The beauty of aims
The wrong question to ask as a new exec is 'what direction would we like to take CU in this year?' That question has already been answered in the aims outlined above. The right question to ask is 'How can we plan and organise CU in such a way that we fulfill the aims more effectively?' In other words, you've already got the vision, what you'll be working on is how to put the vision into practice for your year, among your contemporaries. It's a refreshing thought! Leading CU is about fulfilling aims, not running meetings. You need to ask ruthlessly of every inherited meeting and tradition: 'How does this help us fulfill our aims?' If it doesn't, it needs to be changed, or scrapped.
It's been said 'aim for nothing and that's exactly what you'll hit'. The aims stop you wasting your year on exec by just tinkering with things, or majoring on minors.
Aims direct us
A year is a very short time. The most effective execs don't waste time trying to work out what to do, but instead they accept the aims and put their energy into how best to fulfill them.
Aims direct planning. e.g. 'shall we have a teaching series on Leviticus or 2 Timothy?’ Which will more clearly further the aim of evangelism? Answer: 2 Timothy
Aims set priorities. e.g. 'Shall we have a Christmas social for the cu, or an evangelistic Christmas dinner, with an after-dinner talk?' Which will more clearly further the aim of evangelism? Answer: the dinner.
Aims help you evaluate after the event. Was the choice of speaker/subject a wise choice? Well, did they help address the issues of living for Jesus and speaking for Jesus in the pressures of the student world?
Aims unite us
They unite execs. If you adopt these aims together, you won't spend your year trying to push your own personal agendas on one another. Instead you'll have an agreed platform for planning, prioritising and evaluating.
They unite CUs... particularly with their leadership. Together there can be one common purpose, and if someone comes along to say 'we think CU should set up a soup kitchen for the homeless in the city centre', you can say 'yes that is a good and godly idea, but it doesn't strictly fall into the aims of witness to students by students'. The problem can be settled without it getting personal.
Aims limit us
'Do a few things well' is a tried and tested motto. Time is limited, for you and those in CU. Therefore, aims should be limited so that you can fulfill other responsibilities, such as university work. In recognising that everyones time is limited, it may be better, even when already limited by the aim of evangelism by students to students, to do a few things well rather than a lot of things – you don't want to wear everyone out and induce 'inviting fatigue'!