Most churches have a generic sense of their vision rather than a clearly defined and contextually crafted vision, according to Will Mancini and Warren Bird in their book God Dreams: 12 Vision Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church’s Future. In the world of vision, generic is an enemy; specific is your friend. Settling for generic will suck the life out of a church, and the people won’t even know it.

But how exactly do you go about finding God’s specific vision for your church? There are limitless directions in which a church could go, and it seems impossible to know where to start and who should be involved in the process. This book answers these problems by providing clear directions about using your leadership team in the discernment process and how you can use templates to get you started.

Starting with the templates, the discernment team seeks to discover which templates represent both their deepest longing as leaders and the future toward which their people will respond most heroically. The top templates are fused to create a single idea for a long-term vision, which is then focused and sharpened. The most important building blocks for the next 3 years are then identified, followed by the single most important focus for the coming year and the key immediate initiatives required over the next 90 days. What you end up with is a compelling long-term vision and a basic outline of strategies to get there.

In my opinion this is an outstanding book, the most helpful book on church vision that I have read. Most church leaders believe in the importance of painting an attractive vision of the future which motivates people to high levels of generosity and kingdom service, but their efforts so far have not achieved the desired results. This book might provide the spark that sets the compelling vision on fire.

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