Next Conference Notes Part 1: Strategy, Teams, and Family

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Strategy: Job Description – Reggie Joiner

Champion Every phase:
How does our church value kids, teenagers, and families?
Age groups/phases are important. Consider having a parent council from every age group. Creates opportunities for seasoned parents to give credibility to what you are doing. Public milestone events. Visibility and platform.

Align key leaders:
How does your team play together?
Projects and events outside of specific age group. Kids pastor share in celebration when youth pastor wins. Do something together. Plan the calendar and budget together.
The referee of the different representatives. Get them to play together.
Youth pastors are often mavericks. Kids pastors are often organized. Get them to value each other and each other’s ministry. Be the glue.

Gauge the effectiveness and success:
How does everyone measure success?
What does a win look like in every age group and how do we celebrate these wins together?
Share best practices.
Attendance vs engagement.
Not sitting in service but engaged in service. Something will shift in your church when you stop measuring attendance but measure who will plug in and serve.
Envelopment and commitment. What culture is brewing in your ministry.
Listen to the conversations and dialog.
Recycle or refreshed group of leaders.
Are you experiencing new growth.
What is your retention after the first quarter of school? Gauge previous years numbers. Moving up from grade, compare to the previous. Not just what you measure but when you measure. We need to intentionally focus on times when attendance begins to drop off.

Assist ministry systems:
How are ministries resources, equipped, and supported? How can I help them win?
Standing meetings. Problem solving. Where your treasure is your heart is. Invest in and you will start to care. Get them involved. Emotion and heart will follow.
Explain the why. Give the information to crack through the tension. Not just that they want more money but understand why they want more money.
Bridge the gap between the senior level and the workers.
Planning the budget will help you find the why’s in that conversation. Sit around a table and discuss it. Walk away understanding the decisions. Not just the last person who spoke to the pastor.
Create unified systems where the gifting is helping the team win as a whole. Recruiting small group leaders vs. recruiting for one ministry.
Disciple kids in a system. If we want them at this point in high school what will it look like at the previous phase to get them there. Begin with the end in mind. One discipleship thread through it all.
Help make proposals for needs. Help them think it through and write it down.
How much do you spend per volunteer at every phase. Extravagant?
Become an advocate to the program director. Communicate the value of the ministry itself not the event that you are sharing.
A great idea is having student pastors lead parent nights out with kids ministry.

Expand learning:
How are your leaders growing and developing? Help your team continue to develop.
Ministry action plan.
Who are you recruiting?
Who are you developing?
What are your wins?
What are your goals?
Did you reach your previous goals?
What are your resource and budget for training opportunities.
What do your teammates need and fill those gaps. Put it in the budget.
Use the professional leaders in your church to help develop your leaders! This ultimately gets both sides excited.
Ask for help. Help me grow. Speak into my world.
Take the staff to go and serve one another. Not just a book but hands on learning.
Personal goals and ministry goals. Evaluate both.
Attach to others on staff who are further along.
Once a month a 4×4. Four big tasks for the next four weeks.
Have them teach because when they digest it to teach it they learn.
Consider utilizing outreach trips so extended time.
Networking locally and globally. Colleges. Churches. Invite conversations.
Direct reports get and hour and a half every other week. 3-4 questions. Some personal. Put on calendar and block out the time. Be accessible.

Partner with parents:
How are ministries keeping parents engaged?
Parent conversations. Felt need. Phase. Same window in time. Coffee and dessert.
VIP treatment about once a quarter.
Is the groups department covering parent content a percentage of the time?
Communication through one department to the family.
Live videos with ministry leads about what we talked about after the services.
Parents are awesome recruiters.
Training small group leaders. You are the bridge from parent to child. Let them know one thing every week. Leverage as a conduit to parents.
Open house so parents see what we experience not just walk through the buildings.
Intentional milestone events with the families together. At that event give parents the opportunity to live out what you just learned before heading home.
When sending off to camp have a prayer times with the parents. When they get home baptism and story time together.
Coffee talks. Or just ask what works for you?
Invest resources into discipling parents.
While something is happening for students have something happen for the parents.
Give calendars ahead of time and answer questions.
Prayer partners for every volunteer. Parents.
Strengthening their marriages.

