Mancini, Church Unique 1: Recasting Vision

I super love this book.  Mancini (founder of Auxano, a church consulting group) presents a stunning look at what’s next after the church leadership model based on business principles and he doesn’t land in a laissez-faire wonderland where pastors no longer have to work hard (he actually says they will have to work harder!).  I ate this up, yet it is not a quick read because it is technical and thorough.  I’m going to break my review/quote collection up into parts, so that it is most useful to me later.

The first part of Church Unique is focused on “Recasting Vision” and talks about the fall of strategic planning and the tendency for churches to cut-and-paste missions and visions.  Mancini effectively calls churches to do the hard work of finding out their God-given identity and God-sized opportunities for gospel advancement.

Here’s some highlights:

  • p. 10, Mancini identifies 6 common dangerous activities/attitudes that keep churches from “thoughtful self-knowledge”: ministry treadmills, the competency trap, needs-based slippery slope (and an addiction to crises), cultural whirlpools (BuzzChurch & StuckChurch), the conference maze and the denominational rut.He also gives a chart of solution-based thinking on p. 16.
  • p.25, refering Reggie McNeal, “Leaders must focus more on preparation than on planning.  Planning relies on predictability.  But preparation helps leaders stay clear amid uncertainty.
  • Mancini does an amazing treatment of the demise of the Strategic Planning process.  It is stellar.  Stellar.

One thought on “Mancini, Church Unique 1: Recasting Vision

  1. I love that you love this. The part about “prepared” vs “planning” really sounds like how I do things. I carry a first aid kit in my car…so I’m prepared. If I had to make you a strategic plan for how I will ever use it…we would miss the point. I have to know what’s in the kit, how each thing is supposed to be used…and how it can be adapted to what I may need… the GO…prepared… but not tied to a moment by moment plan. Who knows how the Lord would lead us if He could count on us being prepared for what HE has for us, instead of us trying to tell HIM what our plans are. Interesting.


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