A conversation about making vision stick with Andy Stanley – 2nd step, Cast the Vision Convincingly

Key takeaways: (A) Define the problem – what is the problem your vision is trying to solve? (B) Present the vision as a solution to the problem, (C) Why do we need to do something? and why do we need to do it now?

Jesus’ Core Values and Bedrock Beliefs

As we are pursuing and praying through our Core Values, Bedrock Beliefs, Motivating Vision, and Key Mission a colleague asked the following question:

  • What are Jesus' Core Values?
  • What are Jesus' Bedrock Beliefs?
  • What is Jesus' Motivating Vision?
  • What is Jesus' Key Mission?
Our "coach" helped me remember why we are asking the question of or ourselves:

Now here we see the beginning of all Christian theology. There is a point
when the memory of the historical Jesus faded, and became reshaped and
recommunicated through the lives and perspectives and spiritual experiences of
the disciples. At some point, somebody asks these question … the whole history
of theology unfolds. How they answer these questions in Rome is somewhat
different from Antioch, or Alexandria, or Carthage, or Cleveland.

To what extent did the core values of Jesus reflect the behavioral
expectations of the Jewish community? The convictions of the Pharisees? The
political ideals of the Zealots? The insights of Socrates? The organizational
principles of Rome?

And yet, as diverse and complex as the answers to these questions might be,
it is incumbent upon Christian leader to answer them for me, for my context, for
this piece of God's mission that I lead. My values, beliefs, vision and mission
should reasonably and reliably align with Jesus. It is the essence of
"integrity".

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Following Disney into the Future?

In Leadership Journal Skie Jethani, teaching pastor of Blanchard Road Alliance Church in Wheaton, IL, describes the journey of Walt Disney's Tomorrowland.  50 years ago USAmericans were an optomistic bunch, convinced that technology would solve our problems.  Disney said it this way:

"Tomorrowland is a vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying
man's achievements…a step into the future, with predictions of
constructive things to come … and the hope for a peaceful and united
world."

It has proven expensive to keep Tomorrowland ahead of our fast-paced culture (any investment in technology does not stay current for long).  The result, Tomorrowland in recent years portrays "a tongue planted firmly in the cheek" version of the future that mirrors our jaded attitudes.  At least one writer laments Disney's loss of their optimistic prophetic voice.

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Bedrock Beliefs – Basic Affirmations

Circle the words in the following documents that state what you rely on in your faith when your back is against the wall.

THE NICENE CREED (The United Methodist Hymnal, #880)

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.   For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.  On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

THE APOSTLES' CREED (Traditional Version, The United Methodist Hymnal, #881)

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he arose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

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Core Values Tentative Report

Thanks to all who attended the Core Values Workshop (just over 60 attended the session).  The following were the word fields that we began to consense around at the close of our time together.  This is a work in progress and we will want to clarify and narrow our sense of each group of words.

  • Loving Church Family
  • Teaching
  • Fellowship
  • Singing
  • Worship
  • Trying New Things
  • Caring for Others
  • Caring for God
  • Valuing Others
  • Faith
  • Passion
  • Humility
  • Reaching Out
  • Discipleship
  • Learning
  • Using Our Gifts
  • Tolerance
  • Love
  • Replenishment

To derive this short list we asked persons to consider answering the following questions using a shortened list of 33 value words from Tom Bandy's Vision Discernment Workbook (a shortened form of Moving Off the Map).

Value Words:  productivity, strength, trying new things, using one's gifts, singing, teaching, thinking, worship, passion, reaching out, purpose-driven, purposefulness, tolerance, sensitivity, morality, valuing others, fellowship, harmony, loving church family, generous, replenishment, hope, faith, loved by God, caring for God, humility, caring for people, God's grace, love, peace, futuring, leading.

  1. What have you always found of value in the church?
  2. What do you personally admire most about any church?
  3. What do you love to do the most when attending church?
  4. What legacy do you want to leave your children and grandchildren?
  5. What do you most want to be remembered for at church?
  6. What value would you state would be found when PUMC reaches God's promised land?

