|Courtesy of David Locke/Creative Commons|
A few months ago I had a youth minister from a local church visit me to discuss student ministry. He wanted to know more about the ministry, what it is we did and how we did it. I basically told my entire story, every detail and I probably repeated myself several times. At the end he seemed very enthused; however, confused. I hadn’t properly defined what it is my ministry was designed to do. Instead of getting straight to the point I made the mistake of trying to explain everything.
There are people who are going to inquire about your ministry. They are the parents looking for a spiritual home for their teens, an adult looking to get involved or a teen wanting to check it out. If you can’t define for them what your ministry is designed to do, you’ll lose them. In a world where there is so much constant and quick communication it’s necessary for you to know what you want to say and how to say it as directly as possible. To do this you need to:
- Have An Elevator Speech – An elevator speech is a memorable and well crafted description of why your ministry exists. While you could go in detail about the event or what you will be discussing that week, people just want to know what it is you do. An elevator speech packages it nicely so that you aren’t wasting people’s time and getting straight to the point. (For more on the elevator speech go here)
- Let Them Ask Questions – You might feel as if you need to answer a person’s question before they even ask them. The problem with giving too much information is it might confuse your original point. Don’t be afraid to make room for questioning, this allows the other person to process what you’ve said by digging deeper into the definition.
- Invite Them To The Experience – Sometimes words can only do so much, in the end they need to witness it for themselves. When a parent, teen or an adult is interested in what you provide for teens the simplest way is to show them. Invite them as a guest and then offer to sit down with them to answer any questions after the program concludes.
Sometimes we’ve been in the trenches so long that we assume everyone has experienced what we have. When you have this mentality it’s easy to grow frustrated, that’s why it’s important to define what it is you do. When you can describe to others your ministry and job clearly, you will not only gain support but insight on how you can better grow.
How do you make sure people have a clear picture of your ministry?