of these questions have been answered or at the least – asked.

    I do applaud the focus on action (service, integration of small groups into [outside] area ministries) – “action as a sacrament” (hirsch/frost)

    My natural tendency towards impatience – urges me to spill out ALL of the existing contents – shake up, mix up, wake up and re-design – not just re-word and/or re-package…I know that you aren’t just re-wording/re-packaging – but will “the sleeping consumer” awaken to see/hear/touch the vision-shift?

    later brother.

  4. Beautiful comments & cautions from everyone. I appreciate your counsel and these thoughts are very helpful.

    Good question about the 2020 vision Anthony! I think what we found is that the vision has been somewhat achieve, and the other parts weren’t owned by our people. The other issue is the leadership succession, realizing we need a new vision owned by our people and new leadership. 5 years seems reasonable in light of that.

    As for our values and purpose…they are still central and core. This vision is merely a 5-year, concrete expression of those values and purpose to help us better strategize and align resources.

    Yes, to your comment about ABFs/HABFs needing to change. HUGE realignment is in or and has already started with staff & finances.

    We are currently measuring attendance…which is about 45%. We are also trying to factor in a futher decline with the leadership succession.

    Agreed that we have some significant systems to change for sure! We are proudly heading into a time of inequality where not every ministry will be seen on a level playing feel. We may still value them, but they will be told they aren’t a top priority and their resources will show that.

    The practical strategy is being worked on through the summer prior to launching. We just had a meeting with HABF/ABF leaders tonight to just talk about potential stratgies for the “groups” side of our vision.

    The biggest question is will this wake the “sleeping consumer.” I think that comes down to whether our staff and volunteer leaders truly own this. They have definitely contributed to it, and we have heard them…but is that enough?

  5. Please reconsider Worship leaders in new roles. A pony in a dog outfit is still a pony. Those you hope to reach will see right thru the disingenuous. Now is the time to implement people in their natural roles. A more emergent (small e) minister and a worship band who fits will go a loooong way to ministering to those seeking that fit. Anything less will simply be insulting.

  6. Yea, sort of like an old woman in a mini-skirt. No one wants to see that.

    Definitely a tough balance of having each pastor seek to be relevant and continually contextual…while also being authentic.

    I like how you said it was insulting. Started to make me think how else we as pastors insult those around us?

  7. I agree. How often do we insult people’s intelligence with our assumptions and attempts at relevance. Authenticity is always relevant. My biggest fear at our church is the overwhelming desire for excellence. Don’t get me wrong, everything we do should be our best effort and as excellent as possible. The problem lies in how we define excellence. I fear our definition is too shallow, judging the book by it’s cover so to speak. I really feel that one of our goals should be simplification. This seems to be the only way to me to balance organization/organism. The other desired side effect of simplification could allow staff/volunteers to be free to be more themselves and therefore, truly send a message of authenticity.

    Why don’t they just make me the Pope? I clearly have all of the answers. Oh wait, all I do is pose more questions, I have no answers.

  8. I agree with Eric! Give her a raise!!

  9. Not everyone belongs in a formal small group. Sometimes, spontaneous connections are far more successful. If you are judging success only by quantifying formal group membership, you might be misleading yourselves.

    Other than that, those are noble goals that will take some work, but should be worth the effort.

  10. […] way of saying this? As stated in a previous post my church community is heading off on a five year vision.  One of the specific goals is to see an advancement in new lives.  By new lives, we mean, […]

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