Yancy’s Heartbeat Curriculum Review and Giveaway

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Don’t you wish your preteens understood the true heart of worship? Yancy and Johnny Rogers have teamed up to create a five-lesson elementary and preteen curriculum your preteens are going to love. Heartbeat is a brand new curriculum designed to expand and express our understanding of what worship is and to cultivate a willing response to explore and experience worshipping God in a deeper and more personal way. Want to win? Click here!

Heartbeat Features:

• More than 90 Minutes of Content in each lesson to pick & choose from
• Leader Equipping Tip Sheets
• Leader materials for both Large Group & Small Groups
• Powerful processing time with Reflection & Response Activities
• Object Lessons Illustrations created by Jim Wideman
• Teaching Video Clips with Yancy, featuring a behind the scenes look at songwriting, recording, concerts and more
• What Does It Mean? video clips with Yancy, unpacking Hebrew words connected to Worship
• Helpful Worship Leader Scripts along with song suggestions for worship
• A take-home “Backstage Pass” for each lesson, complete with Life Application ideas and designed for easy use with lanyards
• Themed Video Countdown
• Heartbeat series video opening
• Animated Video Graphics & backgrounds
• Logo & artwork graphic files
• Promotional Social Media Plan

Lesson 1 – When I worship God, my heart overflows with praise.
Lesson 2 – When I worship God, I say YES to His invitation.
Lesson 3 – When I shout God’s praise, I amplify what is true about God.
Lesson 4 – When I praise God with music, I prepare for the battles of life.
Lesson 5 – When I worship with a heart after God, He takes center stage.

To enter to win a Heartbeat Curriculum Giveaway Click Here:

https://kingsumo.com/g/sowo3l/yancys-heartbeat-curriculum-giveaway

Are You Choosing Love in Your Marriage?

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Have you ever been to a wedding where 1 Corinthians 13 was not quoted? Every wedding I’ve attended the preacher or someone giving a toast quoted this scripture with a smile on their face and a desire to see love win for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death. For this love to win, couples must choose to endure all things. Choosing to love with a never-ending persistence can be hard, so keep these three truths in mind.

Love, even when it’s not fair or you don’t feel it. There may be times when your commitment is tested. To everything, there is a season and right now you might need to persevere and choose love. Possibly the greatest example in scripture of love enduring all things is found in the story of Hosea and Gomer where Hosea commits to love, even when it’s not fair. Hosea 3:1 says, “Then the LORD said to me, ’Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the LORD still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.’”

How can you prepare yourself now to make the choice to love even when you don’t feel like it?

Love, even when the other person has wronged you. To remain in love with a flawed individual requires true forgiveness. You can not keep a record of the wrongs committed against you, and you must abide when you want to flee. Colossians 3:13 challenges us to “make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

Are you holding on to an offense? Offer your spouse forgiveness.

Love, even when it’s hard. Love doesn’t quit or give up when it’s difficult. There is a persistence in love that chooses the person even at their worst. God’s example of this perfect love can be found in Romans 5:8-9 where Paul writes, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.”

We love each other because he loved us first. – 1 John 4:19

How can you love more like Jesus this week?

Let’s be like Jesus and love in such a way that endures all things. Let’s have the fortitude and courage to love through it all. Let’s resemble Jesus.

The Orange Conference – It’s Personal #OC19

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What is your all-time favorite movie scene? Is there a scene that instantly comes to your mind that includes both inspiration and a man on a horse? 

One of my favorite scenes is found in the classic movie Braveheart. Specifically the scene with William Wallace’s speech to his army right before he leads the Scottish countrymen to fight. The Scotland men, coming from all sorts of backgrounds are united under the one voice of William Wallace. William makes this battle personal for Scotland fighting against their enemy England. There is a spur of action, passion, strategy, and precision. 

If you have ever been to Orange Conference, you have felt this exact same emotion. With energetic worship, passionate speakers, dynamic breakouts, and Seriously Night you will be ready to go to battle for your students, church, preteen, or junior higher. 

Orange Conference is the speech before the fight that William Wallace (Reggie Joiner) gives to the Scottish (attendees) and that is the amazing thing about Orange Conference. This gathering of 7,000+ people makes the fight personal. The Orange Conference is not the fight for Scotland (the church) this is our pep rally before the fight. Let’s make it personal. (Insert William Wallace voice here) Jesus made a difference because Jesus made it personal! Let’s do the same!

Registration opens on October 18th! Don’t miss this gathering. Don’t stay on the fence. Instead, come and find the inspiration you need to fight the good fight and finish the race.

5 Things to Look Forward to at Kidmin Nation Mega-Con

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Hundreds of kids ministry leaders are making there way to Nashville for the Kidmin Nation Mega-Con! This year is going to be better than ever and I’m excited for what’s in store. Here are the top five things to look forward to at this year’s conference.

5. Learning to Color Outside the Lines

This year we will be challenged to remember Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece.” Speakers will share how to color outside the lines in your life, giving you a fresh perspective and new ideas to build up yourself and your ministry as His masterpiece! I’m sure God is going to use this theme to do something big in our lives.

4. The 2018 Chevy Malibu Giveaway!

It’s not every day a kid’s pastor walks away with a brand new car! I’m so excited to witness the blessing God has lined up for an attendee. The winner from last year gave God so much glory and it was awesome to watch the whole story unfold.

