If you have been to Disneyland ever, you will notice how well the park is run.   It’s no accident that it’s run like a fine-tuned machine.  They have a vision and a mission for running the park.

A few years ago, a co-worker of mine had his birthday on the same day of us attending Disneyland.  I was surprised at how efficient they were at giving him a pin, and from that point on every cast member (staff) said Happy Birthday to him.  I was stunned that everyone knew the same thing, and acted the same way to someone with a pin saying “Happy Birthday”.  Now, this is a simple example, but it shows the clarity that Disneyland is able to communicate to its staff.

It makes me ask the question:

Do you have a vision and mission for how you run your ministry?

Disneyland has 4 pillars for how it runs the Disneyland park.  They are safety, courtesy, show, and capacity.  Capacity has eventually become efficiency.  These pillars are what makes the Disneyland park so successful.

Here is how they communicate these pillars for their staff so that they can live out the vision and mission.  It’s amazing to me that they can have 3,000-6,000 staff members that know their roles so well.

Which gets me wondering?  How do they communicate their vision?  Why is it hard to communicate to my 40 volunteers each week on the what and why of their ministry.

They teach everyone it.  Everyone.

Everyone from parking attendants to the person who plays Mickey Mouse.  Everyone knows the vision and mission of the park.  They are used as powerful tools to teach the importance and values of Disneyland.

They defined the guidelines for how they embody the vision. 

The Disneyland management team designed 2-3 action statements for each pillar.  It helps the staff know what to do with it.  

Here are Disneyland’s action statements, 

 Safety

  • I practice safe behaviors in everything I do.
  • I take action to always put safety first.
  • I speak up to ensure the safety of Others.

Courtesy

  • I project a positive image and energy.
  • I am courteous and respectful to Guests of all ages.
  • I go above and beyond to exceed Guest expectations.

Show

  • I stay in character and perform my role in the show.
  • I ensure my area is show-ready at all times.

Efficiency

  • I perform my role efficiently so Guests get the most out of their visit
  • I use my time and resources wisely

Communicate it over and over again. 

One successful way of communicating vision is to repeat it often.  If you have 3-4 pillars for your leaders, you need to communicate them, and then repeat it.

Think about your job description at work?  Do you know what you are doing?  We need to know basically what we are doing.  Last year at Catalyst, Andy Stanley said that every employee in his church has a one-sentence job description.  It’s so if all else fails, you need to do this one thing.

That’s clarity.

Moving forward 

We need to be strategic when it comes to communicating our vision to leaders.  If Disneyland can get 3,000 staff to buy into a vision, surely we can get 20-80 volunteers to buy in, and embody the mission and vision of your youth ministry.

If you are struggling to get your leaders to have a clear vision, you need to keep it clear, teach it to everyone, have action steps, and repeat it.