Next Conference Notes 2019



Who are my people that I can ask, “What about…?” And “What if…?”

Be ruthless about your strategy.

Introverted gift giving ensures that at least a few people like you.

Why does what you do matter?

Keep everyone imagining a better future! A different and better version of their faith. We can not afford to lose the faith of the next generation. When you stop imagining a better world, you stop becoming a better leader. You are the one who is responsible to capture the imagination of what could be.

You can’t manage what you can’t imagine.
A strategy is what the end in mind might be.
If you’re not clear where you are going it’s easy to get stuck managing what you do. Leaders lead somewhere. A better vision of where you are going. If you don’t know where you are going then chances are you are not leading anywhere.

Traffic cone: The programs in your church. Your ministry components. Your curriculum. They can either direct traffic or create chaos. Guide hundreds of two-ton automobiles down a path to a destination. Doing less is more. What is it you want people to do or to be? Evaluate by asking is it leading people to that end.

Important Questions for a team once you established an end:
The orchestra conductor is the only person not making a sound but linked to everyone playing the instruments.
How can I help you win at…doing what you do?

5 questions to constantly be asking our teams and leaders. Why I do what I do. The right questions help you measure success. It’s not how can I make you do what I want but how can I help you win.

Mission and strategy. You aren’t going to be successful because of your mission. Great missions organizations close every day. It’s your strategy that helps us find success.

Align Leaders:

How can I help you win at… growing in your personal leadership so you improve your teams and strategies?
Success is linked to your leadership.
Young life clubs that were thriving and growing vs those who are stagnant. Not money, not staff but key variable was number of volunteers that the clubs had. The number of those volunteers and how well those volunteers are trained. You can have an incredible curriculum and bad leaders and fail.
-Help leaders become self-aware and see their blind spots. RightPath or enneagram common language.
-Move from yearly evaluation to quarterly. And address issues regularly.
-Listen to volunteers. Anonymous survey.
-Give team leaders your meeting instead of going into their meeting.
-Challenge the team to be learning. Get them to teach something they have recently learned.
-Put it on the calendar. Who do I need to meet with weekly, monthly, annually and schedule it?
-Not assuming what they know.
The more common language the more moving towards one goal. Can’t get on the same page without getting in the same room. Has to be intentional about alignment.

Refine the Message:

How can I help you win at…creating a compelling message strategy for your weekly environments and online platforms?
What are the big rocks that you need to put in first? What content do you want them to understand and know? Teach less for more. There’s a difference between believing all scripture is inspired and applicable.
-Know who your audience is not just what’s comfortable for you. Know if your illustrations connect. Your target with parents might be the single mom or grandparent. Refer to guardians and people in different situations.
-Spend time talking with students. Be in their schools. Hear their conversations. If we don’t know their world we don’t know what matters to them. If it doesn’t matter to us it won’t matter to them. Empathy. Feel their pain. (Dear Evan Hansen The Musical)
-Protect your children. Stand up to the culture so they have a safe place to open up. Refine the message and don’t just do it one way. Help them feel safe and able to respond.

Engage Parents:

How can I help you win at…engaging parents to be more connected in community and more intentional at home?
Two big buckets for a win. We win when they become more connected to a community of faith or more international at home. Those who are disengaged to engage or those who are already engaged, engaged more. There is a cycle. If they win more at home they engage more in the church.
-Batch based on core values. Based on a topic ask what can we do better. How can we serve you better?
-At Confirmation where parents go through the process with their kids. Parents share their faith journey. Have a list of questions to help parents share. A parent-child small group experience. Unpack salvation for children where parents unwrap the Gospel for their children. Invite them.

Elevate Community:

How can I help you win at…developing volunteers who champion the kind of authentic community that solidifies a kid’s personal faith?
A consistent leader over time is the best chance at helping children. Teaching truth vs discipleship. Teaching them that they weren’t designed to do faith on their own. It’s easier to recruit people to teach than to champion community and be a small group leader. Get a different result.
-Don’t give up. Share the vision of moving up with their kids. Encourage this.
-Love and invest in kids was less intimidating than teaching. Share those stories. Help people see the impact they can make. Give parents an opportunity to share stories. When I talk with adults they actually act like they care what I’m saying. Every middle schooler will gravitate to the adult that takes them the most seriously. People feel disqualified.
-Invite old small group leaders to the milestones.
-Teach leaders when your with kids and parents show up, hear their parents story. Invest in their parents. When looking at the phases from preschool all the way through it gets increasingly difficult to find the leaders. The heavy lifters on the senior high level. A seven-year-old will share to any adult. A middle school or high schooler needs the relational credit.
-Not bodies in positions but the right people with the right heart. Consider the pre-existing volunteer relationship. Never going to get to 100% but work toward the goal of consistent adults.

