You Lead Lab Notes from The Orange Conference #OC18

OC18 YouLead Notes.001

Building A Comprehensive Plan From Birth To College by Cindy Fiala

 “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9

A thousand generations just because someone said yes. What you do matters! 

Watch out for ADOP: Attention deficit ohhh pretty 

Perspective: Sometimes don’t appear as they really are. From the outside things can look great but it’s all about perspective. 

Forced Perspective: a technique which employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. 

Forced perspective in our ministries or life only creates an illusion of what’s real, true, and reliable. 

With a few steps, we can create a desired destination that everyone and every system can lead kids and students to a unified common end in mind. 

Blameless Autopsy: By creating clarity and common vision you eliminate the vision vacuum of forced perspective. 

Take a step back and take a hard look at every part of our ministry. Without emotion, defense, blame. A scientific standpoint. 

Clarity and unity trumps everything. 

Church Unique: “The answer is having a vision that oozes, that is original, organic, zeroed in, and extravagant. When leaders start thinking clearly, engaging locally, focusing redemptively, and risking boldly, their church becomes an unstoppable force and an irresistible influence.” Will Mancini  

What are we looking for in a Blameless Autopsy: 

Do we have one common end in mind in the totality of family ministry? 

Do you have a strategy or plan to get kids and students on a discipleship pathway? 

Are your teams aligned? 

Do you have consistent small groups?

Are you successfully partnering with parents?

Do you have good age grade transitions?

Are you celebrating milestones?

Are you mobilize students to serve inside and outside?

Are we being strategic to equip parents?

“Does your family ministry strategy align with your church strategy, vision, and mission?” 

Do you have silos? 

Have you set down and decided your values? Values are how people behave. 

Values will create your culture. 

Do you fight for the relationship?
Do parents know their roles? 

Are you in the weekly weeds of programming?
If you have a strategy, how well are you executing it? 

OC18CindyStrategy: The Five Essentials

Aligned Leaders

Engage Parents

Elevate Community

Refine the Message

Influence Service 

The Method of BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

Do you have a consistent NextGen meeting EVERY week:

30-minute meeting:

Win and story from this week? 

What are you working on?

Where are you stuck? (Connect offline)

5 minutes per person on the team to share.

Longer form meetings:

Work on the business, not in the business. 

Is someone on the NextGen team on the leadership team? 

One Voice: Church vision and strategy + Nextgen vision and strategy = Integrated strategy for 1000 generations. 

Life transformation happens in circles. A place where we can be authentic. 

What is regular attendance? Frederick Colorado is .8x a month. 

Everything we teach in early childhood they will ask questions about in middle school and high school. We must build a foundation. 

Help them learn how to interpret the word. Help the truth connect to their heart. 

Are we creating consistent opportunities for kids to serve both inside and outside of the church? 

Book Recommendation: Comprehensive guide to family ministry by Diana Garland 

If a kid has multiple voices speaking in their live year after year and if that same student is serving alongside adults 98% will stick. But we don’t start this their senior year. 

Last Step: Put it all together. More than just our nextgen team. From the parking lot to the main platform, everyone in the church needs to know what your goal is for every student in your ministry. Know what the win is. 

What is the goal? A High School student will graduate living life on mission with a heart that belongs, a mind that responds, and a life that reflects Jesus Christ long after they launch. 

This goal informs our message, it informs how we speak to volunteers and everything we do or choose not to do. Allows us to have quick yes’s and gracious no’s. 

Jim Collins: The Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept is developed in the book Good to Great. A simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of three circles: 1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine. Transformations from good to great come about by a series of good decisions made consistently with a Hedgehog Concept, supremely well executed, accumulating one upon another, over a long period of time. 

You can’t over-communicate vision!

Verbally, every time you meet. 

Through our actions and decisions

Printed materials

Social media

Automated messaging in your environments

EntreLeadership Podcast

#229: Dina Dwyer-Owens—Why Values Matter – 

In every conversation you have you need to lead with your vision and lead with your values. Lead with your why.

Think of family ministry as a vehicle. All moving in the same direction. If a tire comes off the car is done. If a tire is flat we all feel it. We all have to be rolling together and in sync together. 

Free Resource: Creating Environments that help parents and kids fell welcomed! Text 1000GEN to 444999


Discovering What Volunteers Really Want by Darren Kizer

Maybe I’m the problem? Maybe I need help to help volunteers to join the team? 

Leverage the opportunity to invite others onto the team. 

Always be answering the question: Is it worth it? Until we are consistently answering this question, we will never have enough volunteers. 

What a volunteer needs in preschool is different than what they need when working with Junior Highers. 

What do volunteers really want? And the bigger question is what do I need to do in order to give what they need? 

1. Owner vs. Renter

Volunteers want to follow a great leader. 

