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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, July 22, 2013

What If.... what I envisioned.....happened!

One of the Christian resources I read daily struck home to me with a retelling of the OT Abraham & Sarah story. God had promised Abraham when he went to the land of Canaan that he would make of him a great nation. However, both Abraham and Sarah were elderly. The description of Sarah was that she was barren, unable to have children. Yet the promise had been made. Years later they received visitors, messengers of God, who reminded them of the old forgotten promise of God. Sarah actually laughed thinking this was absurd. They have seen their time. They were people of the past and not of the future. Not so, says God. Not in the least.

This is a similar discussion to what we hear about many congregations that are struggling with numbers, leaders and finances…. Old. Outdated. Barren. It has seen its day. Let it go. Not so, says God! I'm not done with you yet. I still have grace to give, Mission to be lived out in your midst. Make room. There are children coming. People will respond too numerous to count. Listen for the promise! Listen to the messengers!

Do not yearn for times that are past, but recognize that you have been given a foundation of faithful service, even as you build a foundation for what is yet to be.
—Doctrine and Covenants162:2b

In my new role, I am challenged to be one the messengers in the life of your congregation. Let us see with new eyes the glass half full perspective of promise in our midst.

In my previous business experience, outside of my typical marketing/sales management roles, I found the most effective place to grow sales was on the front lines of customer interaction, mentoring reps and engaging directly with customers that evidenced potential and promise. The primary reason we became successfully engaged with many healthcare clinics directly was to accelerate their sales of our own company’s products. I discovered numerous clinics were weak in their ability to envision the specifics of change and what those outcomes would look like and the operational and marketing mechanics required. It seemed, the ability to arrive at workable change was too difficult to contemplate or undertake even when the potential was apparent. Helping the owners create an envisioned perceptible outcome of their clinic in a detailed narrative-like story allowed us to break down the processes and personalize the steps/needs/skills/budget to actualize that reality. Our mentoring, hands-on coaching and resource tools facilitated the process onward to stellar sales results.

What does this mean for your congregation? I believe envisionment models are the catalyst to motivation. Let’s start with this “what if” portrayal of your congregation below……

"Now, this is the one year outcome story of our people, members and friends of the (insert name) congregation; of our faith and life changing community covenant to engage in and fulfill the vision we created to be a congregation in mission.

For the glass half full view, our first step was to create our congregational narrative envisionment story depicting our congregation with optimal growth 1 year from today. If we were to view our congregation from a glass half full perspective what would we see, being as realistically positive as possible. This narrative provides our congregation with a template to start from. This vision feeds the hopes of our congregants acting as a catalyst for change. So, once our story is created, pondered, dwelt upon, felt, experienced in our collective mind's eye and very soul, it is time for us to proceed. Our congregational leaders/members were encouraged to personalize their participation in the congregational envisionment by scripting their lives and their ministries into the story of our congregation through their own personal writings. We incorporated this collection of our desires into a Vision binder as our expectations for our 1 Year anniversary; to be read and reread and remind us of the journey and mission we were fulfilling in our individual and collective lives. We can say together “This is my life and my mission coupled with yours in sacred community, inspired and empowered by the Spirit which goes before us. By our outcome envisionment we are truly a “prophetic people”. Is not a prophetic people those who envision a potential missional future and strive to fulfill that in their midst?"

This is not farfetched, I promise you. Let's talk about the possibilities. Let's talk about the ideas, (they exist) resources, (they exist) the technology, (it exists) the mentors, (they exist) the programs (they exist) to fulfill these promises God has for your congregation. If this direction appeals to you let's start the conversation. You can text, email, phone, Skype or knock on our door.

Kerry Richards
ker.richards (Skype)

1 comment:

  1. Kerry you are an excellent writer! Your passion for the forward movement of the church shines through. Thanks so much.


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