Learn together, lead together.
Kristen Ivey – @Kristen_Ivy
Maybe: Personal is the opposite of shallow.
Literal opposite of shallow, deep. We underline and filter for Instagram.
A better alternative than becoming deeper is to become personal.
Shallow is fast, dismissive, safe, and costs money.
Personal takes risks, is interested, risky, and costs me.
Do we offer shallow hope? Do we preach shallow truth?
Move out of the shallow by:
You can’t stop being shallow unless you learn to see someone. Andy Blessed are your eyes because they see.
Nobody needs to be seen by everyone but everybody needs somebody who sees them. Including you.
You can’t stop being shallow unless you let someone see you.
God allows you and calls you to be part of His mission even as He sees who you really are.
Allow someone in your lives to see you. You need someone to know you fully.
Think about a kid or teenager in your community who you are showing up to make it personal for. Write down their name.
Who is it that really sees you? Who are you personal with and open fully up to?
Andy Gullahorn – Teenagers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak5mCNEW9pI
Ryan Leak @ryanleak
We are grateful for resurrection Jesus but the Jesus that perplexes me the most is wearing Jesus.
John 11:33-35 ESV
Jesus, the man with all the power and all the answers, felt their pain before he tried to heal their pain. He didn’t let knowing how the story would end to change making it personal.
Sympathy: Seeing someone else’s pain. I feel bad for you.
Empathy: Feeling someone else’s pain. I feel bad with you.
What used to be an honor to help someone, the longer you help people, it moves from an honor to annoying. It starts to feel like an inconvenience. We get there by losing our compassion. Here’s 3 ways how to get it back.
1. Prioritize. People over plans.
People remember what we show up for than what we plan. Be more of a minister than an event planner.
Inc Magazine asked top executives if they could name their priorities. 2% could.
We have to beware of spending the majority of our time on things only the minority will even remember.
There should be somebody that it’s personal. I can’t do it for everybody but I can do it for Fred. I can’t spend 15k on breakfast for everyone but I can for Fred.
2. Stay in close proximity to people in pain.
You can tell when a communicator is talking about people from a distance. A distance in time or proximity.
Whenever it becomes personal, issues get humanized and we give way more grace to other than we would have if we had been distant. It’s easy to take shots at people from a distance. Be slow to take a stand against people we’ve never sat with.
“When I see pictures of tragedy, don’t let it get old to me.” – Kristi Northup, Christian Artist
3. Have patience with ask holes.
Ask Hole: “A person who repeatedly asks you for advice and continues to do the exact opposite of what you told them to do.”
At one point we were giving people amazing grace and now we say, “You should know better.” Extend the same grace you gave the first day you met them. God extends this amazing grace to us time and time again.
Where would we all be if the people along our journey gave up on us when they should have?
Make up your mind now to not give up on them.
Ryan stepped down from the executive position because he felt like an in house lawyer who does event planning.
Remember why you do what you do and ask God to show you if you need to make an adjustment.
Reggie Joiner – @reggiejoiner
What if we just decided that everybody needs somebody who sees them how Jesus sees them?
The way you see somebody changes more than you could ever imagine it would change.
It changed the way Zacchaeus saw Zacchaeus. The way you see a kid can change the way he sees himself forever.
It changed the way the town saw Zacchaeus. You can change the way the church sees kids.
It changes what we do for them. When we see them the way Jesus sees them it will change how we treat them.
Everybody needs somebody who knows them personally. Show up on the front lines and get to know them personally. What Jesus did that day was He pulled Zacchaeus out of the crowd. There are things you can’t do in the crowd of your ministry. You need to pull them out of the crowd and meet them personally. Jesus had a plan and strategy and was on His way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover to eventually save the world but He stoped to make it personal. Don’t get so busy in ministry that you forget to stop and help the person right in front of us. Stop and see if there is a kid in the tree in need of your attention.
You can’t really be personal with a crowd. You can only be personal with a person. What does it look like to stop?
How personal are you willing to be with people? How much are you willing to challenge the crowd of your church to make it personal? Getting personal is harder.
The crisis of faith of young people walking away from the faith will not be resolved in a crowd or by a presentation. It will only be resolved when we show up on a personal level. This generation feels ignored and we need to pull them out of the crowd and make it personal.
Give every kid someone who will know them personally.
Discipleship requires a consistent experience with a caring leader.
Zacchaeus climbed the tree not only because he needed someone to believe in but also someone to believe in him.
Everyone needs somebody to believe they can change.
“Today, salvation has come to your house.”
Identity Belonging Purpose
Do you know my name?
The gospel gives us the hope of transformation.
People get up in the morning with the attitude of nobody can really change or anybody can radically change. You pick every day.
If there is ever a voice in your head that says you are wasting your time with a kid or teenager remember the story of Zacchaeus.