Think through a rental car. A whole attitude and mindset change. Your volunteers will sense your attitude and know if this is a rental gig for you or if you have fully bought in. Is it for the long haul? Are you working on something significant? 

Is this worth it? If it’s worth your all then it will be worth their extra. If your full-time gig ain’t worth your full time then how in the world will you get them to make an extra part-time thing become worth it? 

2. Right place vs. A place.

They want to serve in a place that fits. 

Honest and brave enough to not place them in a bad fit. 

You have a limited number of volunteers. If you get them wrong they will do their time and then leave. Every time you use a guilt card you will get volunteers but they will do the minimum and then they are gone. They will feel like they did their time and have checked it off. 

It takes extra work but will create the culture for future success. Renter vs owner is the difference between fixing a pipe vs putting duct-tape on the leak. Volunteers will either tell their friends to join or warn their friends to avoid your ministry. Make sure they are in the right place, even if it’s in a different department. The win is they stayed in your church, not in your area. It’s going to hurt you now but in the long run, it will pay off big. 

Elevate the culture of trading volunteers to find the right fit for the individual, not the ministry. Lead the way in making them win. 

3. Meaningful training vs. meaningless training

If they are skipping date night, missing a recital, or leaving the house, then you need to make it worth it, every time. 

It’s easier for me to demand a meeting then for me to figure out what they need in the comfort of their own home. It takes more work as the leader to communicate the same things to them without dragging them out of their homes. 

When you gather them together with your volunteers better be better spouses, parents, and employees. Because they attend your training they should be getting promotions at work. 

Leverage your connections to give them the best training. Who are the HR experts? Who can you bring in for 15 minutes to better navigate their role both in and outside the church? Invite them to your next training. 

Training for broken systems does not work. Don’t train them how to use the broken copier, fix it. 

4. They want authentic community. 

Make sure every volunteer has a friend. 

With your teams, help them schedule their time and frequency so that when volunteers are showing up they are calm and present to build relationships. 

Are you creating a culture where tasks are more important than relationships? Model authentic community. 

But, what’s the question for NextGen Leaders?

As a NextGen pastor, your “volunteers” are often your team. Would they volunteer for you? Do they feel “It is so worth it?”

We as nextgen leaders can make a terrible mistake and believe that recruiting volunteers is somebody else’s role. We have to model to our team and staff how to lead with care, concern, and love. Would your staff members volunteer for you if they were not an under an employment contract? Would they want to hang out with you? Is your relationship bridge strong enough? Would they follow your vision? 

If you default to the boss and employee relationship with your staff then your staff will default to boss and volunteer with their team. My job is to make sure you have the tools to reach the mission. 


Actions Steps for nextgen pastors on a day to day basis. 

Ask: Is it worth it?

Architect an irresistible volunteer culture. 

Go volunteer in the community and see how it makes you feel as a volunteer. Find out what is in it for you as the volunteer. Discover how to teach this in your volunteer culture. 

Protect the culture with ruthless love. 

Budget. In the decisions that get made, make sure the volunteer culture is protected. If you lose your volunteers, this place is done. We are 100% dependent on the volunteers and making this change will cause them to feel like volunteer isn’t worth it. A bad experience sticks with volunteers, protect them with ruthless love.

Fight your way up the ladder. Sometimes you need to give another option or scenario where the church can win. Sometimes you need to draw the line and come up with a solution. Fighting to protect the culture in the long term is greater than the weekend event. Don’t sacrifice. 

Model Ito your staff (and friends). If you want your staff to be building relationships then model it to them by hanging out with them without an agenda. Make sure they have what they need to get the work done. It’s not okay to show up and figure it out while the volunteers are standing around, troubleshoot beforehand. 

Reinforce that small groups must win. ALL volunteers are important and have value. Small groups must win. The small group leader is not the most important but the small group experience is. You are not winning if small groups are not winning. All pieces work together to make small groups win. The further they are away from the small group experience the more energy you will need to help them win. Share small group stories with the parkers so they know how they are winning in the big picture. 


Creating A Volunteer Strategy For Getting It All Done by Mike Park

As a NextGen leader, you’ve been entrusted with creating an environment where great ministry can happen. 

You’ve been really good at making cookies, but now you need to make a cookie business. 

The secret of NextGen ministry: We Need People. 

Exodus 18:17, “Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good.”

Gather leaders and give responsibility.

How do we as nextgen leaders create great environments for our people? 

Great nextgen leaders ask great questions. Great questions lead to greater clarity, better strategy, and clearer vision. 

How do we communicate when we delegate? 

