This post wraps up a quick look at a section of Will Mancini’s book “Church Unique“. I’m at the Exponential PreConference event in Orlando with part of the Auxano team, and this section has been jumping all over me!
So far, it’s been all about Soul Fast Food – but now it’s down to some “solid” stuff! The real nourishment of your people should come from the vision of your Church Unique. Only then will the enduring purpose of the church reflected locally can replace the substitutes of place, personality, programs, and people.
In his book “Built to Last“, author Jim Collins found that enduring organizations have two dominant characteristic that are complementary opposites:
- A strong conviction about core ideals that never changes
- A clear understanding that everything else must change in order to preserve the core
If people are nourished by unchanging vision, they are more agreeable when the rules change with tactics. It takes clarity and discipline to understand which things in the organization belong to which category. But what if our people were so captivated by the granite etching that it set us free to play with sand drawings? The leader’s role is not just to communicate in both granite and sand but to show how the two components work together. The leader should help people embrace change by nurturing an emotional connection to the unchanging core vision. The leader should preserve and champion the core vision by showing people how to constantly adapt.
Our change management problems today are vision problems first and people problems second. Many leaders want their people to run a missional marathon but unknowingly feed them junk food, leaving them malnourished and unprepared for the future.
If you are leader in ChurchWorld, don’t be part of “feeding” your congregation junk fast food – focus on the Bread of Life, and watch your church thrive and grow! When we fail to clarify and nurture the things written in granite, our people get too attached to the things written in sand. This is how the four P’s (place, personality, programs, and people) fit in. These are sand, not granite. As the fluid and flexible stuff of the kingdom they not only should change, but must change. In the absence of vision, the stuff of sand becomes the vision. In the absence of granite, sand is all we can grasp.
What’s on Your Menu?
The last few posts on 27gen have been a closer examination of Will Mancini’s book Church Unique. Specifically, the chapter entitled “Lost Congregations” that examines how churches adapt to a vision vacuum. Using the metaphor of Soul Fast Food, Mancini challenges the church leader to examine how their structures, programs, and ministries may have become a substitute for the real meal – what God intends for the church.
To wrap this up, I simply want to restate some of Mancini’s questions for your consideration.
- What really happens in the soul of a congregant when left in a church’s vision vacuum over time?
- What is left to excite the heart of church attenders?
- What then fuels the dreams of your people?
- What nourishes the identity of those who call your church home?
God’s people have a heart for mission; we need guidance to carry it out – vision. When a church articulates and clarifies its vision, the people of God will be released in a powerful realization of God at work in their world.
What’s on your menu?
If you are at the Exponential Conference and you resonated with the Church Unique material, I invite you to participate in the Intentional Discipleship track for your workshops. You can look at a preview here.