Influence Service

How can I help you win at…influencing kids and teenagers to keep pursuing a love for God that moves to love and serve others?
If they can’t step in and experience it, you are sabotaging them in their faith journey.
-Let the 5th graders lead large group. Help them stay engaged and live it. Add missions work to conferences and gatherings.
-Seventh graders to be preschool leaders. Lead small groups and allow them to pray for the kids during their transitions. At promotion a seventh grader praying for the preschooler in transition.
-Junior Leaders. Train people along with parents to lead ministries in other areas. Help position them to lead after transitions.
-Instead of going to a Sunday morning service, we want you to be the church and to serve. Use the students as examples of what it means to serve every week.
-Push them to serve outside of the walls of the church. A small group time where they come up with a place where they can go and serve.
-James, Peter, John mentality. Take the inner circle students with you to go do ministry. Also, know your 12 and lean into them to do ministry. Model how we serve. Do more for a few.
-Raise up student leaders. Hang out with them. Call them up to leadership for them to step up to.
Regardless of size and denomination increase the consistency of their service. Turn up the volume of service. Call them to more. If I gave you seven 9th grade kids, what would you do? Do ministry with them while I taught them. Changing the culture in your church from how they see the teenagers. The teen working beside them is as important as the 4th graders you are leading.

How do you measure if you are winning?
What are the indicators?

Student pastors measure success by how many teenagers show up at an event. A better measurement is how many are showing up to serving? In the NextGen role, you need to champion how success is measured. Typically we measure it by these numbers but can we also measure success by this.

Parking cone
Change the color of carrots. It’s okay to change how we package the message.
Jack planters. Family oriented and families coming together. Families crave a shared experience.
Basketball. Build a team and help them win.
Power cord. Plug teenagers into serving.


Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining

At the end of the day recruiting volunteers to pull this off is one of the hardest things you will have to do.

The precursor to strategy. Whether a strategy will stick. The secret sauce of volunteers ministry. What makes them stick? Mindset.

Mindset is an established set of attitudes. How we think and feel. Most of us in this room have a great mindset for volunteers but not everyone on our team shares that same mindset. Create an established and agreed upon goal of developing coach level leaders.

What happens when someone says “recruit”? Stress, fear, and others have an excited mindset. What do we do if they don’t have a healthy mindset? Stories of life change help develop a healthy mindset. Not what I want from them but for them.

Come alongside the people who are serving and love them well. Invite them on this journey.

Go back to our first love. Ask our team what their story is. Ask how volunteering has impacted their stories. Share those stories.

When our volunteers are loved and cared for well they will invite others to join them. Give them the language they need. Write their script for them.

Every volunteer is a gift. We are accountable for how we steward the gifts God has given us. Volunteerism is discipleship. I’m not recruiting leaders because I need help but because I’m discipling adults.

You might have to kill what is working to be able to work on what is working better.

*Reread 7 Practices of Effective Leaders

Serve spotlight. Interview a volunteer. Share their story and then point people to the place to get more information.

Best recruitment is a one on one conversation with someone and a personal invitation.

Our responsibility is to make the ask. We aren’t responsible for their response. Have you ever had a server fall on the ground crying when you denied their question for ketchup?

You don’t get the leaders you need by announcements but by personal invitation. When you do your job of asking with vision few leaders will say no.

When your volunteers invite a friend, it’s sticky.


If we are going to disciple a generation we need to make it personal.

The goal when students walk out is that they Own their own faith and never do faith alone.

To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young, gifted and black,
Open your heart to what I mean

Having adults that speak life into you as a wild child makes it personal. I was that kid.

The big room: adult service
The main room: kids service

How do we get churches who aren’t thinking about the faith of kids? Make it personal.

Are we in the program mode or the people mode? Are we doing ministry on them or for them? The program exists because you know the people. Every program is a step towards relationships. How is it helping the dynamic of a small group? If you close the lesson with a bow instead of a question mark you shut down the small group leader.

A reminder to go into your community. To go out into the schools and be personal with them without them having to come to us first.

How to be known in a way where they feel like they belong and have a place. What if every kid in the ministry had an adult who knew the answers to these questions?

Do you know my name? Names speak of character. It’s more then how are you doing my friend? If you don’t know the name it says you don’t care. Especially with a generation struggling with identity. A generation that needs to know their known. Jesus called out Zaccheus.

Do you know where I live? You can see their community. Physically. Emotionally. Do you know family dynamics? Jesus with Mary and Martha.

Do you know what I have done? There is a story attached to you and me. Do you have empathy towards my story? You can’t feel loved by someone unless they really know you. Do you know the dark corners? We want honesty between each other to be known. When you know what someone has done and still love them that’s the Gospel lived out. The church has a card that no other organizations have, the forgiveness card. Kids can restart with forgiveness. The turning point. Jesus and the woman at the well.

Do you know what matters to me? From their pets and video games to their jokes. Jesus met the disciples where they were. Called them to be fishers of men because He knew this mattered to them. 55% of young people say there is an adult that supports them in their spark. They might not say it but they care about their parents and what they think of them. Do you know their dreams?

Do you know what I can do? Do you know what students are capable of? (Way way back movie). Don’t start with this question. Build the progression to getting personal. This is what I other adults do in our achievement culture but not us. This is the culture of ministry we want to put in place. Get personal first. Systemically there are parts of culture where people are stuck and no one is leaning in to help people see their next step. Bring hope. Help young people see things bigger. Get people who are walking around looking down to look up. Dream further.

Do you know how to help me get there? How can I help you win?

