I described vision as a dream in my previous post. Another way of looking at it is to call it a target.
I learned archery when I was at Bible camp as a teenager. I was taught to use my bow and arrow properly, and then I was shown a target. I aimed my bow at the target and hoped I wouldn’t lob the arrow into the air above the bales of hay! The target was something to aim at.
A vision statement is a target. It is what you are aiming for in your children’s ministry. Having a single target gives all volunteers the same thing to aim for.
How do you find the right target for your children’s ministry? For the rest of this vision-creating series, I’m going to teach you how to develop a vision statement that is specific to your church.
Step One – Brainstorming
Plan a brainstorming day for the children’s ministry leaders and volunteers in your church. If you are the sole children’s ministry leader, invite the volunteers to join you. Brainstorming is possible by yourself, but much more fun as a group. Try and have leaders/volunteers from all areas of children’s ministry involved – Sunday School, mid-week clubs, nursery, VBS, etc.
Pray together. Ask God to give you wisdom and the freedom to dream big for the kids in your care.
If possible, use a whiteboard or chalkboard or flipchart. Draw a child (I’m not an artist – a stick figure will work!) Write “I am 12 yrs old” above the drawing. Tell the group, “Let’s pretend that this is a child who has graduated out of children’s ministry. What do you want them to be like?” Or use a picture of a baby who is currently in your nursery. “When Julie finishes grade 6, what do you want her to be like?”
Ask the group to share what they want kids to be like once they leave children’s ministry. How do they want the kids to act and speak and think? Write it all down. Nothing is silly or unimportant. It is important during brainstorming to make sure everyone agrees on the rules – all ideas are written down, no idea is made fun of.
Here are some examples of the types of things that might be shared: love God’s Word; have a big picture of who God is; understand the gospel; love others; pray for their enemies; love God; follow Jesus.
Once everyone has shared, look again at what you have written. Start to circle or highlight things that are mentioned more than once. This is where the bones of your vision statement will come from. You may notice that the same 1 or 2 ideas keep popping up. In that case a vision statement like this might emerge, “Kids who know, love, and follow Jesus.”
This is also the time to see if you can group any thing into larger categories. For example, if there are a lot of ideas like, “Love others, pray for your enemies; give generously; think of others…” then they can be grouped into a larger category called “Loving Others,” or “Loving People.” In this case a vision statement like this might emerge, “Kids who love God and love people.”
You are now ready to move on to step 2. Step 2 will be outlined in my next post.
How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part one – Brainstorm, Part two – Create a single sentence vision statement, Part three – Get the word out.