Years ago I heard I heard the phrase, “Vision leaks.” It’s true. Maintaining the focus of your church for your church takes great intentionality by the church. The more people added to your congregation actually creates more holes from which the vision of your church oozes away. That’s because when they arrive, things like your vision (and mission, values, etc.) aren’t presented to them in a strategic fashion. They’re likely hearing a wonderful sermon series followed by another important series followed by a…you get my point. All of a sudden, you have scores of people in your church that, unless they’ve gone to some membership class, don’t have a clue what your church is about.
So what you can you? Plant your church every year.
A good church planter is incredibly intentional about inculcating the vision in his core group responsible for “making church happen.” The core will hear about vision in special meetings, sermon series and every day conversations with the leadership. Planters realize that if the vision doesn’t strongly beat within the heart of the people, the church may be lost to being just another generic place to meet, eat donuts, drink coffee, sing a little bit and then go home with nothing to show for the Kingdom. No, when you plant a church you realize the core constantly and creatively needs to keep hearing the vision…because vision leaks.
That’s why you should plant your church every year. Think about it, you never really stop planting a growing church. Our leadership team has never led a church this size. If, by God’s grace, we grow next year, we will never have led a church that size. It’s a new church. Really! All these additional people who have just joined the journey with us equal a lot of potential for our vision to leak. That’s why we should be intentionally casting vision now as when we planted 17 years ago. To not do so is to risk having an ever-increasing congregation with an ever-decreasing impact.
Plant your church every year. Be as intentional about casting vision this year as you did in year one. You remember how important it felt to you in the beginning? Nothing has changed! The only difference is that your core group is bigger (hopefully) than when you started. It may help to think that way: you get a new core group every year. It may be 200 in year one and 2000 in year ten, but it is a core group. And that core group, especially with it size, needs a pastor with a plan on how they will hear, learn and live the vision.
So pastor, plant your church every year.