Do you have a few people in your life that you are personally doing this for? You need to do this for at least a few or you become removed from what it looks like to do this. Who do you know at this level? I hope it’s someone who is not like you so that it challenges you and helps you grow. Have you moved beyond the surface? If we are going to rescue a generation we can’t just stop at the do you know my name conversations.

A line of distinction between personal and private. The safer I feel with you the more open and honest I’ll be with you. Jesus started with an invitation. Signal before you turn. Build trust over time.

Phase Family Center


How to enhance young families. How significant this can be. What this could look like. How to meet them in their community. Connecting with millennial families. Phase Family Center. Meet them where they are at. Connect with them with things that matter to them most. They engage with the church less and less. Giving is also going down in the churches.

“Don’t hug the anchor. It’s not going to get better.”

We are driven by a belief that the figure church has to imagine new ways to intersect.

Instead of building a church, what if…

Phase family center is a unique for-profit organization that is anchored by a preschool and after school program which is connected to spaces that are used for work, gatherings and special events.

Alpharetta, first of many!

Millennial families. Two priorities. What they feed their kid or what people perceive about what they feed their kid. And preschool. How their kids are being developed and set up for the future. Raise the bar in how we develop teachers and the kids. Lift the bar for parents. Have an impact on the community.

Co-working space. Starbucks with structure. I working with on-site childcare.

At some point, we need to do things differently to get different results. Do we really want to do what’s effective and efficient?


Engage Parents:
How can I help you win at…engaging parents to be more connected in community and more intentional at home?

Just A Phase Book
To explain why we do the way we do things.
An exercise in empathy to dive into each phase.
A generalist and a specialist. We need to teach our specialist to appreciate what’s coming before and after them.
Our time doesn’t work the same way it works for kids.
If you can get a parent to go through this journal to understand each phase you are re-engaging them at each phase along the way.

Parents see kids in a way you never will. You get to see a side of kids that parents don’t get to see. It takes both perspectives to get to know their child.

One of the most impactful things for your community is when your church and the churches in your community become for the families. How do you help parenting in the community? Parent Gathering. We want to talk with you about what we are talking with your kids about.

Every parent wants to win. Every parent wants their kids to win. Help move the needle a small percentage. The goal isn’t to get every parent to be a spiritual champion but the goal is to help them take a small step.

We need to learn from the experts. Not everything you need to know is found in the Bible.

Huffington Post Blog
Bullying 90% is psychological and starts online. 1 in 4 already have a plan of how they would end their life.
Sex consent and gender.
Number one way 12-year-old boys learn about sex is pornography.
Money and social responsibility. Parents care about how their kids handle money.
Difference. Everything from special needs to race and just differences in general. How do you respect and honor people who are different?
Help kids have the confidence to go into the world in their own skin.

We get caught up in trying to get parents to be perfect but parents don’t care about that. They want to be honest. They want to be authentic. How do we help them be more real with their children?

Anytime you stand up in front of them say it’s not about the pictures of perfect kids but about their story with Christ. It’s about the relationship with Christ you are helping them with.

You have to champion this with parents and the community because if not you, who? We have the potential to change the dial and help families to see the church in a new light. Don’t let the fire move or go down. Don’t let your church stop championing parents.


Next was created with the intention of creating community.
Compassion – a journey of how they do ministry. Senior pastors come back with a heart for generosity and family ministry locally and internationally.

Long term study on the effectiveness of compassion. Want to look at siblings but can’t with compassion because of the impact on the whole family.

“Instagram Parent Fails”
All these pictures are from when the kids are younger. When they grow up we tend to keep these fail moments private.

Parents of teenagers are dealing with specific struggles.
Struggle #1: Your child isn’t who you thought they would be.
Drifting and Directionless
Hooking up and Happy
Depression and Anxiety

Struggle #2: Your relationship with your child isn’t what you thought it would be.
They don’t text back
My house feels empty (often marriage feels empty without the glue and life from their kids)
They don’t choose me (holidays and generally the minimum time with them)

So personal
So painful
So Private

Cultural and parent support over time. Goes up to 13, then drops at 18 and plummets at 21.

“Being seen is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are the same.”

What if we became a new inflection point as a church? That at age 13 it continues to increase. They are currently driving past the church to where they feel seen and understood.
For all the stories and pictures that families don’t post…the church is there.

Growing up —-> Growing apart.
What if instead of growing apart the family began to grow with each other.

Growing With: a mutual journey of intentional growth for both parents and our children that trusts God to transform us all.

3 bug buckets of time.
Learners 13-18. Physical, emotional, relational and spiritual growth.
Explorers 18-23. Leave home or home routines, excited for the workforce, but when honest unsure about themselves and overwhelmed with possibilities.
Focuses 23-29. Some people feel very ahead or very behind and struggle with this.

Help parents appreciate the child they have not the child they wish they had.

When a child is a learner a parent needs to be a teacher. Train self-reflection skills, self-disciple, collaboration. We need to train how to teach your kids.

When a child is an explorer we need to become a guide. Where empathy becomes all the more important. When does my child need help and I step in or when do I step back?

When a child is a focuser we need to become a resourcer. Figuring out how to support even when you disagree.