3. 160+ Sessions

With so many options and awesome speakers, you really can cater the conference to hear specific content to what you are working through in your ministry. I’m excited to hear from some of my heroes and friends and I’m honored to lead a creative teaching techniques class Friday morning. If you’re in Nashville and want to learn in a creative and fun environment, check out “Gamification!”

2. The Day of Awesome

The Day of Awesome will be such a memorable and fun experience. Ryan’s Favorite Things Party is sure to include a few giveaways and the Night of Worship is the perfect way to wrap up the day. And did I mention, the Jim Wideman Bobblehead Hunt? How cool is that!?!

1. New and Old Friends!

At this 3-day children’s ministry conference, friends from around the country will gather together and then head back home with their cups overflowing. There will be scheduled networking opportunities built into the conference and there will also be so much connection taking place online through the hashtag #KidminNation. 

If you’re in Nashville find me and say hey! If you’re unable to make it this year, pick up your ticket now for $99 and I’ll see you next year.

#D62018 Conference Day 1 Notes

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Ron Hunter – @ronhunter

Planning for X – Backward Planning 

“Leadership and discipleship are two siblings in the same family.” 

We all have an “x”…the place where we are going to die. If you knew where it was, how would you live differently? How about the kids in your church? What would you do between now and then? With an end spot, how would you begin now to get there? 

As families, we have taken our kids to church and said…you do it, you’re the expert, you disciple my family. 

That one hour a week is nothing when it comes to a relationship with Jesus Christ. The hour a week at church is not enough for discipling our children. 

The Characteristic of a Healthy Church: Keep Refining Discipleship. Learning to be Christ-like and as a result, making disciple-makers. 

“Discipleship is at the heart of a healthy church.”

Biblical Foundation for Discipleship
Gen. 1:28
Deut. 6:4-7
Josh.24:15
Eph. 4:12-13
Ps. 78:6
Matt. 28:18-20

Like Little Green Army Men…

Realize your kids are different. 

Start as a newly enlisted private never stops. 

The General/Captain does not do all the training. 

We must prepare for life’s battles (defending their faith)

If you wait until the battle to prepare your kids, the odds are against them. 

“Discipleship reaches across generational lines. I know plenty of Millennials who would love to have people in the Boomer generation mentor their marriages.”

Toy Box Leadership: Leadership Lessons from the Toys You Loved as a Child by Ron Hunter

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Rob Rienow – @visionaryfam

“Are you passionate in the church but passive in your house?” 

“I had been putting my spiritual opportunities in front of my spiritual responsibilities.”

“The Great Commission begins at home.”

“Family worship is the engine that powers the Christian family.” 

“We have Christian families, with well-fed children, who are starving spiritually.”

“The essential program for family ministry is family worship in the home.”

It’s never too late to start. 

“Family ministry is about equipping and accelerating the home for Gospel impact.”

At the end of the day, we want to see Jesus high and lifted up…not just at church on Sunday mornings but in every Christian home all over the world. 

Visionary Parenting: Capture a God-Sized Vision for Your Family by Rob Rienow Amy Rienow 

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Lee Strobel – @LeeStrobel

“The virus of doubt is infecting too many of our young people.” 

1/3 Americans under the age of 35 have no religious affiliation. 

62% of millennial are certain that God exists. 

4 in 10 millennials say religion is important in their lives. 

Teens today are twice as likely as adults to say that they are atheists. 

The problem is we can not become complacent. 

They are leaving the church.

They are getting married later.

We have never seen such an effort to turn Christians into atheists. 

Young people are leaving the church at 5-6x the historic rate.

Most young people are sighting “intellectual doubts” for leaving the church. 

There is a pride in skepticism within this next generation. 

What can we do in our churches to rescue skeptics? 

Let young people know it’s okay to answer questions. Jesus answered people with sincere questions. 

Cultivate environments where it’s okay for people to express questions and doubt because there are people waiting in line to answer those questions. 

Help young people see that studying history and science can bring them closer to God. 

We need to give kids the confidence that we have truth on our side. 

“We have an unfair advantage on the marketplace of ideas. We have truth on our side.”

Doubt is like a nightmare. If you hold it in, it will erode your soul. But if you let it out and talk about it, it seems to lose the emotional hold it has on us. 

One of the 6 reasons young people are leaving the church is because they don’t feel the church is a safe place to ask questions. 

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel 

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Breakout 1 – Family Ministry that Connects

Jeffrey Wallace – @IamJeffWallace

Students have a single story perspective driven by how they are raised. 

Was attending church an option or a mandate? 

What is the surrounding culture of your church? What are the surrounding demographics of the families in your church? Understand your demographics. 

  1. God desires for parents, guardians, and caregivers to love Him deeply and to love their kids deeply. 
  2. God desires for intentional discipleship to take place in both the home and the church.
  3. God desires the home and church to partner together to influence culture with the hopes of shaping the faith formation of a generation. 

Note: Together, the home and church exist to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world. 

What percentage of the kids in your youth group have parents who attend the church? 

What goes on in the connection points or bridges between ministries and family life stages? 

How many of you have an intentional transition strategy in your family ministry? 

How are you engaging in these particular subgroups?

