May 13, 2014

10 Factors that Determine the Size of Your Vision

I often see leaders with radically different size visions, despite having a lot in common. Pastors may have the the same gifting, the same budget and the same amount of people attending worship services and yet still be on entirely different vision wavelengths. Where does this come from? Why does this happen?

Here are my initial thoughts.

Keep in mind that I believe providence and local ministry context are the primary factors in determining the scope of a ministry’s vision. This list focuses on developmental aspects of leadership.

#1 The size of your God

This isn’t a spiritual throw-in to get the list rolling. This is a very discernible feature in a leader’s life. Some leaders have a more cultivated inner life and deeper awareness of God’s Word. Their ability to dream big comes from the big God that they walk with and serve each day.

#2  Exposure to others who “think big”

Did you ever notice why many prominent leaders have children who are prominent leaders? I think of Andy Stanley or Franklin Graham, for example. When you are around others with a larger perspective, it rubs off. I am surprised sometimes how leaders tend to stay in a very confined space—geographically and relationally—for their entire lives.

#3 An active imagination

Some people have a tenacious impulse to learn, ask questions and grow how they think. That kind of curious drive pays off. The imagination is your most powerful human ability. Do you exercise it much? Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge.

#4  Sequences of risk taking

I’m not talking about a bias for risk in general, but the ability to “stack risk-taking” and feel the momentum of one “leap of faith” after another. Many leaders take a risk or two and settle for the really good outcomes rather than continuing to find even more extraordinary results.

#5 Ability to focus gifting

Most leaders know themselves but don’t have a fine-tuned understanding of precisely why God put them on earth. When you do, and when you focus that gifting, big things will result. The scope of your vision grows as your focus narrows.  Are you trying to do five things with your life or one thing?  (If you want more info on my first personal vision  cohort—starting in August— let me know.)

#6 Team and network building ability

We all know wild dreamers who didn’t have a team. Your team building ability will dramatically enable of disable the size of your vision. In addition, I am amazed by the increase of wisdom, access, ideas, and opportunities that come through active network cultivation.  Wouldn’t you expect the vision of a pastor who networks to be bigger than one who doesn’t bother?

#7  A goal oriented outlook daily

Every person who achieves a big vision has a basic recipe for attacking the 24-hour unit of time we all possess. What is yours? I have a three kinds of days in my life (focused, buffer and free). On buffer days I determine the 2 most important things to accomplish by 11:00am.

#8  Margin to write down your dreams

At first I wanted to say “disciple to write down your dreams.” But discipline is over-rated in this way. The bigger challenge is margin. People enjoy dreaming and writing down their “wish list” when given the time. That doesn’t take discipline— its one of the most exciting things you can do! Over and over again, you will see the common thread of big visionaries: Put it on paper

#9  Recovery from big failures

Don’t underestimate the power of a good failure. Failures remind you that life is short. Failures expand your pain threshold. Failures purify and humble and bring powerful perspective. Sometimes a failure in one area or with one dream can increase the size of another.

#10 Graciousness and kindness to others

I suspect there are people who excel at the first nine factors but in the end, they just aren’t that nice.  They don’t care about others. They don’t stay connected to their teams and their friends. They are so driven, they loose the human element in everything they do. So you might not think something this simple would make the “big vision” list. But I can’t shake it.

May 9, 2014

The 60-second Church Communication Assessment and Auxano’s New Service: The Virtual Communication Audit

This week we had fun releasing a new service at Auxano. We are calling it the Church Communication Virtual Audit. For years we have done communicate audits onsite through our Vision Framing work and out Guest Perspective Evaluations. We find that we can deliver a lot of value really fast when we are onsite. Finally the thought occurred to our 8-person Church Communications team: Why can’t we help any church with their communications whether we go onsite or not? Voila! The virtual audit was birthed. Se we thought we would tease the church world with this four-part lightning-quick assessment to get you juices flowing about the limitations of your current church strategy. So just pick one word from the two matrixes below to describe your church’s communication strategy: Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 5.37.35 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 5.37.46 PM So what words describe your strategy?

