Vision clarity takes effort, and the payoff in any organization will always be long-term. For church leaders thoughtful about 2023 and beyond, the temptation is to shortcut the intentional, prayerful, and deliberative work clarity first requires.
Here’s why: The results of working hard on a clarity first vision are not immediately seen. Therefore, a clarity first vision process requires more energy and thoughtfulness than it appears to be worth.
The time invested is not conducive to immediate gratification of our 30-second video clip society. It's easier to delay strategic visionary thinking to a "better day" in the future that, in reality, will never arrive. As a result, sideways energy is spent and lost hours compile over time, usually resulting in a forced exercise of frustration. These experiences tend to simply focus on “what's needed" rather than create an energetic and collaborative planning time around "what's possible."
Investing in clarity up-front always pays off long-term… but it's far easier to pursue clarity counterfeits that over-promise and under-deliver. Plenty of church consultants will advocate for one or more of these counterfeits in the name of your expediency or their livelihood. Recognizing the actions that are clarity imposters, those practices that only produce fleeting feelings instead of long-term gains, begins the journey toward true vision clarity.
Here are seven clarity counterfeits, what they promise, and what they actually deliver:
AMBIGUITY promises flexible ministry outcomes but delivers confused ministry leaders. Instead, bring clarity first to your calling and desired outcomes.
CERTAINTY promises immediate effectiveness but delivers prolonged struggle. Instead, bring clarity first to why you do what you do.
SIMPLICITY promises focused church activity but delivers weak spiritual maturity. Instead, bring clarity first to how your disciple-making mission plays out in the life of everyday people.
AUTHORITY promises aligned followers but delivers apathetic leaders. Instead, bring clarity first to collaborative processes and systems within your teams.
CELEBRITY promises permanent respect but delivers passing allegiance. Instead, bring clarity first to every position and role on the team.
COMPLEXITY promises wide congregational engagement but delivers unsustainable leader investment. Instead, bring clarity first to understanding when and how you are successful in discipleship.
PROFICIENCY promises repeatable results over time but delivers outmoded practice in short time. Instead, bring clarity first to innovation within your unique context and DNA.
All month Auxano is introducing a new posture on an eternal problem: leading your organization with the energy and effectiveness from a Clarity First Vision. Every week, we will unpack what Clarity First Vision looks like and how to bring this needed perspective to your church and leadership teams.