  1. Parents, Guardians, Caregivers
  2. School
  3. Church Programming (internal/external)
  4. PTA/PCA

“Build relational equity with non-tradition parents so that they can experience the love of God.”

Family Ministry Strategy Chart

Where are you missing the mark? What’s missing in the strategy? 

“None and done until the 911”

And Jesus Grew…

Know: Upward development. Jesus grew in favor of God. Lordship/Disciples

Own: Inward development. Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. Character/Discernment. 

Known: Outward Development. Jesus grew in favor with man. Relationships/Influence. 

-LifeWay Christian Resources, KNOWN Strategy. 

Family-Ministry Perspectives

Family-Integrated Ministry (family driven faith all worship together)

Family-Based Ministry (separate contexts, shared focus: Children’s Church and Teen Church)

Family-Equipping Ministry (Church and Home co-champions: A combination of the two)

The family-equipping ministry model retains some age-organized ministries but restructures the congregation to partner with parents at every level of ministry so that parents are acknowledged, equipped, and held accountable for the discipleship of their children.

Family-Equipping is a Both/And model. 

Why not have a family service? Why not have family-focused events? Have some of group 1 as well as group 2 in your family ministry model. 

Mobilize parents to be all things for their kids. Be mentally and emotionally engaged in the life of their kids. We should want parents to be a good parent. 

Let’s Talk About It

  1. What’s the family dynamics percentages in your context? Traditional? Non-traditional? Blended? Adoption? Foster? 
  2. Which of the 3 family ministry perspectives best fits your context today? Where do you want to be tomorrow?
  3. What activities, events, or programs are you doing to promote healthy family ministry strategy? 

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15 Scriptures for Your Kids When Dealing with Racism

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If you are like me, you wish by now we would have decided as humans to treat others the way we want to be treated. You wish the next generation would be further along than we are and that racism would be a thing of the past. I wish we would have overcome the need for a post like this, but maybe the reason racism is still an issue is due to a lack of action and counting on wishful thinking to fix a human rights issue. 

The reality is kids today are still battling this issue. If your kids have come home in tears after being bullied for their race, here are 15 truths to talk about as a family.

Jesus said the most important things are to love God and to love others. Real love does not judge someone based on their skin color or language. Real love treats others right. God doesn’t want anyone to be mistreated. Matthew 22:37-40 says, “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”

You were made in the image of God, and this is a beautiful truth. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings so that they are like us. Let them rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the livestock and all the wild animals. And let them rule over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own likeness. He created them to be like himself. He created them as male and female.

You are God’s masterpiece. God has made you who you are on purpose and with a purpose in mind! Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.

We are better together and we need each other. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 says, “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.”

God cares for you and loves everyone. He treats everyone the same. Deuteronomy 10:17-19a, “The Lord your God is the greatest God of all. He is the greatest Lord of all. He is the great God. He is mighty and wonderful. He treats everyone the same. He doesn’t accept any money from those who want special favors. He stands up for widows and for children whose fathers have died. He loves outsiders living among you. He gives them food and clothes. So you also must love outsiders.”

Racism is sinful. We are disobeying God when we treat others disrespectfully. James 2:8-9, “The royal law is found in Scripture. It says, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ If you really keep this law, you are doing what is right. But you sin if you don’t treat everyone the same. The law judges you because you have broken it.”

When someone sins against us, it hurts. We can take comfort in knowing God is close by. Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to those whose hearts have been broken. He saves those whose spirits have been crushed.

We first sinned against God and hurt Him, yet He forgave us. Even when it’s hard, we must forgive, because He first forgave us. Colossians 3:12-14 says, “You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don’t be proud. Be gentle and patient. Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you. And over all these good things put on love. Love holds them all together perfectly as if they were one.”

God is for everyone. He is Lord over everyone and He desires to save everyone, even those who sin against us. Romans 10:10-12, “With your heart you believe and are made right with God. With your mouth you say what you believe. And so you are saved. Scripture says, ‘The one who believes in him will never be put to shame.’ There is no difference between those who are Jews and those who are not. The same Lord is Lord of all. He richly blesses everyone who calls on him.”

Our mission is to share Jesus with all people. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

It’s hard to keep doing the right thing, but don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.”

Our future home, Heaven, has no room for racism. Revelation 7:9 says, “After this I looked, and there in front of me was a huge crowd of people. They stood in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb. There were so many that no one could count them. They came from every nation, tribe and people. That’s true no matter what language they spoke. They were wearing white robes. In their hands they were holding palm branches.”

As followers of Jesus, we must never give up on love. We can hope for a better future and we must love, even when it’s hard. 1 Corinthians says 13:4-7, “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It does not dishonor other people. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.”

Love is an action. 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, don’t just talk about love. Put your love into action. Then it will truly be love.”

This is what love in action looks like. Romans 12:9-21 says, “Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. Love one another deeply. Honor others more than yourselves. Stay excited about your faith as you serve the Lord. When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes. Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not curse them. Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. Agree with one another. Don’t be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important. Don’t think that you are better than others. Don’t pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can. My dear friends, don’t try to get even. Leave room for God to show his anger. It is written, ‘I am the God who judges people. I will pay them back,’ says the Lord. Do just the opposite. Scripture says, ‘If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. By doing those things, you will pile up burning coals on their heads.’ Don’t let evil overcome you. Overcome evil by doing good.” How do you think the world would look if everyone lived like Paul talks about in these verses?

