Develop your vision

What is your special part to play in God’s mission of love and the reason for your church’s existence?

Let us help you to develop your vision of the future and how your building can be used in all sorts of creative ways to fulfil God’s mission.

people shopping at Farmers market inside church

Why change?

Step one: write a vision and mission statement

A vision is a picture of what you want to achieve. It’s your dream.

Write it down in one sentence. But don’t be too specific. Ask yourself:

  • What do you want for the medium and long-term?
  • How do you see your church building serving God’s mission locally?

Example:

We want to make our church more welcoming and by the provision of facilities be able to share our space with support services for children.

“There is no formula for what will work in any given church… however, seeing what others have done, what worked and what didn’t… can help to stimulate ideas and discussions.”

The English Parish, Church through the Centuries (DVD-ROM), The Christianity and Culture Project at the University of York.

Step two: write a mission action plan

A mission action plan explains how you will achieve your vision. It describes:

  • Your aims (i.e. objectives or goals)
  • What you do (i.e. actions)
  • Who you do it for
  • And the benefits

This means that any ideas you come up with to change your building will be set in a mission context from the beginning.

Find out more about mission statements and action plans

Step three: assess your building

Once you have a vision for the future, start to think about how you will make it a reality. If you want to use your building more, then you need to know what condition it’s in.

Step four: parish Audit

What does your own congregation have to say? Organise a meeting to find out and get those interested to come.

Ask them:

  • What do you already have? (e.g. church, hall, churchyard, etc.)
  • What is your core purpose or do you have more than one?
  • How do your church members connect with the community?
  • How do other people engage with your building?
  • What does the building mean to you?
  • How do others see you and the church building?
  • How much do you know about the management of your building(s)?
  • Are you making the most use of your building?
  • What is your vision for your church?

With this information, create a document that describes as many aspects of your church as possible:

  • The style of worship
  • A profile of the people who come
  • Your current resources and the activities that take place inside the church
  • The current relationship with the local community

Once you understand your community, you will know how your building could help them.

Don’t forget to speak to the other groups who use the church too! The Mothers’ Union, the cleaners, the bell-ringers… they all might have something valuable to say.

Step five: visit other churches

There are many good examples out there. Go and look at other churches doing similar projects. Talk to them. See how they did it and what you can learn from them. Ask them who they went to for help.

Talk to your Diocesan Advisory Committee secretary to find out about projects in your local area.

Find some wining project ideas from Ecclesiastical Insurance

Case studies

Next steps

To make your vision become a reality you need to start thinking about:

Want more help?

Developing a mission statement

Get advice from the Diocese of Hereford

Creative uses for your building

Find out what others have done to support their community

Resources for rural churches

The Germinate: Arthur Rank Centre helps identify and meet local needs

Deeper into God: Mission Theology

Resources to help share faith and think about the theology of mission