There are a surprising number of teams that you will have to create during the process of building or remodeling your church, and one of the most important is your Visionary Team. This small group, best comprised of 5, 7 or 9 church leaders, will keep that big-picture perspective in mind as they direct the building or remodeling process from initial vision to successful completion.

Passion and Vision are Not the Same Thing

For this visionary team, you need church leaders who see the entire picture of your ministry, and focus on your church’s priorities, not their own. While your chef might be passionate about what’s going on in the kitchen, if she doesn’t see the importance of integrating the café’s offerings with say, the needs of the youth outreach program, she doesn’t belong on your visionary team. If the kitchen is a major focus of your remodeling project, you will probably want her voice in your design team to make sure that there’s a wide enough door to the loading dock area. But you don’t need her on your visionary team.

Another situation you might want to avoid is putting a professional building contractor on your visionary team—unless he can also see the big picture of what you want with this ministry. Otherwise he might tie down the visionary team with arguments about the best types of roofing materials when you really need to be discussing whether to create a separate worship space for your expanding youth ministry. Save that person to lead the building team instead.

Authority Matters

So who do you need on your visionary team? As we explain in one of our free i3 webinars, this team will work best if it is structured to reflect the way your church already functions. If the staff runs the church, the visionary team should be mostly, or completely, staff. However, if your church leaders are mostly laity, then your visionary team should be, too.

In most cases, you will want a senior or executive pastor on this team, since they know what the vision and priorities are all the time. You also will want a financial leader on this team. They will be responsible for building the budget and helping the project stay within those boundaries. It’s important that this person be enthusiastic and also realistic, without being penny-pinching, because your vision will shrink or grow along with those finances.

Another possible addition to consider for your visionary team would be someone who represents a critically important aspect of your ministry, or group within your organization, that should have a voice in the project. This is a tricky appointment, however, because you need to choose someone who can both represent that group within your community (and report back to them in positive terms) but also see the essential bigger picture of your ministry. You may also want a couple of “general” members who can compare the vision with their everyday experience of the church, and help make your future church space the best possible for everyone.

For specific details on forming the Visionary Team for your church remodeling project, we invite you to join us at our free i3 webinars.