Why Having a Vision for Your Church Matters

Where Is Your Church Headed?

Every ship requires a compass. The compass, an instrument for navigation, indicates where the ship is headed. Without it, the vessel drifts aimlessly and often ends up off course.

Similarly, when it comes to church leadership, a clearly defined vision serves as a compass, indicating where the church is headed. Casting a vision for your church isn’t merely a buzzword or helpful leadership tactic; it’s an essential component of long-term church health and ministry effectiveness.

Unfortunately, many churches lack a clear understanding of why having a vision matters, and how to go about creating and communicating that vision. In this blog post, I want to unpack what exactly a church vision is, why having vision is so important, and provide some suggestions for where to begin when it comes to creating and communicating a vision for the future of your church.

What Exactly is a Church Vision?

Crafting a vision for your church is the process of creating a clear, inspiring and compelling statement that outlines the future direction and impact of the church. It is a process that helps align the unique gifts and resources of your organization with God’s will, and wisely plan for how to best use these resources.

The vision should both reflect who you are as an organization, and set direction for where you are headed. It serves as a guidepost to help the church make better decisions, prioritize spending, and get everyone moving in a unified direction.

Does a Church Need a Vision?

Often, I find that churches – especially smaller ones – tend to shy away from vision casting. Perhaps it’s because it takes valuable time to intentionally think about who the church is, why it exists and where it is going. Perhaps it’s because church leaders simply don’t know how to do this well. Or perhaps it’s because some churches view planning for the future as a lack of trust and reliance on God.

Let me be clear, for a church, a strategic plan is not simply a projection-based exercise. It is a process that both begins and end with prayer. Ultimately, God is the one that gives vision. But we partner with God to take action toward accomplishing that vision. Our attitude in this process should always be to seek God’s will in all things and to pray that our hearts with be aligned with His.

When we do, we make space for God to move in and through our church. Creating a vision statement, then, not only aligns our actions with God’s will, it sets our church up for long-term health. Because having a vision to guide our ministry decisions, brings meaning, it sustains ministry, it motivates those that are a part of our congregation, and it energizes the growth of our organization.

Why is Vision so Important in the Church?

Having a vision is incredibly important for the health and longevity of your church. Not only does it set direction and guide ministry decisions, it sustains ministry, motivates those that are a part of the congregation, brings meaning, and energizes the growth of your organization. Here are seven reasons why we believe vision casting is an essential part of a healthy, thriving church:

1. It Clarifies Purpose

  1. Every church has a purpose beyond Sunday services. Casting a clear vision helps members understand that larger purpose. Where there is a lack of clarity, people begin asking questions about what the goal of our church is. With a vision, the answer becomes clear.

2. It Unites The Congregation

With a shared vision, the congregation becomes united in purpose. Instead of multiple groups pulling in different directions, everyone moves forward with a common goal in mind, fostering unity and collective strength.

3. It Inspires Action

When the people of your church understand the vision, they are more likely to get involved. Whether it’s joining a ministry, participating in community outreach, or giving generously, a compelling vision can motivate action.

4. It Guides Decision-Making

For church leaders, countless decisions arise daily. Having a well-defined vision offers a touchstone against which all decisions can be measured. Does a potential program or initiative align with the vision? If not, it might be worth reconsidering.

5. It Helps Overcome Obstacles

Every church faces challenges. But with a clear vision, these challenges become surmountable obstacles rather than impassable roadblocks. The vision reminds everyone of the bigger picture and the higher calling. 

6. It Encourages Generosity

When people have a vision to support, it both builds trust in how the leaders of the church are stewarding the resources, it gives people a reason to give. People are much more willing to support a cause, when they know what that cause is and why it matters.

7. It Facilitates Growth

As the saying goes, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” A church without a vision will stagnate. But with a vision, you provide a framework for growth, both spiritually and numerically.

We go into greater detail on this topic on episode 39 of the Simplify Church podcast. Listen in your favorite podcast player, or by visiting the podcast library on our website.

What if Our Church Doesn’t Have a Vision?

Unfortunately, many churches lack a clear and compelling vision for their church. If you find yourself in this position, know that you are not alone. The good news is that developing a strategic and compelling vision does not have to be a complicated process.

