Paint the Picture

Over my last 10 years in youth ministry something rather startling has occurred.

I’ve gotten older.

It’s weird. In a lot of ways I still feel like the new guy.

I believe there’s always something new to learn in life and in ministry.

Yet over the last year or so younger leaders have been asking me for advice when it comes to leading their ministries.

It’s a combination of flattery and a realization that I’m aging.

Recently I was asked how I structure leadership meetings.

More specifically, the YP wanted to know how to share his vision and invite his leaders to join in and help him accomplish it.

So here it is, free to anyone who would like to know, how I like to structure leadership meetings.

I break our meeting into three segments:

  1. The Picture
  2. The Challenges
  3. The Call


I like to imagine my team and I are on a trip together.

We reach a point of rest in which we all stop to talk and catch our breath.

The Picture:

Off in the distance we see our destination; it’s a beautiful tropical island.

It’s beautiful, white sand, warm water, green lush grass, sweet tropical fruit, in short, that island is our vision.

I take time to detail to them how incredible it truly is over there.

How they are simply going to love life on the other side of the water.

I don’t really worry about over selling it as much as I want every member of our team to desperately want to already be on the tropical island.

I paint the picture carefully, detailing it to the best of my ability so everyone has a chance to fall in love with their new destination.

The Challenges:

Next I add an important element to our meeting.

Cold. Hard. Reality.

This is when I talk about the obstacles we must overcome as a team to reach our tropical paradise.

The sharks in the water. The holes in our boat. The fact that there’s not enough wind to push us there, instead it will require work.

I talk about why it’s important for us NOT to settle where we currently are. Life is better there and staying behind is actually worse than trying and failing.

I want them to know where we stand and what is in our way.

The Call:

Finally I talk about what I need from them to make our tropical destination a reality.

I encourage them to use what they have right now to help us reach our goal.

Every member of my team can / must contribute.

I want my leaders to row with me and I want to them to know HOW to row with me.

I also take this part of our meeting time to raise the bar for my leaders.

My goal here is to get complete buy in from everyone.

My team should believe working together is our ONLY option when it comes to reaching white sand beaches, lush green grass, warm ocean waters and sweet tropical fruit.


So yeah, that’s how I like to lead team meetings.

Thanks for asking.

5 thoughts on “Paint the Picture

  1. This is good! GREAT insight.

    I would add this. Most people start where they are and plan a route. Instead you should start with a vision and work backwards.

    Let’s say you are trying to walk from Seattle to Spokane. That in itself is a daunting undertaking. Spokane is the vision.

    If I’m going to get to Spokane first I have to get to Cheney. To get to Cheney first I have to get to Ritzville, before Ritzville, Moses Lake, before Moses Lake, George, before George, Ellensburg, etc.

    Until you get down to Bellevue. From Seattle everyone can walk to Bellevue.

    Sometimes visions can be daunting but if we take a 10 year vision and break it down to daily habits it becomes doable for everyone.

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