What are your three principles for running a good "vision meeting?"

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I am just starting to run meetings at my church and I am definitely looking for advice.

What are your three principles for running a good, two hour vision meeting?

John Burden, Providence Church, Holland Mi

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Hi John,

If what you what you want from a 2 hour vision meeting is a some kind of plan for the future, then there are lots of ways to accomplish that.  And there are very few "rules" if any.  But if visioning is holy, then that's a good place to begin.  So:

Rule #1: Keep it holy.  No 2 minute bookend prayers.  Instead, explore what it means to allow God enter holy community in the room in which you meet.  This requires transparent hearts, with each other and with God.  So begin with sharing and let that lead to prayer. 

Rule #2: Two hours is very short, so don't waste any opportunites.  Use the sharing to start the visioning.  There are lots of good questions to help this along.  You could try: What have you appreciated most about this church?  Which of God's promises speaks most loudly in this church?  Or develop a question that speaks more directly to area of visioning you want to deal with: If you want to vision about the discipleship of youth a useful question might be "What did you appreciate most about the learning that happened in your youth."  Three crisp questions is the maximum you can deal with in 2 hours, so choose them wisely.  So one useful order does like this: 1. What's good about...? 2. What's not good about...? 3. What can we do about that...?  If the discussion gets too vague - the question was likely too vague.

Rule #3:  Two hours is very short.  Either do a longer vision about a narrow topic, or a shorter vision about the big thing.  Or consider this part 1 of several if you can get the rest of your leaders on board.  Trying to accomplish too much in two hours can be harmful.

This is certainly not everything you need to know.  But these are three quick "rules" with potential for a community building, vision meeting.

Participant

I will second Jack's #1 - prayer, prayer and more prayer  (that's 3 principles, right? =)...   especially time listening together in prayer.. you want the vision to come from the Holy Spirit.  So bring a focus before the LORD, spend time listening for His direction.    Crazy stuff happens when you start "hearing" Him.

If you aren't familiar with listening prayer, you will want to be, so that you can test and discern the thoughts that are shared through this time.  there are some great books on it, I would say Brad Jersak's "can you hear Me? - tuning in to the God that speaks is a very practical one that helps teach concepts on "listening" to the Holy Spirit. 

It seems, we often don't intentionally seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, we just hope and pray that He gives it to us, but it is not intentional, quiet time, listening for what He wants to share.     Lots of reasons for this.

So, I pray that you and your team will be led into His vision that He has prepared in advance for you and your congregation, but I also pray that you will have amazing experiences encountering God through listening to the Holy Spirit.

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