You Can’t Do It All, But You Can Do Something


We all want to make a difference in this world and we hope that 2017 will be the year that takes us one step closer. Instead of attempting (and yet again failing) to change the world, what if we focused on changing the world of one individual? Andy Stanley put it best when he challenged the church to, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” This year really can be the year that you make a difference! I want to challenge you to complete one of the following tasks to practice doing for one what you wish you could do for everyone.

Give time to one person in need.  It’s not possible for you to sit and talk with every elderly person in the nursing home. You can’t attend every child’s baseball game in your small group. You don’t have the margin to pray with everyone before they begin chemo. But this year it would be possible for you to give your time to one person going through a hard time. Decide today who this one person is, and commit to doing for that one. 

Give a special gift to one organization. Maybe your gift is making the commitment to serving every week with the kids at church. Maybe you cut out specialty coffee, and commit that extra money to a missionary. Or maybe you can do for one organization this year by pulling out your checkbook and making someone’s dreams a reality. Find an organization that you believe in and make it better this year.

Share a Bible verse with one stranger. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Take the time to memorize an encouraging verse and be prepared to share that verse this year. Ask God to lead you to the right person and then find the boldness to speak God’s truth.

Share your faith with one person. LifeWay Research found that 78% of churchgoers have not shared their faith with anyone over the past 6 months. 59% say they failed to invite anyone to church during that same time. You might not be the next Billy Graham, but God has placed you in a specific place this year to make a kingdom difference. Begin now by selecting and praying for an individual. Make 2017 the year that you share your faith with that one person.

Make this the year that you make a difference in someone’s life. 2017 really can be the year that you change the world. Write down your goal and place it somewhere you see every day. Commit to leaving it there until you have completed the task! 

Fundamentals for Leading the Greatest Internship


So, you’ve hired an intern for your organization, now what? The reality is setting in that soon someone will be learning from you and possibly shaping their future success around the tools and systems you help them develop. If you want this to be a great internship for both the intern and the organization then you need to begin with prayer and get ready to do work. Here are five fundamentals for leading the greatest internship.


In order to end well, you must begin with goals in mind. Ask yourself, “What do I want the intern walking away knowing, believing, and doing when it comes to this job?” While they are with you, what systems do you want them to learn, what books do you want them to read, and what tasks do you want them to accomplish. What do you want your intern to think of when they think back on their time with you? What experience do you want to give them and what memories do you want them to make? These questions can also drive your recruitment strategy. To read 5 Simplistic Steps to Recruit the Best Interns click HERE.


What will the intern’s daily schedule be and how will the schedule flow throughout the day? Have you created both big and small projects for the intern or are you simply giving them busy work? Daily, you will need to communicate with your intern so determine now what those meetings will look and feel like. Another great tip is to create some extra projects that are without a deadline so that they always have something to do.


Without a plan, your weeks will turn into months and opportunities will fall through the cracks. When you break an internship into weeks it is easier to think through different subjects you would like to teach the intern and then focus on those areas weekly. If you have an intern with you for twelve weeks then determine what the top twelve subjects you would like to teach are and in what order. For a yearlong intern you can still focus on twelve topics but just take extra time teaching the same subjects from different angles. It is also wise to meet weekly to evaluate the previous week and plan out the coming week.


When you think monthly, think evaluation. After the first month, you can give your intern an evaluation and receive valuable feedback that may prevent a bad experience. Ask what goals they reached this past month, find out how they are managing their work load, see if they have experience frustrations, and determine if there is anything you or your team can do to make things better. When you evaluate early and often you avoid issues growing bigger and can cater the internship to meet expectations from both you and the intern.


Most likely your intern is only with you for a time and will be moving on to the next thing. Your job is to help the intern succeed not just when they are with you but after they move on. Point out their strengths and encourage them to continue growing in those areas. Help them see the things they need to work on and also help them know how they can be a better future employee. If you are able, walk them through the interview process and help them see ways they can make a better first impression while leaning into their strengths. When you contribute to the future success of the intern, they will view this as a great internship.

