Skype Session with Will Mancini


Last week, I had the privilege to be part of a class of leaders and pastors who got to spend time with thought leaders in the church world. Today, I’ll be blogging the highlights of what I learned through the one hour Skype session we had with Will Mancini.

Will Mancini leads  & wrote the book God’s Dream & Church Unique for pastors to focus on their calling and for churches to gain

Both books I highly recommend for you to read.

Here are some highlights from the learning session:

  1. You can’t lead with a generic vision.

Generic vision is the outcome of voicing only a general sense of your church’s future. The opposite of generic vision is leading with a vivid picture of your church’s future. The lack of a clearly defined vision will cut your church’s effectiveness drastically.

my note: I remember being invited to preach in a church anniversary of a certain church that was quite big and effective in reaching out to their communities in the past. Before preaching, they showed a video of the history of their local church and how the church had an evangelistic thrust in the community. Sadly, the church has plateaued for years. As I checked the vision of the church, I had to remind them of why they started the church in the first place. One of the things I noticed about their vision is that it has become too generic that there was no way to measure if they are getting some wins under their belt with the current actions, programs, and culture that they have set in place.


2. We miss our goals not because of obstacles but because of a clear path to a lesser goal. – Robert Brault

This is such a powerful lesson on goal setting. As leaders, we have a tendency to attribute missing our goals because of the obstacles that came along the way BUT the reality most of the time is not that there was an obstacle. Rather the problem is that we have compromised by making our goals lesser than what it is supposed to be.

Churches today miss their potential not because they lack vision but because they embrace a lesser kind of vision. And the lesser vision is a generic one.

3. Most leaders have never named their vision and dreams. We need to process and clarify which God calls us to do.

When our vision and dreams are not named, we are unable to process it as a church leadership team. No process means it won’t be on top of our priorities and it can be drowned by the daily things to do of the church life. Take time to name, process and clarify what God has called your church to do. Words create worlds.

4. The mission statement is a compass and the vision statement is a travel brochure. 

I’ll try to put this into my local context as a Victory pastor. Our mission as a church is to honor God and make disciples. I know this might be counter to what Will Mancini was sharing about generic statements but the four words of Victory has been clearly defined in our language and context.

When a Victory member hears the word MAKE DISCIPLES – he is thinking how he can ENGAGE culture and community, ESTABLISH them in biblical foundations, EQUIP them to minister and EMPOWER them to make disciples.

Our mission statement as Victory is #ENLARGE2020. This is (if I could mix Patrick Lencioni and Will Mancini’s terms) our rally cry for the next three years. We believe that God wants us to expand to influence our cities with the gospel. With a clear mission statement, the local church now strategically plans on how we can fulfill the mission (rally cry).

5. You don’t need a vision statement, you need a vision state of mind

What makes people connect emotionally to your church? Why do they call your church their home? Some of the things we might communicate with our church members are the perks of being part of the community rather than the mission of the church. This is fine but there is a better way to move people from going to church out of convenience. (ample parking space, good kids program, preaching is relevant) This is the realm of the lower room identity of the church


Will Mancini challenged us to bring the people to the upper room. Give the people something to live for – a big vision that God has for the church that it would take a community to make it happen. Vision transfers through people, not programs. As vision leaks, the pastor needs to repeat for memory, restate for understanding.


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