Start living the kind of life that will give people hope. Dare people to imagine a different version of themselves. It can actually happen because of the transformation power of Jesus. Give hope to a generation that is discouraged.
One of the most powerful things you can hand to a generation is the idea of hope.
Build a social media strategy that’s personal – Dave Adamson @aussiedave
Social media is the most effective and efficient way to make connections inside and outside the walls of our church.
Online environments are where students are learning about society, sexuality, and spirituality.
Use social media to enhance relationships.
Social Media Stats 2019
More than 97% of U.S. teenagers use some form of social media daily.
85% of students use YouTube every day
67% of teens believe they can learn anything they need to know about life from YouTube.
Over 3M videos are viewed on YouTube every minute
More than 4 billion photos are liked on Instagram ever day.
From fixing their car to fixing their marriage. This generation goes to YouTube for the answers to life’s questions.
Paul used the technology of his day to connect people to God and to each other. Letter writing.
We need to use social media to connect people with each other, and with God.
In our connected world, being personal is different.
Connect for the other 167 hours.
Tip 1: Know People’s Names
We track reach, names, and flowers but not how many people we are following.
Greet people by name and follow them back and welcome them by name.
Numbers matter because people count.
Telephone vs megaphone.
Start talking with your followers. Let them know we see them. Respond by name.
“We see you”
What if you responded more than you posted?
Put people ahead of posts.
Tip 2: Know what matters to the people in your church.
People use social media to post about what matters to them.
Re-post and celebrate with people.
Comment that we hope you have a fantastic time. Stop just talking about yourself.
One benefit is the reward of the algorithm. When you post and comment on other people the algorithm rewards you.
When people feel like they are connect to you online they feel like they belong offline.
Building community is greater than broadcast content.
Tip 3: Know where the students and adults in community live online.
If you want to connect with parents use Facebook. If you want to connect with kids use YouTube and TikTok.
Follow your students and comment on their posts, this is like you visiting their house.
Have boundaries in place. Have multiple people who can comment on posts. Consider initials of who response.
Tip 4: Know what they have done.
What are they facing? What are they going through?
People are more connected than ever before yet experiencing more disconnection than ever before. 46% of people in the U.S. feel alone. Those who feel most alone are GenZ.
Everyone needs to be known by someone. Listen more than you post.
What would it look like if you responded more than you posted?
Tip 5: Know what they can do.
Self promotion vs what’s important to other people and what they have done.
Church tracking software. What if we leveraged this for a different purpose. Celebrate 50 year wedding anniversary.
What if you called out: Volunteer of the week.
“God promotes the lives of those who promote the lives of others.” Brian Houston. And so does Mark Zuckerberg.
Be high tech and high touch.
Churches using LinkedIn
YouTube and Instagram or YouTube and TikTok.
SproutSocial or Buffer
3 essentials to follow: Need a photo, Don’t use profanity, no pornography.
Crisis Escalation strategy – With the 3 hurts.
TikTok. We might not like what we see there (like a skate park back in the day). Be light in the world.
Leverage social to connect and train leaders.
Instagram account for volunteers. Film helpful things for the Sunday lesson.
Notification for a group. Post on Friday. Repost on Saturday.
End service by saying, “Thank you for being part of our church today. We will see you during the week on social media.”
Sam Collier @samcollier
You can’t talk to old people that way.
Sometimes you just have to get out of the way.
You’re not allowed to teach your wife anything.
How do you treat the people in your inner circle? Your job isn’t to teach, it’s to love. What are your blind spots? Something negative you do that impacts other people or you that you don’t see.
The way you fix your blind spots is to get personal and invite someone in.
Don’t get so focused on your public image that you miss your personal issues.
Do you know what matters to me?
Fun leads to trust and trust leads to depth.
Tell me more…
Don’t dismiss what’s important to the next generation. If it matters to them, it matters.
The relationship changes when you are interested in what they are interested in.
Do you know where I live?
Step into their world.
You can’t show up if you don’t know where they live.
Know their generational, geological, or cultural context.
Walk towards the mess. It might require more than we are willing to give and that’s okay.
“I can’t understand why anyone would…” is a cautionary flag. A confession that you don’t understand another person.
One of the best things we can do to be more culturally aware is to pause long enough to understand how someone else thinks.
It’s much better to offend someone with your presence rather than with your absence. @GeraldFadayomi
You can’t out produce culture but culture can’t put relationship you.
You might not be personal enough…
If your budget more on production than people.
If there is. I plan to follow up with those who are missing.
If parents don’t know what you talked with their kids about this week.
If you don’t know which of your kids parents don’t come to church.
If parents or volunteers don’t know who they should talk to when they have a problem.
If adults are standing in the back watching kids.
If you don’t connect with your volunteers throughout the week.
If you don’t know how your students and kids need you to pray for them.
If there’s not a lot of laughter happening in your environments. (Fun communicates you like them) the joy of the Lord is our strength. How strong is your ministry?
