A major push over the last several years has been made to help churches and pastors look at the big picture. Much has been written on how a church can discover a vision, communicate their vision, and enact their vision.
However, in our desire to create a high level vision for our churches, many of us may have begun to miss the trees for the forest.
We need vision, mission, and core values. But we also need to pay attention to the details. If the details of our ministry don’t match the vision, then we are communicating something to our church and our community that runs contrary to our vision. This can come across as confusing, or even worse, disingenuous.
Case Study: First Church of The Suburbs
Vision: To see people far from God come near to Him.
FCtS as a fictional church has a vision that is geared around people who are far from God. This is great, and near to the heart of God. However, the devil is in the details. If FCtS is going to accomplish their vision, they are going to have a lot of people who are far from God coming. But if they don’t pay attention to the details, they will communicate that these people are unwelcome. What do the grounds look like? Have they taken good care of the landscaping so that people get the impression that this a place they want to be? Is there clear signage in the building that indicates the places that they would need to find so that they feel comfortable? Is the parking lot in good repair and adequately lit so that they feel safe?
If FCtS doesn’t pay attention to these details, and many more, then people who are far from God will get the impression from their church that they are unwelcome. While this is far from the truth, it is a first impression that will be hard to overcome.
The details matter to your church. They will convey a message, so you might as well make sure that they convey your vision and core values.
Where have you seen details help or hinder your church’s vision?