What aspect is God leading your church to grow in this year? Maybe there are numerous aspects that come to mind, but which one rises to the top? One of the keys to figuring this out is going to be hearing from God.
Times of prayer and God’s Word are the most important part of discerning a goal, but after you know what it is what do you do with it? Understanding God’s truth without effectively applying it is a disservice to our churches. Casting a yearly vision can help to drive them toward the goal.
Here are four tips that have helped me in creating a yearly vision for our church.
1. Make sure it aligns with your overall goal.
Obviously this is assuming your church has an overall vision and goal. If not, I would encourage you to consider what the goal of your church is. My experience is that without a goal it will be hard to measure how far your church has come. You may hope more people come to your worship services, for instance. Though more people coming to our worship services is great, it shouldn’t be the final measuring stick of our success. Your yearly goal should align and strengthen the overall goal of your church.
2. Use a Bible verse, but don’t proof text.
I once heard of a church whose Bible School verse was Habakkuk 1:5:
Look at the nations and observe—be utterly astounded! For I am doing something in your days that you will not believe when you hear about it. (CSB)
At first glance this sounds great, until you read the rest of the passage. This passage is talking about God using an evil nation to obliterate people. It certainly isn’t referring to the most amazing Bible School that people have ever experienced. (If you served as a Bible School teacher, it might have felt like you were obliterated by an evil nation, but your Bible verse shouldn’t line up with it!)
Make sure that the verse you choose is in the proper context, and it will be much more powerful in driving your people toward the goal.
3. Drip it throughout the year.
Many times it’s easy for me to assume the people in my church understand what I told them a couple times. But I’ve come to realize that when I am getting tired of saying it, my people are just understanding it.
I have found that a vision dripped throughout the year is much more effective than a couple big sermons. Find ways to drip the vision in your application of your weekly text. Have your smaller groups discuss it and share their understanding or confusion of it. As you drip your vision, people will find themselves not only remembering it but also understanding and applying it in their lives.
4. Create a visual graphic.
It has been said a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe this is true. When considering your vision statement, it is important to keep it simplistic but meaningful. One way that you can take your vision to another level is to add a captivating picture or visual to it. Especially in younger generations, they learn much more effectively with visuals. If you’re graphically challenged, there are many cost effective options to have someone design something for you.
After you have a graphic, use it often. Put it on your website, Facebook page, and any other place people frequent. Use it in your slideshows and for in-between slides during your sermon. By doing this, you will put a picture in the minds of your people that words may not do alone.
Creating an overall vision for your church will help to drive them toward the mission of the Bible and by getting specific each year you will further drive them to the most important aspects.