A church’s vision is an important element in the work we do as a leading church design firm. A clear one helps us to create church buildings that are tools for ministry. We talked more about what church vision should entail in our last post. However, since 2020, the need for churches to have a clear vision is more important than ever.
Change vs. Status Quo
Without a clear and compelling vision, churches often fall into a pattern of maintaining the status quo. They just focus on what the congregation likes and keep doing it.
While keeping to the status quo is comfortable, change is inevitable, and the pandemic proved it. When it hit in 2020, every church was forced to rise to the challenge. Those with a clear vision were better able to thrive.
Why is Having a Vision Important?
George Barna, founder of The Barna Group—a market research firm that studies religious and cultural trends—once said, “the things that got you where you are today will not be the things that you need to get you where you need to be tomorrow.”
When church leaders have a clear vision for ministry, it’s easy for them to see the things that are needed tomorrow. Their church is prepared for change and to move forward. In other words, a clear vision is what gets the church to where it needs to be tomorrow.
It also helps church leadership better use the church building as a tool to serve the community and promote their ministry more effectively. A clear vision provides a map of what needs to be included in a church design, and it can show when remodeling of a current building or an entirely new one is needed.
How Did the Pandemic Create Opportunity for Churches?
The pandemic was a stressful time for various reasons, but it did create new opportunities. It demonstrated the need for change.
Church leaders broke the status quo and found new and creative ways to minister to their communities. These changes were necessary and sometimes forced, but many church members discovered that they liked the new way of doing things and adopted the changes permanently. One example is how churches moved worship services online when the lockdown prevented public gathering. While the doors are open again, many churches still offer online worship services.
Life returning to normal hasn’t meant going back to the old status quo either. Church leaders have found other creative ways to use their church buildings for community outreach, not only creating goodwill, but also promoting the church and growing attendance.
How Can Churches Look to the Future?
Christianity thrives where there is change and sacrifice. These things stretch us, and sometimes that stretching is painful, especially if it’s not something we’re used to. But the reward is worth the initial discomfort.
This is where revisiting and revising your church vision helps. It’s important to be prepared for change. Having an updated church vision for ministry is key to being prepared for change, as well as being able to move in the right direction when the challenging times come. The good news is that church leaders are not alone on this journey. It’s one reason why we gather church leaders to our free i3 webinars. Here, you can ask urgent questions about change and learn the latest about church visions, church building standards, and current trends in church design. We will soon be unveiling our 2023 lineup of webinars, so stay tuned and join us to learn about how your church building can be a tool for ministry, even during great change.