I’ve been participating in a vision clarity process called a co::Lab with seven other churches and a Christian camping organization. Mike Gammill, a close friend of mine, and a Vision Clarity Navigator with Auxano has been leading us through the process.
I became familiar with Auxano about three years ago after reading Will Mancini’s book Church Unique.
Most of us are familiar with Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Some versions say, “Where there is no vision, or revelation, the people cast off restraint.” Whatever the case may be, the truth is that vision and revelation are necessary for health. Without them, people lose, at least their reason, and quite likely their passion to live well.
Here are some lessons on vision clarity gleaned from our vision clarity process:
1. Without Vision People Cherish.
One of the most interesting things Mike said during our first session is that without vision clarity people “cherish.” Where there is no vision people come up with their own ideas of what’s important and then turn those things into the sacred. When vision clarity is absent, change will be nearly impossible, because other things will take front and center, occupying people’s attention and affection.
One thing that can be observed in the Old Testament is that whenever people lost sight of the Promised Land, they began to cherish more temporal things like food. They lost sight of the goal and began to focus on immediate gratification. The same thing often happens on a personal level and in our churches because of a lack of clarity.
2. Activity is Different than Vision.
During our co::Lab, Mike asked us if our worship guide points toward activities or vision. Ouch! I didn’t have to think long for an answer. Our guide is all about activities, which is probably true of most worship guides.
Most churches and organization are activity focussed. Vision clarity helps people see the end result, not just activities.
3. Vision Transfers through People not Paper.
A few years ago a family getting ready to move into our community called with some questions about our church. One of the questions was, “What is your mission?”
I realize that most visitors don’t ask questions like this, but, even if unstated, most people want to know what a church is all about.
I didn’t have an answer. Our vision statement was on a piece of paper somewhere. It had long ago been left in a drawer and to this day I haven’t found it.
If someone called today, I can honestly say, I would have an answer. What made the difference?
Well, we went through a vision clarity process and discovered the vision that was a part of our church DNA. We also owned it and now we pass it via people not paper.
This is our second time through a vision clarity process, and here’s what I can say today, as a result of the process. Vision clarity has changed the way we do things.
We not only have a clear picture of what it is that we are supposed to be doing, but how to do it. We have a strategy. This second time through is fine tuning.
If you want to know more about a vision clarity process you can ask questions below or check out some of these resources.
- Will Mancini’s Church Unique — (Amazon Link)
- Mike Gammill’s Blog
- Auxano’s Website
- The Vision Room
- Will Mancini’s Blog
Disclaimer: Every once in a while, people ask me if I can lead them through the vision clarity process. After all, I’ve been through it, so why not help others.
Here’s my answer. Leftovers are great, but they’re not the real thing. I have worked with two Vision Clarity Navigators, Jim Randal and Mike Gammill, and am convinced that the Auxano process is something worth investing in. If you want to more about Auxano visit their website link above.
And if you have been through a vision clarity process, tell me what your experience is by leaving a comment below.