We had a new member or prospective new member at a luncheon. Each of the staff had a minute or two to introduce themselves and share what they did at the church. I thought I made a good pitch but our Pastor made an interesting observation about all our introductions.
He said, “What I noticed was that each of you introduced yourself as being “over” something.” I went back through some of the job descriptions I wrote down and saw that the words “over things” does not exist in any of the descriptions I wrote for any of you.”
It was a keen observation that I took to heart. So, I made a short list of communication flubs which may be keeping others from wanting to join our team. When we’re saying we are “over” something we’re unintentionally saying:
- If you join my team you will be “under me,” “under” my supervision”, Who wants to be under anything?
- I’m the leader and you’re not.
- I’m in charge of (no shared value or invitation to share in the responsibility)
So, what can we say instead of using sabotaging language that kills our opportunity to add more people to our team? Here are seven ideas I came up with to re-imagine my position.
- I’m the lead youth discipler
- I am the minister of fun (you could say that to a group, but individually it sounds a little creepy)
- My role is to connect students to Christ and adults to students for the purpose of ministry/discipleship/building the kingdom We do this through…. (I like this one best)
- My passions is …
- I am privileged to lead …
- I’m the youth ministry architect ( or designer)
- I develop… (I know, sounds like I am making an app or a video game, but this what I do, I develop ideas, resources and strategies to make life ling follower of Jesus.
I think you get the point. How we introduce ourselves paints a picture for people. Based on the picture, positive or negative, people desire to join or not join you in your cause or mission.
Try using intentional language that best describes what you think your role is (try asking a deacon, he would love to tell you what your job is). Try it out and see what kind of reaction you get.
Here’s my YouTube introduction. In less than a minute I say who I am, what I do, what you’ll get from me and what I’d like you to do.