The remaining elements for our formula are V and F. V is the actual casting of the Vision and F is the defined First Step. Pastor Joe is really good at preaching and connecting with people, so he is still trying to convince his board that now is the time to cast the Vision to the church. If you were on the church board – would you agree?
Imagine for a moment that you are in a city planning meeting and the speaker begins to address the issue of youth crime in your community. You have noticed over the past several months that the reports of crime have been getting closer to the neighborhood where you live. Your family is getting nervous about going out at night and you just had a neighbor get robbed. All of this plays in your head as the speaker spells out the depth of the problem and talks about other communities that have faced this exact issue. At this point you are engaged on both an emotional and intellectual level.
He proceeds to talk about how much better things are in a community that is very similar to yours – and says that the solution came when people in the community “got tired of living in fear and did something about it”. He goes on to describe what life is like for those families now and how great it would be have the same experience. The meeting ends.
He has just cast a compelling Vision for the future. Are you excited or frustrated?
Probably both. Excited to know that things can be different, but frustrated at not knowing exactly what to do. The other issue is that everyone is left to come up with their own idea of what ” got tired of living in fear and did something about it” means. Some may think community watch, some may think armed security guards, or a hundred other options. One thing is certain – there is no focused effort to follow.
Pastor Joe and the board need to lay out a series of steps that must take place in order for the church to launch the new service. From that series, they must select ONE very specific First Step that he will ask the church to take.
It must be clear and must involve action. Going home and “thinking and praying” about it do not qualify. Giving a financial gift, being a part of a focus group or study group, coming to a special information meeting all qualify because they involve action. People will think and pray about whether or not to take the step – so it accomplishes both.
So now that the F is defined, Pastor Joe can develop a Vision casting message that ends with a clear, specific, actionable First Step for the church.
The possibility that a new service will start at First Church is very high if the Formula for Change is taken seriously and in order.
Here it is; C iff (D)(V)(F) > S
Stated: Change will occur if and only if D times V times F is greater than S.
D = Dissatisfaction with identified issue
V = Vision of how that issue could be
F = First Step toward that Vision
S = Status Quo
Enjoy the changes!