Monday, August 5, 2013

Sharing your ministry vision

 If you follow my blog, you will know that I am mostly a writer of everything children and family ministry, with a few pieces on general leadership. However, when it comes to vision casting I truly believe this blog is relevant in many forms.

Anyone in leadership of a business, family, ministry or organization will have to cast a vision at some point. Why is vision casting necessary? The answer to this question alone may very well guide you to the how. If you answer the "why" with something that sounds like this: "To build and equip the body of Christ to continue the work of spreading the gospel", then I think you will get some good tools here. If your answer is "Because pastor doesn't want kids in the service, and I may lose my mind", I have some tips for you too!

In children's ministry we are always needing to cast vision, in fact I don't think this process ever stops. We need parents, teachers, and fellow ministry workers to be able to see the goal with us, to make it happen.  As leaders, everything we want to see accomplished requires the buy in of others, this is what will give your vision feet over time.

So where do you start? Here are some basic tips to assist in casting your vision.

1. Find out your Sr. Pastor's vision for your ministry, and get behind it. While I am sure there will be variations based on your style, you are most likely to attain your goal with his support. And you have your first buy in! After all, it was his idea. (wink wink!)

2. Make sure your vision is not a task. (go ahead, read it again) Your vision should be an end result that can be backed by scripture, not a "to do list" that any person in or outside the church could do. Does the success of the vision produce a mobilized servant of Jesus?

3. Let them see it. For example; this summer we revamped some of the things we do with our summer campers. Our world is crazy and I felt God's leading to reassure kids that He is with them. Instead of telling the counselors that we needed more Bible study or delegating a task, I reminded them of the things that had taken place in our world and showed them how it affects children. The training became a conversation of how this affects us spiritually and how we can teach them to rely on God in all the different ways we interact. The vision I was seeing, was never spoken to them, the key was to share the need and they saw the vision for themselves.

4. Let them own it. Those counselors mentioned above, they are actually concluding the last week of our program as I write this blog. I have seen love, tears, new bonds, and passion this summer in ministry. They were able to take the ideas from that day and the tools we gave them to have a summer of us all working toward one mark. They were able to own a piece of this ministry, and leave their fingerprint. If your vision is always just your vision, you were unsuccessful.

5. Celebrate! When you have reached your goal, celebrate this team. Those core people who saw your heart and came alongside you as they shared this vision will most likely be people who will stand with you during many more experiences in ministry.

There are times in ministry I can honestly say that I thought I was on the right track, I thought I was pursuing a direction for all the right reasons. The willingness to step back and assess whether this is my vision or God's has been a lesson well learned. Having people in our lives to assist or be a voice of reason is something I believe God intended. Acts 2:17 talks about "the old men dreaming dreams, and the young seeing visions".  I think all ministry leaders should get with someone who has had a few years ahead of them and talk ministry, I can guarantee that you will be inspired!

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