Here at Simplify Church we want to give you some practical tools to help you craft a vision for your church. Next week, our Chief Simplifier, Josh Henry, will be going LIVE to share a free training to help you do just this.

You can register for the training (or to get the replay) HERE.

Are You Ready to Cast a Vision for Your Church?

Casting a vision for your church is not about crafting a catchy slogan or setting unrealistic expectations. It’s about seeking God’s heart for your community and communicating that purpose with clarity and passion. As Proverbs 29:18 says, “

Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

By casting a vision, you’re ensuring your church doesn’t just survive but thrives for the glory of God.

How to Encourage Giving in Times of Economic Uncertainty

Church giving in times of economic uncertainty


Turn on the news and you’ll hear plenty about how the price of everything going up – housing, cars, food, gas. Or simply head to nearest gas station or grocery store and look at the prices on the shelves.  Economic inflation used be something we learned about in history class. Now we’re seeing it happen in real time.

Inflation is currently affecting everyone and everything, including churches.  As everything continues to cost more money, paychecks are not reaching as far as they used to. So what does this mean for you and for your church? How can your church deal with the impact of inflation? Is the decline in your weekly giving numbers a reflection of an average summer giving slump or an indication of a bigger problem?

These are all valid questions to ask. They are not meant to alarm you, but to equip you to lead and shepherd your church more effectively. So today, I want to unpack a few things you can do as pastor to lead your church through a time of economic uncertainty.


While the current economic crisis is new, economic uncertainty is not. After all, we’ve just come out from two years of unprecedented change due to living through a world-wide pandemic. Here at Simplify Church, we’ve done our best to provide you with tools and resources to navigate your church finances through the pandemic.

You can read more about managing your church budget in a crisis, 3 steps to survive the 2021 church giving slump, and how to build a post-pandemic church budget.

These are foundational principles that your church should operate by. There are practical things you can do to stay on top of your church finances and ensure that you are being a good steward of the resources entrusted to your church.

If you are noticing a dip in your weekly tithes and offerings, you may need to sit down and re-think your budget allocations for the year. We’ll have another free training coming up in the next several weeks to walk you through how to do just that.

But I think something that can get lost in our efforts to be good stewards of church finances and manage money and resources effectively is the need for pastors to talk to their congregations about what is happening in our economy and encourage giving in church.


Last month, I shared six things you can do to increase church giving in 2022. I also recently shared videos on our Facebook page about common objections people have for why they don’t give and how to overcome them. In this article, I want to focus on how we can specifically encourage giving in times of economic uncertainty.

Remind people that even in the midst of uncertainty, God remains in control 

Yes, things can feel out of control. Yes, we might not know how things will play out. But we have a choice to walk in fear or walk by faith.

Nothing surprises God. In all of history God has been in complete control and His way is perfect. Even when we don’t see how things are going to work out, God has a perfect plan that will be completed regardless of our input. As Matthew 6:28-32 reminds us, that our heavenly Father knows what we need.

When we’re in the midst of the uncertainty, it can be difficult to see the way out. It’s equally as difficult to share with someone the fact that God has the plan. But nonetheless, it’s our role as pastors to remind people of this fact.

One way to encourage giving in economic uncertainty is to remind people that God is in control.

Remind people that God’s commands haven’t changed

One of the biggest objections to giving in the church is a lack of understanding of how and why we give. People want to know, what does the Bible say about giving in the church? Why is giving to the church important? Does tithing mean giving to the church? Why should I give to the church? How much should I be giving to my church? Does it matter how much I give? Can I just give when I happen to have excess cash with me?

While our circumstances might change, the truth of God’s word and his commands for us do not.

As pastor, you must communicate both what God has instructed us to do and why those commands are not dependent on our current circumstances.  God spoke through His word thousands of years ago in a time that was different than we have now. But even then, he was in control and was working through His perfect way.

God has given us everything. And He has called us to give back to him the first fruits of our labor. Not the excess or leftovers. Or in times of plenty. If the economy was good. If you had a bumper crop.  We give back because He first gave to us. Regardless of our circumstances or current situation.