Orange strategy:
Align leaders
Refine the message
Elevate community
Engage families
Influence service

Strategy: Growing Young Research – Kara Powell 

15-29 year olds.
Average church in US is shrinking and aging.
Study the shining spots. From nominations. 250 thriving with young people.
“Not just churches changing young people but young people changing churches.”
Fuels, flavors, infuses the above 5 strategies.

Align leaders:
Leaders who got passionate about young people.
The Kind of leadership that was important was the keychain leadership. We will pay you and give you a key to the church.
Ask kids, When do you feel closest to God?

Who are my keychain leaders? Train in developmentally appropriate ways.
Keychain Leader 1: _________
Keychain Leader 2: _________
Keychain Leader 3: _________
Keychain Leader 4: _________
Keychain Leader 5: _________

Engage families:
No more important influence in faith development than their parents.
“We can’t out preach what you teach at home.”
Responding to kids in the moment of instability.
As connected as our kids are to the church,  leaders and you pastors see many 5% of what parents see in the child. I need you to help me know how to respond in the moments of instability.
Parent pastor conferences! 30 minute conversations about my kid. Know where ministry is going but far more important talk about how to respond in instability.

Elevate community:
Diversity in the churches. Half we’re not predominately white. Top answers that kids loved in church was it’s like family. Not hip and cool but warm. “Warm is the new cool.” Small groups. Mentoring. Structures for community.
Illustration: Emmanuel’s brigade. Faxed from library.

Refine the message:
Less shame and fear and more grace and love.
Not Christianity focused but Jesus focused. Hunger for Jesus. He is always magnetic. How do we help that magnetism be seen?
Balance of grace and obedience.

Influence service:
Young people want to serve. For 5 out of 6 young people service does not lead to long term life respiration. 3 steps forward and 2.93 steps back because of what happens at home. How do we influence service more?
Missions Trip: Move from and event to a process. Not a week long event but a six month process. Spiritual preparation, heart preparation, and cultural preparation.
Serve anonymously.
Find prayer partners from same gender but different age. (not college girls with high school boys)
Pictures and Stories pot luck.
Where does this person feel called and how do we fuel it?

The gift of Fuller and Growing Young is we can say, “Research says” 

Strategy: Be and Identify Nehemiah – Reggie Joiner 

Rightsville GA. In the middle of nowhere.
When a teenage experiences what God can do through them, it forever changes them. How are we tapping into His purpose for them.
Professional work and still called to something.
You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s easy to think you know more than you really know. Get back in the trenches to realize what it really means to care for people. Think about God and His word in a new way.

Nehemiah chapter 3.
Convinced that the change in a community had to begin with the change in a few. It had to start in his life and his heart. Likeminded dissatisfaction and the people together.
What is the Holy dissatisfaction in my life? The thing that keeps me from getting tire in the ministry even though I’m tired in the ministry. Something in my heart of life that changes because we rubbed shoulders.
The volunteers we need are already present. For Nehemiah, the population is older. They feel they have paid their dues. The walls were built by the same people who had given up on them. If given the right vision we can reignite the heart to do what seems impossible. Chapter 3 shows specific gifts given and family names named.
If you are not clear about what matters most, you will tend to get distracted by what does not matter. “I’m doing a great work, so I will not come down.” Why would I leave this thing that is so important to do something that is not really important. Distractions from calling. Critics who pull us in another direction. Drain. Distract.

You will tend to engage families when the mission becomes personal to them!
“Why do you think families outside the church don’t trust the church? Why don’t they look at the church as a solution to their problems?” See the families as valuable. How do you treat the parents? How do you treat their children?

When rebuilding the wall and morale begins to fade, at the same time the enemy begins to threaten. Nehemiah 4:13-14. “I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.” Fight. He made it so personal for the family. It changes the passion and intensity. Somewhere in the context of what we do we must turn the mission around and make it personal to their children. Not for the kids in my town but for your kids. Make it personal.