Growing With NEXT


Hard Conversations

Real Parenting. Parent network.
At church do you really want to talk about the real conversations that happen in the home?

Brett Trapp – “When a child shares hard news with a parent there are two victims in the room and victims are terrible at empathizing.” I have not talked to a parent of a gay Christian yet that did not regret that first conversation.

How as a parent do I prepare for hard conversations? Emotions are way up and logic is turned down.

Parent-teacher conference. Rarely goes well.

How do you avoid being a victim in a parenting emergency? You prepare.

Sean McDowell
My dad thought through every possible scenario so he could handle it. He thought, what if Sean comes to me with ___. Addiction, identity issues, doubt.

How as the church do we help parents and SGL’s prepare?

Steps for Preparation
Imagine what could happen
Identify what we want to happen if it does.
We practice. Drills, simulations, etc.

This is going to be super weird, but let’s simulate what would happen when a student comes to you and says…

1 in 5 kids has been abused.
Identity issues.
Addicted to porn. 70% admit to addiction.
Quit sports or faith
Don’t want to go to college.

What are the goals, what do we want to make sure we say.
I love you no matter what
Doesn’t change your value
We will figure it out together
God loves you
The church can help us
Can I check back with you? And make sure the next conversation is not about that but that we are still good.

How do we help families create and maintain homes that are safe for the big issues while taking such strong stances on many of the big issues? (This starts in preschool) This is a tension to be managed.

What support systems do we have in place for the infinite scenarios that our families will face? Not a program but a relationship.

Download the free printable from orange.
How do you prepare for conversations you weren’t expecting.
Worksheet: what to do when you discover what you weren’t expecting.



Will Hutcherson study on depression and suicide. An invisible enemy that is literally killing our children. Not just depression or anxiety but despair. Hopelessness. The dark night of the soul. When you don’t rise out of the hopeless moment.
Suffering minus meaning. If there’s no meaning then what’s the point?

How do we heal despair?
Keys that bring wholeness. Conversation, eye contact, affirmation, appropriate physical touch. Yes, the answer is Jesus but it’s also the human connection.
Raises the bar on consistent adults in the lives of kids.
This is part of God’s design. Relationships are on the top shelf of priority. The God of Moses, the God of Joshua. Connecting faith to the people who cared for and knew them.

Nina Schmidgall releasing a book on marriage.
Preparing for marriages. Healthy marriages are the building blocks of marriage. Praying circles around marriage. Invite bold prayer into the marriages.

Dave Adamson on social media.

Interact with people who connect with us digitally. 900k download. 150k watch on demand. Million followers on social.

We can talk all day about social media without actually saying anything. Use social media like a telephone, not a megaphone. 1 hour vs 168 hrs. Connect with the church before connecting with your church.

And when these statements down work we go to stats.
91% of 13-17-year-olds use YouTube daily.
True stats but they don’t help you in the day-to-day.

Increase social engagements to and improve relationships in social media. If you don’t have time money or resources to throw at social media it’s still important.

Focus on Instagram and YouTube.
Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook
Instagram is growing 5 times faster than any other social media platform.
Average person spends 56 minutes per day.

Instagram. Stop the scroll.
Pull a quote from your pastor.
iPad and pencil. Circle, underline, etc. on phone too small to read so you zoom in to read. Requiring followers to zoom in. 361% increase.

Long form content of the message. Most churches post this.
Create both short and long form content.
Repurpose on purpose.

Short 4-8 minutes video distributed to Facebook YouTube and IGTV.

Microcontent. 60 seconds

Take quotes and repurpose to images.

16 pieces of content to 8 platforms
10-11:30 message chopped and made.

Application – if the goal is to build a platform you can’t keep up. If the goal is to keep messaging engaging for families, this is possible. Presence in the community to capture the imagination and make connections. Stay connected with them all week.

IGTV great traction early on but dropped off. What we often step away from the next generation steps onto.
Authenticity and realness wins.

VR church. Oculus devise.
Imagine a student and their parents putting on VR and hear your message standing where Jesus stood.


Jim Burns

It’s important we get this down because it’s a key issue for the church.

3 reasons the church needs to engage with parents.

1 Kids are making sexual decisions based on mixed messages and misinformation.

If we didn’t have it modeled to us we are less likely to do this with our own kids. Most kids go to the Internet for this information.

Decisions based on peer pressure and the pressure to perform.

Decisions based on emotional involvement that exceeds their maturity level.

Decisions based on a lack of information. Kids who receive sex information from their parents are less promiscuous and less confused. One talk doesn’t work. It’s dialogue with kids over time. The new first base is sexting because they don’t know what’s appropriate or not.

Mixed Messages:
Parents generally go silent. Or just say don’t do it and walk away. Or just a crisis.

Church generally say it’s dirty rotten and horrible unless you’re married. It might just be the perception of the church.

Secular World generally cared deeply for sexuality and are willing to talk about it. The difference is throwing birth control or a condom at the issue. 25% of girls are depressed and most are depressed 3 months before having sex or 3 months after.

Because parents are silent other voices are filling in. Who will they come to? SGL’s.

