If you’re a rookie youth pastor and you’re looking up the word “intangibles”, that’s o.k.., I‘ll wait. I don’t think I knew what intangibles were either during my first few years of being the lead planner. I knew what curriculum were. I knew what calendars were. I knew what forms and paper work were, but many times I was woe-fully unprepared to lead my team. I knew I was lacking something. something I couldn’t see Intangibles are immeasurable qualities that our team needs us to have at the planning table. As I grew, as a leader, I discovered what I needed to bring to the planning table. .
No matter how great our ideas are, we have to be patient and we must share our plan/vision with patience. Be patient with your team. They may have lot’s of questions like “Why are we changing?” and “Where are we going to find the money for that?”. Try making a list of every questions you think you might get form your team and have an answer for it. Don’t be offended by the questions, use them to make the planning process even more useful. Patience, rather than harshness, will deliver the outcome you desire.
I participated in an in depth, year long, leadership program and, as many young men do, I thought I knew everything. I was the paid guy and everyone else was not. After both God and man humbled me and I got a clue that humility was the way forward to accomplishing our goals. I learned a few new phrases that helped in the planning process like, “What do you all think?” and “I have an idea, but I’m not sure…”. In other words, although I may have the best idea or the most experience at the table, I did not have to always show it.
I can complicate micro-waving popcorn. No kidding, I can. That is why I need to bring simplicity to the planning table. I left my charts and graphs behind and started telling stories. Stories, unlike charts and grafts, are simple. Stories engage. Take your plan or vision and present it like a 30 second commercial. Ask your team to “Imagine this…”. Get your teams brains thinking in story mode and stay away from complicated mission statements, model charts, and paper work. Keep your plan/vision to one sheet of paper.
4. Confidence (not arrogance)
Did God call you to where you are? Have you done your homework? Have you put in the time? Worked hard? Came early and stayed late? If you have, then bring that confidence to the planning table. Share what God has put on your heart. Confidence is more than bravado, it’s deeper than that. Confidence is not loud it’s quiet and sure. Need a confidence boost before your meeting?Pray and realize that God has placed you at the table “for such a time as this.”. Confidently share the plan you have and those around the table will put their confidence in you.
5. Be Flexible
You may have a good idea, maybe even a great idea, and your team may not buy into it, in fact, they may even hate it. I have fought and died on many hills not worth dying on for bad ideas. Telling the difference between these hills is critical to the success of your planning session. Decide ahead of time what your “flex points” are and what points you need to stay firmly planted on. Treat your planning meeting like Game Day, get your game face on, and walk in looking for a win-win situation and you will have a great fall planning meeting.
Would you like more training? Check out my Summer School For Youth Workers Series