In the last month, I spent time with two megachurch leaders that most readers would recognize. After extended conversation, I learned that both of these leaders had a high self-assessment on their organizational clarity and vision. But my assessment was different.

For example, one church, known for its innovation and cutting edge communication, couldn’t answer the simple Vision Frame questions of “How do you accomplish the mission ?” (strategy)  or “What kind of disciple is our church designed to produce?” (life-marks).  If these are unarticulated, then there is some clarity work to be done.

 Why the gap between the leaders self-assessment and my own?

 My best guess is that they mistake momentum and vision. It’s actually quite common among growing churches. The underlying assumption of the senior leader is that growth must be caused by a strong vision. In reality, momentum can be driven by things unrelated to vision, like personality, extreme spiritual gifts, impressive facilities, growth in the surrounding community or a failed church down the street.  

How else could you describe this momentum-vision deception? Imagine zooming down the road in your convertible even though you don’t have a clear destination or a good map. It’s easy to feel good driving fast; the euphoria of acceleration and speed alone can satisfy.   If someone is sitting in the passenger seat and asks a question about destination, the driver’s unspoken thoughts would be “Look at how fast we are going!  Quit bothering me about a map and feel the speed. Do you really think we could be driving this fast without knowing where we are going?”

 If you are experiencing momentum in your church right now, fantastic! How might this blessing be blocking the need to do some clarity work?
Topics: Date: Jul 28, 2010 Tags: fast growth / megachurch / momentum