How Churches Use the 3G Method for Growth

The 5 Components of Your Vision

Sometimes a church can feel like a collection of random parts. Multiple ministries that all fight for their own turf without considering the bigger picture. Leaders that are inconsistent in how they lead the people. Confused volunteers who serve sporadically. All of these and more can be signs of an unclear church vision.

So how do we avoid this? By taking time to clarify our vision so people don’t have to guess about what we’re doing and the part they are called to play. At Simple Systems, we believe a clear vision has five major components that answer five basic questions.

#1 Your Mission: What do you exist to do?

This is the major thing you need to make clear for your church and for those you are called to serve. We know all Christian churches share the same basic mission as given in Matthew 28. However, with the broad nature of Christian ministry, you must learn to put language to the unique way your church is called to live out that mission. Your mission tells the potential new members who you are and what you’re about.

Is your church about developing people to send them out? If so, your mission could be “to make, develop, and empower transformed disciples of Jesus Christ.” Is your church focused on inviting people into a family? Your mission could be “to love God by loving people.” Whatever your unique calling is, put it into clear words so others don’t have to guess.

A clear mission helps the right people connect to your church by early understanding what they’re signing up for. Give them, and yourself, the gift of clarity.

#2 Your Values: What Motivates Us to Do Ministry?

Values give language to the internal motives of your church. It’s how you break down and describe your church culture. Think of values as a description of the collective convictions of the church. These values create boundaries for you, your team, and all of the people who will be a part of the church. Here you can use words, phrases, or even questions to express your values.

I recommend keeping your values to 7 or less. You want people to be able to remember these values and live them out as they walk with you. Consider how your values can support your mission. A church with a focus on outreach could have a value like “Tangible Compassion”. A church focused on disciple-making could have the value of “We Build People”. Think about how you could express the things that motivate your church.

#3 Your Pathway: How Will We Accomplish Our Mission?

Your pathway is an outlined map of how your church will move people from where they are to where you’re taking them. Think of it this way. If you’re going on a family vacation, you need to have a clear sense of direction. The driver needs to know where they’re going so the passengers can get excited about the trip. Your ministry pathway designs the journey people will take so they know your intention of them and so your team knows how to execute the mission.

To clarify your pathway, sketch out the ideal journey a new person would take when they connect with your church. Think of it this way, how would a new person go from first-time guest to a ministry leader? Write down every step they would need to take, then work to condense that into a few steps. For example, your process could include 1. Attending a worship service. 2. Attending a discipleship class. 3. Joining a small group. 4. Serving on a team. Those four simple steps could help new people jumpstart their journey and get connected with your church.

#4 Your Signs: How Will We Know When We Are Succeeding?

Signs are indicators that we are moving in the right direction. They let us know where we are in relationship to where we are going. If you are starting a road trip in Atlanta, GA and you want to go to Orlando, FL, signs pointing to Memphis, TN let you know that you’re headed in the wrong direction!

So, here is the big question: What will you measure? Most churches measure attendance and budget. While those can be indicators, they can serve more byproducts than goals. With signs, you get to define the actions you want to see within the church that mark you are accomplishing the mission. That’s vital. The mission is the goal, not comparison to the church down the street. Salvations, volunteers, small groups, testimonies, friendships, all of these could be signs towards your mission.

#5 Your Goals: How Will We Build Momentum Towards The Mission?

Goals give practical application to specific tasks we want to accomplish as we move towards our mission. They give you an opportunity to unite the staff, leaders, volunteers, and congregation around a clear sense of direction. As goals are accomplished, they continue to help build momentum to accomplish even larger things.

I love to break goals down by time periods. What could we do in 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, and 1 year? In this format, our 1-year goal is the main thing we want to accomplish this year, and all other goals lead us in that direction.

If your church could accomplish 1 big thing this year, what would it be?

Your vision deserves a fair chance, but you must be willing to clarify it for others. Give yourself and your team the gift of clarity. When your vision is clear, you will see a greater sense of purpose and connectivity as you move to accomplish your god-given vision.

Henry Tolbert

"The Simple Systems Guy"

[email protected]


“Most churches struggle to reach numerical and financial growth, so at Simple Systems, we help you and your team build the systems that foster spiritual growth. When you foster spiritual growth, your church can see numerical and financial growth happen more easily.” 

In the past year, 42% of pastors have considered leaving the ministry. 

The reasons vary. Some are overwhelmed, some over worked, some just plain tired.

That's why we created the CHURCH SYSTEMS BOOTCAMP. It's a coaching program where we help leaders grow their church with our burning out the leaders or using complicated marketing strategies. 

We introduce leaders to the 3G Model and how churches are already using it to grow.

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