An article I read recently likened a church’s visioning process to the story of sowing and reaping found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8:
Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
To attain and maintain vitality, we have to SOW it uP!!
- See It
Vision is critical to any church’s or ministry’s vitality and growth. Vision allows us to see beyond the visible, beyond the barriers and obstacles to our mission. Vision ‘catches us up,’ captivates and compels us to act.” It is our vision that draws us forward.
- Own It
“Owning it” speaks to the way that vision is shared across the organization. It also speaks to awareness of the current realities of the church in light of its hopes for the future. Leaders and stakeholders can use tools — such as ministry charting, community assessments, and ministry-by-walking-around — to help in the process of ministry ownership.
- Work It
This speaks to ways that ministry is activated and implemented. “Working it” is effectively ministry in action. This should be aligned with the stated mission, vision, and purpose of the church and should include strategies for community engagement, outreach and evangelism, use of social media and technology, and creative programming including worship, Christian Education and small groups.
- Pray It
“Praying it” involves the use of spiritual disciplines and spiritual formation in the process of ongoing ministry discernment and implementation. Intentionally encouraging leaders and to practice inward, outward, and corporate spiritual disciplines and then celebrating the visible impact on the lives of people moves the church towards greater vitality.