I’m praying for you and your family. If you found hope or encouragement in another scripture, leave it in the comments! Other families might find it useful as well.

It’s Here: Orange Tour 2018 Session Notes

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We Can Do More Together – Joseph Sojourner – @iAmSojourner

“We can do more together.” As you look at those words see more. 

We – plural. We weren’t made to go through life by ourselves. 

Can – positivity. Mindset and perspective where I won’t let my hope be robbed. I have all I need in Christ who strengthens me. 

Do – practical. We need action steps. We need a plan and a strategy. Let’s set that plan into action. 

More – potential. What we see all around us when we look into the eyes of a student. Use your voice. You can do so much more then you see. 

Together – partnership. You don’t have to look like me or believe what I believe but we can still build something together to make the world better. 

Look what we can do when we are holding each other accountable. Will you fight for the people that God placed in your life? In a cruel world that wants to isolate us and make us take sides, know that we found love and can do more together. Maybe you can do more together. 

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We can do more together when we act like the future is now – Danielle Strickland – @djstrickland

Out of the chaos of creation, God begins to speak. Lean into the chaos. Jesus wants to speak in this spot, in this mess of a world that we live in, to bring beauty. 

Marching through blood ally to string quartet music. We’re getting married, want to come? There’s a wedding and we’re invited.

Talking with the guy in the dumpster and wanting him to know a couple of things.
1. This is real. It was really happening.
2. He was still invited. The reception wasn’t done. 

You know who is never invited to the wedding, that guy. It wasn’t too late and he was an invited guest to the wedding. 

When the church started there were no longer these great divides but doing life together and it was a sign or wonder for the people. From every tribe, every tongue, and every language. God has a plan for this world that will unite the world where we will realize we are better together. It’s for real, and you’re invited. 

Jesus is knocking on your dumpster and saying this is real. What God’s plan is for the world…is real. The question is, “How are you going to get out of the dumpster?”

If we really believed that Jesus was Lord and His Kingdom will come then we don’t have to reach into the past, we can reach into the future. We can pull that future into the present. We can live that dream right now in real life. If the future, our future with Jesus looks like every tribe, tongue, and gender. What would happen if we lived it now? What would happen if we were the people who climbed out of the dumpster of fear, comfort, and apathy? 

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We can do more together when we act like the next generation is watching – Reggie Joiner – @reggiejoiner

There is a generation watching you. There best chance to determine if this is really real is how you live this out.  How we work together will change how a generation sees God.

In the story of Nehemiah, the people lived in those conditions so long that they didn’t see the conditions they were living in anymore. They lived in those conditions so long that they could not imagine how anything would ever change. 

We don’t want a generation sitting in the ruins of your community. Nehemiah was bothered by the generation not taking it seriously and becoming so disillusioned. 

If God is so amazing then why don’t we stop talking about it and do something?  

A great place to start is to simply name what’s broken. If we can’t name the problem, we can’t fix the problem. 

Nehemiah called out the security and vulnerability of the city. Don’t be in denial mode. About the public schools, the worst part of the community.

You don’t have influence when you’re right about what you believe. You have influence when you care about people. When any church ignores what’s broken in their community, they foreign their right to have influence with their community. 

Nehemiah prayed and admitted the problems and said please help me God because here I go. 

Decide to do something.
“I was cupbearer to the King.”
He was admiring what he was not. He was not a priest or spiritual leader of Jerusalem but just to make the king happy. 

You aren’t responsible for a generation’s view of God because you are a pastor but because you are God’s people. You don’t have influence because you are right. You have influence because you care. Volunteers, this isn’t your job, you’re just a cupbearer. Leverage what you have so a generation can know God. 

Go see for yourself!

Nehemiah leveraged what he had and put it at risk and then he did something. If you’re going to understand the situation you’ve got to go see it for yourself. Drive around town and see what the problem is. When you go see for yourself, it changes everything. Get up close and personal with the situation. 

Build the church by pushing other people into the spotlight and not on a personality. When the “personality” leaves the student ministry unravels. If I don’t get up close and personal, if I don’t show up, then I won’t be the right kind of leader. If I go there, I will have a better understanding and people will follow me. Where are you going to see for yourself? 

“Proximity always changes your perspective. The closer you get, the better you can see.” – Reggie Joiner

If enough churches get close enough, to the marginalized it would change the way we do what we do. If we get close enough we get bothered enough. If you get close enough, this won’t be babysitting. There will be a relationship and you will care when they aren’t there. Everything changes when you get close enough. Invite a generation of leaders who have been sitting on the sidelines to begin doing something about the problem. Don’t measure success by how many people show up but by how many people are engaged on the frontlines. 

Give every kid an adult who will show them who Jesus is. 

If we can get a consistent leader in the lives of the kids in this town, it will change this town. If we try we will reach a greater impact on the communities. 

“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Nehemiah 2:17 NIV 

Do something you don’t know how to do.

If you’re going to work together you are going to be asked to do things you don’t know how to do. 

How we work together will send a message to a generation that is watching. We are living in a very unique time and sometimes we need to recognize that in this story all that was required was for people to roll up their selves and accomplish something. 

