Church Vision Statement: How To Discover & Write A Powerful Church Vision [2023]

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It can be challenging to discover the right church vision and put it into a powerful church vision statement that your audience can get passionate about.

If you are trying to create your church vision or church vision statement, then this is the blog for you.

We’ve put together a complete guide so that you can learn how to craft a compelling church vision statement.

Let’s get right into the vision casting!

What Is A Church Vision Statement?

A Church Vision is what your church’s mission will look like when it is lived out in your church and your community. 

In other words, a vision is the desired change your church is dreaming about after it has taken place. Your vision is how you believe the world will look when your ministry has accomplished its mission.

church vision statement

Church Vision Vs. Church Mission

A vision statement for church is often confused with a church mission statement. 

The two statements have a notable difference that should be understood when clarifying your church vision.

Here’s the difference.

Church Vision: A vision statement for church describes a future reality your church intends to create. 

Church Mission: A church mission statement addresses the obstacles your church will need to overcome to make the vision a reality.

To clearly communicate where your church is going and what your congregation will be doing, you need a clear church mission and church vision. 

In the coming section, we’ll explain where to get a church vision statement.

Where Do I Get A Church Vision? 

There are multiple ways we have seen lead pastors try to get a vision statement for church.

For instance, pastors sometimes: 

  • Schedule an off-site meeting or retreat with key leaders
  • Hire an expensive consultant
  • Have meetings with board members and come to a consensus on a new church vision statement
  • They might even do a Google Search to find the vision God has given to other ministries

We believe a church vision is given to the head pastor by God. 

Being the bearer of your church vision is one of your most essential functions as the head pastor. 

This task cannot be delegated or decided by others. 

Rick Warren says, 

“So you as a leader and as a pastor must have God’s vision for your church. The very first task of leadership is to set the vision for the organization. If you don’t set the vision, you’re not the leader. 

Whoever is establishing the vision in your church is the leader of that particular church. 

A church will never outgrow its vision and the vision of a church will never outgrow the vision of the pastor.”

If you’re the lead pastor, the vision statement for church must come from what you believe God wants to do through your church

Here is another great thought to consider:

“You’ve got to give yourself the freedom to dream – to use your imagination to see and feel what does not yet exist. A vision is not the same as goals or objectives; those come from the head. A vision comes from the heart.” -John Graham

To discover the church vision God wants to communicate with you there are a few things you can do. 

  1. Take some time away from your normal routine and spend some 1-on-1 time with God and ask for his direction and calling on your ministry. 
  2. Spend time in prayer and fasting.
  3. Ask yourself what you feel God has called YOU to do in ministry.

In the next section, you’ll learn the reason a vision statement is so important in the life of your church.

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Why Do We Need A Church Vision?

Your church needs a clear vision because vision creates a sense of direction, unity, purpose, and passion in your ministry. 

what is a church vision

A Vision Creates Direction: When you identify a vision of the future, you are telling your church that God has a SPECIFIC destination they need to get to. 

Creating a clear vision of a better world is like setting your GPS to your desired destination. Once everyone agrees on where they are going, they will then have a direction for their efforts. 

If the vision statement for church is crystal clear, then anyone can ask “will this action get us closer to OUR vision?”

This creates a reliable way for EVERYONE to internally validate their thinking and actions so they can focus more of their effort on moving the church toward what’s most important.

A Vision Creates Unity: When a clear church vision statement is defined, it provides a focal point in the future that your audience will work to create together. When everyone in your ministry is focused on the same destination there will be unity in your ministry. 

A Vision Creates Purpose: A clear church vision makes everyone feel as though they taking part in a purpose that is greater than themselves. 

A powerful church vision has a clear motivational effect on everyone in your church. It drives enthusiasm, increases commitment, and fosters change. During difficult or stressful times, having a clear vision statement for church will produce persistence and remind your audience of the reason for their effort.

A Vision Creates Passion: When you set a vision that challenges and inspires you, your audience will also begin to feel passionate about the new direction of your ministry. Your audience will only be as passionate, committed, and willing to take action as you are. Your job is to set the vision, then embody it every day. 

