Vision, Mission and Purpose

I have been involved with the church for many years in one capacity or another. During that time I have helped churches and various congregations develop vision and mission statements and clearly articulate their purposes or goals.

As a quick recap, a Vision Statement is the pie in the sky idea, what one day long into the future an organization would like to see. The Mission Statement is the process by which the vision is enacted. And the Purposes or Goals are the daily means by which that mission is carried out.

Often this is seen as too corporate of an activity. It reminds people of the business world and we are church. Often, there is great resistance to this process. And when this process does get completed, there is very little buy in by parishioners or staff.

At a recent gathering of clergy here in London I asked how many of us knew the Vision and Mission Statements of the Diocese. I was not surprised too see no hands go up. After all my hand didn’t go up either as I shamefully had to admit that I too had to look up our Vision and Mission statements and could find no hint of our Purposes or Goals on any Diocesan communications.

Why do I mention this? Recently through Emerging Leaders and Leadership London I had the opportunity to tour a few non-profits here in London and how they have grown through the years and the work they are engaged in.

Our First stop was Y.O.U. (Youth Opportunities Unlimited). Over the past few years they have repurposed a building in the core of London to include classrooms, housing units and a café where skills are taught and resume building occurs. The rooftop terrace was impressive, the café was great and the building and the ministry being done to care for youth on the margins is incredible.

Our next stop was WIL (Originally Women Immigration London). This organization connects recent immigrates with employers, helps them navigate interviews and directly partners with the Federal Government in the immigration resettlement process. WIL began modestly in a church basement, and now own a large office tower in the core of London and helps to connects thousands of immigrants with meaningful employment.

Our last stop was Pillar Non-Profit. Pillar’s recent purchase of the Goodlife building in the core of London for the creation of a Social Innovation Shared Space is helping to change the direction of London and shape the future of the city. Pillar as a network of non-profits now has multiple staff and continues to advise and assist non-profits in London in a myriad of ways.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The social impact of these three organizations in London is impressive to say the least. How they got there is also worthy of note. Everyone I spoke to in each organization could clearly articulate the Vision, Mission and Purpose of their organization, everyone from Executive Directors to the receptionist.

Each employee knew what the organization was hoping to accomplish, how it was going to get there and what the daily task were. This got me thinking about my context and the church. Can we, as a church body, whether that be local parish or Diocesan structure, clearly articulate our shared Vision, our shared Mission and what our daily purposes or goals are?

Starting with better communications surrounding Vision, Mission and Purposes may help us grow and expand, reach more people and have greater impact in helping to build up the kingdom of God. And like Y.O.U., WIL and Pillar Non-Profit could also greatly increase our foot print in London and in the world.

Why do you Vote?

I am very proud to be part of Emerging Leaders, such a great organization making such a profound difference in the city of London. As we, the city of London, head to polls today have you thought about why you vote? What matters to you?

Check out why the Board of Directors votes.

Plans are Merely a Platform for Change

Shifting and changing culture is a difficult thing. While many may be on board with the need for a shift in culture, it is difficult to enact that change. There are three common ways in which change is often implemented.

  • Imitation
  • Importation
  • Revolution

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it will not help you change the culture of your church. What works at another church or diocese, will not necessarily work in your context. There are many reasons for this, but most notably the source of your imitation has invested greatly into their venture, raised up the right team, down missional listening and are now acting accordingly. Often we try to replicate what others have done, rather then looking for what God is asking us to do in our context. The desire to have a ready made program parachuted in is a strong motivation. The hope is for quick results, little work and easy decisions. If it is too good to be true, often it is.

Importation, another means of implementing change, is the dreaded consultant. Many churches will hire a consultant to help them move forward. This has a tendency to work in individual churches on a small scale where the individual congregation has already bought into the need for change, but often runs into problems on Diocesan levels were cynicism is aimed at the higher ups and buy in is low. It also can lead people to placing all expectations on one person, who will be the saviour. And when things naturally do not work out because one person alone cannot save the world, the horizontal church responds that we tried and change is not possible, status quo remains. Unfortunately this also creates a scapegoat and does little to build a team that will champion the need for change.