No spiritual assessment test. They just did what needed to be done because that was the calling. Because of the risk of not doing the world. What you do, when you get on the front lines with kids and teenagers, is the most important job on the planet. 

Everyone that Nehemiah needed to do the work that needed to be done were already in the town. They just needed clarity, vision and a reminder as to what was at stake. Maybe there are people around you who with a little clarity will show up. 

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Stop Recruiting Start Retaining – Darren Kizer – @darrenkizer 

The vision for ministry has often outpaced the staffing. Maybe the issue isn’t the teams but that I don’t know what I’m doing. Begin to dream and ask, “What if you didn’t have to recruit?” 

In every organization there is a pocket that has more volunteers then they need. There is a culture where their volunteers are recruiting their volunteers. Focus on making sure they get what they need to make it happen. 

There’s something better than just trying to survive Sunday and then there’s something better than the Saturday night texts. 

4 Stages Of A Makeover

Stage 1 Makeover: Foundation of Four Before

Excellence – Excellence in how you interact with people. The resources there for them. Without excellence, you will always struggle to have volunteers. You have to say, “I”m going to ensure that their experience will be one of excellence.” Do the absolute best with what you have. If you said you would do something then you did it. Their role is what you said it would be. 

Mission – We have the most important mission, changing lives for eternity. The further they are from the conversation, the more you have to remind them of the mission. If in the parking lot they need more reminders. If they come on Tuesday afternoon, they will have a hard time connecting. Link the mission to what they did. 

Appreciation – People don’t necessarily want appreciation events and stuff but to be appreciated. With volunteer appreciation Did you love them or do a tactic to keep them. 

Invitation – If you expect volunteers to volunteer you will be disappointed. It’s not their job to sign up. They should be servant leaders but we can’t just put that on them. It’s not, “how come they’re not” it’s our job to show what needs to be done. From the pulpit, they will do their time but then feel like they don’t have to. Don’t play the guilt card. 

Stage 2 Makeover: Stop Recruiting…Start Retaining – Darren Kizer – @darrenkizer

What we need is a shift in our focus. Don’t forget about the crew. If it depends on me to do this, then we will be limited. Make sure the culture of volunteerism is something they are running towards and want to be a part of it. 

Restaurant – If you have a great experience, you might invite someone to it. If a bad experience then they will tell people not to go there. Inside your organization, there is a conversation going on about volunteering. We have to get our culture to a place where volunteers love it and want to bring a friend. You are the best volunteers I know and you probably have some awesome friends. Who can I help you talk to about coming with you and getting on board? I’m having a great time and the two of us doing this together would make it even more amazing. 

Celebrate their Significance – What they do matters. Give up a possible volunteer for the individual and the church if it’s a better fit. 

Provide First-Class Support – The resources are there to do the job you asked for them to do. Their small group materials, their place to meet, and their communication pieces. Sending materials out the day of is not giving the resources early enough. Professionals will leave because they would treat others better. Equipment should work. Supplies should be there. 

Fuel Meaningful Connections – Biggest bump the quickest and cheapest. An unspoken social contract that when I volunteer for you, I will get a new friend. Meet people, they will be kind, and I’ll get a new relationship. If after 2-3 experiences they didn’t get a new friend then you didn’t keep your word. Lean into this. Volunteers gather in a clump and talk because they want a relationship (or they’re scared). Tweak how you are doing things so they are meeting people and having a relationship. 

Empower Their Passions – Help people grow and move. Not serving in one spot for ten years but what’s the felt need in their life that their volunteerism can help. When volunteering for you they will win at home and win at work. Equip them with tools and techniques to win. 

Stage 3 Makeover: The Volunteer Question – “Is it worth it?”

If it doesn’t feel worth it, they will do their time but then they are gone. As a leader, help them answer that question, “yes.” The event that you want them to be at better be worth it. They said no to something else to say yes to you. In saying yes to you they will later be asking the question, is it worth it? Be ready to share stories. Understand the win. How it connects to the whole. Let them know that what they gave up for this is so worth it. 

Stage 4 Makeover: Lead So Small Groups Win

Evaluate and prioritize things so small groups win. Yes, we need someone in the parking lot, but it’s so that small groups win. Small group leaders aren’t more important but the small group winning is more important. Move resources and vision cast with this end in mind. What do they need? What is keeping them from winning? When the small group wins, communicate it through all the layers so that they know how they helped the small group win. 

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We can do more together – Jeff Henderson – @JeffHenderson 

Volunteerism is everything. How do we raise the bar? 

If you don’t have thriving volunteers, you really don’t have a thriving church. 

“Digical” – marrying the digital and physical world together to help volunteers win. 

https://app.touchnote.com/product/postcard

We saw you winning and we want to show you that you are winning. 

We didn’t sign up for easy, we signed up for worthwhile.

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We Can Do More Together When We Help Parents Win – Kara Powell – @KPowellFYI

Does your church help parents win or does it help parents help your church win?

When we look at parents do we see them as Checkbooks, Chauffeur, Chaperones?

If we looked at your phone to see the last 3 times that you messaged a parent was it for something you needed or something you thought they needed? 