Following these five fundamentals will give you a remarkable advantage when it comes to leading the greatest internship.




State of the Nation with Corey Jones

Thanks for watching this week’s State of the Nation! I am Corey Jones and today I’m excited to share a Bible verse with you that has been on my heart!

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” Comma! That’s the end of verse 16 but it’s not the end of the sentence. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Kidmin Nation, we are running into battle and in everyday conversations, in everything we do, we need to make sure we have the sword of God by our side! Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Conversations and teaching without a focus on the Word simply don’t measure up.

And measuring up, we’ve all be there. I can remember a specific ride that I really wanted to ride at a fair. It was kind of like this giant coffee can, where there is nothing inside, no straps or anything holding you in. You would like up against the wall and the thing would begin to spin and then the centripetal force would pull you against the wall. And then it would happen the floor drop out and you would be stuck against the wall. I watched people do this over and over again and I wanted to do it but I simply didn’t measure up. I was disappointed. The next year I went to go stand in line and again I didn’t measure up but that third year I finally measured up and I got to experience it. It was everything I was hoping for and more. I was so excited, and yeah, I did get a little dizzy but I was so excited.

That feeling when it finally measures up is that same feeling you get when the Word of God speaks through your life. Our words never measure up to God’s supreme wisdom. So whether you are counseling, discipling, or teaching, we want things to go well but what we say often doesn’t measure up. We might give good advice but we are lacking. I’ve said before, “You only control yourself.” And that’s good advice but far better than that advice, is found in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Or we say something to kids like, “Don’t use you words to hurt others.” But far better than that is, “everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Now here’s the key, my mentor Brother Jim taught me this lesson when talking about curriculum and lessons. He said, “The number-one mistake in teaching the Bible to children is to fill them with facts instead of the principles of each story and teaching.” And remember 2 Timothy 3:17, “so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Now it’s true, David did choose five smooth stones out of a stream, He put them in a bag, a shepherd’s bag. And what’s a shepherd’s bag made of? Those are all the facts of but they are not the emphasis of the story. The principle, the thing that really matters is that when you, like David, are in the fight of life, facing your biggest giant, that God is by your side. Principles of Scripture are huge!

And finally, Kidmin Nation, how’s your spiritual tank? Are you spiritually nourished or have you been lacking in when it comes to feeding on the Word of God? The Word of God, is alive and active. It’s active in your life but only when you’re in it. You are the only person who can make this a priority for you. If you won’t prioritize the Bible for you then no one will.

I saw this twitter exchange and I wanted to share it with you. The person tweeted saying, “When was the last time you heard God speak?” And the reply was, “Today when I opened my Bible.”  We are in a battle. We need our weapon, the Word of God, in hand.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

My 6 Most Helpful Posts from 2016

img_8480Did you reach your 2016 goals this year? One of mine was to share one blog post each week with the KidMin community. This goal was met and now I have shared 62 posts this year. More exciting than that is that people from 60 countries have viewed posts on my site! As we wrap up the year I simply wanted to share my 6 most helpful posts from 2016!

Why You Need To Listen To These 24 Excellent Podcasts

Podcasts continue to break download records year after year. With a growth in popularity and expanding options, it’s good to have an inside scoop to know what podcasts are worth your time. After daily listening to a dozen podcasts for a few years, I want to share some of my absolute favorites. Here are 24 excellent podcasts to subscribe to today!

21 Powerful Leadership Quotes From The Orange Conference

One of the best things you can do for your leaders, is to expose them to your decision making process. @fbealer
There are families who will never step foot into your church until you step into their world. @ReggieJoiner
You have no idea of the ripple effect through the generations!
At the end of your life regret will sting more than failure. @pwilson

8 Expert Authors Whose Books Will Grow Your Ministry To The Next Level

Almost every ministry leader I talk with is reading a book to improve themselves and their ministry. But with more than a million books release annually, it’s difficult to select your next purchase. Which author’s have done the research necessary to release great content? Who can write as an authority on the subject that which you are interested? And honestly, who can write something worth reading? Here are 8 expert authors whose books will grow your ministry to the next level!