Revolutions meanwhile are often successful, but they require a crisis situation. Through crisis the need for change is fostered when the church is willing to look for new leadership, new vision, new methods, new practices, new rewards, new principles, a new approach to hiring and formation, and a new way to promote those within the organization. This type of change is effective for it breaks with traditions, the same policy traditions that have created the crisis in the first place. After all, doing the same things and expecting a different results is not just a logically fallacy, it is also Einstein’s definition of insanity.

changeTo help enact revolution, a collaborative team of leaders needs to be brought together. Power needs to be decentralized so that decisions can happen quickly and efficiently and for team members to have some skin the game. The buck doesn’t stop at the bishop, but rather at the team who are responsible to each other and also the organization, the church.

In this manner, the structure of the organization shifts from vertical to horizontal. More individuals are giving responsibility for the enacting of the vision, mission and purposes. The delegation of decision making is not an abdicating of responsibility of the leader (the bishop), but rather is putting individuals in positions to succeed and to advance the vision of the church.

Revolutions require new leaders in many ways. They promote from the bottom up. Traditional paths to the operational power are replaced by assigning task to the people best suited for the responsibility, regardless of tenure, age or experience.

All of this sounds great, but operational integrity must be maintained throughout and adherence to the execution of the intent of the church must inform all actions of the organization. Being focused, and making sure all decisions flow into the agreed upon vision, mission and purpose is simply a must. It is easy to go off the rails, to get distracted and for individuals to have pet projects or concerns. But in a crisis, all need to pull together, in the same direction as a team.

This building of a collaborative team to help enact a revolution and to carry forward the vision, the mission and the purposes of the church flows from the principle that there can be no expertise without collaboration (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) and success depends on the collaboration of experts.

#ToL and Leadership London

What is #Tol? It is a Team of Leaders and a leadership methodology brought to civic affairs by The Center for Collaborative Command and Leadership. This program has been brought to London by Emerging Leaders through the Leadership London program and part of the Emerging Leaders mandate to retain, attract and connect young talent in London On.

Taking directly from the #ToL website, #ToL is describe as,

The concept of Teams of Leaders has been developed by the US Army to help it to interact with the civilian world of the post-Cold War era, and to promote utilization of the immense intellectual, business, and logistics capabilities of the Army in the service of the civilian authorities. In addition, the ToL concept served to strengthen the existing relationships with the long-standing allies of the US, and to form new ones with the large number of rapidly emerging partners.

The original goal of the Teams of Leaders concept was to fill the structural gap in situations where a single authority and a single shared purpose were typically either unclear, subject to external manipulation, or entirely absent. Hence, the driving force behind the Teams of Leaders approach was the wish to promote an environment that builds common understanding, and develops mutual trust and confidence among a wide variety of professional, organizational, and national teams forced to act jointly in the often turbulent setting of the contemporary political, economic, and social world.

Ultimately, ToL policies, programs and practices were found to be equally applicable across both the military and civilian governmental, non-governmental, and corporate entities acting in the joint, inter-agency, inter-governmental, and multinational (JIIM) setting of globalized activities. The transition of ToL from the military to the civilian sphere of activities was largely afforded through the work of the Center for Collaborative Command and Leadership (CCCL, formerly Center for Collaborative Leadership in Healthcare – CCLH). Presently, the ToL concept serves as the unique and exceptionally well suited tool in the development of collaboration among entities involved in missions executed at all levels of the civil society and of the corporate world.

Marty@ToLOn October 4th, your Rogue Preacher began his first session with #ToL and Leadership London. It was an exciting day of learning the methodologies and practices and collaborating with an exciting group of Londoners, of leaders, who are seeking to become citizens of action committed to reshaping London for a better future.

