Vision Casting: Building the Theological Framework for Your Ministry

12.26.12_Celebrate_Success_and_Plan_for_2013I have been fasting and praying this first few weeks of January seeking God’s guidance and direction as I take the time to build out my philosophy of ministry.  It’s been three weeks and I am still working through the first (and most important) step.  I have sought the prayers and guidance of wise mentors in my network, and I have spent time searching scripture and asking hard questions and…


I am still not finished.

I thought I would share the questions I have been working through.  But first, a little refresher as to what we are doing here from Jeremy Pace at Resurgence:

Laying a theological foundation for your church, ministry, or organization can be a lengthy and difficult task (this is not an understatement!), but the reality is that you want your foundation to be firmly and accurately laid. Your desire is to glorify God with your ministry, and God is most glorified when we faithfully work from the foundation he has laid in Christ Jesus revealed in the Scripture. This assumes that you know the Scriptures well and have a proper way of understanding them.

 

•What is the theological foundation from which we build?•What is the primary biblical imperative (and surrounding indicative/s) for your 

church/ministry/organization?

•Are their multiple imperatives and indicatives? Where are they found in the
Scripture?

•Is there a single passage of Scripture that encompasses the main starting point for
your church/ministry/organization?

•How can you connect the contours of Scripture to outline the foundation in two to
three paragraphs?

As you work through these questions for your own ministry (or family…or self…every Christian should have a philosophy of ministry as we all should have a ministry of some sort), be attuned to the questions that these questions raise in your heart.  These questions have started me down a path of exploration with Jesus to really uncovering what He is doing through me.  Between this exercise and Donald Miller’s Storyline project, God is walking me through some deep questions.

I think this is gonna take a while.  🙂

snail crossing finish lineI would love to hear what questions and answers you come up with.  Will you share some with me?

Vision-Casting for Your Ministry- Pt 1

It’s that time of year again….
12.26.12_Celebrate_Success_and_Plan_for_2013
You know the time of year when you put on your rose colored glasses and look bright-eyed into the future…

The time of year when you take a serious look at all that you are discontent with, and, with hope rather than our usual resignation look forward to a better you…

A skinnier you.
A healthier you.
A wealthier you.
A more deeply in-tuned to the Spirit you.

At this time of year you can google “New Year’s Resolutions” and literally get 135,000,000 results.  I’m actually working through Donald Miller’s Storyline this year and loving it so far.  The thought is to use a story to create a narrative that compels you to reach your goals and there is a an awesome online resource that can help you through that- you can go start your own storyline or simply root me on as I write my story here.

And guess what? Your ministry needs a fresh vision every year.  Not resolutions that will get shelved by Valentine’s Day and not a re-branding that confuses all the folks that follow and support you, but a fresh look at the plan God is working through you.  You need a strategic plan just like any other business.

For me, this starts with a question my friend and mentor asked me a couple of years ago.

“What is your philosophy of ministry?”

Your theology determines your philosophy, which THEN determines your methodology.

So your philosophy of ministry then is the attitude that acts as the guiding principle for your ministry.In Christian terminology, we’ll call that your ‘calling’.  What is your ministry called to do?

This question is such a vital part of planning your strategy for, well, anything- events, engagements, blog posts, books…whatever it is you are doing- this question should be the VERY first step.

A philosophy of ministry isn’t a one-line mission statement, although it is what shapes and forms that statement.  Philosophy of ministry is a well-thought out framework that becomes the filter through which you filter everything you decide to do.  It’s an amazing resource when the calendar begins to fill up and distractions start flying at you.  And while it requires some thought and prayer and a little bit of elbow grease, it is well worth the work and thought.  In the coming weeks, I will post my own philosophy of ministry as we talk through this subject of vision-casting for your ministry.  But until then, maybe you would like to start on yours?  The guys at the Resurgence have a great free resource that will walk you through it.  Over the next month, we will be working through the development of a strategic plan for your ministry- starting with the writing of your philosophy of ministry.

So let’s travel the journey together, shall we?