student ministry, youth worker, youth ministry

Do You Speak Vision?

By Andy Lawrenson November 12, 2012

Young leaders struggle with good communication. They often think they have communicated enough because they said something three times but still their message is not getting through. Having a mission statement and repeating it a few times doesn’t do the trick. Many of the youth workers I interact with want to make it the parents, adult volunteers and church leadership’s problem for not listening, but that won’t fly. Sharp leaders get this early; it’s not how often you say it and it’s how you say it. Example: you are walking to your car after church and someone asks you, “how is the youth ministry going?” You say, “great, we had 50 students here last week.” They think you’re all about numbers and don’t care about students. You didn’t know what to say in such a small window of time so you went right to a measurement they could understand. You think you have given a good answer and they think you are misguided.

If you want to speak vision try preparing a 30 second and 3 minute response to this question, “How is the youth ministry going?” You most likely get this question 10 to 20 times per week and this question gives you a great opportunity to cast the vision with people. Craft an answer like this: “You know… the mission of our youth ministry is ___________ (fill in the blank with your mission statement) so this past week a new student named Bob came to our group. Bob has faced a great deal of trouble in his young life. So we connected him with Steve, one of our small group leaders. Bob is going to his group this week. Could you pray for Bob? He really needs your prayers. Thanks for asking about the youth group.”

Always answer this question by stating your mission and then give a story of how you, your volunteers and students are living out the mission. This simple answer to this frequently asked question can actually do more to share the vision of your ministry then almost anything else you can do. Try it and let me know how it’s going.

About the Author

Andy Lawrenson

Andy Lawrenson¬†has been in student ministry for 26 years both as a volunteer and paid staff member.¬† Andy and his wife, Misha, have been married for 28 years and have three children: a son in middle school and twin eight-year-olds, a boy and girl. Andy loves getting together with other youth pastors to talk about…  Read More