WACO—A dream can move God’s people to do incredible things for the kingdom of God, but most churches aren’t dreaming big enough, author and church consultant Will Mancini told Texas Baptists.
In his keynote address to the 2017 Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting, Mancini urged leaders to seek clarity and specificity on their “special assignment from God.”
Move from the vague to the specific
Mancini, founder of the nonprofit church consulting group Auxano, said most churches he consults with have mission statements that are too broad and vague, relying on phrases such as “making disciples,” “glorifying God,” or “reaching more people in the next five years.”
A new restaurant concept will never succeed or sweep the nation if its vision statement is “We’re going to serve food!” he said. Likewise, a church cannot taste God’s design with a vague biblical orientation.
“You’re not going to fulfill your potential with just a general sense of where God is calling you,” Mancini said.
Perils of imitation and busyness
Most churches face two barriers to discovering their special assignment from God: they’re imitating the successes of other churches—a “keeping up with the Joneses ministry mentality”—or they’re too wrapped up in the day-to-day busyness to sit down and put in the time to plan and dream.
He referred church leaders to the vision templates detailed in his book, God Dreams: 12 Vision Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church’s Future.
The templates fall into four categories: “Visions that Advance,” “Visions that Rescue,” “Visions that Become,” and “Visions that Overflow.”
He offered examples such as a “geographic saturation dream,” where a church draws a boundary and vows to reach every person within that border; a “people group penetration dream,” like focusing on meeting the needs of refugees; or a “need adoption dream,” such as ensuring every latchkey kid in a community has a chance to know Christ.
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“Naming is how we discharge our God-given authority and power in the kingdom. The first tool Adam used wasn’t a flint. It wasn’t a hammer. It wasn’t a wheel. It was a word,” he said. “Words create worlds.
“Don’t imitate. Don’t be too busy. Name that dream.”