For a vision statement to truly affect the behavior and future success of your Family of Parishes, it must be continuously communicated and referenced. A communication strategy should include initial announcements, incorporation into all social media and future homilies, and reinforcing your vision in Family meetings. We recommend using the following five P’s:
Roll out your vision statement with a full explanation of how your vision statement was created, why your vision statement was chosen, how it will be used going forward and how you anticipate the vision will impact your Family’s activities and ecclesial culture. Much of this language can come from the earlier steps in this process. This explanation should follow the Kotter five-minute rule, meaning that, in five minutes or less, someone should be able to explain your vision statement in a way that the listener understands and can accept it.
Add your vision statement to your website(s) (with explanation from above), bulletin(s), business cards, letterhead and any other Family communications.
As part of the initial rollout of your vision statement, meet with and explain your vision statement to as many people in your Family of Parishes as possible. Start with all councils and commissions, all Family staff, ministry leaders and in-Family town hall meetings. All Family staff and leaders should eventually be able to explain and refer to your vision statement.
Incorporate your vision statement into future meetings. We recommend starting all meetings with not only prayer but also an open discussion of your vision statement or a core value for your Family of Parishes. This can be done simply by showing a slide of your vision statement and asking meeting participants the following questions:
This is a proven method to reinforce a vision within any type of organization.
The single best place your pastor, as the leader of your Family of Parishes, can communicate with parishioners is from the ambo in a homily. As part of rolling out your new vision statement, we recommend sharing your vision statement at all Masses and explaining its importance and impact on the future activities of your Family. But this cannot be done only once. The theme of your vision statement, if not the specific words, should be part of future homilies from that point on. When preaching duties are shared, this can be done by defining key themes from your vision statement that all preachers will incorporate into future preaching.
This process will take time, as it takes years to change hearts. Preach regularly from your vision statement. Refer to your vision statement in bulletin announcements, in meetings with staff and lay leaders and when announcing changes within your Family.
Expect resistance! Change won’t happen overnight.