Benjamin Lundquist, #GrowingYoungAdventists Certified Speaker for the North Pacific Union Conference, shares a great practice in fostering keychain leadership and empathizing with today’s young people: Host a vision night.
One of the best first steps in launching a young adult ministry at a local church or conference is to host a “Vision Night”, or a series of these gatherings around a conference. A vision night is an honest and hopeful conversation with your young adult community helping to cast vision and sit direction. When it comes to growing a ministry “build in” will always create stronger commitments than “buy in.” The voices of your young adults need to be heard, and a vision night will give you much clarity on what you should be doing and where your ministry should be going.
Here is how the vision night works. Set a date (I prefer the beginning or end of a year, I typically work a number of these into my yearly calendar), invite your young adults to a local church with a great meeting space and eating area. In addition, I like to invite my conference president to this gathering giving him or her a chance to hear the heartbeat of a generation firsthand. Working closely with your administrators is key to growing and developing your ministry effectively. Here is the evening flow:
7:00p Dinner Provided
7:50p Short Worship (About Vision)
8:00p Prayer Groups [Ask the Holy Spirit to lead conversation ]
8:10p Set up the Vision Session
A. 4 Main Questions
B. Think short Twitter responses
C. No dominating of conversation
D. Listen to each other – get ideas
E. No tangents or emotional vomiting
F. 15m max each question
G. Questions reflect young adult ministry in the local area
8:20p “What is working” (15min)
8:35p “What is missing” (15min)
8:50p “What is confusing” (15min)
9:05p “Where in three years” (15min)
9:20p Review white board
9:30p Pray over white board
9:35p All attendees photograph board
9:35p Hot drinks and refreshments
1. Create a document for your administrative team from all the input given by young adults.
2. Set date for follow-up meeting with core young adult team.
3. Create strategic plan moving forward.
I usually do 1-3 of these vision nights a year around our conference. Make sure to have somebody with good handwriting take down all the information on a large whiteboard, allowing you to focus on the facilitation of the conversation. I really challenge the attendees to dream big with the last question about where they would like the young adult ministry to be in three years. Hope this is helpful.