I've heard it said, "If you have a clear vision, you know you will find the right strategy...Without a clear vision, no amount of effort will fix the vision." We're confident your mission and vision is clear and your leadership is excellent, which means if your teams are struggling in this area, then we need look at how equipped they are to carry your vision forward.
Are people excited about mission trips?
There are some great vision and mission statements out there. Here are a few statements from organizations and churches we work with:
Who can't get excited about these missions right?
Whether it be medical mission trips or short-term missions at church, so often us leaders feel the burden to push our vision and mission forward yet we forget our members are catalysts of our vision for the next mission trip.
How can we get (and keep) our teams and are people excited and sharing mission trips?
My guess is, you're probably already doing some of these. And, this list isn't exhaustive by any means. I hope the ideas here will make you think of other ideas you can do to get your people on fire for missions. Note: if you're already doing some of these things on the list, great, make sure you're doing them well!
Here are nine (9) practical ways to get people excited about mission trips:
Place on website: Make sure your vision is front and center on your website but also make sure it’s presented in a way that invites people into that vision. Cherry Hills Community Church in Colorado knows a thing or two about communicating the missional vision using their website.
Protip: make sure your mission and vision are on your homepage. We see so many churches and organizations "hide their light under a bushel" by placing their vision for missions on the "about us" page or some other secondary or later page on their website. Put it from and center!
Begin meetings with your vision: Don’t assume everyone has the vision memorized or that it’s top of their minds. It’s good to come back to this over and over again so that the “main things remains the main thing." When possible, highlight actions on your team from the last week that capture the spirit of your vision.
T-Shirts: Print shirts for your team members that capture the tag line of your vision so people are literally walking around with your vision or next mission trip by name. Shirts are a great bonding gift for your team and a great keepsake after the trip. Double win.
Start your short-term trips with the vision: Train your team leaders to bring the vision to light for each meeting, each morning, each debrief and to keep this in front of the team. Imagine before every meeting about a short-term missions trip, the leader starting with reciting the very reason you're gathering in the first place. Powerful.
Refine your vision to a one-sentence summary: Do a spot test and see how many on your immediate team know your vision. Probably not many. Make sure your vision has been simplified to its simplest version so it is easier to recall.
Practice: Personally and with your team, practice reciting your vision. Do spot checks to see how well people are remembering this. Provide small rewards to those that get it right.
Place your vision on your business cards: That’s right, once you have it down to one line, get those nice business cards double-sided and print your vision right on the back of the card.
Place your vision in your email signature line: Now that you have it simplified then make sure to add it to your email signature.
The story of your social media: Make sure every social media post is capturing your vision in its heart.
You’ve probably noticed we have a broad definition for teams. Teams might be your staff, trip leaders, general participants, but also donors, advocates, and colleagues. Whoever you place into this category, you have a responsibility to equip them to carry your vision and promote it and any trips and stories.
Stop thinking it’s your role to tell everyone about your vision and start equipping your team to carry this vision forward. Remember, a shared vision is always more powerful than the perfect vision.
For those of you with plenty of people to serve; great, you'll have that many more energized people on your team. For those who tell us they need more people on board for missions, do these things to generate some buzz and excitement for missions.
Action: Select at least one idea from above and see if you can implement in the next 30 days. Need help? You know where to find us!
This is just one strategy of five (5) we have for doubling your impact. Download all five (5) strategies you can implement immediately that will double your missions impact.
This post is written by Will Rogers. Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of ServiceReef.