A Vision Inspires Commitment: When your audience is passionate about the church vision, your ministry will begin to attract more resources, volunteers, and talented leaders than you ever imagined. People want to commit to something bigger than themselves. They want to sacrifice for something that will make a real difference. 

church vision statement

This brings up an important sub-point. Commitment and sacrifice are the same thing. People cannot sacrifice to your church without committing to it first and they cannot commit to your church without sacrificing other opportunities (like the bedside Baptist church). 

To learn more about commitment and sacrifice read our article titled, Commitment To The Church: Top Church Engagement Strategies

People are only willing to commit and sacrifice when they connect with the vision of your ministry. 

This implies that a vague and unclear vision statement for church will rarely motivate sacrifice, commitment, and passion.

The last reason your church NEEDS a clear vision is because your vision  provides a framework for you to easily define your short and long-term goals, and guide the decisions you make along the way.

Healthy, growing ministries stay strategically aligned with their visions in everything they do. They only offer programs that align with the vision. This maintains consistent direction, unity, purpose, and passion in your ministry. 

When your leadership team begins to allow church funds to be allocated to programs that don’t align with your vision, your audience will lose the clarity they once had about where they were going. Once this happens, they will also lose their purpose, passion, and unity. 

For Example: Suppose your new church vision is to plant 50 churches in Zambia. You then begin to look at all of the programs and events your ministry offers to decide whether or not they are aligned with and support the new vision. 

You come across a marriage conference that is in the works. On the surface level, a marriage conference has nothing to do with planting 50 churches. This event should be brought into alignment with your vision (or it should be eliminated).

Here is an example of how this can be done:

“We are hosting a marriage conference because we are 100% dedicated to the vision of planting 50 churches in Zambia. If you are coming to this church, you are a missionary even if that just means in your workplace or in your home. Missionaries need to have strong marriages. The mission field can be very challenging and you need to be able to rely on your spouse for support when things get hard.”

It’s critical that your church bring all programs and events into strategic alignment with your vision. 

Ultimately, the Bible says it best in Proverbs, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. – Proverbs 29:18

These are the top reasons your church needs a clear vision. But how big should your visions be? 

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How Big Should My Church Vision Be? 

Most people believe that a “realistic” or “reasonable” vision is the best vision. 

We don’t believe this is the case. “Reasonable, doable, and realistic” visions for your ministry DONT INSPIRE PASSION. 

When your vision isn’t inspiring, people are unwilling to commit and sacrifice personally to see that vision come to reality. 

For Example: Suppose you choose to set the most “realistic, doable, and reasonable” church vision possible. You decide to help get one local single mother living in your community into a new career that pays the bills. 

When you pitch your new vision to your congregation, nobody will care because this is a small, unmotivating vision. Your congregation knows you could create this new world (where this woman is better off) without their help. There is no need for them to participate. 

Suppose instead you go for a dramatic vision where your church “will equip 10,000 single mothers with the skills they need to get better jobs within 10 years”. 

Your audience will instantly understand your ministry team cannot do this alone. They will first begin by wondering how serious your ministry team is about making this happen. They will look to see action that backs up the vision. 

Once they see sacrifice and commitment from your ministry team, they will then begin to believe in the vision themselves and begin considering how they can push the vision forward too. 

People are not willing to take action for a “realistic” vision that is uninspiring. But, your audience will run through brick walls to try to accomplish an “impossible” church vision that they feel passionate about. 

When your entire congregation is just as committed to your vision as you and your ministry team (and you are 100% committed), what you believed to be impossible will quickly become reality. 

It won’t be long before you have to set the vision even larger. 

What If I Don’t Have A Church Vision At Heart?

It’s possible that you have taken the steps mentioned in this article to find the vision God is calling your ministry to, and have still come up with nothing. 

no church vision

In many cases the personal vision of the lead pastor may conflict with that of the church they are leading. This can lead to tension between the lead pastor and the ministry. 

In other cases, ministry leaders may not have a vision because they more naturally follow the vision set by others. 

In either case, it might be time to consider other ministry opportunities where you are able to set a powerful vision or consider positions where setting the vision is not your core responsibility. 