How To Host A Simple Turf War For Your KidMin

This past week our preteens made lasting memories as they enjoyed pizza, funnoodles, and small group shenanigans during our Turf War. This annual event draws a crowd as each small group is battling to get the first pick on their small group rooms. While the activity itself is different each year, the Turf War promotes small group ministry, builds strong teams, and involves a lot of friendly competition. Here are a few steps to help you host a simple Turf War for your kids ministry.

17 Excellent Books You’ll Want To Read In 2017

2017 can be your best year yet! You can work hard, reach your goals, and truly steward your time well. I believe a great book can motivate you to become the best version of you possible. Over the last 2 years, I’ve read over 120 books and I’ve narrowed this list down to a few of my favorites. Here are 17 excellent books that you will want to read in 2017!

3 Common Mistakes KidMin Make (And How to Avoid Them)

Hopefully, you are not the same caliber leader you were last year. And hopefully, you are not making the same mistakes today that you made yesterday. At least a dozen times I have heard Jim Wideman say, “Successful leaders make mistakes, and then they learn from those mistakes and keep going.” Today I want to share with you three common mistakes kidmin leaders make and how to avoid them.

17 Excellent Books You’ll Want To Read In 2017


“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Joseph Addison

2017 can be your best year yet! You can work hard, reach your goals, and truly steward your time well. I believe a great book can motivate you to become the best version of you possible. Over the last 2 years, I’ve read over 120 books and I’ve narrowed this list down to a few of my favorites. Here are 17 excellent books that you will want to read in 2017!

31946312Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church
by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, Brad Griffin

Across the United States, churches are losing both members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage. Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain teenagers and young adults.

Memorable Quote: “The internet can’t help you move into your new apartment. Only a close community will do that.”

26821682Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow
by Carey Nieuwhof

In Lasting Impact, Carey Nieuwhof leads you and your team through seven conversations that will help your church grow and have a lasting impact. Maybe the future belongs to the churches that are willing to have the most honest conversations at a critical time.

Memorable Quote: “If the change inside the church isn’t equal to or greater than the change outside our walls, greater irrelevance is inevitable.”

12609433The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg

At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.

Memorable Quote: “Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

11734990A Tale of three Kings: A Study in Brokenness
by Gene Edwards

This best-selling tale is based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom. For the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing, and hope.

Memorable Quote: “He seemed to understand something that few of even the wisest men of his day understood…God wanted a broken vessel.”

13497505Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
by Bob Goff

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.

Memorable Quote: “I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”

18077903Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Ed Catmull

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation.

Memorable Quote: “Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”

11198480Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
by Kyle Idleman
Are you a follower of Jesus? Don’t answer too quickly. In fact, you may want to read this book before you answer at all. Consider it a “Define the Relationship” conversation to determine exactly where you stand. You may indeed be a passionate, fully devoted follower of Jesus. Or, you may be just a fan who admires Jesus but isn’t ready to let him cramp your style.

Memorable Quote: “Fans mistake knowledge OF Jesus for intimacy WITH Jesus.”

76865Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
by James C. Collins

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins.

Memorable Quote: “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

22505257You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity
by Francis Chan, Lisa Chan

In his latest book, Francis Chan joins together with his wife Lisa to address the question many couples wonder at the altar: How do I have a healthy marriage? Setting aside typical topics on marriage, Francis and Lisa dive into Scripture to understand what it means to have a relationship that satisfies the deepest parts of our souls.

Memorable Quote: “Again, our marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are heart problems. They are God problems.”

14453237Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry
by Paul David Tripp

Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy–an environment that actively undermines the wellbeing and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body.

Memorable Quote: “No one celebrates the presence and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ more than the person who has embraced his desperate and daily need of it.”