Small Tasks vs. Big Asks

Small tasks are the what, the how, the can you just go give juice to the preschoolers. We think if we give small tasks it will be easy and we will get more help. When we do a big ask we are talking about caring for and hydrating the next generation. Pouring this juice may help change the world for Jesus. When you pour juice you get to do it alongside a middle school and will have a great conversation. You can become a significant voice in the life of that middle schooler. Are we letting them know they are a part of something bigger. The smaller the task, the bigger the ask has to feel because the smaller the task the smaller the more insignificant they will feel. 

What you do is important. If you don’t do the sound right then the student does not get to hear the message that will change their lives forever. Paint a great vision of what the job looks like and more so what that job means. 

What can you invite people to be a part of? Maybe your leaders aren’t committed because you haven’t 

Is your Organization Chart helping or hurting your ministry? 

Leading it All vs. Leading in layers

Layered Leadership:
Accountability through shared responsibility.
Clear roles and responsibilities.
Better care and accountability
Increase two-way communication.
Systematic feedback and evaluation. 

When you layer leadership it creates space. People will imitate what you as the leader will celebrate. If you want to promote a welcoming hospitality celebrate it. Don’t just let it be the student pastor that oversees the volunteers, maybe you need a coach for middle school and another coach for the middle school. Create a structure where volunteers can flourish.

OC layers

How are we developing those we lead? 

What if instead of training we created a coaching program? What if someone was in the life of the volunteer, speaking into them on a regular basis? Help them process what went right and what went wrong. Help them know what a win is and if they are doing a good job. 

Instead of creating more training meetings create more training relationships. Take the seasoned people in your ministry and help point their attention to the new leaders. On a weekly basis, walk with them and coach them on how to lead a group. 

A Coaching Model:

Assigns ministry mentors
Offers regular support and praise
Conveys expectations
Sets milestones
Track growth. 

What’s our plan for advancement? 

When leaders come into your ministry, excited to serve and they see the vision under a great coach, what’s next for them? 

Who is the young person you are pouring into, and investing in for the next generation? 

Empowerment: The authority to make key decisions at critical moments. 

Retaining Volunteers vs. Empowering Leaders

Do we need to just get it all done while running on a hamster wheel? Did any of us go into ministry because we are excited about filling in spreadsheets? 

Everyone is in this room because someone empowered us to lead. Someone gave us the authority to make key decisions at key moments, probably even when we were not ready to make that decision. Who can you, as the nextgen leader, can you empower? Write down three names of people in your church that you want to empower. 


Keys to Empowering Leaders

Keep your Focus on the Big Picture
Sort your Priorities and Let Go of the Trivial
Let Go of Perfection and Redefine Failure

You are tasked to create excellence across the board, but what if you look at excellence differently? What if excellence was empowering your team? 

There is a line that goes from birth through college and NextGen leaders own the line. How can we help our high school pastor own the line just as much as the preschool pastor? 

What are the things that only you can do? What are you doing that you could empower someone else to do? Maybe only you are able to sit with a family through a significant loss. If that’s you, do that well. 

Let’s say things are going well but your team is burnt out or their families are falling apart. Yeah, you hit your marks, but are you winning? Failure is when you create an environment that burns people out, where they don’t make time for God, where the people aren’t cared for. In the end, we need to love our people. John 13, love one another as I have loved you. 

“The task of the church is to serve as the best example of what God can do with human community.” Stanley Hauerwas 

What if our volunteers believed they were a part of this best example of what God can do with human community? 


Volunteer Innovation Lab For NextGen Leaders by Nina Schmidgall

When we are talking about volunteer strategy for getting it all done, and managing a lot of teams, 

Every six months 40-50% turnover in volunteers because of the transient population of D.C. Assimilation of volunteers quickly becomes very important. 

Your ministry will never be perfect and neither will the people who lead it. 

We go through seasons, keep this in mind. 

Failure is doing everything yourself because you have a fear of others disappointing you. This fails to develop leaders and fails to create long-term ministry. 

Don’t Quit Book: A healthy team is one that has a clear direction.

The reason people start volunteering in ministry is usually different than the reason they continue serving. 

Make volunteers feel a part of something. At Nina’s church, all volunteers wear a branded t-shirt. If you lead a team you get a fancy zip up. 

The fifth Sunday of every month is Sunday Funday and they suspend curriculum and play. Moments together with the small group leader and inviting their friends. Hats for Sunday Funday to feel a part of something and celebrated. 

The Volunteer Project: Stop Recruiting Start Retaining by Darren Kizer:

Single location vs multi-site location differences. 


Start: What’s one thing you must start doing? 

Stop: What’s one thing you must stop doing?

Improve: What’s one thing you must improve?

What is the most difficult volunteer role for you to fill?

What is your biggest barrier to improving the volunteer culture or experience in your ministry? an173-efeb3e88-0967-4ffa-ac9f-7c2a1a06b77f-v2

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