If you want this generation to listen, invite them to do something significant. Nehemiah sees a generation that potentially will walk away and the need to change their perception of God. They were a part of seeing the wall go up. It changes they way they hear God. After the walls are build Ezra comes. Listened intently until noon. They saw God do something amazing and they listen in a different way. It changed what those outside of the wall viewed God and how those inside the wall trusted God. Worship had not been experienced this way since the time of Joshua. Involvement changed how the entire generation listened to God.

“You are in the business of being a Nehemiah and identifying Nehemiah’s.” 

Give the church permission to make kids a priority. What can we do in the middle of all the chaos to be driven by a calling to ministry to people on all sides of the issues to show them Jesus? If we are going to be in the transformation business we have to be Nehemiah’s.

Team: How to lead when you’re not in charge. – Clay Scroggins:

Speaks 15x a year and Andy 30x per year.
North Point is a church of families. Strollerville

5. Challenging up.
Something to challenge your boss on?
Too often we start with this one. One of the greatest mistakes. This is number 5 not number 1.

1. The influence outpaces authority.
Myth in leadership. “I thought that would get an amen.”
First day walking in and think, it’s awesome being in charge but then would hear from everyone and realized your not in charge. More bosses then ever had before. You don’t have to wait until you get in charge to start leading. Whatever your role is you can lead where you are at. The greatest changers in the world have led without a title. Martin Luther King Jr. Influence is more powerful than authority.

2. Kibosh it’s in you.
Genesis. Multiple, fill the earth and subdue it. Kibosh. Seinfeld snuffing something out.
Do not be like the rulers with authority but serve. Push forward and make something great. The DNA of God is in me to create. To help. To do. Exercise a redeemed kibosh. Quit the blame and bloom where you are planted. Cultivate where you are. You don’t need to leave, don’t mute it, kill it, or let it go without control.

3. Find your steering wheel.
Like a kid in the shopping cart. Think it will turn but you don’t have real control.
No control over it. Series at church, topics or virtues. Why get frustrated over what you have no control over?
You do have control: Attitude. Energy.
Buckets of influence. Your Team. Org chart. Where do your frustrations fall? Above the chart. Instead of frustrated on things you have no control over you have an opportunity below the chart. Focus your energy where you do have control.

4. Create an Oasis. Of excellence.
They gave you a lot to lead. Instead of frustrated on what you are not in charge of, put your energy into what you can effect. Lead it to the best of your ability. Where is your space (your garage). Create a well ordered, under budget, planned out, strategic place.
Idea: Pig roast with dad and 8th grade sons. Letter for dads to write with a template. Small groups around the fires where dads read the letters to their sons around the fires.
Romans 13. God established leadership.
I’ve got to love my boss, you can’t lead someone that you don’t love. Not jealous. When you call your boss the name pops up and your boss has a feeling about you. You have an opportunity to influence that feeling.
When you leave people need to be surprised. If this is the last job God has for you are you okay with it?

Most people want feedback but they don’t want to do the work to get it because it feels like rejection. What’s it like to be on the other side of me? If you were me what would you do differently? Your boss has feedback for you but when you ask for it, it builds a bridge. It will be good for you. Proverbs 12:1, “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.”

Team: 4 Esteems of Leading a Team. – Michael Owens 

A leader of leaders. Trained on how to lead kidmin in an effective way. COTM.
In youth ministry we often don’t value what we are doing. Ignorant about the job of reaching young people. Not a second class leader. Not babysitting. See yourself from God’s perspective so you can lead your team with passion. Esteem communicates great passion and vision. Average is an enemy to greatness. God didn’t create you to be that way. Greatness begins with the leader.

1. Esteem power with people not power over people.
Embrace the heart of “WE” not “me”.
Embrace the power of your team. Make everyone feel valuable.
Make sure everyone is involved in the process of leading.

2. Esteem the power of creativity.
Innovation. Create the end result in your mind so that you can extract it to the world around you. TV companies do research on young people to impact and catch the hearts of young people. There are people sitting on your team who have the answers to the questions you need. Your team is there to help solve problems, give them a platform to innovate. Consider having creative meetings with students to impact their peers.

