Thom S. Rainer in his book, Breakout Churches, explores patterns which are characteristic of churches which had been good in their past, went through a period of decline or plateau and struggle, before they turned around.
Rainer noticed that Breakout churches often had a clear compelling vision, however he also noticed that “comparative” churches also similarly had vision.
What was different about “Breakout” churches, or churches which turned around, was how they arrived at vision. Rather than trying to discover their vision, what Rainer discovered in his research was that often breakout churches found“vision discovered them”. In other words, it came out of who they were, and this usually came through a pattern which Rainer calls the VIP (Vision Intersection Profile) Factor.
The VIP is a coming together of the following three elements:
- Leadership Passion. This is what the leaders are passionate about and gifted in.
- Congregation Gifts, Passion and Talents. These are the passions and gifts of the congregation.
- Community Needs, desires and hurts of community/city. This involves assessing the needs of the city or local community. In particular, identifying current and emerging opportunities in our community. This can also include a review of the effectiveness of ministries and programs regularly to assess their effectiveness.
In the VIP, vision “discovers us” as we understand our leadership, our congregation and our local community. God has called all of us, leadership, congregation and local community together in this place, at this time. He has a purpose and a plan for us, and it is incumbent on us to know what this is and pursue it. In Acts 13: 36, it is said of King David that he served God in his generation. It would be my hope that this could be said of us, that we served God’s purposes in our time.
Can I encourage you to take some time and consider the God given passion and gifts you have? How might they be part of what God is calling us to do in this place at this time?