In a recent post I mentioned the importance of repeating the vision over and over. And over and over and over.
Because the harsh reality is that vision leaks. I’m always shocked that I’m shocked by that. We can start off so strong in our excitement to serve people, but after a few weeks or months, the mission becomes mundane. Without a regular infusion of vision, our volunteers forget why they’re doing what they’re doing.
But it’s not enough to simply repeat the vision. We have to build the vision in such a way that it doesn’t just appeal to our logic, but our emotion.
Several years ago Andy Stanley released a short book titled Making Vision Stick. It’s a “one-sitter,” meaning you could easily read it in under an hour. But it’s also a book that deserves to be re-read from time to time. Andy gave five principles which I will shamelessly rip off and reimagine specifically for Guest Services World:
1. State the vision simply. Our team’s vision is stupid simple: The gospel is offensive. Nothing else should be. There are four supplementary statements beyond that, but if I’m honest, if they remember those two sentences I’m super happy. (Get a free pdf download of our five plumb lines.)
2. Cast the vision convincingly. A vision statement doesn’t do you any good if you don’t define the problem and point out a solution. Our guest services problem is that we want people to feel welcomed so that they will clearly hear the gospel. It’s not just about parking cars and pouring coffee; eternity is at stake when people walk onto our campuses.
3. Repeat the vision regularly. Again, see the recent post for a deeper dive. But practically, how do you demonstrate the vision in such a way that it’s memorable? Tell guests’ stories (see #4 below). Invite a recent guest to tell their own story of what they experienced. Bring in a leader from another ministry area in your church, and ask them how the guest services team impacts their role. Share stories and statistics. Make sure you connect the dots between what you’re asking your team to do, and the results that happen when they do it.
4. Celebrate the vision systematically. Where are you seeing the vision take root? For us, one way is through our first time guest surveys. We have the opportunity to regularly tell the stories of people who have come to the Summit and took notice of the kindness and intentionality of our team. Sharing the results of those surveys with our volunteer teams doesn’t just remind them of the vision, it celebrates the implementation of that vision.
5. Embrace the vision personally. Let me be blunt: they won’t believe it if you don’t believe it. I’ve met guest services leaders who about as endearing as a cactus. If your team doesn’t regularly see you living out your stated vision, their apathy won’t be far behind. Engage with your guests or get out…run to another area of ministry where you actually can live it.
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