The preferred future canvas helps you identify the eight elements of your preferred future. As you read Chapters 5-12 in What Comes Next?, take some time to consider how you identify (chapter 5), relate to others (chapter 6), and belong in community (chapter 7) so that you can gather together (chapter 8) to design solutions (chapter 9) and collaborate with others (chapter 10) to scale your vision (chapter 11) in order to have an impact (chapter 12) on the world. You can download the preferred future canvas and capture your thoughts.
Write down the current mission statement for your business, ministry, or organization.
Identity is fundamental to our human experience and at the core of human activity. Identity is about you and us—all at the same time. It’s part of who we are individually, as well as the groups of which we’re members. So, how do you identify? To start, list all of the roles and titles that you have on your team or in your community. Then consider the identify of your organization – who do you say you are?
Pursuing and developing authentic relationships with others is a vital, core component of the good work you’re doing as a leader in your organization, church, or ministry. When you take the time to prioritize and deepen these connections, they’ll help to keep you grounded for the future. So, take a moment now to determine with whom you need to connect – both individually and as an organization.
We often seek belonging before we can believe in a better future. But, once you and those you lead have chosen to belong, you’re usually ready to believe. Take a moment now to define how you’ll belong or how you’ll create a place for others to belong. Consider the possible barriers that prevent those in your community from belonging.
Many of us have assumptions about where and why our communities come together. What does this look like when almost everything is online? How is the distinction between local and global being redefined in a world where everything’s connected? More importantly, what does this mean for our customers, our partners, our members? How do you gather today and would you choose to gather any differently in the future?
The day in, day out work of leaders is to solve problems facing their communities. As we architect our futures, we learn how to respond to the forces driving change by putting yourself in the shoes of those we serve. Based on the work you have already done in the previous chapters to identify in Christ, connect with others, belong in community, and gather virtually, who design approach will you use? See Chapter 9 for more details!
None of us can do it alone. Who cares about the same goals you care about? Who serves the same populations or shares the same objectives? Technology has enabled collaboration at an unprecedented speed and scale. Who can you co-labor with to create something you can’t create alone? Try to think beyond the first idea that naturally pops into your head. In reality, there might be great potential in collaborating with a different type of church, a secular organization, or city government.
Size is not the measure of success – but almost every initiative could impact more people and communities than we imagine. How can you invite others to contribute to our purpose, and start a movement using technology? At this point, crystallize how you can start small to scale your vision.
Now take the eight elements of your preferred future, and craft one sentence that summarizes your preferred future.
Real impact comes from the execution of your vision as you keep your eyes fixed on the future God has set in your heart. The world yearns for the audacity of leaders with a better vision for the future, the heart to gather a crew and embark on an uncertain voyage, and the skill and courage to build a new rocket to get there. You possess an extraordinary opportunity to leave a lasting transformational impact on the world, and it’s just a matter of getting started. What impact do you want to have?