Living the Vision (The Grove's Strategic Visioning™ Model)

Creating a powerful vision can only happen when we begin to live out the vision and values in the real world.

Whilst your Parish Clergy and Laity may have undergone a prayerful and considered process to establish your vision, it is only when the whole Church community understands what it means to practically live this out day by day that real and lasting ‘fruit’ is produced.

The Grove Model reminds us to reflect on successes and embed the vision into everyday life within our Church communities. 

Celebrate Regularly 

Celebration is at the heart of Christian culture and was a big part of Jesus’ Jewish context as he not only observed traditional Israelite holidays but feasted with friends, using celebrations as illustrations in His parables. 

Celebration is a core aspect of spirituality because what we celebrate reveals who we are and what we value and believe in the most. It's a form of worship and gathering the church to share ‘God-stories’ and the ways he is at work is a powerful way to keep the church’s mission and vision at the forefront of church life. The Christian year provides a framework of festivals which, with food and fun, can be used to celebrate what is going on in the life of your church and of individual church members. 

Value Every Member 

Create a process where every member of the church feels valued in their role. Ensure all volunteers have role descriptions, DBS checks, an annual review and any training they need so they are confident in what they do. You might want to create a photo wall with everyone’s role on – or a picture showing all the ministries of the church and the associated volunteers. 

You could hold an annual dinner for every volunteer which hopefully will include the whole church. One vicar created ‘ordination’ services for different categories of service with certificates to honour all contributions e.g. cleaners, flower arrangers, choir members, those serving coffee etc. This is also a great way of honouring non church members who help out in associated ministries. Also, ensure church members feel valued for who they are as well as what they do by investing in their spiritual growth. 

Maintain the Culture of Learning and Listening 

Parish development done well involves many people both inside and outside the church in conversations around current realities and future possibilities. Keep dialogue going once change is happening to embed learning and listening in every facet of church life so that openness to grow in knowledge, understanding and skill will be at the heart of all you do. 

Sharing challenges and mistakes and learning from the opportunities they provide creates a healthy culture that embraces both risk and failure. Part of this involves helping members regularly reflect on what’s going on collectively and on their own faith journeys as they share their experiences. 

Reverse Offering

This is one way to practically encourage a continued high level of involvement in realising the vision of the church and to demonstrate trust in the congregation. Rather than the church receiving an offering, church members are given envelopes with various sums of money, asked to seek God who to bless with it and to return the following week with their stories.

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