Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Birth Of A Congregation - That vision thing


In addition to a mission every church needs a vision. The vision is a description of where the organization is headed and what things would be like if it succeeded in its mission. There can be many visions. In fact every stakeholder in the church may have a unique vision of what the organization is trying to bring about. The church leadership is the steward of the vision. That is, it is the job of the leadership to collect the various visions and integrate them into a vision statement that can be feed back to the people in a way that resonates with them and brings about a degree of enthusiasm, committement, and engagement.

People resonate with the vision at four levels. Some people do not care or share the vision at all and never engage with the organization. Some people comply with the vision but their engagement is marginal and peripheral. The third group of people cooperate with the organization and " go along with the program." The fourth group are the people who engage at the level not just of compliance and cooperation but they contribute to the development of the vision. Organizations have members at all 3levels of engagement and yet it is the 3rd level that is preferred.

What is the vision for the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship? BUUF's steering committee is working on this right now. My vision is that the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will become a thriving spiritual community that provides support, guidance, and inspiration to enable the spiritual growth of its members, friends, and the broader society of which it is a part.

BUUF's steering committee is meeting again on May 28, 2009 to further formulate a vision. What would the characteristics of your dream UU Fellowship? What would be the two most important?

Having made this vision statement it raises a number of questions, the two most important of which are how will it achieve its vision and how will it measure its progress? The general answers are that it will achieve its vision by carrying out its mission which we discussed yesterday and it will measure its progress by choosing indicators that can be measured in meaningful ways to help evaluate progress. More on these things later.

For now, let me ask you what is your vision for a new Unitarian Universalist Fellowship like BUUF and for the Unitarian Universalist Association? Leave comments or email me at david@davidgmarkham.com.

Strategic visioning video lasts 4:32



This is article #2 in a series on Birth Of A Congregation.

1 comment:

  1. Many words come to mind about a vision for a church. I think of words like openess ... welcoming ... community ... friendship ... caring ... listening ...
    I'm uncomfortable with the phrase 'measuring progress'. I understand a group needs to see 'where it's at' after a certain period of time, but I'm not keen on analyzing too much.
    What you have written is great. It's a beginning. And I look forward to the future and joining a group of people who care about Unitarian-Universalist ideals.

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