In an earlier post, I encouraged you to identify your personal missional community vision, to develop a “North Star” vision that guides you despite the change in people or circumstance that occurs throughout the life of a missional community. The bigger challenge is moving your personal missional community vision into a collective missional community vision.
A collective missional community vision is the expanded and shared vision of the entire community who are committed together to know and follow God on mission.
The collective vision values the diversity of visions, stories, gifts, and talents that a community brings together by praying, dreaming, and exploring together what God has in store for your community.
Expanding Your Personal Vision
The hardest part of cultivating the collective vision is seeing your personal vision change through the process, but greater joy comes in unity than solidarity for the gospel. As you have sat with your vision, there is much good that you bring to the community through your pursuit of God and Him guiding you, but it is incomplete without others voices and values.
It took humility from Christ to do the will of the Father, to trust His life and vision to a group of disciples who would fail him, and then to allow the diverse perspectives of His people to lead the mission forward. As we follow Christ, we join Him in humility as we trust our vision, ideas, and hopes to others and join ourselves together for the collective vision over our own.
Pride is the killer of the soul as well as the killer of a missional community. Avoiding it requires that we come with humble confidence in God’s hopes, confident of His passion for His church, but humble in seeing that it takes the whole church, not just one Christian to move the vision into reality. This is an act of faith, believing that God can and will accomplish far more than we will ever be able.
A Missional Community Vision Night
One of the best ways to cultivate a collective vision is by having a missional community vision night. (By the way, it’s never too late to do this, so plan it anytime if you’re a leader and suggest it anytime if you’re not leading).
The aims of a vision night are to display the vision, expand the vision and excite the community for the vision.
Display the Vision
When we think of vision, we often want to jump to teaching, explaining, and inspiring believing our words are the only capable means of vision casting. This is necessary but the vision also needs to be caught by other means, mainly modeling.
This is best served through the hospitality that is cultivated during this time. Eat a meal together, laugh as you enjoy each other’s company, care for the events, activities and concerns in one another’s life. Hospitality is a spiritual gift, but also a command because it displays the welcoming heart of God in Christ.
Let the vision be caught just as much as you cast it.
Expand the Vision
Identify a time while you are together to expand your vision by inviting others to voice their desires, hopes, and vision for the missional community.
Some questions you could ask
- What do you hope God would do in this missional community?
- In 6 months, what stories would you want to tell about our community?
- How do you hope this missional community is beneficial for everyone who is a part of it?
- How do you hope our missional community benefits our neighbors?
- Why do you love this neighborhood? How can we enhance our neighborhood?
- Who do you hope sees the love of God through our missional community?
There are many more questions you could ask, but your aim is to invite the entire community to express their desires and hopes.
Excite the Community for the Vision
As the vision expands, there’s an opportunity to settle on the vision by sharing excitement, affirming people’s additions, and pray to solidify the vision.
This is the “What’s next?” portion of the collective vision casting and you will want to identify ways to pray, the next opportunity your community has to engage in this vision, and a way to articulate the vision. Encourage your missional community leader (or if you are the leader) to articulate the aims of the community in writing to distribute through email as a way to follow up on the collective vision.
Remembering and Evolving the Collective Vision
While the excitement around this vision will increase after a vision night, the way to sustain the excitement is through remembering and recasting the vision regularly. Seek for ways to easily articulate this vision with those inside your community and your neighbors.
Lastly, the reality is that this collective vision will evolve over time because we are following God whose plans are greater than ours and He will ultimately form and lead the community. These vision nights can be a regular practice throughout the life of the missional community to remember and join God as He evolves your vision going forward. I’ll have more on this in an article next week.
The scriptures say “without vision, the people perish” encouraging us to insure that all take ownership of the vision to see the flourishing of the community of God on mission together.A missional community needs a collective vision to flourish as a family on mission together. @logangentry http://bit.ly/1tk6FAs