“Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.” (1 Peter 3:15, CEV)
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage —with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2, NIV)
Our organization held our annual vision casting meeting the other night. True to form, an unexpected issue came up amongst the team. When we examined “What are we the best in the world at?” and “Where are we struggling?” the group expressed feeling they needed to improve their “30 Second Elevator Speech”. It quickly became apparent as we discussed this issue that, while each of them were doing a fine job of sharing their favorite programs, they weren’t sharing a common theme, a cohesive message to every person they spoke to.
It didn’t take long for us to identify some of the things that need to be considered in forming that elevator speech. In a brief, standard message, don’t forget:
- Give a unified overview of the main theme of what your mission is. People are hungry for relationship, not programs. And while we need to focus on individual programs in the administration of our ministries, the people we are seeking to reach care more about how much you care.
- Words matter. When you craft your speech, be sensitive to words like “respite”, “disabled” or other words that families may struggle with. Having a focus group to determine what those words might be is especially helpful.
- Let the Holy Spirit take the lead. We had one Board Member who was beating himself up because he didn’t say certain things to a woman he had met. I pointed out that people are at different places on the continuum. We need to invite the Holy Spirit in to help us to discern when to speak up and when to keep silent in certain ways.
- Ask if you can get in contact with the person to follow up. I know that I am extremely guilty of doing the ol’ “information dump” where I give people my business card or a brochure and then hope they follow through on connecting to us. Knowing that families with special needs already face many obstacles, including exhaustion, some of our Board Members suggested that we need to be better stewards of those contacts. Fabulous idea!
Whatever your spiel, make certain you have one! God has us in the world as his ambassadors cleverly disguised as neighbors, grocery shoppers, and other average folks. Don’t miss the opportunity to share His hope with others!