Friday, March 11, 2011

Communicating Vision to Your Church

Last week I took the entire service to share on vision for The Vine Fellowship and our finances from 2010. I did it with guests in the house! I have to admit it is a struggle for me not to 'preach the gospel' but I feel this is an equally important task in the life of our church. For 20 years I have done a 'State of the Church Address' that incorporates vision and finances. We are a church that is open about our finances, how we use the people's (God's) money, and give a public accounting of it. We have nothing to hide. We belong to the Kingdom of Light not darkness! We are open and honest about finances. In fact, we are open about any communication here at The Vine given by email or verbally; you say it you own up to it!

Here is what I recently wrote for our Sunday bulletin:

Dear Saints,
Thank you for your support and encouragement with last week’s service on The Vine Fellowship vision and finances. I know some of you may have had guests here and it may not been what you wanted them to experience and I fully understand. It is equally rough for me to take a full Sunday morning service to do it. But it does serve important purposes:

1. It helps everyone to know that we are open and transparent about our finances in this church. I am accountable for how I lead this great church and maintaining my character as you are for your life and character.

2. It helps to keep reminding ourselves of our vision. We need to know why we are here and do what we do so that we all know where we are headed. A vision communicated to people is a refreshing and invigorating experience.

3. A personal best friend of mine, Danny Tice, ministered at the LF NE conference on vision. He said the following: “When we get to a place where we have no vision our term of leadership has expired.” “What does this statement really mean? It means that the primary qualification for a leader of a church is that they have vision for the church they lead. If they don’t, they should either get a vision or they should resign. The vision issue settles the question when a leader should retire? The older leader can still lead if his eyes are not dim and he has vision. Better an old guy with vision than a young guy with no vision.”

Saints, I may be “the old guy” but I still have vision for this church!
I love you,

It amazes me that without exception, I generally hear from a guest or two about how they enjoyed the service. They especially like the fact that we discuss openly finances and such. Many say that their church would never do that and that if you asked about finances you are excoriated! Let me just say, that is wrong!

BTW, you can view Danny Tice's excellent article here.

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