Sometimes, even for church leaders, it can be difficult to find the right words. One such time is when you need to clearly and concisely define a church vision for ministry in your community. If you ever find yourself struggling to better define and articulate your church’s vision, here are some questions that–once answered–will help you do just that.
Who Are You Trying to Reach with Your Church Vision?
The best place to start with defining a clear church vision is with the question of who you are trying to reach. The answer will be different for each church. Some will say they want to reach everybody. That is the great commission however in our society that can prove exceedingly difficult because different people have different ways to connect with God and different experiences in a church.
Here are some possible answers to this question. You could be trying to reach Generation Y or Millennials. You could be focusing on young singles, or families with young children. You might want to reach unchurched people. You could be focused on seekers, or on those who don’t even realize they need God in their lives. Once you define what types of people you want to draw into your church building, you’re ready for the next question.
How Do You Reach Them with Your Church Design?
Next, it’s time to explore how to reach them. Take, for example, families with young children – to reach them, you need to know their needs. You could speak with parents with young children who are already in your church and find out (1) what drew them to your church building and (2) what they need from your church.
One possible need for these parents might include a weekday preschool program. If there isn’t another preschool program nearby, starting one at your church might draw in other families with young children. If that’s too much of a stretch for your budget, you might be flexible by starting with a Mother’s Day Out ministry that provides a safe place for children to play, and the chance for their mothers to attend bible study. Also consider fathers, and perhaps whether Father-Son activities could bring more families into your church.
What Church Building and Program Changes Do You Need to Make This Happen?
Once you have a clear church vision for who you’re trying to reach, and you know what they need and are looking for, then you can begin to assess how your church building and programs can work together to meet those needs. For example, if you’ve got an older church building that has some excess school rooms left over from half a century ago, might you plan some remodeling and set up a preschool in that building?
Of course, in newer church buildings, there may not be space for such a plan. In that case, you might look for other ways that your church building and property can support your church vision. Perhaps you can install a basketball court or baseball diamond to attract fathers and sons for weekend games. Maybe it’s time to expand a small part of your church building to add an indoor play area for preschool children, near an existing room that their mothers can use for bible study.
As you can see, answering questions like these can be very helpful in focusing your attention to define a better church vision. We’ve discovered the answers to a lot of questions over fifty years of building churches. To hear what else we’ve learned, sign up today for one of our upcoming free i3 webinars.