A Global Objective
Church vision encapsulates what you stand for and where God is leading you to go. It’s a God-given global objective for your church at this moment in time, for this unique place. In essence, vision is your purpose. It’s who you are and who you want to be. Vision answers the questions that have to be answered:
- What’s your vision of the future?
- Where are you going?
- What happens when you get there?
Vision forms a lens through which everything you do is measured and qualified. It determines what you’ll do and what you won’t do. It guides your church’s ministry work, strategies, action plans and budget. And it clearly describes God’s vision for your church and His plans for your future.
Vision is a powerful tool to communicate that the church is going somewhere great. It says that tomorrow holds the promise of new opportunities to worship, reach, grow, serve and connect. It reminds the church that its best days are ahead and not behind. That’s God’s plan and promise:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Hold vision high for all to see. Put it on public display. Repeat it over and over again and ask your church to memorize it.
Seek godly wisdom and pray in the early stages of church vision statement development. Ask leaders, staff members and volunteers to pray earnestly for God’s will and seek the Holy Spirit’s direction. Search the Bible for passages that speak to your heart and brainstorm scripture that might inform your vision statement. After that, some practical suggestions include making your statement:
- Simple & Memorable – Your vision should be easy to remember. Examples
- Meaningful – It must be relevant for your church and community.
- Action-Oriented – Use words that show activity (e.g. reach, connect, grow, go, tell).
- Compelling & Inspiring – Your vision should inspire the church to aim higher and go farther.
Your vision statement is what is God calling your church to BE and DO at this particular time and in this particular place. A vision statement should:
- Be informed by Scripture
- Be informed by your faith tradition
- Be contextual for your church and community
Analyze factors with both internal and external origins as you develop your vision statement. Within the church, what strengths and weaknesses bear on the Great Commission task at hand? Consider that some elements and characteristics of your ministry produce advantages while others place your ministry at a disadvantage. Examples include location, facilities, ministry structure, staffing, leadership culture, outreach fervor and much more.
Looking at your community, what opportunities and threats exist in your environment? Determine what can be used for ministry advantage and what might cause trouble for your church. Factors with an external origin lie outside your direct control, but they need to be considered nonetheless. Read more about analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats on the SWOT Analysis page.