Are you leading with photocopied vision or a kingdom calling that is stunningly unique?
Because it is easier to duplicate than to incarnate, many leaders often succumb to neglecting their church’s unique calling. The first part of Church Unique shows the need for a dramatic shift in how leaders think about vision today. Will Mancini skillfully reveals how “unoriginal sin” plagues the church environment through photo-copied vision. This problem is enhanced by the craze of church conferencing, the fallacies of strategic planning, and the church growth assumptions of yesteryear. With a rigorous treatment of the state of congregations “lost” without vision, part one then sets the stage for the discernment and development of missional vision in the next three parts of the book. The movement reflects a shift from vision as content to vision as lifestyle, represented by the chart below
Foreword From Max Lucado
Uniqueness permeates God’s plan. From galaxies to sandbanks, fossils to snowflakes, each element is unique. God’s unrivaled creation soars with originality. So do His children. Each of us is a fresh version of His creativity. No two of us are identical. Each person is a unique compilation of DNA, environment, and circumstances. No one replicates anyone.
Elements of nature: unique. His children: unique.
Our Lord loves to do all things new. Why would we expect Him to act differently with His church? Will Mancini says we shouldn’t. In the volume you hold, he urges us to see each congregation as a one-of-a-kind creation. Each band of followers is distinct from every other. Each congregation plays the music a bit differently. Even if it plays the same piece as the group down the street, the music emerges uniquely because the musicians are not the same. Smart conductors discover the sound within their band and exploit it.
Wise church leaders do so as well. This book steers us away from the latest conference fads toward innate congregational strengths. If you are looking for a one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy church, try another book. If you are ready to roll up your sleeves and seek the uniqueness of God s presence in your fellowship, this is your tool.
Will Mancini skillfully engages virtually all of the great ideas and opinions that are being employed today. He methodically distills and reorders them in a way that makes vision more than a statement. In many ways, this book is the missing link to all the chatter regarding church strategy. It is a unique approach in a saturated discipline, a both – and approach yet still simple. If you think your church doesn’t need this book, read Chapter Four. If you think you don ’ t have time for such a book, read Chapter Nine. Will works through the mixed messages and synthesizes the compelling truths with the simplicity and clarity he demands from the churches he works with.
We speak from experience. The Auxano team has led our church — Oak Hills Church, San Antonio — through this process. Although we are still piecing things together, we see a clearer vision emerging. May you discover the same.