In Episode 10 of Practical Multiplication, Myron and Ralph interviewed Keri Ladouceur, founder of New Ground Network and Multiplication Pastor at Vineyard Christian Church. Keri’s impressive resumé not only in the church, but in the business world, made her a fantastic interview for how ministries can see their mission fulfilled. Her ability to keep disciple-making the focus, while implementing best-practices from corporate America, was impressive and fascinating.
“How do we see our mission fulfilled?” was the question that framed it all. Keri would say vision is required, but dreaming is often it’s replacement.
Vision or Dream?
Keri’s expertise revolved around the organization of dreaming. Most people have dreams, some people have vision, but few can take it past that.
“Vision without strategy is just a dream,” Keri stated when asked about vision. Most people dream, but how do we take it past that? She laid out the layers of implementation and how leaders often miss at each level.
It all starts with Mission. “What’s the thing that makes you excited when your feet hit the floor?” she asked. “It’s the ‘Why?’”
And the most profound, yet humbling, thing she taught us about mission is it’s a selfless venture.
“We may never see it fulfilled in our lifetime,” Keri stated. The weight of that statement hung. Is that okay? Are we willing to still sign up for that? Can we give our lives to something we might never see come to fruition?
Keri can. And she thinks we should too.
Below Mission, which never changes, is Vision. And vision is a piece that can change with times and circumstances. Vision is the ‘What?’
Vision requires clarity and synergy in order to go “farther, faster” Keri noted. Our vision is what we want others to rally around, not necessarily our gifting.
But usually, it stops at Vision. It’s wishful thinking that we offer in order to see it through. But we need Strategy.
“Strategy is the how.” And it shouldn’t be reduced down to tactics.
Keri gave this practical example:
A strategy is wanting to engage people with your church, even if they won’t initially come into your church. She said we often confuse that idea with one simple tactic. Like “Trunk or Treat.” Trunk or Treat is a tactic that is an outworking of a broader strategy. Tactics change with the wind, but a strategy should be seen through for a time.
“Sometimes you have to ride it out,” Keri noted, reminding everyone of her Enneagram number 8. “I love to change…but changing too much is an easy way to lose credibility.”
Finally, there are goals. Or metrics. Goals ask, “How will we measure that?” Goals are the most forgotten aspect in the church.
When she first came into the church, fresh from the business-world, she was astonished. “No one was asking if this was working.”
And it makes sense. Asking if something is working might mean we have to say it’s not. And Christians can’t take away something…can we?
All three of them would say we can. And that a good leader must. Change management is part of the job description. And it doesn’t have to just hurt, but it can also grow.
“We miss inviting people into the tension of following Jesus,” Keri said of avoiding the tense moments. And it isn’t an “Enneagram 8” thing, they all agreed. It’s a leader thing.
“Mission is a marathon,” Keri said.
The question is how to stay in the race long enough to win.