377640Seven Practices of Effective Ministry
by Andy Stanley, Lane Jones, Reggie Joiner

There’s no scoreboard in the sanctuary, and the only plate is probably for the offering. But every church leader needs to know how to win, and every congregation needs to know when to cheer. This insightful book speaks to every church leader who yearns for a simpler, more effective approach to ministry.

Memorable Quote: “Nothing hinders morale more than when team members with separate agendas are pulling against one another.”

15869598Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human
by Judah Smith

Jesus is greatly revered, harshly criticized, and sorely misunderstood. Judah breaks down who Jesus is and explains to readers how understanding Jesus more fully will not only enrich their lives, but also give them meaning, as well as save them.

Memorable Quote: “Grace is a person. And his name is Jesus.”

27163727Tweetable Leadership
by Jim Wideman

Tweetable Leadership is a collection of more than 500 tweetable truths that are taken from Jim Wideman’s books, blogs, and teachings that will help jumpstart your thinking and learning so you can apply them in your life.

Memorable Quote: “If God leads us in steps, why don’t we think in steps?”

6234075Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance
by Bob Buford

Bob Buford believes the second half of your life can be better than the first. Much better. But first, you need time to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. So he recommends that a reader call “halftime” to reflect not only on where he’s going, but why.

Memorable Quote: If the first half was a quest for success, the second half is a journey to significance.

944267Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No
by Henry Cloud, John Townsend

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not.

Memorable Quote: “Forgiveness gives me boundaries because it unhooks me from the hurtful person, and then I can act responsibly, wisely. If I am not forgiving them, I am still in a destructive relationship with them.”

18685328The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
by Patrick Lencioni

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team.

Memorable Quote: “Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.”

56501Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service
by Kenneth H. Blanchard

“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”

Memorable Quote: “As for what I’m doing here, I’m here to show you the three magic secrets of creating Raving Fans, the ultimate in customer service.”

To read how to read 400% more by next year check out this blog post: LINK! With less than 1% of participants reaching their goal on the Goodreads social network this year, I believe part of the problem is a failure in select great books! I’m looking for books to add to my next reading list and must ask, “If we were to round these 17 up to 20, which 3 books would you add to this list?”

5 Compelling Reasons to Attend a Conference in 2017


Will you attend a conference this year? Most likely you have clicked the email, you received the mailer, and you have seen the advertisement on social media. You hear a lot of people talking about how much fun they had at a conference, and you have a feeling that you should attend but you have not taken the steps to make your intentions a reality. Or maybe you have attended a conference in the past but it has been a few years since you made attending a conference a priority. Conferences are a valuable ministry experience and can help us go further in our leadership, so here are five reasons you should attend a conference this year.

Connect with God

Sunday mornings you are spread thin. Even if you are able to get into service you know that a text message can easily pull you in another direction. Being present at a conference allows you the freedom to worship God without distraction. Talented worship leaders usher you into the presence of God and through the quality speaking you can hear the wisdom of your Savior. As you sign up for your next conference boldly pray, asking God to speak directly to you. Ask for Him to give you ears to hear His next steps for your life.

Connect with People

It’s easy to feel isolated but events like conferences bring people together. Whether you are waiting in line for food or simply sitting down at a workshop, you are surrounded by people who care deeply about the same things you care deeply about. When you strike up a conversation, it can easily lead to a new friendship built on shared interests. Conferences naturally lend themselves to a place where those in the trenches can easily connect with those who went before them and those who are leading experts in the field. If you desire to network with people who will help you reach your potential, a conference is a great place to find them.

Connect with Resources

Are you up on the latest resources in the church? At a conference, you will be exposed to vendors who would gladly talk with you about their latest and greatest resources. If you want to hear new music, find new and exciting games then just simply walk through the exhibit hall and keep a lookout for what you are wanting to discover. If talking with vendors isn’t your thing, then simply walk through while grabbing brochures and materials from the booths that interest you and then do your research later. When you get home from the event, your brain will be on overload and so having physical reminders of resources will be very helpful.

