Casting a vision that produces an effective culture is one of the most important things a pastor can do because culture trumps everything. An unhealthy culture results in an unhealthy church. So I want to think a moment about the threats that keep vision from creating a healthy culture.

Lets start with the current reality. You need to cast a vision that will produce a healthy culture. So you begin casting it and guess what? The following list of issues will put such a damper on the vision that it goes nowhere.

  • Policies are meant to keep bad things from happening, but they ensure that nothing can happen.  Most church policies are the result of something bad that might have happened in the past or that leaders are afraid will happen in the future.  Here is what we have found: the fewer policies, the more likely the church is to thrive.
  • Committees do nothing but impede progress. We’ve found the larger the church, the fewer the committees, so why not do away with as many as possible? All a church needs is one committee to wear whatever hat it needs to wear that week. 
  • Understaffing, which means two things: not enough relationships are being formed, which means the vision isn’t being shared with enough people to make it happen; and everyone is running around trying to do the work of a larger staff.
  • Conflict is present and ongoing. It’s hard for change to happen in the midst of conflict. We’ve found that the removal of one or two bullies will allow almost any church to make the changes necessary for the church to thrive.
  • Burnout is the result. No one is willing to follow the vision of someone who looks tired and worn. So throw out the bullies and get a good night’s sleep.

Question: Have you faced any of these threats to your vision for your church? How did you overcome those threats? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.