Before engaging this post, please know that I want you to reach as many people as possible with the gospel of Jesus for the Glory of God. The challenge is simply a matter of how. Here is the[...]
I am grateful for Paul Pettefer– a pastor and missional entrepreneur who has applied the principles of Church Unique and God Dreams with great skill. As a natural visionary, Paul wants his focus to be a clear as a possible. As a natural evangelist, Paul wants to spread the word every day. He is totally in touch with God's vision for his life. As a result he reaches thousands more with vision than the average guy in ministry.
Paul lives for the "city to be different" in Lake Charles, Louisiana. (TheCityShouldBeDifferent.com) He wants to see the gospel invade his city. He does this through initiatives like his laundry business, a job-finding ministry, and by cooking the best BBQ in the city as an excuse to talk about Jesus. Spend time with Paul and you will never forget his vision.
Paul recently posted a review of my new book, God Dreams. One principle popped into my mind as I read his review:
Vision casting is fundamentally a transfer of enthusiasm.
Sometimes it's hard to get excited about the concept of vision or practice of planning because we have lost touch with a passion for the future. Paul reminded me that it's not that hard to pump up your enthusiasm. Reaching more people doesn't start with reaching more people; it starts with cultivating deeper personal passion about what God has called you to do. Increase the wattage and more people will see the light.
What's the one incredible simply step to reach thousands more with vision? Start by dramatically increasing your enthusiasm. It's actually not that hard. Follow Paul's recommendation. Grab a tool and grab some friends. Get God Dreams and talk about it with your team. Listen to Paul's passionate plea as one pastor to other pastors:
While God Dreams is great for Every Influencer in the church, I'll tailor this encouragement for the Senior Pastor: Leading a church, being the guy at the tip of the spear, it's not for the faint of heart. I congratulate you on following Jesus thus far! Your job requires a lot from you. The urgent needs are pressing, relentless. I know you have established rhythms that bring you joy in ministry and others that foster productivity.
I AM HERE TO URGE YOU TO MAKE A RHYTHM FOR VISIONARY PLANNING...
God Dreams is your best resource to go next on that journey.
My friend Will Mancini is handing you the field-proven fruit of his well over 10,000 hours of leading church leaders to amplify their efforts toward this rewarding end. You will not find a more insightful guide to help you navigate from the meandering pools of the generic to the Flowing Spring of Visionary Clarity.
I've had your job, as a Church Planter, and I've worked for you, as a college pastor at a large church. I know the pressure you are under to have all the answers. Breathe in the provision that our Heavenly Father has for you in God Dreams. I am hearby giving you permission to release sole custody of preparing all the Vision stuff on your own! Maybe Vision is your best thing, and you coach others in your circles on vision. Sweet! Buy 5 copies, because God Dreams will soon be your go-to resource for helping your friends! If Leading or Serving or Teaching is your best strength, then God Dreams will help you and your team build on what you have to discover the narrative God is doing with your church and how to draw that out so your entire church catches on. What will they catch on to? The Bigger Narrative of God's Vision for your church, a compelling picture of your future.
Come on, you know you dream at night about dozens, hundreds of people in your church developing an animating passion for carrying the ball of the Kingdom forward in your church! You have the passion for it. You have the people there. And you've done a great sermon series. Then another. And another. By all means, keep those great sermons coming! What your people need is for you to make more space for Visionary Planning, to capture the story of how God is going to use your church, specifically, uniquely, inspirationally! Maybe for such a time as this our Heavenly Father is giving you God Dreams, to walk with you to build this Larger, God-Size Narrative of what He is wanting to do in your church, in your city, in your day. The enemy you must fight, the one that keeps people clapping but not engaging, is (at least partly) a generic vision. As Will says, there are no snowflakes alike, no people alike, and no churches alike. The Stunning Clarity of Vision that God wants to give you, well, it's available.
Do yourself a huge favor. Buy this book today. Read it the week it arrives. Then come down to Lake Charles next year and we'll eat a BBQ dinner at theRibShack Barbecue and you can tell me, with a huge smile of your face, how God has uncorked the animating passion in the people of your church through the stunning clarity of your new Visionary Planning.