First Presbyterian Church has grown along with the city of Branson, MO -- since the very first days when an old logging camp and train depot became a thriving town. Now FPCB anchors one of the flagship congregations of the city dubbed "The Christian Las Vegas".
FPCB came to us for help developing their vision for the next chapter of their story. It had been a while since they had looked at the Lord's direction for their church and they wanted to review their visiual identity along with their new strategy.
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Recapturing the Story
Due to it's long history, the FPCB congregation had a wealth of stories to draw from. We used the 7-Step refresh process (see below) which begins by building participation. To grow participation FPCB organized multiple venues for people to share the stories of when their church touch on their God-given destiny. Together we launched a vision blog, organized a large team of liasons from the congregation to do story work with every formal and informal group in the church, and planned specially facilitated fellowship dinners to draw in and empower specific groups of constituents.
DOWNLOAD - refresh: Seven Steps to Clarify God's Purpose for your organization.
We used the refresh process for FPCB vision work. Built on 7 key Biblical principles, refresh empowers your organization to clearly hear the story God is crafting for your life together and to execute the steps necessary to walk out the next chapters of your mission. You can download a Process Book that outlines the process on the Refresh Resource Page.
From Story to a Fresh Look
We worked with the vision team to gather and map all the stories of the congregation. As we processed stories together about what God was saying through them, new direction became clear that could be "recast" to leaders and members. Some surprising insights came to the surface and God provided a very clear sense of His unique call on this church and how that story could be told in a new visual look (see logo top right).
We used the free X-mind Mind Mapping Software (see example map below) to capture the hundreds of stories we gathered, organize and process them, and prayerfully draw out meaning and connections.
An Easy-to-Use Website
While FPCB recognized the need for a web update to connect to their members and community, they needed a solution that would allow dynamic communication without eating up all their valuable time. Together we picked the very easy-to-use Wordpress platform for their website. We designed their site according to their vision and trained their staff in its use.
Wordpress is open-source software, so FPCB will always have a license to use it and free one-click updates to keep their site current and secure. Using wordpress also lowers support costs since the large user community can offer long-term training and support along with the year of intesive support included with our web development services.
Watch a quick video about Wordpress and it's massive community:
A Church Tuned for Impact
As the refresh process progressed and matured, ministry leaders and members began approaching the leadership for conversations and coaching about applying the new vision to their area of responsibility -- demonstrating that the church had really come to own the vision. Several entrepreneural adventures are underway as members experiment with how to live out what they have discovered through the process. Even the media took and interest and featured the vision update in the religious section of the local paper.
Here are some of the things FPCB had to say about our process:I love the story we’ve started to shape here. It collects and presents so many of the characteristics we’ve identified in our individual stories about the church. It also paints a clear picture of how God has used us to bless our community and our world. By exploring our church family's story historically, we discovered a new, applicable understanding of our story today and what it may be in the years ahead. " —Tom Wilcox Pastor FPCBWorking through the refresh process with Go Ahead Launch brought the first clear understanding of what God wants First Presbyterian of Branson to be all about. The process insured "buy-in" from all ministry areas and from the congregation and the Go Ahead Launch team was very patient through the entire process. They brought expertise and objectivity to the vision process. I would absolutely recommend them to other organizations looking at going through a re-visioning "refresh" process. " —Jack Herschend Co-Founder - Herschend Enterprises, Member of FPCB
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