How to Reignite Your Ministry's Vision

Recently, I was consulting with an organization that wanted to change their community by: marriages restored and healthy parent-child connection.  Working through connections with schools and offering free resources: marriage-parenting classes, events and mentorship. However, unforeseen challenges made them lose sight of their vision. We spent time together to get back their original excitement for change. It was exciting! A nonprofit often starts with a dream to make the world better. However, dreams begin to lose their magic because it becomes about the tasks.  The heart behind the ministry is still there, the everyday tasks, unforeseen challenges and unclear expectations have compromised it. Maybe you started out with a dream, but over time, you've lost the excitement. So, how do we reignite your vision again? Here are three things that can help reignite your organization's original vision:

Engage in a Vision Exercise with Your Team

Here’s a little insight into our ReImagine process.  Envision two strangers having an actual conversation about your organization several years down the road. Come up with your own scenario and characters and give them names. They could be at a coffee shop, a golf course or anywhere. Neither one of these people participate in your organization, they simply know about it. Now, be a fly on the wall and capture that conversation. What would you hope to be said?  Dialogue it out. This person said “this” and then this person said “this.” Have these characters paint a picture of what they believe your organization is 5 or 10 years from now, and just fill in the blanks with the conversation. That’s the kind of thing that will force you and your team to think about the “what could be” and the “what if.” Or the “wouldn’t it be cool if…?”

Be Intentional in How You Talk About Vision Among Your Organization

A shared vision is similar to a set of shared values. If one of the values of an organization is something like compassion, that means everyone should be demonstrating compassion inside and outside of the organization. It’s part of the organization’s DNA, and it’s something everyone should be living by. But how will the people in the organization really own that if it’s not talked about? If everyone understands that compassion is a core value for the entire organization through frequent discussion about it, then it becomes something that truly embodies the organization. The same thing goes for vision. The way you communicate your vision among your organization will affect how you accomplish it. Bring your team together and dialogue often about your vision, about the “what could be.”

Involve Your Stakeholders in the Vision

Every organization has more stakeholders involved than just your immediate team. A stakeholder is anyone who truly believes in what you’re trying to accomplish. It could be a volunteer, a donor, a board member, or very close family friend. Engage your stakeholders and ask questions like “Who are we?” “What are we trying to do?” “Why do we do what we do?” and “Where do you see us in 1, 5, 10 years from now?” Allow them to speak candidly and spend time reading their answers. These conversations will help fuel the passion that might be lost in some of the challenges that happen in organizations. The more people rallying around the vision, the more excitement will ignite everyone involved.