When the temperatures cool down and the kids head back to school, life resumes a sense of routine and normalcy. Early Fall tends to be an optimum time for shepherds to speak to the flock about the journey ahead over the next twelve months or so. That means preaching a church vision series.
From a financial standpoint, there are still a few months left before the end-of-year giving surge, and the holidays tend to be a time when people feel most generous. From a programming standpoint, as a sense of rhythm and routine sets in, people are most willing to try volunteering in an area. And from an attendance standpoint, vacations are over and people who are deciding to visit churches are making a short list of a few they’d like to try.
Because the fall happens to be in the final weeks of Pentecost season, leading up to Advent, it’s also an optimum time to speak to the church’s identity as the institution Jesus commissioned to extend God’s Kingdom and the good news of Christ into every community. We’ve been empowered by the Spirit to take every opportunity to show and share the good news with everyone.
Therefore, it’s an optimum time to preach a “vision series.” And what, exactly, is a vision series?
What Is a Vision Sermon Series?
Preaching should, of course, always be rich in biblical theology, applied to the lives of church attenders. But pastors are shepherds of a flock, and flocks move through seasons, and the shepherd’s responsibility is not only to feed, nourish, and protect, but also to lead the flock in the right direction in the appropriate seasons.
Since preaching is the primary means of shaping the spiritual life of a congregation, one of the responsibilities of the pastor is to shape the life that the body as a whole takes on. The New Testament epistles, themselves, are excellent examples of discourses intended to be read to churches that included a lot of church vision about how the church could be a witness to Christ in the world.
4 Aspects of a Church Vision Sermon Series
A church vision sermon series teaches the church about its identity in the world.
Some sermons are geared toward each individual “me” in the congregation, but others need to address the question of “who we are,” collectively. Who is the church? What, exactly, have you joined, when you made the decision to commit to being a church member? A church vision series addresses those questions with biblical answers.
Simon Sinek wrote a great book called Start With Why. He explains that there are only two ways to influence people. You can manipulate people (and while this happens in too many churches, we must fight against the temptation to do this) or you can inspire them. He says,
We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us.
And why does the church exist? I continually go back to the five biblical purposes outlined in Rick Warren’s classic, The Purpose Driven Church. You might have your own answer to your church’s why already on the tip of your tongue. Share it with the congregation often!
Church vision calls the church to unify around a common mission.
The New Testament is full of messages about the need for unity among God’s people. Jesus definitely desired for our love for each other to be the evidence of our connection to him. When the church is unified, great things happen within and around the church.