Is that they can be too linear.  Having titled this my uneasiness with some vision/purpose statements, let me say that I think I'd rather have a bad one that people worked towards than be completely direction-less.  With no statement of vision or purpose of values there is no way to judge what competing demands are more worthwhile to spend time and money on.  So things like youth leader training funding get cut while flower budgets get increased.

What I mean by saying they can be too linear is that sometimes they sound like this:  We do A to achieve B in order that C will happen.  e.g. we reach people, to restore people and then we release people to reach people... and on it goes.

The classic Australian youth ministry model is a bit like this, we bring them in, build them up and send them out.

My feeling is that in reality sometimes B happens then A and C happen together or any number of other possibilities, not to mention those unforeseen ones.  That is sometimes we bring them in and send them out at the same time and then build them up later or whatever might happen.

I've never quite figured out how to work out a statement that is fluid enough and complex enough to better reflect the realities of life, yet is simple enough to encapsulate what your organisation or ministry is trying to do.

When I was studying public policy we talked about normative and descriptive policy making descriptions or theories.  That is someone would say public policy is made like this, first A happens then B then C.  This was usually called a normative theory because it didn't really reflect reality, but rather what should happen in an ideal world.  Others would have more complex descriptive models which tried to describe what actually happened in every day life.

I believe our vision statements have to be normative, in that they describe what our organisation should be like, but that they should be robust enough and big enough to also be somewhat descriptive, in that they describe or represent the realities of life and ministry.

I'm thinking out loud here...

Does anyone else feel my uneasiness?  Or even understand what I'm trying to say here?