2. The church can mentor parents to help their kids. Give them resources. A seminar is less effective than groups and discussions.

Provide good sex education for kids.

Orange has a new curriculum coming out called MADE. Phases appropriate education. Partnership with parents. Not replace parents but come alongside them. Honor parents.

The Theology of healthy sexuality. God created this and it was very good. There are boundaries. Flea from sexual immorality not flee from sex.

How do we respect each other? What is sexual integrity? Honor God with the body. Renew mind. Turn the eyes from worthless things. Guard your heart.

Become a resource junky. Parent kid dialog. 3-5-year-olds God made your body and God made boys and girls.
6-9 how God makes babies
10 sexual integrity. Help with puberty talk.
14 anything and everything.

The church needs to address hard issues

Pornography. 12-17 big issues.
Sexual abuse. 1:3 woman by 18 and 1:5 men.
Gender identity and confusion. 10% will experience gender confusion. Students are way more concerned about gender than baptism.

How do we as a church help? We don’t have to agree with parents on everything but we do need to help parents have these conversations.

Dropped the word purity and added the word integrity. Purity is a one and done vs integrity being a mindset. Let’s talk about this every year at every phase.

Sometimes we just need to realize what it would be like if our son or daughter came to us and said they were struggling. Act like a loving father unconditionally. It would be a different world if we acted like these were our sons or daughters.

These are personal issues and framing conversations appropriately is so important. You are talking about someone’s mom. Set parents up to win even if they are living in a way that you don’t agree with.

What about parents who just won’t go there? How do we as a church function in this space?
How do we train our volunteers to handle these conversations?

There’s a generation that will base their opinions on the church by how you treat their parents and there is a generation of parents who will base their opinion on the church based on how you treat their kids.


Don’t Quit Gina McClain
Life long leaders in a world where leaders quit.

Too many leaders stepping out of the game too early. What skill sets could help them stay in the game long term? Why are we tempted to quit? How many leaders come and say they want to quit?

Make it personal. The most important person you lead is you. Leading yourself often feels more like chutes and ladders than the game of life.

Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

Helping your team develop grit is very important. An important element of leading our teams.

Angela Duckworth TED talk.

How do we build grit?
Recognize the story you are telling yourself. Arrest the narrative in your head that may or may not be true.

Identify the story you want to tell. I can see this through and can grow through this.

Invite objective perspectives. Who speaks truth into your life? Who helps you see your situation objectively? Not sympathizers

Understand the cycle. Know the journey you are in.
Unconsciously incompetent. Don’t know what you don’t know.
Consciously incompetent. Someone speaks the truth and you are aware of it. Where you are most likely to quit.
Unconsciously competent.
Consciously competent.

Challenges you face as a leader are not faced all in one area. You are in different areas in different parts of your life. You begin to become more graceful with yourself. More grace for yourself, in the game longer.

Don’t Quit Jessica Bealer.
You need the grit as well as the support.
Decide now that you are in it for the long haul. And find leaders who will help you stay in the game. Develop leaders to stay in the game.

The bigger your organization gets the higher level of the org chart gets developed. Vision leaks. The low layers of the organization chart are lacking in development. This creates a leadership vacuum. Develop people who can develop people.

Not only are we responsible for raising leaders, but we are responsible for raising leaders that raise leaders.

A formula you can take back to your leaders to develop others. Layers of leadership.

5 characteristics of those developers.

Responsive. Do you return calls and messages sighing 48 hours? Do I hold onto information or share it immediately? Do I have a system to get feedback on a weekly basis?

Approachable. Select leaders who you like. Do you want to spend time with the people? Am I social and friendly? Do I smile? Do I ask questions and offer compliments freely?

Invested. How much time do you spend with your leaders each week? Do I consistently speak vision? Do I teach people how I think not just what to do? Do I offer constructive feedback? Do I offer accountability?

Supportive. Do I know them on a personal level? When we actually like people and want to spend time with them we can develop them? Do I navigate life with them? Do I celebrate their wins in life and ministry?

Empowering. Granting the authority to make key decisions at critical moments. Leaders innovate. Leaders are creative. Leaders create momentum and advance the ministry. Do I authorize leaders? Do I micromanage or encourage leadership? Do I want perfection or vocalize trust?

Invite people to the table and have conversations.

Lee Jenkins – Why as a lead pastor you think what we do matters. It will impact generations. The people you talk to will impacts the people they talk to. We are salt and light to the earth. Salt was a preservative and meat would deteriorate without it. We are preparing CEO’s and possibly presidents through our ministries.

De-tensionize with a biblical perspective.

Leadership tip as you navigate culture and teams. You are a coach and your team is the players. The job of the coach is to get the best out of the players and most players don’t know what they have inside them. This needs to be called out, developed and pushed out of them. A great coach pulls people up.

Constantly cast vision. Always. Where we could be as an organization. You don’t always win. Even when 0-10 cast vision for what could be.

Show your people that you love them and care for them. You can’t push them without loving them. Find ways to compliment.

As a dad, what would you say to us? Don’t let your kids hate church. Do they just see you as the dad? Don’t use the church as an excuse and don’t blame the church when you miss out. Don’t treat the church like a mistress. Your relationship with God is the priority but not your career as a pastor.