You don’t have to like every parent for every parent to have more influence than you. Guardians, step-parents, foster parents, incarcerated parents, divorced parents, non-tithing parents, Pinterest perfect and Pinterest failing parents. Every parent. 

Parents, we can’t out teach what you teach at home, we’re not that good. The best way to see kids win is to help parents win. When parents win, kids win. So let’s help parents win. 

I have such a great hope for what God can do through God’s people. The typical church in the US is shrinking or aging. Growing young church prioritize young people and families. 

When parents win, the church wins. 

Would you like a free resource that you can have access to right now for parent ministry: Text “Talk” to 66866

Parents will have more influence than you because…
Parents will know more than you’ll ever know.
Parents will have more time than you’ll ever have.
Parents will be in their kids’ futures when you’re not.

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If you want to help parents win, you have to care about what parents care about. Kristen Ivey – @Kristen_Ivy

Sometimes if you’re not in the world of parenting, it’s easy to get focused on your ministry and forget the everyday reality that parents are living in. 

The Top 10 Issues Parents Care About:
1. Bullying/cyberbullying (61%)
2. Not enough exercise (60%)

3. Unhealthy eating (57%)
4. Drug abuse (56%)
5. Internet safety (55%)
6. Child abuse and neglect (53%)
7. Suicide (45%)
8. Depression (44%)
9. Teen pregnancy (43%)
10. Stress (43%)

All of these concerns really have one thing in common: Their kids future. Every parent cares about a kid’s future. 

Parents care about education. The right school, the right teacher, and the right learning. 

Parents care about activities. Not wanting something else to do on Sunday but because they understand their kids will learn something in sports that they will not learn anywhere else. Perseverance, discipline, teamwork, develop a passion. 

Parents care about relationships. That they have a friend and are not alone. That they will have good relationships. 

Parents care about finances. That their kids will know how to deal with money and will get a good future job. 

It’s not that parents are apathetic and don’t care about their kids, it’s that they are focused on other things. It’s not that they don’t value church it’s that they don’t see how the church will contribute to their kids future. Is church as important as the pastor says it is? 

Church leaders care about a kids faith. They are focused on what matters most, the gospel and will unintentionally send a message that we are about the gospel and you guys take care of everything else. We care about their faith and one book and you get everything else. We take what’s spiritual and separate it from every other day of the week in a kids life. 

When we separate what happens in the church from what happens at home…we minimize the potential of what the church and home can do together. 

When we separate what happens in the church from what happens at home…we undermine the potential of faith to intersect a kid’s everyday life. 

It’s our job as a church to begin caring about what parents care about. Take what is spiritual and help it to connect with everything else. 

You have to leverage a parent’s concern about their children’s future, to position them as champions for their kid’s faith.

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Leverage the family to become the champion. – Reggie Joiner – @reggiejoiner

In Nehemiah, the people began to get tired and now they hear the rumors that there is going to be an attack and all the work they are doing is at risk. How do we get going in the right direction? 

Nehemiah 4:13 “Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.”

Leverage the family to become the champion. The vision became personal. 

When you make parents the champion…it increases the odds for the child.

No one has the potential to be a champion for a child’s faith, like the parent who cares about that child’s future. Nehemiah believed in the parents enough, he wanted them to be the champion of the story. The enemy decided not to attach. Why? Because they saw moms and dads standing in the gaps for their sons and daughters. 

When you make parents the champion…it builds trust with the parents. 

When you make parents the champion…it improved relationships in the home. 

If parents can’t explain your strategy, then parents aren’t doing it.

We want to help every parent become more intentional at home and come connected to a community of faith. 

Meet People

Add Experiences 

Prioritize Time

Identify Needs

Talk Together

The parents who did show up where the parents who didn’t even need it. We program to engage those who are already engaged. Make the disengaged parent the champion. 

Doing programs for parents who already come is not enough. Figuring out how to engage the disengaged parents is where we need to focus. Make parents the champion and change the story. 

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Growing Your Church Through Family Ministry – Jeff Henderson – @JeffHenderson  

What has changed in the church was that before family ministry was secondary to adult ministry. This is one of the best times to be in family ministry. 

Plant a thriving growing healthy community. One of the best ways to grow the church is through family ministry. 

Elementary kids can’t drive themselves to kids. When kids get parents excited about waking up for the church, this is a game changer for the church and the family. You create wonderful environments for children. 

2 questions for your team to wrestle with.

1. What do we want to be known for?
This is our vision. When people in the community talk about us, this is what they say. It can’t be two or three sentences long. 

Coming Soon Gwinnett Church. Jeff didn’t want the sign to immediately make people feel like they didn’t belong. He wanted something broad enough to let people know what they were for and that they could be a part of it. They decided on #ForGwinnett

2. What are you known for?
When these two questions line up you begin to grow. You create a sales force for free. You get positive word of mouth advertising. Word of mouth is still the most effective and powerful form of marketing. People are experiencing your vision and when you deliver on that vision people talk about it and it grows. 

When there is a gap between what you want to be known for and what you are known for you feel a tension. Not talking about perfection, just trying to shrink the gap. 

Not just ministry globally but ministry specifically. 

Middle school ministry example: We want to be known for giving students an opportunity to have a faith of their own. Are middle school students experiencing that? 

For High School: We want to be known as the best night of the week. 

What do we want to be known for with “the parents” “the elementary kids” “the community.” 

