At Northland we have shared and begun to implement a new mission and vision. This has required to some extent a change of direction in our Sunday morning environment, including our first impression experience, corporate worship gathering, children’s ministry, and our small group ministry. In addition, the new mission and vision will be changing the direction of how we engage our community as well as how we structure and organize our church body. For many, change is difficult, especially in trying to understanding new mission (direction) and vision (mode of transporting the mission). Given how change is difficult as well as embracing a new mission and vision, what is good way to understand the changes new mission and vision bring?
When it comes to any organization trying to implement a new mission and vision—which would change the environment, structure, and strategy— it is important to think and handle the new mission and vision in a way one thinks about and handles a new born baby. When a baby is born, very few hold and handle the baby. One reason for this is the potential of spreading germs and infection to the baby. The baby’s immune system needs to develop to be able to fight off infringing and hurtful germs and bacteria.
When it comes to the new vision and mission, it will be incubated within a small body as it is developed and understood by them. What people need to realize is that this is not done to shut people out of the process, or attempt to keep them in a black hole, but to protect the “newborn” mission and vision as it unfolds and is understood. However, as the baby grows developing its immune system, it is shared with a few others—close friends and other family members. This group can now hold, handle, and celebrate this new birth. But, we must keep in mind that the baby is not ready to be held and handled by the general public just yet. When the timing is right, and the parents and baby are ready, the baby will be shared with the general public so that they too can express their “Whew’s, Ahhh’s, and Ohhh’s….” It is important for the general public not to get too frustrated while they see the affects of the baby, but have not had a chance to hold, handle, and share the baby. That time is coming. As newborn babies require patience, so does implementing a newborn mission and vision.
In conclusion, when it comes to developing and implementing new vision, it is important to understand that the pathway of ownership, handling, and sharing will be very similar of that of a newborn baby. Organizational leaders are like parents needing to protect the mission and vision. Those falling under the leaders are like friends and extended family who share in the joy and celebration of the newborn, as well as act as careful and cautious protectors. Finally, the general public are the last to see the healthy newborn who is growing and maturing. Just like a newborn, new mission and vision need to be protected, nurtured, and cared for—using all wisdom, discernment, and caution when sharing it with others.