The reason you might want your kids to behave is because of your reputation as a minister. You need to grow up as a parent. Apologize and deal with it. Their future is more important than your ministry.

Virginia Ward and Kara Powell
To elevate our conversations and discussions to a higher standard. Have a scripture lens. We can be a solution that politics can’t resolve. Show them what it means to love your neighbor when your neighbors are different.

What tips for leading this next generation? Listen. Listening to someone is the highest form of respect. Really listen. You know people are listening when they ask questions.

You can not cure what you can not confront. We are not further along with racism because we haven’t been willing to confront it.

Raise your cultural relevance beyond food and music. Know the world of people who are different than you. Be friends and build safe conversations with people who are different than you.

Why continue to bring up race issues? We still have a long way to go. We need to be relevant. Gender identity, race, and mental health are three issues we need to talk about. Every college is talking about these issues but churches are not.

How do we confront the evil? Most people don’t have the guts to call it what it is. When the leader does something wrong we need to call it wrong. There is a way to have reasonable conversations for the sake of a generation.

We have said things will be better in the next generation and they won’t have to deal with it but this isn’t the truth. If you don’t confront racism it gets worse. Lead the right way or else you are part of the problem.

How can we get over the fear mountain and instead just ask what is the first step we can take? Move from the space because things need to change.

Entering the conversation changed the way you think and care about people. When you are the majority and have the majority of the power you usually don’t handle that well. When you have the power you can use it for good or bad. Jesus could have used his power but instead was a servant. If anyone had the potential to leverage their authority or position it was Jesus. He put it aside for the sake of others. See everyone as made in the image of God. Jesus even saw Judas as made in Gods image.

We expect the minorities to assimilate into our majority culture. Instead, we need to remember that all people are made in the image of God and lean into the value of those minority’s differences. Have I built a bridge back towards those who are different than me? Black people don’t think white people want to come to the party and white people don’t think they are invited. Invite yourself. Who are you building bridges back to?

Submit to black leaders, to let them lead, and to follow them. Lean in and ask for me to be taught. Learn before you can fix anything. Learn before you lead. There’s nothing worse than an ignorant leader. When speaking without understanding the culture you will offend. Grow in cultural intelligence.

Protest and march. A disruption of the status quo was the history of change. Get to know somebody and develop the relationship. Get in the posture of a learner to better understand why someone things are the way they think.

Jesus in John 17 made it crystal clear that the world will know Him by our love.


Geoff and Sherry Surratt A guide for couples in ministry.
Read the Together Book with my wife.

If you haven’t hit a hard time yet, you’re probably going to. Resentment can build a huge wedge in your marriage.

Ministry is a great adventure but a lousy identity. Your achievements in ministry can become allow who you are.

You have to discover your passion as a couple and as yourself. Discover your identity. Couples who stay together laugh together. Discover who you are.

Build a wall or your marriage will fall. When ministry is job, hobby, and life you need to build boundaries. Begin celebrating sabbath and protect it. No email, phone, text. Carve out time away from ministry and defuse emergencies. Has this just come up today or has it been ongoing? If the threat is suicide you would drop things but if it’s ongoing it can usually wait.

Build a no church zone. When you step foot somewhere you can’t talk about work (or maybe kids). In this space, we will live our lives apart from ministry. Boundaries stop the bleeding.

We all need a little help from our friends. Surround yourself with couples who are not expecting anything from you. We need friends who are challengers and will ask us the hard questions as well as cheerleaders who just love us and are on our side. We need friends who aren’t in our ministry or who even don’t care about our ministry.

You need to get professional help. Regardless of where you are, you need some help.

We know…
It will get better.
It’s almost always to early to give up.

Sarah on the Enneagram

3 basic questions humans are asking.
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Why do I behave the way I do?

Enneagram measures what is causing the behavior.

9 ways of viewing the world.

The path back to your true self.
Health and unhealthy examples to gain self-awareness.

Type 1. Reformer, perfectionist, achiever. Need to be perfect and fear of being flawed. Healthy make the world a better place unhealthy critical.

Type 2. Helpers, givers. Need to be needed. Fear of being unwanted. Unhealthy become codependent or burdened.

Type 3. Achievers, performers, succeeders. A desire for success and when unhealthy walk away from people.

Type 4. Artist, tragic romantic, individualist. A desire to be seen. Healthy want to be understood. When unhealthy they push people away.

Type 5. Investigator, thinker, observer. Want physical and emotional space. Hard for 5 in relationships to have downtime. When healthy independent and when unhealthy they trying to figure things out in their own head.

Type 6. Trooper, devil’s advocate, guardian, loyalist. Majority of people. Politics and media play into their fears. Need to be certain or secure. Worst case scenario people. Need reassurance. Healthy connected common goal. Unhealthy fearful and suspicious.

Type 7. Enthusiasts, epicure, dreamer. Run from relationship problems and routine. Healthy 7 life to the full. When unhealthy sevens are not present.

Type 8. Challenger, leader, boss, confronters. Need to be against something. Expect forthrightly and speak mind. Healthy lead others to do the best. Fight injustice. Unhealthy demanding.

