The opportunity for today's church is to be open to the power and promise of God's vision of the future. What is called for is not simply the creation of a vision statement as a planning tool, but a communal process of discernment that inspires, hones, and gives back to the church the capacity for dreaming.

A communal process of discernment invites a congregation to slow down and step back, to take time to listen to one another in a process of exploring and sharing hopes and dreams. The goal is not simply to discover the vision of key leaders or even of the community as a whole, but to discern together God's vision for the church's life and ministry.

The usual methods of efficient, rational, and democratic decision-making are inadequate. Instead communal discernment involves movement and passion; it is a process of studying, praying, singing and dreaming together.

A vision initiates movement. Unlike writing objective mission statements, a vision involves passion, a deep emotional commitment to new possibilities. Vision energizes the church. The vision like a magnet, draws the congregation into the future.