It is challenging for some people to give when they are facing bills and notices for payment in the mail but the fact remains, God is good and He provides.

Remind people that God rewards faithfulness

I am not saying that because someone gives, God will reward them with health and wealth. However, it is clear that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).  God hasn’t called us to give in a legalistic manner, but rather He looks at the heart and the intent of the gift.

If a person remains faithful to God and gives because they love the Lord and know that’s a step of spiritual development for them, it has been shown time and time again that God responds to that person in ways they may never have imagined.

Cultivate a heart of generosity at your church

One of the most important things you can do as pastor is talk about the how and why of giving and foster a heart of generosity in your congregation. When we don’t want to think about or talk about giving, it often comes from a place of fear.

If you approach giving out of fear or obligation, that’s the message that will be communicated. And that message is not compelling. A heart of generosity is not birthed from a place of fear, but out of trust and joy in following Christ. What is truly needed is not a five-step program to get people to give more, but a complete identity shift; a change in how we define and talk about generosity.

If you are ready to stop focusing on an uncertain future and start cultivating a culture of generosity in your church, regardless of economic circumstances, then download our free guide to Building a Culture of Radical Generosity in your church.

Learn practical steps to begin building a culture that transforms the way your congregation thinks about money.


Remind yourself of these same things.

While it’s tough to see the end in sight in times of uncertainty, we can remember that God continues to be faithful. These times are not new to him. We need only remember to stay the course and encourage people to lean into the Giver of Life. 

Pastor, how will you use this economic uncertainty to make much of Jesus? 

What #GivingTuesday Can Teach Us About Generosity

tithing in church

Over the last seven years, Giving Tuesday has exploded to become a global giving movement.

If you didn’t know, Giving Tuesday is a day that celebrates the collective power of generosity. 

Launched in 2012 as a response to the consumerism of Black Friday, Giving Tuesday occurs annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States.

In 2018 alone, people from more than 150 countries participated and over 400+ million dollars was raised online!

So what can the Giving Tuesday movement teach us about generosity?

  • Generosity is alive and well

Much has been made of the decline of churches in America and church giving statistics can paint a dreary picture. But generosity is not dead

In the last 12 months, more than six in ten (62%) Americans gave money, either by donating to a charity, by giving to a church/religious organization, or by sponsoring someone. This is also significantly higher than the level in 2017 (55%). 

  • Causes are key

The Charities Aid Foundation found that of those that gave, caring about the cause was the most important reason for giving

This is even more important when it comes to encouraging millennials to give. According to the Millennial Impact Report, millennials engage with causes, far more than institutions

This is why, as I’ve mentioned before, sharing where funds are going and stories of impact is vitally important to encourage generosity at your church. 

  • Generosity requires consistent communication

Over the last seven years, the Giving Tuesday movement has exploded. But it has done so through intentional and concerted effort and communication

The Giving Tuesday website provides a complete free resource toolkit, including six-month and six-week communication timelines for nonprofits looking to participate in Giving Tuesday. Many of these communication best practices can and should be utilized by churches to talk about generosity.

  • Encourage recurring giving

According to the State of Modern Philanthropy (2019), one-time donors who become recurring donors on average started their recurring giving plan roughly 214 days (7 months) after their first donation. What does this mean? 

While it’s wonderful when someone chooses to give for the first time, we can help walk people towards becoming a recurring donor. The study goes on to recommend that nonprofits encourage one-time donors to become recurring immediately or soon after the first donation.

  • Celebrate generosity

Giving Tuesday is about celebrating giving – through donations, advocacy, volunteering and acts of kindness. These forms of giving are the lifestyle we have been called to as followers of Christ. Unfortunately, churches often hesitate to call people to take action and give. 

Rather than avoid the conversation, we should regularly and proactively encourage and call our church communities to give and live generously. We should make it a part of our regular conversation. In fact, we should be the ones leading the generosity charge!

Consider how you can use the Giving Tuesday movement to highlight the importance of generosity. 

Talk about it. Encourage those in your church to participate!

It is a valuable opportunity where culture and Christ can intersect. Use it to encourage generosity, engage culture and start a conversation about how and why we give. 

It’s time to change the way we talk about giving in church!

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