3. Esteem balance with relationships, leadership and family.
Familiarity can be a gift and a curse and your family should be priority and not the minority in your life. Are you neglecting your children and your wife? Build your calendar around your family not your family around your calendar.

4. Esteem character.
Character is doing what is right because it’s right. Deal with the issues inside your heart. Character goes all the way down to your personal life.

5. Esteem love.
Love leadership is the heart of God, He is love and we are his love agents. Love helps you develop empathy. Your team will go above and beyond when they know you love them authentically.

How are you structuring your care and love for your people? Team to feed your team, email contact, celebrate birthdays, team for when life happens so meals, cleaning, laundry. I heard this happened, so I’m going to come by tonight and bring dinner. Healthy communication between volunteers and leadership. You need a system of care.

Team: What standards do you have for staffing? – Nick Blevins 

Is the conversation subjective? It doesn’t have to be. Check the research.
There is never enough money. What do churches do?
1:98 staff to kids
1:51 staff to Youth
What is your main program for kids?
What is staffing for multi site?
1:126 vs 1:95
1:81 vs 1:64

Feeling understaffed is subjective.
Might be a fit issue. Capacity issue.
Multisite churches have more volunteers and require less staff. Central services model and not just a coincidence. You have to lead into volunteers more.

As churches grow they should strive to become more lean in staffing. Becoming more lean and leaning into volunteers helps you grow. Is it? Does this shut down the potential of volunteers? Forces you to develop volunteers to fill the holes. Production vs small groups. Ratios are important for small groups. Train and develop leaders.

What’s my first step?
Figure out ratios and compare them.
Students 1:11 staff to volunteers. The core of the issues is are we leaning into volunteers well. Is that us doing the work or are we truly leading through volunteers.
Look at your ratio of staff to volunteers and compare to what others are doing.

Teams: What would you do different? – Geoff S Surratt 

NextGen the most terrifying job in the world. Parents, environments birth through college, services and campuses. Variety of backgrounds. Sexual identity and orientation. No matter what there background is at home they need to love Jesus, the Bible and the church.
Do you have a score card? Do you know it? Budgets or numbers?
No finish line in NextGen ministry. 20 graduate and 20 are born. Will we leave? Will we get fired?
Know what it’s like when your budget gets cut, key teen gets pregnant or leader is moving. Help me get into ministry! NextGen value. Best and worse feelings.
The disasters are seldom as bad as they look at the time.

Success is NextGen ministry is measured in decades

What would you do different?

1. Start with parents. Before he saw 3 buckets: Potential volunteers, potential drivers or potential pains in the butt. Now would spend time with parents to ask about their home. What are your dreams for your kids? What are your fears? How can we invest in you and your kids? Move beyond the walls of the church. School counselor. Family counselors. If you tell parents you want to help them win as parents they will talk with you regardless of church attendance.

2. Identify a scoreboard. Wise and foolish builders. Can your house survive a storm?  What are 2 or 3 indicators that it will last. How do you know you are succeeding? Not surface level indicators that change often but deep preferred outcomes.
Build a game plan to drive the scoreboard vs vice versa.

3. Recruit to strategy. Not guilt, not need, not candy (cool). Strategy. Here is how we know we are winning. Do you want to be a part of helping kids share their faith with one other friend. % of kids who shared their faith last year. We want to increase this number. Do you want to help?

4. Celebrate like crazy. Weekend’s keep coming but you MUST stop to celebrate wins. Every one who is saved gets a party in heaven. Why do we move past this so quick on earth?

5. Create a feedback loop. How does your pastor prefer communication? Here’s where we are winning and losing. Is this a good measurement? Define the scoreboard. The stakes are overwhelming but who else goes to work every day knowing that what you are doing is changing the world?

