By Lauren Fink
Maybe I’m a cotton ball. Or Cattail fluff, a Dandelion clock, or some sock fuzz. These things ignite at the slightest spark. But I had no idea I was so ready to catch fire.
I accepted a request to be on the Vision Team, and then the doubts rained down. I felt like a stubborn, wet log—is a consultant going to try and fix our church? What if I don’t agree with his approach? What if it seems artificial? I was drenched. I worried I’d never catch the flame of visioning.
So I asked Pastor Justin to borrow the book Church Unique written by Will Mancini, the founder of Auxano whom we hired to lead St. Luke’s vision process. As I read, not even 10 pages in, I felt a spark. I couldn’t stop reading late at night, underlining things I wanted to remember. My excitement was burning brighter. I wasn’t a wet log after all!
Have you ever been surprised you caught a fire?
“Auxano” means “to cause to grow.” And Auxano doesn’t send out consultants—they send out navigators. Our navigator isn’t going to fix our church or give us answers. In our first 2-day session with our navigator Jeff, he spent the majority of his time listening. He’s a guide, not a problem solver. And he’s asking us lots and lots of questions – some easy, some quite difficult – and asking us to ask questions of our leadership, our members, and our community.
Our navigator is challenging us to see more clearly the best things we are already doing and being as a church. As Mancini writes, “seeing something familiar with more clarity is an amazing experience.” We are pursuing a vision “that oozes, that is original, organic, zeroed in.”
Our vision team is tasked with discerning the “often overlooked” culture of our church, the spirit behind the life and witness of our church – not its worship style, or programs offered—but “something more significant yet subtler…the combined effect of interacting values, thoughts, attitudes, and actions that define the life of [our] church,” Mancini writes.
This process isn’t generic. It’s a Spirit-led distillation, so we can be “free to live as God created and called [us] to do in [our] unique setting.” And that freedom and simplification of our “organizational sweet spot” will create an “atomic energy release” at our church.
Does the prospect of an energy release at St. Luke spark excitement in you?
Anyone in the St. Luke family is invited to take an anonymous 10 minute survey below to help our vision process. You can talk to vision team members too! We’re excited to share the conversation with you. Please pray for us and the 60 hours we will spend with our navigator. Vision conversations will continue on the blog and future “wet cement” events will allow the congregation to give in-person feedback.
You may also like to read these related vision process blog posts: