Steve at Vision Navigator has a post up about the Kingdom of Heaven. It is an interesting idea about using imagination and the post has an embedded bearded Australian man video to boot. In the post Steve links to series of posts about the Church Unique.

the specific article Steve links asks what your church can do better than 10000 others? “The challenge is given to leaders to discover their “Great Permission” within the Great Commission. Or to put in another way, how does your church glorify God and make disciples? The answer is your church’s Kingdom Concept.”

the next page over asks “why doesn’t vision stick?” “To be contagious vision must be robust without sacrificing brevity. Some leaders only stab at the future with a few nifty slogans. Others articulate a theological treatise that acts with the potency of NyQuil.”

I was talking about this issue over lunch earlier this week. I asked the fellow I was eating with what his church’s vision was. What set his church apart from all the other churches in town? He had a response ready because he feels it in his bones. The answer to that question is why he was part of starting the church that he helped start. He didn’t have to think for a while about it, he knew that answer.

Getting all of the people in our congregation that ready to answer that question is key. Better yet, is having the answer to that question be so thoroughly saturated throughout the church’s culture that every new member can recite it without ever having had formal instruction about it.

Any one who has ever spent five minutes in a Hill Country Bible Church service in any location has heard or seen or both “We are a family of believers committed to reaching people with the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ.” This statement saturates everything HCBC does. Sometimes an alternate form is used that says “we are a family of believers committed to reaching the people of the greater Austin area with the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ.” Anybody who becomes a part of any Hill Country church knows that they are pledging to become a part of a family of believers committed to reaching people with the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ.

What is your church’s Kingdom Concept? Does your vision stick? Why do you do what you do? Does what you are doing advance the vision?

answering these questions honestly is essential for church leadership and lay people alike. Much wasted time can thereby be avoided.

3 Responses

  1. Keith,
    As a member of HCBC, I can report that our Vision Statement goes beyond the words that are written on a piece of paper or even repeated to others from memory. The staff and members of Hill Country Bible Church apply this vision statement as a standard for their actions and focus. Monies, resources, prayers, and people all are challenged to establish this statement in all efforts to build the kingdom. It is a living, breathing goal, continuing to modify objectives and tasks as our community also changes. It is this drive for application of God’s word in our daily lives, beyond the safety of the Sunday school class, that is the basis of our family membership at HCBC.

  2. Keith–thanks for your comments on my post, and your on Church Unique. Great to hear how Hill Country is living this out, and casting a vision that goes beyond just a statement on a wall.

    Challenge for so many is connecting their vision with reality — that’s why we lead folks to articulate their mission as a missional mandate, their values as missional motives, their strategy as a missional map, and measures as a set of visible missional life marks. This creates a strategic framework for doing mission — framing the future and not just another statement, in a way that’s both grounded, yet open to God’s leading. Uncages vision then so it becomes not just a phrase, but a living language…

    Could go on, but I’ll stop now 🙂

    BTW, you take some amazing photos…

  3. Stephen, thanks for the input. That is why what Hill Country says is so powerful, because it so obviously permeates everything they do.

    Steve, thanks for your input as well. I like the idea of vision being a living language. That’ll preach.

    Thanks for the kind words on the pictures. I love taking them.

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