The Power of Double Vision
I was on the management team of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas for over a decade while the church quadrupled in size. I learned so much there. I worked for some wonderful leaders who couldn’t and wouldn’t settle for good enough. Gene Appel, Jud Wilhite, and Mike Bodine have led and lead Central with a strategic and focused energy that is driven by the palpable urgency you sense is needed in a place like Las Vegas.
We used a clarifying idea to frame vision again and again. It was a simple question, “What would it look like for Central to double its Kingdom Impact?” We would ask the question at staff meetings, management meetings, but rarely would we ask it publicly. Recently, Central rolled out the idea to the church family and it’s been an inspiring anchor to the effort to raise funds and expand their impact in Las Vegas and beyond.
Here is a creative graphic that depicts the vision:
Notice some characteristics of this vision:
- It’s bigger than just attendance and giving
- It’s just a “snapshot” of what they are expecting
- It’s concrete with numbers
- It’s compelling with inspiring ideas and images
- It’s the outflow of their mission to “introduce people to Jesus”
I was so excited when Central rolled out this “double vision” during the recent Hope for All vision campaign. We use the same idea to frame vision with churches each week at Intentional Churches. Here’s what I’ve learned about why double vision makes sense:
- WE CAN ALL SEE IT. Double isn’t crazy, double is within reach. Easter is a great time to picture what it would look like to double your weekend impact in many churches. But it doesn’t take much to see what it would look like to serve 100 singles mothers one day or see 50 people come to Christ in one year, or one weekend perhaps!! No matter where you’ve been or where you are today, double seems possible of if you let yourself dream a bit!!
- IT’S INSPIRING. IT’S LIFE-GIVING. Solomon said, “Where there is no vision, people perish!” Right? Double impact means growing. And growing is a righteous pursuit in church…and in life. We were born to grow. We were made to grow. It’s why running a mile can inspire you to run two. And then running two can inspire you to run a half-marathon one day. And then if you’re blessed with the ability, maybe run a marathon! When we are on the pursuit to double, we are truly living.
- IT CATALYZES A CLEAR RESPONSE. When you clarify vision, you learn a lot about who’s with you and who is sitting on the sidelines. I remember the first time I experienced the call to join the planning to double Central’s impact. Honestly, it was a serious and significant gut-check because I was so tired from our relocation effort. At first I wasn’t sure I was ready to jump in and do my part. But it wasn’t long until I knew I had to be all-in – too much was at stake! What else could I do but say, “I’m in.” My response was truly life changing because of what I learned in the following years.
- IT ALIGNS YOUR TEAM. We are all better off when we know where we are headed and how our contribution matters. And if you’re like me, you don’t want to micro-manage your team’s actions. You want them to lead themselves and make decisions like you do! A simple way to do this is to clarify vision again and again. Bill Hybels was who I first heard say, “Vision leaks.” Re-framing the “why” in clear terms on a regular basis will help your team and its culture more than you know.
- IT CLARIFIES STRATEGY. If you are clear and honest about your current situation (you may not be and it’s where we begin our work in a GrowthPlan), then an immediate gap is formed between today and your vision to double. It’s in this gap that the “how” becomes more clear. And not only does strategy become clear, you begin to develop an immediate sense of priority. What must be done now and next? The answer to those elusive questions are much easier to answer when the vision is clear.
We plan on writing about vision quite a bit. We believe it’s been misunderstood but is really a simple idea – what would it look like for the Great Commission to be courageously accomplished through your church? It should be held loosely and reviewed often because God can do immeasurably more than we can imagine!!
Dream about this a bit. Ask your team to dream about it. What would it look like for your church to double its Kingdom Impact in the next five years? Can you see it? Does it give you life to believe God could do these things through you and your ministry? Does it begin to frame some strategic action for you? We would love to hear from you about the power of clear vision.