Multiple Visionaries are essential for Church Growth

By Grant Crawford

We used to believe two visions = di-vision
  • That’s often true in a very small context
  • That assumes two visions can’t pull in the same direction
  • That assumes that function trumps over relationship and honour
  • That assumes that roles can’t change for different seasons or projects
We now believe multiple visionaries are crucial for churches to explode
  • If one guy is the generator (or even, permission-giver) for all new ideas/visions, then the church is in for some very slow growth.
  • If relationships and honour are valued above creative aspirations then there is safe ground for multiple visionaries to express themselves.
  • If there is sufficient humility for team players to switch roles from “visionaries”  to ” activators of other peoples visions then multiple visionaries are possible.
1. A visionary needs to have an inspired destination.
  • They need to know where they are going:
  • To know where you are going needs an appreciation of the alternative routes.
  • To know where you are going needs research & understanding. That might entail talking to lots of people, reminding yourself of prophecies God has spoken, reminding yourself of similar situations and lessons from your past.
  • To know where you are going requires revelation from God. You need to know that God backs you. You need to hear from God through prayer, prophecy, his word and the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
  • You need to be able to break the destination down into manageable goals
Examples of goals for a site leader:
  • Building a Christ centered, Christlike community- loving God, loving each other, becoming more like Jesus. ( If you are achieving other goals, but your atmosphere is more like Hell than Heaven…. Something is wrong)
  • Saving the lost
  • Visitors integrated into the church by means of effective connect groups
  • Everybody active and involved
2. A visionary needs to be able to inspire people to “run through walls”

Go where they ordinarily wouldn’t go left to their own devices. 

This has two aspects to it:
  • It includes the painting of a dream.
  • The only way that you will stay in the visionary role is if you develop a track record of credibility/success. (You can’t just build castles in the sky, some of them need to materialize on the planet.)
Paint the picture: 
  • Be positive- say YES WE CAN by instinct, then problem solve after.
  • Think BIG
  • Think POSSIBILITIES , not problems
  • Learn to love problems as a means to glorify God.
Building credibility:
  • You need activators to buy into your dream
  • You need to stick with a plan long enough for it to succeed
  • You need to let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’- be reliable with your promises
  • Deliver on the small promises
  • Ensure that you meet he deadlines and promises you made.
3. A visionary needs to be able to lead inspirational people: 
  • i.e strong leaders
  • Lead by example. Never delegate what you are not willing to do
  • Be courageous. That does not mean beating your chest, it means overcoming intimidation and fear and smallness in any form.
  • Spend one on one time with them. You don’t lead ” generals ” by remote control.
  • Build relationally; they need to know you care
  • Believe in them. Risk your reputation for them
  • Listen to them.
  • Give them authority, not just responsibility
  • Set them up for success
  • Be decisive
  • Feedback (even bad feedback is better than no feedback)
  • Don’t micromanage
  • Don’t task, rather ‘challenge’