Who are you sending out into the world? That’s the question you need to answer when a teenager leaves your youth ministry for the next stage of life. The answer needs to be a fully committed follower of Jesus Christ ready to go and make disciples. To get there you need vision.
Without vision your teens, your ministry and your church will fall apart. I know that sounds like a lot of pressure, because it is. While it’s not only up to us, it is something in which youth ministers have a huge impact. You need a vision that helps the next generation grow the church deeper and wider.
To create vision is more than crafting a fancy statement. It also means that you know:
- Where You Are Going. 5, 10, 15 years from now what does your youth ministry look like? What do you want it to look like? What type of disciples are you producing? Because your youth ministry is a movement it needs a destination. So, where do you feel God is asking you to take it?
- The Details. Sometimes we leave our visions too broad. In order for it to be memorable, you need to be able to unwrap the many layers that goes into one. If you are creating a ministry that produces disciples of Christ, what do they look like? What values do they hold and habits do they embrace? Be descriptive and imaginative.
- Why It Matters. Anyone can create a catchy vision; however, does it matter to your community. A vision is personal and should fit your parish community. What obstacles do you need to overcome? What needs to change? Why are people lost? A vision answers the question of what is missing in your community. If it doesn’t matter, then it’s irrelevant.
Creating a vision takes prayer, it takes dreaming and assistance from others. As you craft your vision it’s important not to hold onto it. Instead release it by:
- Having Others Buy In. As the leader you might be championing the vision; however, you need others on board. Allow people to weigh in on the vision, to give their two cents. Talk about what it means to each other. When you have others in on the vision they can help you take it to a new level.
- Feeding It Into Everything. Your vision will catch if it’s obvious, clear and repeated. Your vision should be folded into your communications, your literature and interactions. Your vision needs to be casted to your volunteers, the parents and teens in your ministry. Make it flow through your ministry.
- Measuring It. To know whether or not you are heading in the right direction you have to track progress. That means talking about the milestones and fruit that will come from your labor. While it’s easier to be more critical, do not forget to celebrate accomplishments.
Vision is the most important part of your ministry. With vision you will recruit leaders, get buy in from the parents and motivate teenagers to go deeper in their faith. Vision will make your ministry a movement and that movement will assist in the growth of God’s kingdom.
How are you crafting and casting vision?