“Why the delay?”

an open letter to the National Directors from Founder Paul Gibbs

As you will remember, during our last Global Summit, we decided that we needed to streamline our vision statement. Not only was it too long but we have grown significantly in our understanding of what believe God has called Pais to do since we created it. I was then given the mandate to write and propose a new version that better outlines what has been put on our hearts and minds… the vision that we are working towards.

So why the delay?

I can imagine that some of you are surprised by how long this is taking me, not just because I am a bit of a wordsmith but because one of my personal traits is that I tend to move fast. This gives Pais momentum as we usually respond very quickly to new ideas or when we receive insights. Yet, for once, I am really taking my time over this and I thought it might be helpful to explain why.

I have made this an open-letter as there are other leaders that I regularly mentor/teach/advise who may find the following helpful to them.

One: Vision moves on.

For me, vision is a moving target. As you have heard me say before, vision comes from an awkward conversation with God. So when we stop asking Him questions or allow Him to challenge us with new ones, the vision can dry up, become static and old. So we as Pais we do not stop, we keep the conversation going. However, this means I need to find words that not only describe what is happening today but what we believe will still be suitable several years from now… so I’ve been spending time in that conversation and imagining what the future may look like.

Two: We need more than the statement.

Importantly; during this process, I received something of an epiphany. A strategy came to mind for sparking a movement, a three step process to see our vision realized. I felt I got some wisdom on what the next step is and, just as importantly, how to explain it. So when I present the statement it will come with this simple strategy as well. This is taking a little time to phrase correctly but the strategy may more helpful to us that the statement alone.

Three: It’s too big.

To be honest, this has become perhaps the biggest reason for the delay. If I really shared what I believe we are being called to do, I am concerned that many will dismiss it out of hand as too outrageous. So I’m seeking words that will inspire without losing those who may not initially have the faith to believe for it.

Four: It’s awkward.

I need to be careful about the wording as I do not want it to alienate those we are seeking to serve by using words with connotations other than those we actually mean. We have floated around phrases that may do more harm than good and may box us into the ‘trend of the day’. So I am going to avoid them in order that our vision cannot be misunderstood unless someone purposely wants to misunderstand it.

Five: It’s a theme, not a target.

I am aware that you know this but some visions tend to be a target… a number, a building, an event etc. Something that is tied to a place, time or organizational structure. Our vision is both global and extensive. It is not limited to such a target. We don’t want to focus on a number, building or event but something more omnipresent. Our motto: ‘Missionaries Making Missionaries” applies to our organization, our neighborhood, our families, those we partner with, the denominations and networks we input into… it is who we are no matter where we are… our Vision statement must therefore do the same. I am therefore spending extra time making sure they fit together.

These are just five reasons why this is taking time, however, here is the good news… I’m almost ready to share my ideas.

So watch this space and I’ll see you at the Global Summit 2018 soon 🙂


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