Good vision trumps bad economy! I have been saying that for years now. Even before The Great Recession I would get asked how the economy was going to effect a churches giving. So at one point I wrote an article that had that phrase in it.
Vision drives everything! One of the three reasons people give to anything is because they believe in the work of that institution. In other words they have bought into the vision. So, if vision drives everything you MUST have the best vision possible. You vision must be…
- Clear – Does it make sense? Can someone repeat it back to you in two to three sentences?
- Concise – Your vision must be simple enough so that even a fifth grader can understand it.
- Compelling – This is the most important C of all! People give to that which matters.
How do you develop a vision statement? Every “ask” needs a driver. The driver is the vision behind the “ask.” It is the reason why you are asking for the gift in the first place. I think we have made vision much more difficult than it needs to be. I believe your vision is what burns within your heart. If nothing is burning in your heart, as the old saying goes, your wood is wet! Hopefully your wood is not wet.
What is in your heart? What do you get excited about when you dream about the future of your church or ministry? What keeps you up at night? Those are the things that are the basis for your vision. Start there. Show people what is in your heart not some catchy phrase or acrostic. People respond to vision. Money follows vision!
How often should you communicate vision? Bill Hybels correctly nailed it a few years back when he said, “Vision leaks!” He meant that people tended to forget the vision that was cast just months ago. In the day to day struggle of life other issues would crowd out that vision statement and they would often be clueless as to what their church was about. Cast your vision often!
I think you cast some aspect of your vision every time you take up the offering or you make an appeal to give. This is why every manual that I write begins with crafting a vision statement. It is essential that you always link the gift to how it will fulfill the vision of your church.
Frankly this takes some thought. Like any thoughts that are great that takes some time and effort. Most pastors either never think about positioning their “asks,” are too busy or simply too lazy. The work you put into crafting a clear, concise and compelling vision will pay off in increased funds.
Always make the link between the gift and the vision and you will see an increase in giving!
If you need help doing this week in and week out you need to join Giving365. Every week my members get a written offering talk sent directly to their inbox. That way you always have something to say when casting a vision for people to give. Try us today!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach