Over the years I have underestimated the value of writing things out. I thought we could effectively meet our ministry aims through one-on-ones and centralized training. But after a while we just had too many coaching topics to cover, too many things we wanted all our leaders to know, and too little time to schedule that many meetings. We began experiencing a diminishing return on our vision and values. This led us to sit down and write out what we believe in most. We came up with three key products to get the word out about our values: Apprentice Field Guide, Small Group Leader Field Guide, and Coaching Handbook.
Even if your church isn't putting together books or manuals like these, don't underestimate the value of brochures, booklets, and flyers that explain key components of your ministry.
This one is probably least utilized, but is one of the most effective. How many times a day do you update you Twitter status, review your Facebook news feed, or catch the latest news on your USA app? These types of digital habits have created new places where we can meet our leaders—on the web, through a Smartphone, through a Mac or PC. We need to be aware of the daily digital habits of our leaders so we know how to effectively meet them. I would suggest taking a quick survey of your leaders and staff to determine what the most effective digital mediums are to communicate your values.
At COMMUNITY our mission is helping people find their way back to God, and everyone who attends knows it. We've done this largely by creating a common language. When we explain Scripture at weekend services, we talk about people finding their way back to God. When individuals share their stories, they talk about finding their way back to God. When we speak about reaching people far from God, one of our three values, we put it into the terms of helping people find their way back to God. In small groups, in training sessions, in one-on-one relationships, this language has become embedded in us, and the more we use it, the more it reminds our small-group leaders, and everyone else, what our mission is.
Multiple Learning Styles
We recognize that there are four different types of learners.
- Classroom Learners: individuals who like to sit in a classroom and take notes feverishly
- Self-learners: individuals who like to learn on their own time at their own pace
- Experiential Learners: individuals who would rather just learn by doing
- Mentoring Learners: individuals who prefer to meet one-on-one with someone to "get it"
Knowing that these four types of learners exist, we try to take advantage of many mediums in order to educate our people about what we value most. So maybe a simple exercise for you and your ministry is to go through how you are doing in providing opportunities each of these areas. Circle the number that best describes your ministry's use of these mediums. 1 - no opportunities, 5 - a diverse array of opportunities
Mediums for Classroom Learners (trainings, Leadership Community, etc.)
Mediums for Self-learners (blogs, websites, manuals, books, etc.)
Mediums for Experiential Learners (apprenticing in small group, role playing, etc.)