I’m a Texas girl….and Texas is known for its hot summers. Many of us love being outside but unless you have a cooling mister, you are not going to last very long. In fact, with a mister cooling you off, you can stay pretty refreshed in 100 degree heat. Given enough time, that mister actually creates a good amount of water falling on you. It’s not a soak, mind you, but you might just need to towel off a little before heading inside if you are enjoying that mist for a long period of time outside.
Stick with me for a second. I’m not just dreaming about summertime.
Every year, we have thousands of leaders who converge on Atlanta for our Orange Conference. I can always spot those who have arrived for the very first time. Their eyes are full of wonder, their heads are spinning from the bounty of great information. Their bucket is FULL and the excitement of sharing all that great information with their team when they get home is electric.
As much as we want to dump out our buckets of vision on our teams…I would make the argument that a good steady leak is far more effective. No one wants to have vision vomited all over them. Most would far prefer a refreshing mist rather than being doused like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.
One ministry leader had the incredible idea of leaking vision for what he wanted to do with the children’s ministry during staff meetings. He asked the Senior Pastor if he could have just 5 minutes during weekly staff meeting to give a brief update on what was happening with kids. Do you know what he did with the 5 minutes? He leaked vision. This leader would pull out principles from the book “Think Orange” and use his 5 minutes to talk about just a slice of the vision. Over time, the Senior Pastor was so blown away by what he was hearing that he requested a more in-depth conversation about where the children’s pastor was learning all of this information.
There is a time and place for big vision casting. What may be even more important, is to realize that a constant leak of that same big vision can be far more effective at effecting the change you desire. In fact, here are just a few ways that your vision leaks:

Your environment leaks vision.
Parents want to see clean, simple spaces when they drop off their precious cargo. Kids want to know they will have FUN! One of my local leaders assembled a team of volunteer lay leaders and staff to tour children’s ministries in the surrounding area. Out of that activity, they created a “do” and “don’t” list of things they would love to see happen for their own ministry. If you aren’t sure what kind of vision your environment is leaking, set aside some time to tour the spaces in other churches in your area. You just might be equally inspired about how to leak the right kind of vision at your church.

Your programming leaks vision.
Your goal should be to make Sunday the best hour of every kid’s week! Wouldn’t it be great for kids to be so excited about what you are teaching on Sunday that it’s the first thing they talk about to their friends on Monday morning? It matters how you present timeless truth….it matters that you have relevant worship music….it matters that it’s FUN!

Your communication leaks vision.
It took me 42 years to get my first Ninja single serve blender. Changed my life. Not sure how I lived without before it! GoWeekly.com is that kind of game changer. Seriously, go check it out for great ways to leak vision to parents and volunteers strategically.

Your volunteer ratios leak vision.
It’s hard to be a champion of relationship in faith formation if you are managing a mob of kids on Sunday. The biggest gift you can ever give to a parent is to be intentional about the voices you are placing in their child’s life. I promise you…you may find take home sheets on the floor – but if you are knocking it out of the park with small group ratios, you are leaking vision that relationships matter more than another homework assignment. Parents notice this – big time.
Listen, change is super hard. When we leak vision well, we are honoring the process of change for others. Henry Cloud puts it like this:
“Change happens when the pain associated with the status quo is greater than the pain associated with change.”
Even though you can see the big picture of what could and should be, chances are the changes are going to be a little more difficult for your volunteers, parents and leadership to embrace quickly. Leak vision, honor the process and be patient. Pretty soon everyone will be soaking wet from the constant mist of vision you are casting.

To think more about the vision for your ministry, read:
Raising the Bar
Expand Your Vision: Partnering with Parents