Today begins one of my favorite weeks of the year, as Willowcreek Community Church starts their annual leadership summit.
The highlights of this year include Bill Hybels, Carly Fiorina, Floyd Flake, Marcus Buckingham, Michael Porter, Colin Powell, John Ortberg, and Jimmy Carter.
Founding pastor Bill Hybles gave the first talk titled "Vision to Die For." His basic point was that nothing matters more to a vision than for people to have ownership of the vision. The scripture reading was from John 10 and he talked about the difference between the hired hands who watch the sheep and the owner of the sheep. Jesus said that hired hands leave when they sense trouble where as the sheep owner will do anything include give his or her life for their sheep. The vision we share about our church needs to be one that people feel like they own. If not they will not feel invested and might never be on board. When people own a vision watch out.
The process Hybles shared for a shared vision was the following:
Don't create vision alone. Do it as a team. Ask people, "what does God want our church to look like in 5 years?" Most people don't have to have their way, they just need their way considered. This was great for me as our church is in the middle of a visioning processes. Most everything in my body wanted myself to come up with the mission and the things our church should focus on in the future. For once i listened to the part of me that was unsettled about that. It needs to be the churches vision and not Gordon Pruitt's. This was a great reminder and also shows me i need to involve more people in this process.
After you get done with the first draft, have subsequent drafts and present it to different groups. Again people feel valued and the result is a better vision.
Vision leaks. Keep casting the vision because people forget. Celebrate the vison when the vision is being lived out. As you do this more and more ownership of the vision happens.
Are you willing to sacrifice deeply to do what God has called you to do? Are you a hired hand or a owner?
The Blog of Gordon Pruitt the Pastor of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Richmond Virginia