What is your vision for your church?
Perhaps you’re focused on expanding your reach into the community with a new church plant. Or maybe you dream of supporting mission partners overseas drilling wells and sharing the Gospel in Africa. Or it could be that you have a strong desire to start a food pantry or dream center connected with your church to provide for the under-resourced in your city.
The dreams you have for your church have already been anointed by God. He places these desires in your heart for a reason. This is His plan and His will for your church. And, He wants YOU to lead the church there.
But before you can execute the vision, you have to communicate it. You need to get elders, lay leaders, and board members behind the vision too. You need to get your congregation excited about where God plans to take your church.
So, here are 5 ways to communicate your vision to your church that will get your congregation behind it.
1. Everything Should Start with Prayer
There’s verse after verse in the bible that instruct us to pray first and to pray without ceasing. The vision you have for your church is no exception to that.
In Acts 2:42-47, we see the early church’s response to fulfilling the Great Commission. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer.” And as a result, “Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.” The passage goes on to say that “they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Here, we see God advancing their work greater and further than they ever imagined because of their faithfulness.
In this Nehemiah 1, we learn valuable lessons in visionary leadership. We see Nehemiah run to the Lord in prayer when he hears about the condition of the Jews in Jerusalem. “When I heard of these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: ‘Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel
(4-6)”. No matter the circumstance, run to the Father and pray in His name.
Spend time in prayer before you start to communicate your vision to your church. Align your desires and goals with the Father’s. This time will not only sharpen your vision to make your communication stronger but it will also offer further discernment in the paths you should take to fulfill your vision.
2. Slowly Introduce Your Vision to a Selective Group
You’ve received this vision, you’re excited about it, and you’re ready to get started.
But don’t announce it to the whole church yet.
Start slowly by sharing your vision with church elders, board members, lay leaders, and staff.
By sharing your vision with key people first (whether that be in a vision forecasting meeting or one-on-one over coffee), you’re able to sharpen your language and ideas before bringing the vision forward to a larger audience.
Listen to the advice of those you share with. Don’t let constructive criticism or feedback keep you from going forward with your vision, use it to sharpen your vision and continue to press on. God will use these trusted individuals to bring you new ideas and connections to help you reach your vision.
3. Host a Vision Sunday
Once you’ve spent time in prayer and in counsel over your vision, share it with your church! Hosting a vision Sunday is a great way to do this.
A vision Sunday is the prime opportunity to share your plans with your church. Plus, it’s a great way to get support behind your vision. People who attend your church in-person on Sunday mornings are the most invested members of your congregation. This is a group of people who are going to get excited about your vision and be ready to help in whatever way they can.
“And the Lord answered me; ‘Write the vision; make it plain onto tablets, so he may run who reads it.” –Habakkuk 2:2
So, paint the picture of your vision for your donors. Share clear descriptions and realistic plans of how you will achieve your vision. Share the who, what, when, where, and how. Let your congregation know who you are helping, how they can get involved, and what it will look like when this vision comes to fruition in your church.
4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
If you feel like you’re over communicating, you’re communicating just enough.
Whenever you talk about the vision to your church (no matter how many times you’ve talked about it before), that’s someone’s first time hearing it and someone learns something new about it.
According to research, it takes three to seven times impressions before a message starts to register with people. And when you deliver that message more than seven times, there’s a positive effect.*
“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, ‘Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” –Acts 18:9-10
Just like in the scripture above, write out your vision and speak often of it so that your congregation can help to advance it.
How do you keep the conversation going with fresh information about your vision and the progress to achieving it? By sharing videos of people telling stories of how your vision has impacted their lives or posting fundraising status updates. Include a message with your annual giving statements reminding people of the vision of your church. Share updates during your church announcements. Create a designated offering fund towards reaching the vision.
5. Formally Invite your Congregation to Participate
People like to feel needed. So when you’re talking about your vision, invite them to participate.
Don’t assume everyone knows how to get involved or how to give to your church’s vision. Share a variety of ways people can participate, whether that’s giving their time, talent, or treasures.
Remind people that when they give, no gift is too small. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
You can also share the story of the Widow’s Mite in Luke 21:1-4. “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
When inviting people to give, tell them how to get involved and remind them that God can do much with what we bring to Him, whether it’s a large gift or small in our eyes.
God has given you this vision for a reason. He is planning to use both you and your church to advance the Kingdom. Continue to sharpen your vision and engage your congregation with these 5 ways to communicate your vision.
*Information collected from Mission Minded