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ReVision
 
 
 
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A quidebook to walk you and your congregation through a process of visioning, mission and ministry planning using Percept's Context.
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What have others said about the experience and results of the ReVision planning process?
"I'm amazed at the congregational response. We've had seven Reflection study groups and some of those groups have wanted to stay together. We carefully followed the schedule all along, but the congregation would keep asking, "When are we going to hear the report? When are we going to have the retreat?" Now, we've had our retreat (I think we had over 50 people), we have a new minister (we're thrilled with that), it's going great and we're going right ahead. I think the main thing that I was surprised about is how involved the congregation itself has been."
"I work with the youth in our church and when it came time for this ReVision Reflection Series, I wasn't thinking I was going to be one of the teachers. Well, they asked me to teach and lead a group of women that are 25 to 35 years of age. It was an awesome, eye-opening experience. There were some painful, unexpected things that came out during these ReVision studies. The ladies started to understand they needed each other; that they weren't all at the same place in their Christian walk. Now the women meet every other Sunday. They started something nurturing, supporting each other right away. God has moved so awesomely in our Church and I thank Him for the opportunity to be a part of this."
"At our ReVision retreat one of the older ladies (about 80 years old) in the church said something like, "I'm excited!" Well this got to the whole group going. When we got into Church on Sunday all of us got up and said "We're Excited!" They kind of got the message that we are excited about going forward with our whole program. It's really caught on."
"We've stopped being a group of people who murmur, grumble and complain. But the biggest change in a year has been that there's electricity in the group, the anticipation of something positive that's going to happen...is happening already. The evidence of that is the plan [ReVision Plan] and the people that are behind it. We will always be doing this Revision process in some form, because it's pushed us along and kept a little fire under us too! It's contagious. And it'll spread beyond the walls to people who will want to know what's going on."
"One of the most interesting outcomes of the ReVision process was that our vision statement was directed toward the community and not toward the church. For years and years we've been a congregation that has done what's comfortable for us and that may involve coming at 11:00 and leaving at 12:05, and that's it. We're coming to understand that isn't enough."
"I can't say every member of the congregation has warmly and enthusiastically embraced the ReVision process. I will say that the people who are going to make a difference, have. There are some people who are never going to change and they will always show up at 11:00, but they will not move the church forward."
"The excitement level among the members is very easy to detect because there's a sense now that we have a direction that we need to go. The feeling is God is empowering us to get his work done...God's going to build a church and all we have to do is get in line and do the work. We're more optimistic and more positive about the future of our church than we have been in a long time."
"I think what it does [the ReVision process] is keep us from being vague about what we are to be doing. Our church tended to be a group of a lot of little interest areas and some of them are very active and some aren't. Some strictly minister to a group of people [in the church] and others try to go beyond the church property into the community and we were just kind of heading in all different directions. But when you come up with a vision statement and you identify your mission priorities what it compels you to do is start looking toward an objective. So you become conscious to the fact that, "Golly, my program needs to contribute toward this larger endeavor."
"I feel like I did probably when I was a little kid and I knew I had to swim across the deep end of the pool. You don't want to jump in, but when you climb out on the other side and you've made it you're really glad and now you can look back and say to the other people on the other side go ahead jump, you can make it, come on and swim. I would say that to other churches."
"It's not just planning. We used to have planning meetings and go to retreats and just sit and fill up boxes on the calendar...that's not what this is. This is an identification of your reason for being and then once you arrive at that, what are you going to do about it, based on the Bible's instructions and what God has for you to do."
"We have two schools on our property, we have a small child development center that is infant through kindergarten and it's 112 kids on our property in our facilities five days a week. We have a smaller school of 40 children with autistic learning disabilities, and a faculty working with them of 20 people and we had decided that we need to look at our mission opportunities in groups that have an informal connection with us or an occasional interaction with our church. It turns out we have over a hundred families depending on us every week, we may or may not be meeting their spiritual needs so our big plan in the next year is to develop a real live Sunday school for the kids with learning disabilities. As far as we know that doesn't exist anywhere. We are training people, so your child can go to that Sunday school and the siblings and parents can avail themselves of their own Sunday school and go to services on Sunday with us without worry."
"On Fridays, no one wants to cook. So, when you come and pick up your child or you're just in the neighborhood, we're going to have family Fridays, which is a meal that we prepare that is available for take-out or you can come and have supper on our property without having to rush home and cook. We will promote that through the school and through mailings to the neighborhood and we'll probably have some activities for the kids so the parents can relax and unwind instead of it having to be frantic Friday."
"It just seemed like we continually kept hearing over and over [in the ReVision material], "where are we", "where do we need to be", and "the GAP." In our church we tagged that "GAP", "the DANG 'OL GAP". You know, we heard it so much and we were continually saying, "We've got to get past this and on to what we're really supposed to be doing," and it just continued on and on and on, it felt like to us. I kept thinking during that process if I was going to change something within this, that's what I would change—I'd move on with this thing and get it done."
"We're in the first weeks of putting our plan to action now, and I've come to understand that it took that repetition and time together for us to change. It's occurred to me that we really are a church for others rather than a church for ourselves and that our vision really is a community whole and fully alive in Christ. A year ago we were a church "internal" and now we're a church "external". It took that repetitiveness to really sink in and make us know that, and for that we are grateful for the process."
"This is not a magic pill that you necessarily get excited at the very beginning. It's a time process of building blocks, repetition and waiting on God. As the clergy, intellectually for me, it was a wonderful program, but I felt flat. Even until we finished the Bible study [Reflection Series], I still felt flat. But once we had the vision the fire came. I wouldn't have had that had we not had the slow process building up to it."
"When I first saw those books I said, "You want me to do what!?" I'm a busy person, I don't have time to read books, and for awhile there in the beginning, I just put the book to the side and thought to myself, "I don't think so." It was overpowering, just looking at the paperwork, but once you got into it, they were very good at telling you step by step what to do next, when to do it, and how to do it, and it was very simple. But if you never looked at that book and decided you were not going to pick it up, it hurt."
"For me, the most valuable thing has been the process. It forces us to get together in small groups, hash-out ideas and put them all together on our retreat weekend. It makes us work through these problems. It makes us think, and makes us come up with ideas, and makes us look ourselves square in the eye so that we can come up with what we feel will be workable solutions."
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