Core Values – Group Answers

The following are summaries of group answers to the following questions:

  1. What have you always found of value in the church?  caring for others (4), caring for people, faith (3), fellowship (9), fellowship/worship with other believers, God's grace (4), hope, love (2), loving church family (4), passion for teaching, replenishment (2), singing, teaching (2), worship (6), worship leading to accepting God's grace, using one's gifts, valuing others.

  2. What do you personally admire most about any church?  caring for God (2), caring for others, caring for people (4), faith (2), faith/passion, fellowship (2), following God's will, generous, hope (2), love, loving church family (4), mission, morality, reaching out (5), sharing God's grace (2), singing, teaching (2), teaching God's word, tolerance, trying new things, using one's gifts, worship (2).

  3. What do you love to do the most when attending church?  caring for God, fellowship (6), learning (3), learning about God, listening to music, preaching, reaching out, replenishment (5), singing (7), thinking (5), using one's gifts, valuing others, worship (5), worship/singing.

  4. What legacy do you want to leave your children and grandchildren?  caring for God (7), caring for people (5), faith (5), God's grace, humility (6), know they are loved by God (2), knowledge and love of God, morality (2), passion, purposefulness (2), peace, sensitivity, strength (2), tolerance (2), tolerance/ valuing others, valuing others (2).

  5. What do you most want to be remembered for at church?  caring, caring for God (4), caring for others, caring for people (5), faith (2), faithfulness, fellowship, generous (2), harmony, humility (2), love (2), morality, purpose-driven (2), reaching out to others (5), tolerance/harmony/sensitivity, using one's gifts (4), valuing others (5).

  6. What value would you state would be found when PUMC reaches God's Promised Land?  caring for God, caring for God's people, caring for others (2), caring for people, faith (2), God's grace (3), God's glory, grace, love, loved by God (2), loving church family (5), passion peace (3), purpose-driven (3), purposefulness (2), reaching out (2), tolerance, valuing others, using one's gifts.

Overall the following core values were lifted up. 

Alphabetical order: caring, caring for God (15), caring for God's people, caring for others (8), caring for people (16), faith (13), faith/passion, faithfulness, fellowship (18), fellowship/worship with other believers, following God's will, generous (3), God's glory, God's grace (8), grace, harmony, hope (2), humility (8), know they are loved by God (4), knowledge and love of God, learning (3), learning about God, listening to music, love (6), loving church family (13), mission, morality (4), passion (2), passion for teaching, peace (4), purpose-driven (5), purposefulness (4), reaching out (8), reaching out to others (5), replenishment (7), sensitivity, sharing God's grace (2), singing (9), strength (2), teaching (5), teaching God's word, thinking (5), tolerance (4), tolerance/valuing others, tolerance/harmony/sensitivity, trying new things, worship (8), worship leading to accepting God's grace, using one's gifts (8), valuing others (10), worship (5), worship/singing.

Incidence of Recurrence Orderfellowship (18), caring for people (16), caring for God (15), faith
(13),
loving church family (13),
valuing others
(10),
singing (9), caring for others (8), God's grace (8), humility (8), reaching out (8), worship (8), using one's gifts (8), replenishment (7), love (6), purpose-driven (5), reaching out
to others (5),
teaching (5), thinking
(5),
worship (5), know they are
loved by God (4),
morality (4), peace (4),
purposefulness (4), tolerance (4), generous (3), learning (3), hope (2), passion (2), sharing God's grace (2),
strength (2), caring, caring
for God's people, faith/passion, faithfulness, fellowship/worship
with other believers, following God's will, God's glory,
grace, harmony, knowledge and love of God, learning
about God, listening to music, mission, passion for teaching, sensitivity, teaching God's word, tolerance/valuing others,
tolerance/harmony/sensitivity, trying new things, worship
leading to accepting God's grace, worship/singing.

The work of the visioning team will be to begin forming word groupings and seek clarity on ambiguous terms.  We will then carry those to various formal and informal groups for reflection and interpretation.

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