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Analysis Of Church Unique Essay

Church Unique is a well-written book concerned with the development and implementation of a vision. Will Mancini writes with a passion and desire for leader to be able to see and communicate the God sized vision that God has for their church. Mancini mentions his one purpose in writing: “. to challenge you to find your Church Unique – that is, to live a vision that creates a stunningly unique, movement – oriented church” (xxii). There are many church growth models and fads available today, yet Mancini steers his readers away from such concepts and ideas.

A vision must be specific to a certain context, thus it is unique to he context of the organization. Church Unique is a post-modern approach to strategic planning and vision casting. The book is separated into four sections. Each of the section build upon each other, which keeps the reader interested, adding to Mancini’s clarity. In the first section, Mancini addresses foundational issues that cause churches and organization to falter, in regard to vision casting. In the second section, Mancini sets out to help leaders know how to develop a “clear” vision.

Not only that, but a vision that fits the context and the culture of one’s organization or church. This is important, because not all churches are alike. Section three is concerned with the “articulation” of the vision. Within this section, readers learn how to make their vision contagious and infectious. Finally, readers are encouraged to keep adjusting their vision. Readers will walk away with a clear understanding of how to cast a vision that is specific, timeless, and unique to their context.

CRITIQUE AND OBSERVATIONS Agree: “The starting point for vision – for thinking about our church’s future – is not deciding where we want to go or exploring what is working for other churches but understanding how we are nique” (6). Comment: It makes sense to come to an understanding of ones passions and desires that will then translate to future goals. Therefore, one cannot look to other church, for they are accomplishing their call, rather all churches should be focused on their own call. “Leaders today have not clearly discerned the uniqueness of their church” (9).

Comment: It seems that leaders look for the easiest and fastest way to do church. There seems to be a lack of time for one to sit down and begin working on vision casting. Vision casting takes time and hard work. “People need vision and they need hope. Their very souls seek some conduit for meaning. So, if the visionary leaders are not providing and nourishing it, where do people find meaning” (41)? Comment: Vision and hope give people something to live for. It provides purpose and meaning in life.

It is true that people will be draw to find meaning from other place, thus church leaders must provide a lasting vision for their people. “First, just recommend a change in service times. People protest because you are essentially reshuffling the cards in the relational deck. Second, just ask an Adult Bible Fellowship or a small group to multiply. All hell breaks loose because people don’t want you to mess with their relationships. These familiar friends, albeit essential to church life, have become central to the person’s identity” (45). Comment: This is a very true statement and I totally agree.

People tend to find their identity within the context of other individuals. Individuals do not like to be split from their comfort zone. They must be informed of the purpose of a “multiply” effort. “What’s special about God’s vision is how it becomes ours and lives as ours. We can never forget God as the source of vision; ut we also cannot strip it of personal, visceral, and concrete reality in the leader’s life. We live in real places that intricately nuance the story of restoration – the good and the bad, for the infinitely beautiful is mirrored by distortions infinitely horrific.

We live in it” (73). Comment: It is amazing how God’s vision is tied to the leaders. This tie is a must, for this is how the passion God communicates His passion for the vision through the leaders. It is God’s vision tied to the leader in his context! “Our failure to offer a basic framework of spiritual formation has eft people awash in fragments of spiritual truth, missing an integrated vision for following Christ” (155). Comment: People need to be discipled in the basic disciplines of the Christian life. This will serve them we by providing a framework from which they can live and function from.

Disagree: “Culture is the combined effect of the interacting values, thoughts, attitudes, and actions that define the life of your church” (7) Comment: This seems, as Mancini notes, to be hard to define. This would be true and easy for small churches, but the large one get, it seems like it would be harder. Chuck Colson writes, ‘Modern, Christians, especially evangelicals, see the Christian faith primarily if not exclusively as the gospel of Jesus and me” (89). Comment: This does not seem to be true currently.

Since the book was written, in 2008, there has been a movement that focuses on the communal aspect of Christianity. It would a benefit for Mancini to update this in any further editions. More Thought: “Culture is the combined effects of the interacting values, thoughts, attitudes, and actions that define the life of your church” (7). Comment: It is interesting to think that the people, ather than the physical location of the church, develop the culture of the church. Therefore, a local church congregation will have it’s own DNA, due to the individuals that it up.

Leaders must focus on preparation than on planning. Planning relies on predictability. But preparation helps leaders stay clear amid uncertainty” (25). Comment: This comment brings new insight into todays changing culture. The rate of change that takes place is astounding, thus churches should be able to “adapt” to an unpredictable situations. This implies that one’s values and vision is timeless and reproducible. We need vision to raise our sight to see the why behind the program to begin with. Without seeing the more compelling why, we cultivate masters of how.

Their hearts find more meaning in working efficiently on yesterday’s methods than in working effectively into the future” (45). Comment: This seems to be the tragic case of getting stuck looking at the process, rather than the purpose. Purpose will provide reason to the program, keeping the church purpose driven. “The second aspect of collaboration is to develop a healthy respect for personality and temperaments different from our own (65). Comment: This is a great way to help explain the idea of “collaboration.

“The standard for commitment to a decision is not that 80 percent of the team feels 100 percent good about the proposed idea. This often leaves some of the groups feeling disenfranchised. Rather, we define success in reaching an agreed-on decision as 100 percent of the group feeling 80 percent good” (65). Comment: This is a new way of thinking about agreement. It makes sense, since it seems to be impossible to get 80 percent of people to agree fully. In reality, it’s more of a “real” goal to get all people to agree at least to 80 percent.

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