Eat More Chicken. You have no idea how long it took CFA to come up with these 3 little words. This is hard work. Carve out time to think through this. 

Be for the customer. How do you define the customer? The student, the volunteer, the parent? Be focused on what the customer wants. 

On most businesses and social media, the past 10 posts are most likely about what is happening inside the walls of the business. For Gwinnett church, they always post about the customer and the community as well as the church. If a business was a person, most businesses would be considered a narcissist. Customers are far to savvy for that. We’re better than them and we are only concerned about ourselves. Our vision should be that we are for you, we can help you. When was the last time you liked a volunteers Instagram post? When did you comment on their stuff? Not monologue but a dialogue. Be more engaged with them than talking about yourself. 

In UpStreet they are talking about self-control. Not just talking about what the pastor is talking about, but talk about what is happening in the children’s ministry. Most emails strategies for the church are terrible or non-existent. One of the best things you can do to grow the church is to grow the email list by adding value to your email subscribers. Lean more into email than social media. Just a couple weeks ago Facebook changed their algorithms. When you hit post you think it’s going to everyone but now it’s going to very few people. Facebook and Instagram can’t change your email algorithm. 

Church email is not to inform, inform, inform.
What is your current open rate?
What is the click rate?
If you grow your email open rates you will grow your church attendance, especially if you talk about family ministry. 

Starting next week, emailing UpStreet. Parents, if you want your kids to have more self-control this week, try this….. and in October we will be talking about this in UpStreet. (And for more on self-control join us at Gwinnett church. Send emails with value, send an email with value, send an email with value and then a request. Will you forward this email to someone who this would be helpful too? 

Most family ministries are underfunded. Most churches only have one person who wakes up in the morning thinking about the church’s finances and that’s the lead pastor. What can I, the kid’s pastor, do to come alongside you to help fund this vision?  The kid’s pastor can give stories. 

Most offering moments are a huge opportunity to leverage stories of ministry. 

My responsibility in fundraising is to make the ask. Their responsibility is to make the answer. 

For the community, we need to have an outward focus. Try Facebook advertising experiment. A few weeks ahead, target families in your community. Give families helpful resources. We want to be known for helpful content that encourages their kids and helps them be a champion. Do this for people in your community, whether you do this or not. Highlight and feature people in the community who are making a difference even if they don’t attend your church. This is adding value. 

One of the most important things you can do for you is to stay inspired. Remain inspired. How rested are you? Are you maintaining a sustainable pace? How are your relationships? Do you have someone who has the type of relationship where they could call your spouse to see how you’re really doing? How are you letting the Gospel be for you first? It’s okay to be tired, it’s not okay to be exhausted and burned out. 

Sam and Lee

We can do more together with Lee Jenkins, Sam Collier, and Reggie Joiner – @LeeAllenJenkins – @SamCollier – @reggiejoiner

Racial Issues were always at the forefront of everyday life. It’s always been there, just now we have social media. Been more discouraged about racial unity in the past 3-4 years then he has ever been. At the time of discouragement, God brought people into his life so he knew he didn’t have to do this alone. 

We are called to bear each others burdens. 

The systemic issue today. Still followed around in a beauty supply store or a proximately white restaurant. 

The perspective changes everything. Proximity changes everything. Made to feel like family immediately. A radar for social justice issues. 

What can the white church learn from the black church? 

Our theology is deeply connected to our sociology.
Not just about heaven and sound good but connected to everyday life because historically everyday life has been difficult. Jesus is a deliverer. A burden bearer. Not just salvation but need Jesus every day of our life. Collectively this is in a different way for the black church. 

It seems like every message comes back to hope. That we are a light for the generation. That Jesus should be a part of the solution to the problems you are facing. You will hear about life’s issues. The way the gospel is preached is different. 

Social justice is a Gospel Issue.
Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” 

Jesus stepped on this planet and cared for people in a social way. If you ever get accused of caring about the community in a way that you are compromising your belief, that’s a compliment. That looks like Jesus. Jesus stood up for women, the poor, the marginalized. 

Most important is: Love the Lord and love your neighbor as yourself.  

The white church has an issue with combining social justice and Biblical values. “Never Would Have Made It” social justice issues impact. The Gospel has to inform. 

We have extraordinary churches and leaders that you can learn from. A lot of black people are coming into white spaces but not a lot of white people are coming into black spaces. They won’t come to our conferences and our churches. Black, Mexican, and Asian folks coming into the white environment but we need to see this go both ways. Not just minorities coming into a white environment but white people come into a black environment and appreciate the differences. 

Check your phone, if you don’t have people that are different than you, you’re probably not growing as much as you need to and you aren’t understanding what God is calling you to. 

When you are the majority culture you can stay within your comfort zone. You can live out your whole life without dealing with minorities. But as a ministry, you have to learn how to deal with the majority to be successful. You are missing out on humanity. You are missing out on what God created when you don’t have cross cultural and cross racial relationships. Not just on your platform but in your relationships. We really can make a difference together. 

Nehemiah 6:3 NIV – “So I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”

Keep working together, regardless. 

This isn’t your fault but it is your problem. We don’t think your racist, we just want to know if you’re anti-racist. 

Treat each other with the right kind of respect. 