Teams: 7 Questions and Pirates – Reggie Joiner

In 2006 Reggie started working as Orange. He built a strong team that together can accomplish the mission. The last 3 years has brought growth. 60-70 staff to 120. Maybe in fast growth we need to back up and start over again so the DNA stays in our organization. Know the way you craft words, messages, handles, phrases and brands. Do the people inside your organization really understand those phrases and DNA. From a TV series of pirates we see they have a strategy, make plans and know organization.

7 questions that if everyone knew the answers to, we would be at a better place when it comes to messaging. Your job is alignment, alignment, alignment, alignment, alignment. You never have to work to get misaligned that is natural.

1. Why do we do what we do? (Mission and vision.)
Pirates provide for their family. This is their why.
If you are on an airplane and they ask you want you do what do you say. What do you say when they ask why. We forget his over time. Know your mission.

2. What exactly do we do? (Practices.)
Pirates rob ships and get money.
Create environments where people have the best opportunity to help families win.

3. How do we plan to win? (Strategy.)
Pirates prepare the ship, chart the course.
Strategy. Put the pieces together
A plan of action with an end in mind.

4. What is most important right now? (Priorities.)
Pirates protect the cook.
Not the 45 things but 3. How do you contribute to these 3 most important things? Partner with parents, volunteer leadership.
Never let the small group piece suffer for production.

5. What do the wins look like? (Goals.)
Pirates know where going, who to get gold from, gold measurement in weight.
Most important exercise. Clarify the win for EVERY environment. When this hour is over we know we won if these 3 things happen.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

6. Wow do we work together? (Values.)
Morale on the ship is important. Loyalty is high in value.
Committed to the vision. Who is on the next journey or next ship? What are our values and how do we treat each other on this journey? DNA of organization and how we treat one another.  90% of problems are system problems. Sometimes you have to go back to the values in how we behave and treat each other. Compass and boundaries. You are not the smartest person in the room. What we do collectively is greater than alone.

7. Who does what? (Roles.)
Every role and contribution is important.
One sentence job description of Everyone. Strength finders option beside what they do.
Do the rest of our staff know the answers to all of these 7 questions?
Put these questions out there. What are the 3 priorities for the next two years?
The reason for the order they are in. Strongest to the weakest.

Reggie is willing to learn from every and any source!

Kara Powell discussion with:

EJ Swanson – @ejswanson
Nina Schmidgall – @ninaschmidgall
Allyson Evans – @AllyEvans
Paula Forte – @paula_forte

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Drucker
NS: Collaborative leader. Expect everyone to contribute. Move forward. Culture where in the same room often and everyone contributes.
AE: Understand the overall vision. “Inside out” new staff orientation. Values vision culture. Collaboration, trust, and feedback.
PF: Collaboration, unity, trust. Don’t portray yourself as someone who knows all the answers.
EJ: Collaboration, honesty, and availability. Drop everything to dive into vision.
EJ: Budget year starts in April. Changes all jobs but the main pastor roles. For the next year, this is your role. “House Hangouts.” Your still on the team but your role is changing to fit gifts and needs of the church.
AE: Central support team. Staffing to volunteer leadership team. Associate positions are pipeline positions. As soon as develop she will go to a campus. Able to run slim because of central team.

Define the win:
PF: Direct reports personal for life’s as well as ministry. Meeting times each week. Are you progressing? When you lose, redefine failure.
NS: Win by values. Maximize investment. Make Sunday’s excellent. Small window but important. Bringing friends.
Focus on relationship. Content vs the relationship. Teachers often focus on the content.
Partner with parents. Give tools.
Encourage missions hearts. Purpose in the community and world.
What are you doing to contribute?

Family: Partnering with Parents – Reggie Joiner 

“Reactivate every parent strategically to be more present at home and be more connected to a faith community.”

Be More Connected:
-Connect with mentors and peers
-Engage in faith activities.
More engaged then they were previously!
Clarify and indicators you are winning with parents.
Know the sgl’s name
Parents volunteer
Parents tell other parents about church
Proactive and reactive communication
Participate more often
Milestone involvement
Parents serving with their kids.

