An effective vision paints a picture

Posted: May 10, 2013 by efenster in Ideas

“First Church will reach and disciple children and their families.”  Or “Children will drag their parents to First Church where Christ becomes their best friend.”  Two vision statements.  Which one paints a better picture in your mind’s eye?  An effective vision does just that, it paints a picture of a future reality God is drawing it toward.

This week I have experienced two Indiana United Methodist churches that have effectively done just that.  One is Bremen UMC that distilled its wordy vision down to the image to the left.  Bremen-BridgeLogoIn the matter of an image and a few words, this vision simply, but powerfully, conveys the church’s dream to connect with those in its community by going to them by building bridges linking them and Christ.

Another church’s vision is actually vividly expressed through its newly remodeled gym.  Aldersgate UMC, in Fort Wayne, is putting the finishing touches on a space that recreates London’s Aldersgate Street.

The church’s Director of Children’s Ministry, Joan Schell, says its more than simply a place for children’s ministry.  It’s a multi-generational space that is being used by the entire congregation.  Throughout the room are hidden tiny hearts–a reminder of John Wesley’s heart-warming experience which occurred at a prayer meeting off Aldersgate Street–which serve as a subtle reminder of God’s love for us and our response of love back to God and others.

FW Aldersgate 1305-1 FW Aldersgate-1305-2 FW Aldersgate-1305-3

So is your vision painting pictures at your church?  If not, what can you do to make it more visual?  Why is this so important?  Because truly a picture can paint a thousand words.  In fact, words can even move mountains–especially when they come in the form of a vision from God.

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development


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