They changed the logo and kept the vision! A former church I pastored got rid of my cool looking logo and went back to their old one. I could not understand it. Why not keep both or get rid of both? I was perplexed.

After thinking it over for a few months,I finally understood . It was all about buy-in. They were invested in the vision, but not the logo. They were invited into a conversation about the vision, but not about the logo. The difference between the two were my leadership.

Here is what happened in each case:

Changing the Logo

“I” changed the logo. I had help, but I didn’t discuss it with our leadership team. Another staff member and I talked about it, looked for better options, and then we just changed it. Never did I ask about the creation of the old logo or seek to understand it.

All I knew was that “we”  didn’t like it. I was the leader, right? I was supposed to make decisions like that, right? There was nothing in the by-laws prohibiting it. So, I did.

And they changed it back. I left on Monday, and by Tuesday, I saw that the old logo on Facebook.

My new logo was just that — mine. It wasn’t their logo. I forced my logo upon them. It wasn’t even consistent throughout the church. It was on the screen and the weekly bulletins. But, it never was put on the church vans or on the building signage. Those things take money. So, I implemented it where I could.

Vision Buy-In

But we changed the vision. I invited an outside leader to take us through a strategic planning process. That “us” was comprised of staff, deacons, and team leads. Not all participated, but five or six did.

We discovered who we were and how God had uniquely gifted our small church. We took into consideration our local context, which was pre-dominantly oilfield production and service companies, and changed the vision statement to “Loving God. Serving People.” (I still remember it even after being gone for nearly two years!)

They paid the other leader handsomely. They kept the vision after this pastor and his logo left. I suspect they will keep that vision through the next 50 years worth of pastors.

Here is what I learned about creating team buy-in:

Leadership Is Not About Superheroes

You cannot do it all. The comic books get this. X-Men, Avengers, Justice League, and Guardians of the Galaxy are all teams with unique individuals that collectively can fight other-worldly powers. Leader, listen to me. If no one is with you, you are not leading.

Invite People into the Conversation

Listen to their ideas. Just hearing someone out is powerful. If you can lead the discussion, great! If not, hire or borrow someone who can. The person who leads the discussion is not as important as the discussion itself.

Give Them Ownership

By inviting them into the conversation, you are giving them intrinsic value and worth. You are giving them the vision even though they don’t know what it is. If they are helping you create it, they inherently own it. (That’s tweetable no matter who you are!) If you own anything, it is because you bought it or someone gave it to you. A good leader gives vision to people in such a way that they buy it. And then that vision is doubly theirs.

Cody Deevers

Cody Deevers

Cody Deevers is the pastor of Valley Life | Arrowhead. He is a regular writer for LifeWay Pastors.