What forms your vision? How do you evaluate how you’re doing? I’m afraid for a lot of us, and fa lot of our churches, it’s our critics. When we’re told that we can’t do something or when someone lets us know they don’t like what we’re doing, we change course.

But I was just thinking: Every year a movie is declared the best movie of the year by people who know. So I just looked up the last seven winners of the best picture award to see whether those movies also received bad reviews. They did:

  • The Artist: 2% bad reviews. One critic said, “… ignores everything that’s memorable about the silent film era.”
  • The King’s Speech: 5% bad reviews. One critic said, “a decorous bit of middlebrow mush”
  • The Hurt Locker: 3% bad reviews. One critic said, “Don’t believe the hype. This is a cliche-ridden mess…”
  • Slumdog Millionaire: 6% bad reviews. One critic said, “A conceit that grows horribly stale.”
  • No Country For Old Men: 5% bad reviews. One critic said, “I just don’t like it very much.”
  • The Departed: 7% bad reviews. One critic said, “over two hours of excessive overkill.”
  • Crash: 24% bad reviews. One critic said, “Obnoxious, hollow, and not at all smart or important as it thinks it is.”

What does that mean? Even if you live your life in an amazing way, even if your church is in the realm of perfect, still there are going to be some critics, some naysayers, some people who say crap about you. So if there’s something to learn from your critics, learn it. But beyond that, ignore it and ignore them.

And to do that you need to be absolutely clear about your vision, your values, your strategy, and how you measure success. That gives you a more objective standard from which you can evaluate. It’s why you need what Will Mancini calls a vision frame. You can get all kinds of help developing your vision frame from his book Church Unique, and if you want coaching from Auxano, let us know.