Each month we will meet and tackle problems in various sectors of London and thereby gain valuable insight across all of London while putting into practice the methodologies of #ToL. These sectors include:

  • Non Profits
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Technology
  • City Government
  • Economic Development
  • Our Place in the Region
  • Our Heritage
  • Arts

There is much to be learned and much to be shared. There will be techniques of building teams rapidly, developing solutions to long standing problems and rapidly responding to new problems as they emerge. It plans to be an amazing journey of discovering London, developing leadership skills and team building methodologies and most of all continuing as a life long learner.

I will endeavour to share thoughts and insights, especially as they pertain to the church. Hopefully as I blog my way through this project there will be insights that can be applied directly to the church, its long term problems, rapidly developing problems and help foster a stronger and better teams of leaders throughout the church.

I will try to not be critical of the church, but at times I will have to be. My critiques will not be about pointing out problems and assigning blame, but rather will be about offering ways we can name our problems, but also tackle them to help further God’s Kingdom and build up the church here in London.

So check back periodically, and hold on…we are going to plunge deeply into the heart of London.

St Andrew Memorial Garden Featured in The London Community News

The parishes work over the 2014 growing season has been featured in the London Community News. Check out the article below.

St. Andrew’s garden provides for entire community

Community Garden

As the garden is set to expand again and provide more to our neighbours and londoners in general the local media has taken an interest.

It is our hope that this year that we will be able to reach over 1000 lbs of fresh vegetables delivered to Social Services, The Daily Bread and the Fellowship Centre, at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Read about the garden here.

Social Media Etiquette, Part 2

Etiquette is important. And there are all manners of etiquette lessons that need to be learned in life. Which fork to use, or how to dress for certain receptions and such. Well the same is true for our interactions online, and maybe even more profoundly because our actions online will be seen and read by many. They, in essence, represent not only us, but also the church.

I would like to offer a few more useful tips from the original piece I wrote in November 2011. This of course is not an exhaustive list, and I am sure I will add to it again in the future. The following three suggestions are meant to build a strong foundation for social media etiquette and our online behaviour as church.

What to post

  • Do I want my boss to see it?

    If the answer is no, it is best not to post it. A good practice is to assume you are at a cocktail party and your boss is next to you. He/she may not be listening to your conversation, but then again, they just might be. Treat your online postings in the same manner.

  • Do I want my mom to see that picture from my vacation?

    Sometimes we share content that may be humorous, or we tell a story or leave a comment. But imagine if that comment or picture was seen by your mother? Do you really want to have to explain the concept of body shots to your parents?

  • Can you say what you write from the pulpit?

    This is a good rule for clergy. Remember your parishioners are watching, reading and digesting what you post. And while you may think your privacy settings keep people from seeing certain content, it is best to not risk that content getting out and being shared.

What You Say Follows You

  • The Internet has a long memory.

    What you write today may come up on a Google search easily accessible by present and future employers. You are leaving an impression, an impression for your readers today, but also for the future. It is common practice, even in the church, to Google a candidate for the rector’s position and go through your timeline. Imagine the new congregation you wish to lead reading your comments and discerning whether or not they would want you.

Dealing With Comments

  • Not everyone is going to like what you post/share.

    But deleting comments is the equivalent hanging up on a person or slamming the door shut in their face. It reflects upon you and your ministry. Sure, never feed the troll or engage with someone who is spewing hateful speech. You can delete those comments. But to delete someone’s comment who doesn’t agree with you or challenges you is not only rude, but shows a lack of understanding of social media. If it is not a behaviour you would do face to face, then don’t do it online.

  • There is a fine line between public and private.

    But if you are using your personal account for the church in any manner, then realize you have invited people into your life and your actions can have consequences. One of those consequences is that you are representing the church when you delete, censor or silence comments you don’t like.

Educate yourself about a Saint

I picked Martin of Tours…my name sake.

I did know the story, or should I say part of the story, of Martin. How he clothed the beggar with his clock that he tore and in the morning it was made whole again.

I knew of his dream about Satan appearing to him.

But I did not know some of the other miracles attributed to him, his lifestyle as monk, even when he was bishop and his distaste for politics and the gathering of bishops.

Have to say, I liked him before, now I think he rawks.