Stop talking about your vision. It has nothing to do with me.

Michael Lukaszewski writes:

Vision is a powerful word in the church world.  Pastors love to talk about it.

But here’s a secret.

People don’t want to hear about the vision of your church, they want to hear about themselves.

That’s right.  People love to talk about themselves.  Their dreams, their accomplishments, their problems.   And they like to listen to messages that address those things.

So while the three year plan of your church might be interesting to you, people might not care about it if they don’t see themselves IN it.  While your vision statement and core values might be carefully worded, people might not truly care if it doesn’t intersect with their lives.

Read more here.

Thoughts?  Is this true?  If so, should it affect how you talk about vision?



  • Joel Zehring April 30, 2013 Reply

    First, vision is one of those things that needs to change as leaders make a shift from pastoral to missional.

    It’s tempting to pull a Rick Warren when talking about vision and beat people over the head with “it’s not about you.” The problem with “it’s not about you” is that it’s a real short walk to “It doesn’t really matter if you are here or not.”

    Back to pastoral versus missional. It used to be enough to get people involved. As long as they had a role, people were busy, things were cool. But things changed and busyness stopped being enough. Now people don’t want to be a part of your vision, they want to own the vision and participate in directing the ministry.

  • John Poitevent May 4, 2013 Reply

    I completely agree that a well articulated church vision places the people in the driver’s seat. Pastors often tell people “YOU are the Church.” However, when it comes to shaping and communicating the vision and mission what people tend to hear is, “We’ve already decided where we’re going, but we’d love for you to join us.” The Church desperately needs a better model and vocabulary of true collaboration. It’s been said by others before, but adopting Home Depot’s slogan of “You can do it, we can help.” would be a good start. What churches are more likely to say is, “We can do it, you can help!” which gives the people no sense of ownership at all. As vocational ministers, we need to remember that our calling is to equip God’s people, not just use them to accomplish our goals. When we make that shift in our thinking (and hearts), I believe that a collaborative visionary process and language is sure to follow.

    Ephesians 4:11-13
    11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

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