April 12, 2017

Vision Convergence

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On today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, Mike Gafa, Church Leadership Development Catalyst for Luminex, describes the vision convergence exercise, which helps churches and church leaders discern vision.

The vision convergence exercise is inspired by, and adapted from, Dr. Thom Rainer’s book, Breakout Churches. In the book, Rainer introduced what he called the vision-intersection-profile, a similar yet slightly different tool from the vision convergence exercise.

The vision convergence exercise is designed to sort of “bubble up” vision. Leaders often ask, “How do we discern vision?” We pray about it and wait on the Holy Spirit, but we can also take an active role.

The vision convergence exercise involves three sets of diagrams.

The first diagram relates to passions. One way to identify where vision might be bubbling up is to think about areas of common passion. Questions to ask are, “What are people passionate about in your community? In your congregation? In your church? And as a leader, what are you most passionate about … what makes your heart race faster?”

When you determine areas of shared passion, there is a sweet spot at the center of the diagram, where some element of vision may be emerging. Although there may be overlap with other areas, it is still worth noting. At this point we are simply looking for where vision might be emerging.

The second diagram is where we see God at work. God is at work in your community, in your congregation and in your leadership. As you look around you, in what ways do you see God at work – in your community, in your church, and within the leadership of the church?

Regardless of the areas you have listed, it’s important to pay attention to the center of the diagram. If we sense God is working in a particular way then we can see elements of vision beginning to emerge.

Finally, there is “Holy Discontent,” a term borrowed from Bill Hybels. “Holy discontent” refers to things that grieve both God, and ourselves. For example, poverty or abuse brings holy discontent. In essence, holy discontent represents the gap between what is, and what should be.

Through the vision convergence exercise, you can identify overlap between what is happening in the community, the church, and leadership, and how this affects the areas of passion, how you see God at work, and holy discontent. After doing this exercise you will have greater clarity on God’s emerging vision for your church.

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