  • Cluttered and Interesting?
  • Outdated and chatty?
  • Unseen and unheard?

If it’s anything other than effective and engaging, then go here and get a free quote for a Virtual  Audit. It may be just what the doctor ordered to fulfill the mission that Jesus have given your church!!! PS- we thought we would release this new service through a teaser e-mail, prior to the roll-out of our new website. So the only way to get info on this service is via our subscribed e-mail list or this blog.

April 27, 2014

The 6 Areas of Break-thru that Church Teams Need Most

The New Auxano Church ConsultingTwo months ago we celebrated the 10-year milestone of Auxano. Back in February 2004, we built into the DNA of Auxano the idea that our services would always adapt to the primary growth challenges of local churches.  Today, with over twenty on the team, we are responding to the needs of churches with our boldest move ever.

In fact, we have re-articulated our mission and strategy to reflect how we address the challenges of the growing churches we serve. Our new mission is Creating break-thru clarity with church teams to realize their vision.  Our new strategy is providing five primary services around the “cornerstone” core service of vision clarity, using what has now become the highly celebrated Vision Framing process.  This “services map” is pictured above and below in expanded form. Some of these services we have provided for years “under the waterline.” Other have been in R&D for the past two years. Every service is an approximate 6-month break-thru process with your team. 

As we get ready to roll out the “new Auxano,” I would like to ask your help and give you something. First, I want give you what will be our best monthly resource to date. I invite you to sign-up for our new Break-thru Leader monthly. It will share insights and stories of churches realizing their vision from our six services.

Sign-up here

You’ll get digital grand opening announcement along with a special edition TeamUP download. After 10 years were have created Our Top 10 Exercises for Great Team Moments. Second, I would love your feedback!  Simply read the statements below for each of our services. Which one reflects your greatest challenge at this time? Thanks for taking a second to let me know. You can simply write a single word in the comments to cast your vote.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 10.20.50 AM

March 25, 2014

The Vision Statements of 13 Great Leaders in the Bible

Spiritual Vision

In a previous post, I introduced the powerful concept call the Future Perfect Paradigm. I am continuing this series by looking at the vision statements or the future perfect of 13 biblical leaders. What is the future perfect paradigm?

The Future Perfect Paradigm is simply looking at everything today through the lens of a powerful future perspective. The more clear and powerful the future perspective, the greater the impact it can have on the way you look at today. 

The summary chart below is taken from work by Robert Clinton and only slightly tweaked and expanded.

Vision Statements of Biblical Leaders and Future Perfect Paradigm

We will continue to explore how the idea of a future perfect paradigm add value to the typical notion of a vision statement in the next post.

March 17, 2014

Smiling is Not Enough: The Top Ten Mistakes Your Volunteers Make Welcoming Guests at Church

Guest at Church, Will Mancini & AuxanoThe team at Auxano enjoys playing the role of “secret worshipper” when we take a church through our visioning process called the Vision Pathway.  We call it a guest perspective evaluation. As I prepare to debrief a church again tomorrow, I want to share some general insights on welcoming ministry and hospitality for guests.

Here are the top ten mistakes I see when volunteers are helping me as a first time guest:

#1   Volunteers have not thought in advance about my next step as a guest so they don’t know how to guide the conversation with me. 

#2   Volunteers  are talking with friends and don’t notice me.

#3   Volunteers are doing task work and are not available or responsive the moment I show up.

#4   Volunteers generally hesitate when I initiate with a question. 

#5   Volunteers don’t know where the most pertinent information is located.

#6   Volunteers  tell me what to do with no information or tools or other people to help me.  

#7   Volunteers generally look preoccupied, distracted or unsure of themselves in their non-verbals even when being friendly.

#8   Volunteers are unaware of the basic “how to” questions for checking-in children of every age.

#9   Volunteers don’t introduce me to others at the church.

#10 Volunteers gave me written information that is not important, pertinent or strategic (sending me on a bee-line to the trash can). 

If you want more resources on welcoming ministry and church guest services, check out VisionRoom.com and follow Bob Adams who works as Auxano’s Vision Room curator and guest services maven. Here is a list of resources on his blog

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