This is the first post to announce a tool that I have been working on with Group Publishing, called the Church Unique Vision Kit. The Kit is designed for church planters and churches under 400 in worship attendance who want a guided process and great tools for visioning but who don't need to bring in a consultant.

Imagine for a moment that you are asked to take the best of your life calling and passion and to distill it, not just into a book, but into tools, workbooks, and videos so that a team can accomplish a massive objective without you there.

On a side note, it took me a while to get to the point of wanting to work on this project. It's easy from a distance to see a project like this as a "watered-down-consultant-in-a-box." I have been guilty of perceiving other projects this way. Now I see that as my own pride of competency. I am amazed at how many "thank-yous" I get from book readers almost daily.  I am thrilled that I have been asked to bring more tools to leaders whom I will never meet face to face. I am more excited about this project than any others I have worked on.

One step of the process is defining more precisely the functions that a great vision team must perform. Over the last decade I am intuitively stepping in and out of these roles as needed when I am onsite. The explicit identification of these roles is critical, in order to be distributed across the players on the team. Here is sneak preview of the nine roles of a great vision team.

Here is a brief description for each role:

  • The Coach – influences the team and assures that each person understands the process in order to affect participation, ownership and effective decision-making.

  • The Maven – monitors progress and assures that definitions are accurate and that decisions and achievements are not made without compromising the quality of the result or a good understanding of the result from team members.

  • The Conductor – leads the team, communicates standards, keeps progress and decision-making moving forward.

  • The Encourager – promotes team unity by instilling confidence in each member and support for the team progress. The encourager should be a vocal cheerleader both to individuals and to the team.

  • The Journalist – reports Vision Pathway progress to the leadership or congregation of the church.

  • The Host –prepares logistics, supplies, room set up, so the meetings are environments that enhance collaboration and team strengthening

  • The Gatekeeper – listens to what the congregation is saying about the process and provides feedback to the team throughout the process.

  • The Scribe – records and details progress and decisions made in each session to provide official records that can be used as reference.. The journalist is thinking about publicity and the congregation, the scribe is thinking about accuracy and internal team decision-making

  • The Planner – assigns responsibilities, follow up, homework and preparation for the next session. The planner works closely with and serves as the “2nd chair” to the conductor.

Many thanks to the vision and collaborative leadership of Dave Thornton at Group and the vision and support of Tom and Joanie Schultz. They have been great partners in this venture! Yes, incredible things will happen.