May 9, 2011

Nobody Likes a Sinking Ship

Been doing some reading lately, talking with youth development folks, and discussing the idea of recruiting with a few folks and have come to the conclusion that "Nobody likes a Sinking Ship." A thought I was first introduced to by Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens in Simply Strategic Volunteers, I'm exploring ways that we can create vernacular and environments that portray a thriving and positive environment for both students and volunteers.

There are many ways to do this, but primary to creating positive environments, built for both excellence in experience and programming, is the way in which we communicate. The words that we use, the way we portray a certain event or process, speaks volumes to the way that people interpret the organization or ministry. It is truly your front door for both recruiting of students and volunteers. We can't expect someone to think that we have a fun and safe place to be if they constantly hear something contrary to that idea.

The reality is that this begins well before the creation of the materials designed to help recruit people. It begins at the development of each promotional piece. It begins at the creation of each email that goes to all our leaders. It becomes obvious at the launch of each night of programming. And each of these pieces sets a tone for the way in which people interpret the goal of the ministry or program.

So, how do people interpret your organization?

I know that over the last month this has become a primary discussion in my thoughts as we begin to enter a time of activating our fellowship and inviting them to be a part of the story that God is writing in Nappanee. And we can help someone feel welcome to join that story or that battle if we continue to consider how to provide positive reinforcement and intrinsic desire to help produce an excellent environment for students and all ministries, in general. It is not the end game, but this thought process certainly helps me think through how to best communicate to those who need to be plugged into a given ministry.

So, how are you doing?

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