I had hoped to post a simple summary of Will Mancini's Church Unique, but alas, my friend has written a tome that defies a casual synopsis.
So I was glad when Will said to go ahead and post pieces of it. Of course, it's taking three separate articles to do it. (Read part one of my series.)
Will puts a spin on ministry passion that he calls "esprit," which extends beyond the common understanding of missional energy:
â€œEsprit captures both the empowering and direction of the Holy Spirit and the human side of fervor and vitality that springs from team morale. Think of esprit as â€˜the hot place in a manâ€™s consciousness, the group of ideas to which and from which he works, the habitual center of his personal energy.â€™â€
Realigning your personal vision
The questions below get to the heart of what God wants to do with us as leaders, and what he wants to do with our churches. Iâ€™ve printed them out and plan on reviewing them myself once a year.
As you think about your personal visionâ€¦
What one thing bothers you most about the world?
If you knew you couldnâ€™t fail, what one thing would you pursue for God?
What do you tend to pray for the most?
What gives you energy?
What have you secretly believed you would be really good at if only you were given a chance?
What do others say that you are good at? That you are not good at? (Have you asked lately?)
What projects or accomplishments, though probably unnoticed by others, created a deep sense of satisfaction on your lifeâ€™s journey? What projects or accomplishments from grade school years, high school, college and early career?
What would you want people saying about you at your funeral? State three words that reflect â€œwho you were.â€ State three words that reflect â€œwhat you accomplished.â€
Who are your heroes? Why do you admire them? Who have you wanted to emulate or spend time with but have not been able to?
Discovering your churchâ€™s God-given vision
I love Willâ€™s mega-question: â€œWhat can our church do better than 10,000 others?â€
Another way to approach this question is to finish this statement: Our church glorifies God and makes disciples by: _________________________________________________________.
Here's another practical way to discover what your church is -- or should be -- all about.
â€œThe central thrust of Church Unique is the introduction of a framework called the Vision Frame. The Vision Frame contains five components that define your churchâ€™s DNA and creates the platform for all vision casting. No leader should lead, no team should meet, and no initiative should start without a clear understanding of the Vision Frame.
â€œEach component is critical to answering one of the five irreducible questions of leadership:
Mission as missional mandate (Ð¼ Mandate): What are we doing? The missional mandate is a clear and concise statement that describes what the church is ultimately supposed to be doing.
Values as missional motives (Ð¼ Motives): Why are we doing it? The missional motives are shared convictions that guide the actions and reveal the strengths of the church.
Strategy as missional map (Ð¼ Map): How are we doing it? The missional map is the process or picture that demonstrates how the church will accomplish its mandate on the broadest level.
Measures as missional life marks (Ð¼ Marks): When are we successful? The missional life marks are a set of attributes in an individualâ€™s life that define or reflect accomplishment of the churchâ€™s mandate.
Vision Proper as missional mountaintop + milestones (Ð¼ Mountaintop + Milestones): Where is God taking us? Vision Proper is the living language that anticipates and illustrates Godâ€™s better intermediate future.
â€œIn my work with churches, it is extremely rare to find a local church that has all of these vision components developed and the questions answered. On close examination of these churches, we see that many of their challenges can be traced back to the problem of not having clarity first. Developing your Vision Frame may be the most significant strategic step you take in your ministry career.â€
Tom Harper is president of Networld Media Group, a publisher of online trade journals and events for the banking, retail, restaurant and church leadership markets. He is the author of Leading from the Lions' Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H).
Last year's inaugural 20/20 conference exceeded all our expectations, both in number of attendees (more than 200) and the quality of the speakers. The format is the same this year - 20 speakers, 20 minutes each, giving their best advice on how …
Before the consulting process begins, a church has some work to do. Use these guidelines to get any church ready for change. (From the Society for Church Consulting's Level 1 training - www.churchconsultation.org)