How Committed Should I Be To The Church Vision Statement?

As the senior pastor of your church, you should be completely committed to the church’s vision.

You’re the one with the dream and calling. God has told YOU His destination for where your church should be headed.

In other words, you have the biggest stake in your church’s vision.

To discover if you have the right church vision, you need to be able to answer yes to the following questions:

  • Would I be willing to give my life for this? 
  • Would I be willing to say, “Though none will go with me, still I will follow”? 
  • Would it be worth pursuing this vision even if it came to nothing?

Answers to these questions will determine if you have identified your church vision.

If you lack concrete answers to the questions above, your vision statement will likely stay in a binder on a shelf or a slogan on a wall. 

Essentially, it won’t make a difference in your church or your community.

For Example: Here at Clickmill, we’re a Christian marketing firm with a vision to help ministry leaders reach more people, more effectively. It’s what our team lives and breathes. It’s in every staff training, it’s on every page of our website. It’s right here in this blog. Every piece of content we produce is in alignment with this vision, and everyone pastor who wants to reach their audience more effectively knows exactly where they need to go. Our vision doesn’t sit on a shelf, it guides everything we do, and it should, because there is nothing more important to us than ministry leaders who can get out there and reach the world. 

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If you want your church members to sacrifice for the vision, you must be ready to lead the way no matter what it takes.

So, makes a GOOD church vision statement?

What makes a Good Church Vision Statement 

Your vision statement for church should clearly express what your church does, how it does it, and why it does it. 

You can quickly sum this up in your church vision statement by providing the following:

  • Church Purpose: What does your ministry do, or aim to provide, and for whom?
  • Church Values: What has your church been called for? Values are what makes your church unique.
  • Church Goals: Create a clear and concise church vision statement that explains what the world will look like when your church has reached its destination. 

 For instance, we will plant 50 churches in Japan within 10 years. 

With these three components, you can create a church vision statement that is unique to your church and resonates with all your followers. 

But what if your church vision statement sounds like other churches?

What If My Church Vision Statement Sounds Like The Vision Of Other Churches?

There is NO problem if your vision statement for church sounds similar to other churches.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

A church vision doesn’t develop in a vacuum. Very few of us can probably create a church vision statement out of nothing. We believe that as humans we survive by adapting and adopting than creating from scratch.

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.”    – Ecclesiastes 1:9

Most churches have unclear and overly broad visions like “to reach the world for Christ”, “Reach, teach, send”, or “to fulfill the great commission.” 

All you have to do is specify in what way you will fulfill the great commission specifically and you will stand out from other churches. 

So, how can you make your church vision more persuasive and compelling?

How can I Make my Church Vision Statement More Compelling?

A church vision statement should be memorable and provides the ‘how’.

The ‘memorable’ part compels people. The HOW describes how we accomplish your church vision.

We recommend you ground your church vision in one sentence that’s compelling and captivating for your people.

church vision

You have the responsibility to find the words and stories that make your church vision compelling.

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Church Vision Examples

In this section, we’ve put together a list of church vision samples to help you critically think about what we have discussed in this article.

Which of these church visions do you think are clear and which do you feel are overly broad or vague? Which do you feel are inspiring and which sound like every other church vision you have heard?

  • Celebration Church (Jacksonville, FL): “Therefore go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you, always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20
  • Gateway Scottsdale (Scottsdale, AZ): At Gateway, we are committed to helping every person believe in Jesus, belong to a family, become a disciple and build His kingdom.
  • Saddleback (Lake Forest, CA): To welcome the community with open arms. To train an army of people who are passionate about living out God’s purpose for their lives. To then give that army an outlet for sharing the love of Christ through outreach and missions. 
  • Christ Church of the Valley (Peoria, AZ): Impacting 100,000 Phoenix area residents by the year 2023.
  • Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York, NY): The Redeemer family of churches and ministries exist to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice, and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, the world. 

That brings us to the end of this post on How To Discover & Write A Powerful Church Vision [2023]

We hope this post helps you find your church vision and what to do with it. 

How do you feel God is leading you in your church vision? Let us know in the comments!

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