Posted by: Chris Sandel | June 8, 2008

Making Vision Stick

We were relaxing this afternoon so I sat down and read this short little book, Making Vision Stick, by Andy Stanley.  It is the perfect size for me since it is small enough to easily read in one or two sittings (only 74 small pages).  It was a fitting book to read right now as we’re preparing to take a fresh look at the vision for our Jr. High ministry.

Every summer is a time of evaluation for our ministry as we look at the previous school year and plan for how we can do better in the year to come.  Right now though, I’m preparing to lead our ministry through an even deeper form of evaluation.  It might better be described as reinvention.  When I got to West Side in 2003 I pulled together a few leaders for an overnight retreat at which we setup the basic philosophy and structure of our ministry.  We decided to call ourselves Student Explosion and we came up with our mission statement, “Igniting Students’ passion for Christ, Refining their relationships with God and Equipping them to impact their world.”  We also laid the groundwork to kick off three main programs for students: Implosion (our Sunday AM teaching time), Fuel (our small groups) and Aftershock (an outreach program).  Over the last few years though, a lot of things have changed.  Our small groups look totally different than they used to, we no longer have Aftershock and we’ve started something called SEAL teams (student serving teams) that we’re emphasizing right now. 

This summer I’ll be getting with some of our leaders to form a new vision.  We aren’t really looking to change our ministry name or totally change up all of our programs (though we will be open to change).  What we really want to do is crystalize what it is that we want our ministry to be and how we can communicate that to our students and families.  I think in the past our mission statement tried to encompass everything.  While we obiviously want to try to do a number of different things, I really think we need clarify what it is that is most important to us and then come up with some ways to measure how we’re doing in those areas. 

I guess this hasn’t been much of a book review but it is what I’ve been thinking about as I’ve read.  I’d definitely recommend the book though.  It offers some great points and good illustrations to go along with them.  (Side Note: there are tons of leadership books that often offer a lot of the same points.  I think for me they more serve as good reminders and they can spark my thinking in different ways at different times.)  Best of all it is short so if you’re someone like me who hadn’t read much you can make it all the way through.

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