Be More Present:
-Leverage family times.
-Initiating critical conversations
-Reinforce what their kids learn at church
-Expand adult influences in their kids.
Share stories about their life
Parents disciple their own kids.
Relationships improving.
Financial investment
Approach small group leader about goals
Talk about church at home.
Use tools at home.

Family: How strategically do you partner with parents? – Sherry Surratt

Inflection points. Destruction that causes a change. Think and feel.

Fall – Start
Family rhythm disrupted. How is schedule change? What is the new rhythm?

Winter – Restart
Back to reality. How do we get back to normal? Jan 24th most depressed day of the year. What is new normal. Think: we can help you restart.

Spring – Focus
Deal with what teacher has been saying all year long. Families feel overwhelmed. Asking how can we finish well? Help them focus.

Summer – Recharge
What do we do with little ones while working? What trouble will they get in? What will I do with my summer? Help them recharge. Schedules change and help them recharge.

Parents need from us:
1. Cooperate with their rhythm. Parents are thinking about this new role for child not our events. Spring give resources

2. Reactivate them around their felt need.
Events that help what their inflection point is thinking and feeling. Reactivate them.

3. Give them what they need when they need it.
Think medicine isle when sniffles. Boil it to minimum. KISS. Clear. Easy. Strategic. What one thing do we put in their hands to make it easy? Tell them why it matters.

4. Help them reimagine the end.
At baby they are imagining the end but then life hits. They lose sight.
Help them know God, love others, and see themselves as God sees them.

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Family: Patterns of predictability in our ministry and in families. – Kristen Ivy

What are the vulnerable ares of our ministries?

“We are all vulnerable because of the very transitory nature of life. We are vulnerable because of illnesses and the fragility of human relationships. No one is so formidable as to be victorious in all circumstances. We are weak, hence vulnerable. It takes courage to face the fact of how very weak we are.” – Moishe Rosen

Authentic Faith – Trusting Jesus in a that transforms how I love God, myself, and the rest of the world.

Spiritually discontent: Never want community to become satisfied with where students are currently.

In the rhythms of life we see patterns of vulnerability.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
“Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.” Ecclesiastes 3:15.

Nothing new that hasn’t been faced already.
Resurfacing the same issues. Just the stakes might be a little higher.

Life maps:
Why the shape of the line?
High at beginning. Dips but up in 4/5 grade and then back down after 10th grade. Then back up after 12th. Seasons of intensity. Puberty rises things in an emotionally demanding way.

Rhythms and Seasons
As a parent, there’s nothing my child will face that hasn’t been faced before.
Do more in the vulnerable places to raise the bar even higher.

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Family: Millennials – Kara Powell

The 18+ phase
Fuller institute. Millennial. Born 1989-2000. 17-37 year olds.
Twitter post: How to confuse a millennial: Show them a phone book.
The millennial response: Crash economy and ask why they live with parents.
The reality for young adults. Define reality.
+ 5 years for almost all milestones. Married. Babies. Financial independence. Vocational stability.
The church has ministry for: Children, Youth, College, Young Married.
The reality is there is now: Children, Youth, College, 5 Year Gap, Not quite as young Married. AND so many new options now.
Overall they are lacking relational support.
Young adults and technology.
Enhance ability.
Filters make everything look pretty.

28 is the new 18. And they feel bad about that.
Don’t feel like they are accomplishing the milestones their parents have. (Or pastors)
Figuring out God’s calling later.
Tell the millennial this: We’ve been both 18 and 28. We can connect.

IBP: These questions are always present. When older they are at a low simmer but at 18 they are boiling over!
Identity. Who am I?
Belonging. Where do I fit?
Purpose. What difference do I make?

The spiritual reality:
80% college students have an interest in spiritually and 75% believe in God. Ucla
18-29 year olds make up 20% of us population but only 10% of churchgoers.
Not you’ve left the church but about the church leaving them. Our lack of empathy and unique journey they are traveling on.

What do you love and hate about this age group?
Hungry for an adult mentor and support. Coffee and conversations on life.
Challenging: Like all of us they are a complex mixture of selfishness and selflessness. Thinking the world revolve around them.
Graduation Sunday. Students feel abandoned by the church.
Idea that it’s not an event but a process. Not goodbye but hello.
Redefine what happens during the weeks around graduation.
Senior Sunday. Pictures for bulletin vs helping them stay connected.
How do we respond?
Growing young research.

