Creating a Vision Plan for Your Student

You invest so much time in your students over the 4-6 years you work with them. Then, before you know it, they become seniors, graduate, and move on, and you rarely interact with them again. How can you send them off well and bless them as they leave?

I have wrestled with this for years until a friend finally introduced me to a VISION PLAN. A vision plan is an intentional, well-thought-through conversation you have with a senior as they leave your ministry. I usually put together a vision plan for 3-4 of my top disciples as they graduate each year. I put together my thoughts, sit down with them for a nice meal or snack, and share the vision plan with them. Sometimes I put a lot of time into preparing it, other times it is more on the fly, but every time I have done it, it has been a real blessing to the student.

Here are the elements of a vision plan…

1
STRENGTHS

Prayerfully list a lot of strengths you see in your disciple. I would say list 10 – 20 positive words that describe them. Use the list of words below to help you generate these words. You can just make it a list of words, or put it in paragraph form. Be specific and try to remember specific times you have seen those positive attributes play out in their lives. You want them to be bubbling over with pride that someone who knows them as well as you would see so many positive things in them.

2
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

Prayerfully come up with 2 -3 areas that need improvement in their lives. Try to be specific about how you have seen those weaknesses affect their life and ministry in the past few years. These should be things you have mentioned to them before. Share them boldly with love and grace.

You are uniquely placed to bless your disciple in this incredible way; we challenge you to take advantage of that.

3
VISION

Prayerfully write a visionary paragraph about your disciple’s future. This is where you need to open your imagination. If God continued to enhance your disciple’s strengths and works on their weaknesses, what could they accomplish in the future? This is not prophecy. You are simply saying, “I see these amazing strengths in you and if God continues to grow them, I could see you do these amazing things for the kingdom.” You are speaking encouragement and faith-filled vision into their lives.

4
LONG-TERM GOALS

Prayerfully write out a few long-term goals for their life. What would you encourage them to do in order to see that vision come closer to fulfillment in their lives? This might be an encouragement to disciple others, get more theological education, develop spiritual disciplines, serve in the mission field for a year, etc.

5
SHORT-TERM GOALS

Prayerfully decide what you would recommend they do this summer or next fall to begin working toward their long-term goals and seeing the vision fulfilled. This could be reading a certain book, having difficult conversations, learning a skill, work on negative habits, etc.

Putting together a vision plan is an act of love. Who gets the opportunity for an older, godly person who knows and loves them to speak into their lives to this extent? Nobody! You are uniquely placed to bless your disciple in this incredible way; we challenge you to take advantage of that.

The preparation for a vision plan could take about an hour or longer if you wanted, but do not let that keep you from doing it. If you are pressed for time, just set up an appointment, show up 20 minutes early, and jot some things down on a napkin. It is better than nothing and your disciple will usually really appreciate your encouragement and perspective into their lives.

Vision Plan Examples

Next Step
Try sharing a vision plan with a student or former student this week. Test it and see if you like it. The more you do it, the easier it will get. Plan to do it this year with 2-3 of your closest disciples.

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Below you’ll find a few videos that do just that. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, check our YouTube channels at Cru High School and Gotothecampus. If we’ve got it, it’ll be there.

Cru Promo Video – 3 Minute Version

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Cru Promo Video – 1 Minute Version

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Cru Promo Video – 1 Minute Version (vertical)

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