I had this amazing idea for one of our creative meetings for 252 Basics curriculum. As the 252 team continues exercising good stewardship in regard to our budget (as is the rest of the world), we try to come up with some very creative (aka, cheap) ways to make lunch happen for the 8-10 people that attend our monthly creative meeting.
Well, I had an amazing idea. Yes. AMAZING.
I thought that we could all capture some of our childhood memories by having everyone bring their favorite sugary breakfast cereal they ate as a kid. I would bring the milk. Then, at lunch, we would have a cereal social and eat cereal, talk about why we brought the cereal we brought and any memories we may have of our childhood. It was gonna be fun and a time for all of us to indulge in eating some cereals “responsible adults” try to shy away from.
Everyone agreed this would be a lot of fun and decided that we would each bring in a favorite cereal that reminded us of our childhood.
At least, that’s what I remember saying.
A month goes by and the time has come for our framework meeting and our scheduled cereal social. Needless to say, I am pumped. Not only did I buy milk, I even bought whole milk. Can you believe it?! We were livin’ on the edge, baby! But I also bought a box of Alphabets. Remember those? It’s the cereal that looks like it’s made of oats but is actually pressure formed letters made of sugar, glaze, and a little wheat. Awesome, right?
So, of course, when I walk into the meeting, I’m expecting to see a rainbow of sugary cereals lining the counter for all of us to enjoy and reminisce upon.
What I saw—was depressing.
Somehow, in the course of the month between deciding to have this amazing cereal social and actually having the social, something happened.
What I saw before me was—a box of “Organic Peanut Butter Puffins.” Basically, it was extreme healthy cardboard with a hint of peanut butter flavoring. Then, another team member walked in.
And another team member came in with some sort of raw oat cereal!
I half expected the next person to walk in with a gallon of freshly squeezed Metamucil!
I was devastated! Crushed! Where was the childhood we were going to relive and experience together? Where were the edible, youthful reminders that were going to pepper our conversation and our stomachs?
Where was my SUGAR CEREAL!?
Oftentimes we, the ministry worker/volunteer leader, inform our co-workers, volunteers, and attenders with amazing ideas and information. We explain ourselves and cast a vision for something we passionately believe in, and, not surprisingly, we see the people around us energized by our ideas and inspired to do new things and face new challenges.
And then, more often than not, whatever it is we told them and inspired them to do does not happen. And the number one reason this happens is the leaking of vision. We feel, once we have explained ourselves, everyone should be on board and understand our goals and what it is we’re trying to accomplish.
This just isn’t true.
Casting vision to your volunteers, your fellow employees, even your church, has to be constant. Keeping everyone focused on the same goal and in the same direction requires constant course correction. And the best way to do that in a ministry is to remind everyone why we do what we do and how we have agreed to do it. You know you are casting vision enough when you start hearing the phrase: “This again? I already know this.” And then, after people say that, you cast vision a couple more times. Basically, never, ever stop casting vision. Even to those who think they’ve got it.
Time is the enemy of vision. Failing to cast vision and remind people what you are doing and why you are doing it on a regular basis can result in a real momentum killer for your ministry.
In my case, it was a cereal killer.