- 20th Century ministry often involved Strategic Planning.
- 21st Century ministry often involves Visioning.
The world has changed. And some (most?) congregations want quick fixes even when we know intellectually that cultural shifting is neither swift nor easy. We will never return to the 1950s Church no matter how much we try to get back there. Never going to happen.
So we brainstorm. We envision. We imagine. We study. We read what the pros say. We listen to what the consultants say. We make a plan. Or we don’t.
The bravest among us try lots of things and see what sticks. The bravest among us embrace failure. The bravest among us take the innovation leap.
It’s time to be brave.
How many of us have gone through visioning programs and then put the final report on the shelf? How many of us have spent serious money to work with consultants only to find our people too tired or too scared to execute the consultants’ suggestions?
Concrete – made of gravel, ash, sand, and industrial waste – is ugly and unbendable. Sometimes it crumbles. It can be crushed.
But a little concrete in our visioning is necessary. We need to take solid steps forward – even if we also take a few steps backwards. We need to act upon our vision for the Church or else we will find ourselves stuck naval gazing or worse – hang wringing.
There is no single game plan for implementing a vision. But we indeed start with something – a vision – and then do something – concrete. Even concrete can shift and be reconfigured, so don’t worry that we are creating something immovable.
Consider Jesus who did many concrete things.