After finishing the all-church announcements one Sunday morning, I sat down next to my wife and whispered, “I just don’t like doing announcements. They always feel so anticlimactic. What’s wrong with me?”
With a hint of sarcasm in her voice, she replied, “That’s because every time you go on stage, you want people’s lives to be changed, even as a result of your announcements. Announcements are just announcements. Stop over thinking it.”
As youth leaders who are passionate about gospel advancement, we want to see the gospel advancing through everything we do—even during announcements! After all, we are sold out on the idea that reaching students with the gospel can change the world we live in. But oftentimes we struggle with how to effectively advance the gospel in and through our students.
Try This! ❯
In your lesson this week, tie your students’ practical application back into your ministry’s bold vision statement.
We write out our bold vision and announce it at youth group, only to end up with little or no response. But developing a bold vision is about more than just writing it down on a piece of paper and announcing it at youth group. Getting everyone onboard with your Gospel Advancing Ministry’s vision requires an effective vision casting strategy. Here are four essentials when it comes to effectively casting your bold vision.
1. Get the support of your church leadership
The more people supporting your bold vision, the better! Set up a time to meet with your lead pastor, as well as church leadership, and present your bold vision. Having leadership behind you can help accelerate your efforts. Prepare well for the meeting and have the vision memorized. Include some specific action steps in your presentation. Reserve some time at the end to take questions. Ask your leadership to commit to praying for the vision. Consider bringing some leaders (especially student leaders) to help cast your vision. A student leader presenting a gospel advancing bold vision will impact church leadership more deeply than you presenting it on your own!
2. Train your leaders
Like you, leaders in youth ministry genuinely want students to become disciple makers. Having a bold vision gives them something to rally behind. You not only want to have your leaders speak into the ministry’s vision, you also want them to be a part of the vision casting. Make it a point to talk regularly about the vision during leadership meetings and consistently pray together for your vision. Over-communicate your vision to the leaders before casting it to the students, so that when you eventually cast your bold vision, all of your leaders will be able to reinforce it. This will help your students buy-in and follow your leadership.
3. Don’t announce the vision, cast it
After your church leadership and youth ministry leaders are onboard with your bold vision, don’t just announce it in youth group; come up with a vision-casting strategy that actually calls your students to action. Try to think outside of the box. For instance, consider dedicating an entire service to casting your bold vision. Or invite parents and other church members to youth group on the night you’ll be casting the vision to your students. Keeping the vision on the minds of church members and parents helps promote accountability, prayer and involvement. In fact, having others present at your vision-casting meeting provides a natural opportunity to communicate any needs you may have. Then, after your initial launch of your vision, take the time to regularly talk about it during youth group meetings. As you craft your messages each week, include application points that tie back into the vision. This will help move it from an abstract idea to a concrete, ongoing initiative.A bold vision calls people to action. Click To Tweet
4. Curriculum that drives your vision
A bold vision for any Gospel Advancing Ministry includes some element of evangelism and new conversion growth—each of which requires gospel conversations. So incorporate curriculum that will inspire and equip your students to become disciples who make disciples. As you plan out your vision-driven annual calendar, include strategic lessons and events that will help your group live out your bold vision. If you need some help, we stand ready to help. Every product in Dare 2 Share’s curriculum lineup is Gospel Advancing and will help your students grow in their relationship with God, as well as learn how to share their faith with others.
When we dream big and ask God to be in the center of our efforts, exciting things will happen. With the help of your students, adults and others in the church, your bold vision will begin to become a reality. It’ll be more than announcement; it’ll be true gospel advancement.