Type 9. Peacekeepers, mediators, preservationist. Fear of misunderstanding. Don’t show emotions to avoid conflict. Healthy help relationships. Unhealthy they avoid all conflict.

The road back to you. Was on Donald Miller podcast a few weeks ago.

The sacred enneagram.

The wisdom of the Enneagram.

Personality types: using the Enneagram for self-discovery.

Jesus baptism and right then temptation. First thing was this is who Jesus is and this is who He belongs to. The first temperature was who He was and who He belonged to.

“There can be no self-correction without self-observation.” We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt but see others subjectively.




If you made this one change it could change so many other things in your ministry. Sometimes your decision to make a change in the ministry for one reason creates many challenges in other areas of the ministry.

Align Leaders
Refine The Message
Engage Parents
Elevate Community
Influence Service

If you were to measure how you are doing in these five strategies, how do you measure if you are winning?
You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

How do you measure leadership?
What did you make the changes?
Started with relational equity. Work from my house and then I’ll take you to lunch.

What would be a tip or two you would say to the woman who are leading?

Code Switching – the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation.
It’s the subliminal things that happen in the day-to-day.
“I remember everyone is telling me that Jesus loves me but no one is stopping to listen.” Tivo

God is not allowing you to go through something that he cannot use to redeem it to share His story.
We are leading people who have stories and we forget that they have stories. Before we begin trying to develop leaders, maybe we need to first hear their stories.
My dad would have been a better father if he had a better boss. When you lead your team and the people who work for you, you have the potential to help them in their family to be better or worse.
If you were to evaluate my leadership what are the flaws? Reggie, I don’t fire people and the few who I fired think they quit. And the second flaw would be that he’s not great at developing people. If I’m not going to do this, how is it going to happen? If I can’t mentor, who will I bring in to make this happen or what will that process be?
What is one thing you would use to develop the people you are leading?
Relational Equity. Time to play together. Time to be together. You need to know them and they need to know you outside of the church setting.
Check your ego at the door. Make sure the people on your team are leading in their way, they are not you.
Having a mentor is not optional. Be comfortable with saying, I know just the right person for you and be okay with it not being you.
When you check your ego at the door you are teaching your staff to check their ego at the door. You are showing them that they are not the smartest person in the room.

Creating a common language for your team. When you’re going around in circles, stop, and redirect the meeting using your common language.

Care for their career development plan. Find their sweet spot and even if you need them in a specific spot, know that it might not be the best for them. Help them get to where they want to go.

Know which hat you are wearing and tell them which hat you are wearing: Friend Hat, Pastor Hat, Boss Hat

People need to see you serving. Serve and be transparent.

Your team needs to become the experts and sometimes the hat you need to wear is the hat of a Coach. This is centered on your team getting the accomplishments and outcomes. Help them own these outcomes.

Be consistent in having intentional and systemized conversations. Something that shoots for their best and the organizations best.
The lead pastor will set 3-5 goals for the church. 5-7 goals for the teams and then individuals 90 days goals where we sit down to talk if we are accomplishing the goals. Then my role is to make sure I am resourcing these people and the ministry to accomplish the goals. A conversation all throughout the year.

4-5 questions to ask your direct reports to develop leadership.

Frank’s digital assistant. Forces you to look at the calendar and put something in writing. One on ones always get rescheduled they never get canceled. If one on one’s area really important you might need some flexibility but you never really cancel because that becomes a task meeting instead of a development meeting.

Core leadership principle, the top-down system isn’t working. Power with people instead of power over people. Empower those around you to lead. Find their strength and empower them in their gifting and passion.

The art of listening to everyone. Everyone has something to offer and I need to give a vision where people own it with you.

Slowing down and inviting people into my world can help. Engaging parents through Facebook groups. Tasks can wait for the sake of a person.

What can we learn from those younger than us: Relevance, changes in culture. The changes that need to be made for the church of the next generation will be made by those closest to that generation.

What is one thing you wish someone told you as a parent, earlier?

You’re doing better than you think.
Prioritize the relationship no matter what.
If you don’t fight for your kids no one will.
Adolescences to adulthood is the hardest stage emotionally.
Strong relationships happen when I fight me for us. (Fight my own selfishness or pride first) There’s a line, when I’m no this side and you are on that side, we are against each other. When we get on the same side we are against the enemy together.
The finish line is not when they are 18.
The next one doesn’t need what the last one needed. They are all uniquely different.
Stop listening to the so-called experts and listen to what God has told you to do.
You know what the experts don’t know, you know your kids.
To be humble enough to say you are sorry to your kids. Apologize.
I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me. Practice saying these words.
Parent from faith rather than fear and deal with your own path.
Be present in the moment with your children.
My mom goes deep with everyone else except me, she wants this.
Your kids care more about what you think then they think you do.
Show pride in your kids because of their character more than their competence.
Our relationship is more important than anything that you ever done.
Ask What do they need, not what do you think they need.
You might not achieve balance but you might achieve integration.
Don’t fight over the things that don’t really matter. Chose your battles.
Be proactive in your parenting not just reactive. Look at character traits you want to address.
Parenting never ends.
We have to love who God created them to be and who God said they are not what they are doing in the moment.
Don’t stunt your own spiritual growth because of the season your kids are in.
Being a parent teaches you your greatest strengths and your greatest weaknesses.
Remember one of the most powerful gifts you give kids is how you love your spouse.
Don’t poop in your own nest. Your words matter.
Always find ways to play with your kids, it will open their eyes to you and your eyes to them.



