Last night we hosted a vision night for our church to hear from us on the plans that we have for our multisite launch in Neepawa, MB. Up until this time, there haven't been much communicated with the congregation apart from 1) where we're going (Neepawa) 2) Who's going (my family) and 3) More info will follow.
We decided to recreate the vision pitch that was given to our denominational district office a year ago that laid out what we wanted to do, why it was a good idea and how our church could partner with the district office to help make it a reality. We also wanted to include our story of how my wife and I processed the call on our lives.
My default is to lean heavily to the pragmatic conveying of information and systems, but I know that many people aren't really inspired by systems, rather it is the personal stories that people want to hear and connect with.
So in preparation for the night, all people involved (myself, my wife, and pastors Nathan Weselake and Chris Kehler) sat down and went through our presentation - cutting out the fat, focusing our stories and balancing our information for biggest impact. This process can seem kind of crass - trying to leverage your stories - but if you've ever presented in front of an audience, you know how important it is to be concise and leave out all the unnecessary info.
We then brought in the other pastoral staff to do a practice run for them. It was the first time they had heard the information and their feedback helped us refine our stories even more. I cannot stress enough just how beneficial this practice and feedback process is! We've done in it many situations and the payoff is that we end up presenting the best of what we have thanks to the feedback of many!
Part of the presentation was to begin to form a list of names of families who were feeling God's call on their lives to be part of the Neepawa church. I had created a card that we handed out midway through the night that allowed people to think about, process and indicate where they thought they would fit.
We had asked for people to fill out and return these cards that night so we could begin our list of names. It was pretty neat to see who was there, and what people indicated they felt called to! One family indicated that they wanted to be part of the "Founders" group - a group that would move to Neepawa to invest heavily into getting it off the ground!
Some people didn't have their spouse with them and they held onto their cards to take home and talk about it later... God was obviously doing something in their lives and I'm excited to see what it might be!
The turnout was, in my mind, really good - approx 50-60 people! There were more people who I know wanted to be there but couldn't so we will continue to find ways to get this vision casting in front of bigger audiences - possibly on a Sunday morning.
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.