Issue Number 35: Leadership and Motivating Visions

Motivating visions are not confined to the business world. A church in suburban Indiana wanted visitors to feel more welcome, so they included becoming a “friendly congregation” as one of the elements of their corporate vision statement and set about trying to make that happen. No matter how hard they tried, though, nothing seemed to work. Visitors still reported that church members seemed “too stuffy.” The members seemed more interested in showing off the church building with its beautiful windows and less interested in meeting visitors on a personal level.

A small group of church members decided to focus instead on creating a motivating vision: to become a “caring congregation.” They realized care of members of the congregation was unevenly distributed. If the Pastor’s wife was ill, everyone knew it and paid attention to her, but if the quiet person in the last pew became ill, nothing happened.

The church established a Board of Deacons to provide care for the entire congregation, and the results were amazing. Those who received care volunteered to help others, the church newsletter was filled with thank you notes and, slowly and steadily, the church became what they strove to be – a caring congregation. Since the motivating vision supported the corporate vision, visitors began reporting that the church seemed friendly and welcoming – not because people were trying to be friendlier, but because they felt more positive about belonging to that church

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