Building a culture of generosity is no easy task. One of the foundational elements is building a compelling vision that your members will desire to be part of.
God’s word says: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18
Sounds serious? Vision is that important, without it people have no purpose. Interestingly enough one of my observations as a financial planner was the negative impact that retirement had on people. The Bible makes it clear that we were built to work and that work is a blessing. Work provides purpose and gives people something to contribute meaningfully too.
Your church is no different. Your members desire to be part of something that they can contribute too. As a church leader you have an opportunity to create a worldview that goes way beyond anything that this world has too offer.
Vision matters. Vision works. Money follows vision!
- Not only do your members want to know where the money is going, but they want to give to things that are going to have real impact. People don’t want to give to the status quo. If you have a so-so vision you will have so-so giving.
- People are increasingly skeptical. Aside from the regular scandals in the media, people are more skeptical about those asking for money and whether the money makes it to its final destination.
- Surveys of the elderly have consistently shown that if they had their life over again, they would have taken more risks, slowed down and spent more time reflecting. What this tells us is that mankind has a desire for significance. We want to know that our lives mattered and have contributed to making the world a better place. For Christians our greatest desire should be to advance God’s kingdom!
Your vision is not only critical to your members but to your staff. It needs to be compelling, relevant and realistic. When people go into vocational ministry, it is usually due to a passion to see the advancement of God’s kingdom. The vision of your church will motivate them to fulfil that passion.
I remember working for a large American stockbroking firm. Every morning when I arrive at work, as I exit the elevator, in front of me was a list of the company’s values and principles. There was only one problem: they never lived up to them. The same applies to your mission and vision. They need to be big enough for your staff to see that they are part of something bigger than just themselves, but not so big that they just scoff at it. I use the word “realistic” cautiously as I believe your vision should be big enough that you can’t achieve it without God’s help (thus, arguably it is unrealistic in natural terms).
Your vision should build an image in the mind of your members of the exciting future ahead and what you can accomplish together with the guidance and strength of the Lord’s hand.