Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Power of Vision plus SHAPE

Getting a little creative with our volunteer leader meeting...

Last week we had a special meeting / thank you luncheon for our ministry leaders whose focus is on equipping others or who are actively building a team for ministry. It was originally supposed to be a fairly basic meeting to encourage them and keep them aware of what's coming in the fall, plus a light lunch. Well, that's not the way it turned out - but no thanks to me. Instead it went down something like this...

Guests arrived to a decorated room with tables setup for a formal luncheon, classical music in the background. Their table server handed them a carefully designed menu with a quite a selection of dishes. Appetizers included Brushetta, Cream Cheese and Bacon Roll-ups, and Stuffed Mushrooms. Entree choices were Chicken Cordon Bleu and New Potatoes with Garlic and Cilantro, Creamy Mushroom Alaska Salmon Bake, and Beef Stronganoff. Sides available were Herbed Asparagus, Green Beans Almondine, and Glazed Carrots. There was a separate dessert menu offereing Chocolate Mousse, Irish Creme Brulee, and Strawberry Shortcake, with an optional cappuccino. During the appetizers I shared about what was coming up this fall in ministry, and over dessert I got to share our church's vision for ministry that blesses those who serve as well as those served.

I was just going to serve chili, so how did this happen? It's the power of vision combined with SHAPE. I asked some friends to help me with the lunch part of the meeting, but instead of focusing on the food I explained to them the purpose of the meeting and the vision I was looking to share, about loving your team, caring for people as person not just for what they do, etc. A few days later they came back with "We know what we want to do for the lunch."  "Oh, really? What's that?" I asked. They showed me a menu, the one listed above. Once I picked my jaw off the ground I asked if there were serious. Indeed they were. Well... I definitely was going to need a room setup and some table servers if that's the new plan. So I asked the new leader of our First Impressions Ministry if she would like to have a chance to demonstrate their teams' motto of 'Creating a Wow Experience for our Guests' (this would involve her serving instead of being served). "Sure! How can I help?" My wonderful wife with her gift of hospitality also wanted to help serve, and another friend with experience as a waiter in the top restaurant in town was also happy to help when I shared the vision of the meeting. Two wonderful ladies who love kids were willing to provide child care (and lunch for the kids) during this.

Here’s the principle – if your people know they are loved, are presented with a vision that is compelling to action, and they are given a chance to decide how they are going to pursue the vision – stand back and look out!! This has been a ton of work for several people, especially Jeff and Terry, but they’ve been so excited about doing this. The people involved are getting to use their SHAPE, their gifts of helps, organization, administration, hospitality, leadership, with a goal of showing love to you ministry leaders – with hopes that they in turn will show that kind of love to their team. We got to visually demonstrate I talked about in the last post - love your team!  Thank you so much Jeff, Terry, April, Val, Kari, Charles and Dawn - you guys rock!

This Thursday's post is linked in to Creative Chaos at the blog of

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