On A Mission

A lot of us were trained in theology but not in leadership.
Who have lead and built great things outside of the church that we can learn from?

Dana Spinola – Love what you do.
According to Forbes, one of the top entrepreneurs you have never heard of.

High style with Heart. And for me the heart is Jesus.
Your core values and how you treat people is how you lead.

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” – lots of people but mostly my dad.

People need you to keep the fire alive. Fuel your purpose. Know your core values

Dream. Hustle. Inspire. Wow. Heart.
Dream big, Hustle hard, Stay inspired, Wow everyone, Lead with heart.

Dream Big
Question: What did the little version of you want to be when you grew up?
My Story: Kitchen table dreaming.
Challenge: Build time in your schedule to dream.

Hustle Hard
Question: What are you willing to sacrifice?
My Story: Deloitte, posh, planning nights
Challenge: Take something off your calendar to put the right on.

Stay Inspired
Question: What refuses your soul?
My Story: Finding my mentor
Challenge: Podcast drives and 1 bold coffee a month

Wow Everyone
Question: How do you get people to say, “Wow”
My Story: my birthday, babysit, LM humbly, recovery wow, distressed jeans
Challenge: 1 handwritten note a day for 30 days.

Lead with Heart
Question: What makes your heart beat? (Passion) What breaks your heart? (Purpose)
My Story: High style with heart.
Challenge: Answer and write them down.

You might need to make a sacrifice for a time. You might need to give up something for a time.
To stay inspired is your job not the job of your leader.
When finding a mentor it requires you to be bold and to go make the ask.
Little black books. Everything is an opportunity for a $3 gift to wow people. This is a KPI – (key performance indicator) for her company. They measure wow moments. How do you just do it better for someone? Expo marker written notes on their desk. Who is just doing something cool that I just want to show?

“They call us the dreams but we are the ones who never sleep.”
It’s tiring and you need to stop to refuel. Don’t allow yourself to get into the place where you don’t know why you are doing what you do.

How I Refueled.
Breathe. The basics.
Declutter. Clean out your closet.
Explore. Find your happy place.
Rebuild. Put it back together.

“You can be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.”

We have to own inspiring ourselves.
Take inventory first. Am I good where I am? My Instagram looked great so people told me I was good but maybe I was just ungrateful.
Can I bring it to the surface? Is there a safe place that I can openly share because people need me to be good? Get honest.
Are you okay? Get honest about this.

What could you have done? What safeguards do you need to avoid the pit?
Realize we are all dealing with things.
Delete the things that we have said yes to that are not a priority. Remove things and add the big things that matter first.
Admit it and realize it’s not just life.
Figure out what inspires you.
Very Draining People. VDP
Very Important People. VIP
Very Resourceful People. VRP
Decide not just the what but The Who. Who inspires you?
I need people who just know me and care for me.
Make your list: Text those people. Ask for accountability.

I love what I do. Sometimes I love what I do so much that the people that I love, get lost.
You have to be intentional. It won’t just pop in your schedule to spend time with the people you love.
Take one day off a month as a couple to just be with your spouse. No phones.

It’s not really about the profession of what you wanted to do when you grew up but the why.
If you wanted to be a stop sign, there is a reason.
Talk through why you wanted to be what you wanted to be.

How do you protect and navigate your culture? 
The biggest challenge. Bigger than profitability.
How does your team feel loved? They are leaving their family and making sacrifices, you need to know their why.
How many direct reports do you currently have? None and everyone. 3 from a work standpoint. But everyone because you need to know the customer.
6-7 direct reports seem to be the line of direct reports otherwise it becomes very complicated.
How do you invest in your direct reports to keep them inspired?
Get to know their family and know when you need to make a change for the sake of the greater organization. Respect both.

Experience Report Card. You can’t smell Amazon. You can’t replace some experiences.
Set the stage before they ever even touch a piece of clothing.
Smell, temperature, etc.
Serve coffee, have the right candle. Most people don’t want the coffee but appreciate the offer.
The experience checklist. Everyone knows the common language and you need consistently.

It’s so great to see you again. Make the assumption they have been here before. If they haven’t been there before, they will let you know and you just say that you’re glad they are here. They need to be seen. If you are good to their kids then they are way more likely to come back.

Wow Online. Add a pair of earrings that look good with the outfit.
You can get convenience on Amazon but you can’t get community. 
They want me in their home. Convince yourself that they do want you there.
Creating a family experience on the campuses has helped people continue to come to church. These experiences for kids and students cannot happen online because of the difference between in person and online.

Are you okay? You get judged by a different standard. Trust someone in this room enough to open up and be honest.

Don’t do this alone. You aren’t designed to do it alone. If you’re going to lead a generation and tell them to not do it alone, then you don’t do it alone. We need each other.


Leave a Reply