Young adults are the legacy of your ministry
They are your volunteers
The parents of your volunteers.
Steve Argue book on those 18+

1. We don’t judge we journey.
Entitled and lazy. Negativity. Labels by those who spend no time with them and miss remember their own time. Don’t assume it’s similar. Picture 80’s teens.
“When I was your age.” Eliminate from vocabulary because it communicates we did better. Deserve to be listened to not labeled.
“Young adults are not our pariahs; they are our prophets.” – Steve Argue
Vonda journeys with. Empathizes. Percentage wise they are growing more because she trained how to walk with and not judge.
What if a certain percentage of your congregation tried to build a relationship with a young person? Not to recruit but to know.

2. We help them move from coasting to calling.
Identify Purpose.
Agency. Hungry for a sense of agency. Former youth pastors are working with this group and they don’t realize they can release the ministry to them. Have you talked with any young adults? They want to be involved in kingdom work. With young people today it has to be true impact. Not hashtags but actual change.
Homeless Jesus statue. Magnet to young people. Use your gifts to change your community.

3. We offer a stretching faith not a static faith.
When young people’s faith grows it sometimes scares us or throws us off. Faith is a verb that grows and evolves. Doubt isn’t toxic to faith, silence is. What do you believe about faith now that you don’t think I believe?
Instability: Main adjective to describe young adults. This can be a catalyst in their faith journey. In the midst of chaos millennial can begin to wrestle with their identity, belonging and purpose.
Who are we. We are people saved by grace?
Where do I fit? Grounded in the community of unconditional love.
What is my purpose? By being involved in Gods mission.
“The Gospel is the best story and the better story always wins.” 

Family: Don’t Give Up on Partnering With Parents! – Jim Burns

It’s messy because all families are messy.
It’s hard to measure families.
You are walking on Holy Ground.
It’s not a curriculum or organization it’s a movement. Be part of God’s movement.

1. When you reach the family you reach the world…democrat or republican… Christian or atheist.

2. One of the purposes of the church is to mentor parents, parents mentor their children and the legacy of faith continues to the next generation. Not transferred from the church or synagogue but by the family. The strongest influencers are 1: Mom. 2: Dad. 3: Grandparents.

3. “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not just welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Asked: What are you doing in your family or church to help parents succeed?
Common Answer: It’s our biggest priority next year.
Partnering with parents is not a program. It’s a mindset.
The church can help the home have hard conversations.

What’s holding you back?
It means more work. Already too busy.
We’re insecure. No kids at phase or not doing well in own parenting or own marriage.
We sense parental resistance. Felt it because they didn’t come to the program. We still measure success by numbers.
Don’t want to know. Parents might really be struggling.
Over committed and under connected.
A silo church mentality.
Don’t feel they have a say. Meet with all the silos and get them involved.
“I’m in family ministry and I do elementary ministry.”
Lead pastor is threatened. Might not be into orange. But more so pastors are hurting today. They feel shame. Short term movement started in the mid 80s because of the youth ministry. It doesn’t have to come from the top.

Be a facilitator to partner with parents.
Jesus sower and the seed. 25% was great.
We are not in control we are simply corse controlling.

Inform parents.
The number one desire is information. Parents are wanting to know what you are teaching and what’s going on at the church to help families. It doesn’t even have to be in the church, it could be something to help the family that comes through the community.

Assist parents.
Bring in an expert. Assist with family counseling or pointing them in the right direction.

Encourage parents.
Your son is amazing and did this ___
Parent advisory. They support what they help create.

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This is part one of the next conference notes, make sure to check out part two for Leadership, Volunteers, and Culture

One thought on “Next Conference Notes Part 1: Strategy, Teams, and Family

  1. Michelle Suarez says:

    Thanks for sharing!! It’s gonna take me a week just to process these notes – I can’t imagine how you’re processing the real thing!!

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