Connect with Vision

At a conference, you will hear from experts who passionately want to share the vision that God has placed on their hearts. This can spark a fire in your church that carries on far beyond the event. Vision will impact your thinking, and after attending you will likely not see things in the same way. Your perspective might even shift, changing the trajectory of your ministry. Each and every Sunday you might begin asking new questions like, “How do we make this lesson matter on Monday?”

Connect with Calling

As time goes by, you might lose sight of why you do what you do. What first burned inside your heart at the beginning of your ministry might be slowing fading, and a conference might just be that fuel that makes all the difference in your longevity. As you hear the Word of God preached directly to your pains and struggles, you will feel a revival growing inside of you. Attending a conference might just be the pep assembly that renews your soul for another decade of ministry.

As church leaders we need to get smarter, kinder and louder, before those who live around us will trust what we have to say.

Then, what happens at our churches will have lasting impact on what happens in our homes and neighborhoods around our churches.

Join us at OC17 as we discover what it means to be For Our Neighbor. REGISTER BY DECEMBER 15 TO SAVE $70, plus receive Orange Tour bonus content!

(Originally posted to the Orange Blog at:

5 Simplistic Steps to Recruit the Best Interns


Are you successfully recruiting the best interns to your organization? Every year, thousands of organizations and ministries are searching for an intern to bring onto their team, but not everyone is successful at finding the right fit. There can be a life-giving breath of fresh air and palatable energy brought to the church through a young and excited intern. But when handled poorly, an intern can also bring a sense of dread or discouragement. We want to create a valuable ministry experience for both the intern and the organization so here are five simplistic steps to recruiting the best interns for your team!


Create a written plan explaining why you would like to hire an intern and then get that plan approved. If you believe an internship can propel a person forward through personal development and coaching then write that in the job description. If you believe having someone come alongside you daily will help give ministry experience then write out some daily responsibilities and add those to your document. Determine benefits, expectations, work schedule, required skills and who will provide supervision and prepare a presentation for your leadership. Once you have the position approved and you know what you are looking for in a candidate then you begin the search.


Now that you have the internship position approved and you have created a solid job description begin searching for candidates. Post the opening on social media, spread the word, and begin taking resumes. With every possible candidate, carefully read over their resume to see not only what is listed but also what is missing. Check references and ask the hard questions necessary to get to a better understanding of the candidate. Finally, review the candidate’s social media accounts and look for both read flags and hints as to their fit on your team. After you have a good number of resumes, narrow your list and begin interviewing your top candidates.


Most likely you will be spending a considerate amount of time with your intern so keep this in mind as you begin the interview process. Ideally, you would interview the candidates in person with a group of discerning leaders but if that is not the case then set up the meeting using a service such as Skype or Zoom. Invite a few leaders to come along for the interviews and try lining up your team’s schedules so that you can move fast in the decision process. During the interview ask a variety of questions to get to know them, see how they would handle a situation, and hear their heart for what you are inviting them into. Write down their responses or record the meeting to help with future discussion and deliberation.


Directly after the interviews, it would be beneficial to deliberate with your team. If one candidate rises to the top and it is an easy decision then begin moving forward with that candidate. If deliberation leads to more confusion then you may need some time or possibly a point system to determine who you will extend the job offer to. When you offer the position to the intern candidate, be clear in your communication. Let the candidate know you have selected them, review the terms of the agreement, and set a deadline to receive an acceptance of the offer.


Now that you know who the intern will be and when they will start, communicate with your team and lay out some expectations. Share why you are hiring an intern and how they can help give the intern ministry experience and personal development. Encourage your team to schedule a meal with the intern as a way to break the ice and get to know them. Also if it’s applicable, make sure you inform your organization about what to expect and how the intern fits into the organizational structure. Help the organization see what the benefit will be as well as how they can contribute to the intern’s growth.

Hiring an intern can bring energy and fresh eyes to your organization. Make sure you do the hard work and follow these five simplistic steps to recruit the best intern for your team!

(Originally posted to the Youth Specialties blog at