“Asking the right questions can take as much skill as finding the right answers.”
In working with Young Life Committees over the last few decades I have consistently heard the same questions surface from Committee members.
Q. What is my role?
Q. What do you need me to do?
Q. What is our plan?
Sometimes these innocent questions can quickly become frustrations and lead to significant challenges within your local YL Committee. I have seen us try to answer the questions too with lists of roles to fill, sub-committees to join, and ‘sign up’ sheets to fill out but these tactics are bandaids because oftentimes we have not addressed the key questions.
Below, I have listed 3 key questions that every Committee needs to answer. If you answer these well a few things will result:
You will never be at a loss for defining your next Committee agenda.
Every member of your team will have a good chance of having a role where they can serve and thrive on Committee.
Your YL Area will have clarity on direction, purpose and next steps.
Ready? Question 1.
WHO ARE WE? Most Young Life groups love this question and are pretty skilled at giving a compelling answer. It speaks to our purpose, mission and principles. Simply, the answer to this question will lead you toward your Core Values. Although some YL groups may create complimentary Core Values that represent the convictions of their local community and context, the Mission-wide Values and Methods may be a good place to start to remember who we are as a mission and commit to those principles as a group.
Now Question 2
WHERE ARE WE GOING ? This is the #1 question at the heart of every Committee member. Although it can cause anxiety and vibrant discussion, the framework for an answer can be found in a simple Strategic Plan. Young Life Field roles as well as local area duties are framed around what we call the 5 Core Functions: Direct Ministry, Ministry Support, Spiritual, Leadership, and Resource Development. Truly, you cannot find a area of emphasis that does not fit within these five. If done well, via a simple strategic planning process, your committee/staff/adult stakeholders will work to align on a 1-2 year goal in these five areas. Even better, that means your committee agenda for the year is done! All you do now is work the plan! Your regional office can help; click here for some simple templates on strategic planning and a SWOT analysis tool.
Finally, Question 3
WHAT DO WE NEED TO GET THERE? It makes sense that after affirming Core Values, and designing a Plan, then you have to address the final step of assessing what it will take to get there. That is simply A Vision Case. This tool helps you ‘count the cost’ of both people and resources that will be needed to achieve your goals. If you want to hire more staff, start WL at a new school, double the number of kids in Club or going to Camp, there will be a cost to fulfilling that dream. There are several tools for communicating this vision, but some simple templates that we have used recently is HERE and HERE. Your regional leadership or our Mission-wide Development team can help you design a clear tool to engage your community.
A final thought. Every Committee member in the mission of YL got involved to see their community and themselves changed. More simply, they want to see God’s movement in their lives and in those around them. That is a big vision! It order to see that vision come to fruition, these three questions are a good place to start.
Next Step: Ask these questions at your next Committee meeting. Print some of the tools and links above and see how close your local team comes to giving a clear, concise and compelling answer. A good place to start.
Questions/Thoughts/Input- email Tank (firstname.lastname@example.org)