Expect to see God. But not necessarily the God you expect. 

The way you work together with other church and each other matters. What if the generation changes how they see God because they see how you treat each other. 

It changed what those outside the walls believed about God. 

Nehemiah 8:17 NIV – “The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.”

It changed how an entire generation listened to God. 

Nehemiah 8:3 NIV – “He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

Don’t get the order wrong. When this group of people worked together then people paid attention to what God said. After they started acting like the people of God then they listened up. 

If you want this generation to listen, invite them to do something significant. 

An Exciting Battle to Quickly Strengthen Small Groups

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Do you host an event built on small groups where both the students and the leaders are excited to be there? Do you leverage this event to build the weekend services and draw small groups closer, or is your event one and done? Each year we host a Turf War, which is a sure-fire event to quickly strengthen the small groups in our ministry. If you want to create a competitive event the students will become obsessed with there are a few things you need to consider. 

Before Launching Determine Your Battle

You are going to want to create a game or activity where small groups can compete against each other. This should be something that will be attractive to both the boys and the girls in your ministry. We have played game like “Capture the Hair Product” which is a mashup between multi-team Capture the Flag and a hairstyle contest, “Funnoodles” which is an Olympics style battle using pool noodles in each competition, and “Triangulation” which is an innovative game of 18 simultaneous activities to earn points for your small group. Before launching and advertising your Turf War determine which game you will be playing but keep the actual game confidential to build excitement.  

As You Introduce Turf War Build Energy

Don’t make the announcements informative but rather use your stage time to build competition. We place a graphic on the screen that reveals that important information and team colors and our host will rile up the competition by talking about how the blue team will annihilate the red team. The host reminds the kids that the bigger teams will have an advantage and to start bringing their friends each Sunday to grow their team. We never reveal the actual battle between the small groups but we might give clues to build excitement. 

Leading Up To The Event

There are so many opportunities to take advantage of prior to the day of the event. You can begin rewarding bonus points towards the turf war. Maybe you see students helping with putting away chairs and want to reward them, just give their small group Turf War Points. Or when students compete in an on-stage game instead of giving them a physical prize you could give their small group bonus points. The week before the event you could even tell the kids to come dressed in their small group color and award points for those who participated. To track our points and display them live in services we used the “Color Wars” presentation from DYM’s Sidekick App. 

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Bottom Line – Small Groups have something to look forward to together and the event builds such a strong community. Take my advice and look for an innovative way to build and strengthen your small groups. If you have an idea for a future game that could be used for a Turf War, leave it in the comments!

The Orange Tour Is Now A Huge Gift to Parents

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You probably heard about the Orange Tour, but do you know about Parent Cue Live and Lead Small Night? Orange Tour is a one-day event in 17 cities across the country and the night before, parents and small group leaders have the opportunity to engage in practical and fun training.

Parent Cue Live is a two-hour experience where Orange will help parents become more connected to your community of faith and more intentional at home. Every parent desires to better understand their kids, engage with them more intentionally, and learn how to dialogue with them about critical issues.

For less than the cost of dinner and a movie, Parent Cue Live will help you…
REDISCOVER what your kids need most in every phase
REPRIORITIZE how you engage with your kids every week
REIMAGINE how to dialogue with your kids about critical issues
RETHINK ways to partner with a church to impact your kid’s future

At Lead Small Night, we’ll talk leader-to-leader about practical ways to impact the lives of kids and students at every phase. Small Group Leaders will rally around a common language that helps them win in leading the next generation.

Your Orange Tour ticket includes registration to not only this event but also to the night before! Make sure to mark your calendar to attend either Parent Cue Live or Lead Small Night!

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What Question Does Jesus Have For You?

Have you ever asked a question for the purpose of teaching a lesson? Maybe you ask, “How many slices of pizza did you eat?” because you know your child is about to get sick. Or maybe, “Why do you think it turned out that way?” because you want your friend to think of making a better choice in the future. Jesus was the wisest question asker and often His questions would cut deep to the core issues at hand.

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In John 21:15 Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked Peter if he agape loved him, which refers to the highest form of love, a selfless love which puts others first. This question would have cut deep for Peter because he knows earlier he had denied even knowing Jesus. Peter responds saying he phileo loves Jesus, or another way of putting it is he loves Jesus like a brother. And Jesus responds by telling him to feed His lambs.

Jesus doesn’t allow Peter off the hook though, and He asks him two more times. Three times, the Savior of the Universe asked Peter if he loved Him and then challenged Peter to feed and take care of His sheep. Jesus was using this question to encourage and restore Peter from someone who denied Him to someone who would lead the church. Jesus was re-commissioning Peter to boldly take on the mission of disciple-making.

I can’t help but read this account and think about the questions Jesus might ask people today to re-commission them for making disciples. Maybe Jesus would ask you, “How much time did you spend watching Netflix today?” Jesus might ask, “Do you think more about what you will eat for lunch than inviting your coworker to know Me?” Or maybe Jesus would ask, “Why are those Instagram likes so important to you?” And none of these questions would be condemning but rather questions to help us refocus on the most important thing.

In John 21 we see Jesus restored Peter’s identity as a disciple-maker and He is ready to do the same for you today. Take a minute, get rid of distractions, and listen to the questions Jesus might be placing on your heart to restore you.