As a new school year begins many churches will also begin new programs in discipleship and family ministries. Some will begin new curriculum in their Sunday School classes or small groups. Many children’s ministries and youth programs will start new teaching series. This is the ideal time to communicate you vision with new volunteers and reemphasize for your tried and true volunteers both the “what” and “why” of the ministry.
It can be very easy for a leader to simply skim over the vision and focus instead on the task that needs to be accomplished. This can happen when your volunteers don’t really change and you have the same core group participating in most events and ministries.
However, we ALL need to be refocused and reminded that the why behind the ministry is even more important than the what of the task. As leaders we have to continue to cast big picture vision while paying attention to the details of the tasks that we want to seen done well.
So why is it so important to cast a strong vision for our volunteers? Andy Stanley defines vision as “A mental picture of what could be, fueled by a passion that it should be.” It is our job as leaders to continue to put before our volunteers, and especially those we expect to lead others, a picture of what we are working toward and the passion of why we are doing it.
Knowing and embracing the vision will help your volunteers stick around. When they are all on the same page working on a team, instead of working and serving toward individual preferences, great things can happen. Teamwork takes place and unity develops when the vision is clear. Your volunteers develop stronger and more meaningful, connections and they want to stay and serve because they are part of something they believe in.
When your volunteers know the vision and make it their own, then they begin to cast that vision to others. This organically helps recruit new volunteers. When your volunteers are serving as a team and enjoying what they do, it shows and is contagious. Other people will decide they want to be part of the team too!
Doing the important job of casting vision isn’t hard, but taking these 3 steps will help you keep your vision in front of your volunteers.
1) Communicate clearly. Vision doesn’t have to be complicated. The more simple you keep it the easier it will be for volunteers to remember it and share it with others. There’s a reason Twitter is so popular. 140 characters keeps things simple, and people like that. Keep it simple!
2) Communicate often. Hopefully you already make communication with your volunteers a priority, but if not, now is the time to start! You should be meeting with your team of volunteer leaders often and in those meetings make sure they understand the vision and can verbalize it. When they weekly contact the volunteers they are responsible for, they should communicate the vision. Repeat the vision at volunteer events, in all of your emails, and in your huddles before serving. If it is simple, then it will be easy and quick to repeat anytime you have communication with your volunteers.
3) Celebrate together. We all like to know we’re successful in what we’re spending our time and energy doing. Share with your volunteers stories of successes. Encourage them to let you know when they hear stories of life change or ways the ministry has positively impacted someone’s life. Hearing the positive stories and successes is empowering, motivating, and inspiring.
Vision casting doesn’t have to be hard, but if done with clarity and consistency it can be a powerful game changer in the culture of your ministry.
What can you start doing this week as a leader to intentionally cast vision?