By Matt Hein
Uniqueness is all around us. The night sky reveals a myriad of star constellations, each unique from the rest. The very elements of the earth are all unique from each other. Each person in this world is unique from every other person. And every local congregation of God’s people has a unique culture that expresses God’s saving mission in Jesus differently than all the other congregations down the road.
So, what makes St. Luke unique from every other congregation in the greater Ann Arbor area? How are we uniquely suited to engage and permeate the culture outside the church as we join in Jesus’ mission? What is the pathway Jesus is inviting us to walk that joins the journey of the whole Christian Church on earth, but belongs uniquely to St. Luke?
We’ve been asking questions like these for some time and they are big, fundamental questions that impact our future. They are exciting and challenging questions to answer. These are questions of vision!
For the past 5 months, I’ve been honored to be part of the vision task force here at St. Luke. We were charged with determining the best process for answering questions of vision and direction for our unique congregation. We assessed a number of potential ways to engage in a vision process, recommended enlisting the help of an outside vision consultant, and were asked by the congregation to choose a specific consultant/organization to help lead us through a visioning process.
After much research, discernment, and prayer, the vision task force chose to engage Auxano Vision Consultants to help us discover our unique congregational vision. St. Luke will begin working with Rev. Jeff Meyer of Auxano in October, 2016. Jeff has been Auxano for six years and has worked with twelve church including the four he is currently working with.
Jeff is also the lead pastor of The Church, a LCMS multisite congregation in the greater Madison, WI area. Jeff’s role as a consultant for Auxano came directly out of using Auxano to help The Church discover its unique contribution to God’s mission in the Madison area. Jeff not only helps other churches discover their church unique, he is leading a congregation that has been actively living out their unique vision pathway.
Jeff not only helps other churches discover their church unique, he is leading a congregation that has been actively living out their unique vision pathway.
I think Jeff is a great choice to help us discover our unique vision and I am excited to get started with the vision process! Several things really stuck out to me personally that Jeff would bring to our process.
First, Jeff will come alongside of us to help us navigate through the process of discovering our unique vision for following Jesus. He won’t be diagnosing a problem and giving us his solutions or his own vision.
Second, while Jeff will be working over 8 months most directly with a vision pathway team of St. Luke disciples, we’ll be holding “Wet Cement” events. The vision pathway team will use these events throughout the vision process to engage different groups from our congregation and keep us moving forward together!
Third, we will be learning how to keep the conversation about vision going so we don’t have to start over every few years. That means we will be able to make vision adjustments as a congregation without having to discern a brand new vision each time.
Lastly, and most importantly, Jeff will help us develop a clear, compelling statement of our unique vision as a congregation. Jesus has already begun to show us that unique picture and I believe Jeff will help us clearly articulate our vision in a way that feels like what we’ve been trying to say all along. That’s exciting!
Jeff will help us develop a clear, compelling statement of our unique vision as a congregation
You will be hearing much more about the vision process in the coming months. For now, would you please join me in prayer? Pray that Jesus would bless our partnership with Jeff and Auxano. Pray that the Holy Spirit would guide us through this vision process toward a stunningly unique vision that helps us join Jesus in his mission to redeem and restore his creation. And pray that God the Father would open our hearts to receive His unique vision for us and prepare us to be surprised by how he will form us.
I’m so excited to discover the unique vision Jesus will give us at St. Luke and I’m thankful for your partnership in the process!
If you are interested in learning more about the Auxano Vision Consultants vision process, read Church Unique by Will Mancini where he details each step in the Church Unique process.