If there’s not an intentional plan to reconnect at every phase.
If your team didn’t talk about how to make it more personal this week.
What if we measured success by how personal the ministry is?
Dan Scott – Design a preteen ministry @danscott77
We were all preteens once. We went through that awkward phase we wish we could forget.
Put yourself in their shoes and navigate the world through their eyes.
Why preteens matter:
We pay attention to the seniors walking away from the church but that decision is made in the preteen years.
There are 23 million preteens in 2020! Navigate a brand new world that is very different than ours.
They are navigating a unique transition. Not a straight line of childhood navigation. Our ministries help them transition into and out of the preteen phase. This is the first one they have an active role in how they transition. They are very aware that life is crazy and we help them navigate it.
Embrace the preschool, engage the elementary, affirm the middle schooler, and mobilize the high schooler. Preteens sometimes are thinking like a scientist and other times are thinking like an engineer. And they have no control over which brain will show up at any given moment.
The magic age of 11.
From the start of their birth to about second grade they are thinking a certain way. Around 8-9 years old everything tapers off. They are old enough to do really cool things but not snarky. Then at age 11, they change. They begin to smell, become rude, and don’t want to do anything. The scan of a 11 year old brain is the same as a 3 year old. Cognitive pruning. The brain getting rid of everything it doesn’t need to make room for what it does need for adulthood. Preteens are literally losing their minds. They have had many moments that need brain power so they lose some areas of memory.
Does your environment communicate that kids know they are liked? Is this a place for me?
Make it unique, a space of their own. If you can’t make a room, maybe create a VIP area for just the 4th and 5th graders. The 3rd graders will build anticipation for what’s next and the preteens will feel like they have a place to belong. Will they be in the same environment for 6 years? If nothing changes in their environment, will they think the church is just for the kindergartner?
Make it Uniques
A space of their own.
An experience of their own.
If you can’t make a space, at least give them an experience of their own. A camp, a service project, something for them to look forward to.
When kids get to ___ grade, they get to ___. Worship track, track without vocals, small band, full band. Where do you need to make a compromised for the sake of the kids journey? Use environments to build anticipation for what’s next.
Get your student pastor to teach in the kids environment to champion what’s coming next.
Make it Relevant
It’s not bells and whistles, it’s connecting it to the matter at hand. God’s word connects to today. They can’t always and consistently make this connection on their own. If it’s 2019 outside of the church walls, it should look like 2019 inside the church walls.
How does your room or stage change?
How does your music and preservice music change?
Do your kids walk into the environment and feel at home?
Make it Safe
Physical safe – exits and entrances, background checks, etc.
Emotionally safe. According to the CDC, the leading cause of death 11-15 is suicide.
We need environments that are relatable and relational. Kids need a safe place to be known and to belong.
Curriculum Strategy – your job is to build relationships and not to spend 90% of your time writing.
What you’re teaching and how your teaching.
Teach preteens in a way that…
-Builds critical thinking skills. The device in their pocket has more information than the library. Help students discern what to click on. 6 million hits where the top 5 pay google to be the top 5.
-Develops EQ and empathy. Help students see the world through another persons point of view. Preteens are moving from concrete to abstract thinking. Know what you are saying when you say, “invite Jesus into your heart.” Consider the Bible story of Noah and then they realize this is the time where millions of people died. No longer a happy story of animals but of the death of almost everything. Hopefully, your church can be the safest place where kids can ask a question about faith. You can ask any question you want here. When they ask a hard question, they are testing to see if they can ask you a harder question.
Format – Average attendance is between 25-40%. If there’s a different person every time they show up with they develop a relationship with someone they trust? We have to be consistent because they are not consistent. Small group and large group are important. Preteens are really bad at discussion questions, sometimes. Help small group leaders to lead with a question that frames what the students are to be thinking about.
Events – Preteens are very capable, don’t treat them like little kids. Elevate what you allow them to do and how they can be the body of Christ.
Roles to fill – first, small group leaders. Large group communicator is the last one to get because small group can not be done by a video.
Recruitment – Don’t just get anybody. It needs to be the right person on the right bus.
Training. Show how kids are learning.
Cast vision of what’s most important. For kids to have a caring adult that points them to their creator. Cast vision for what you want.
Partner with parents in a way that acknowledges their day-to-day world.
The ideal time for your event isn’t 5:00, but 7 or 8:00 and with food. Know what the real world looks like in the lives of your families.
If you don’t continue to make it personal to someone you will lose your compassion and you will burn out. You will forget what you do matters.
What we do is not who we are. Don’t form your identity around sin.
Shame: The intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.
Shame might be the greatest tool the enemy has in his arsenal.
God says you have purpose, shame says you aren’t good enough.
Do you know what I’ve done? Jesus didn’t go to Zacchaeus house and say he was a good guy. Jesus knew what Zacchaeus had done and went to his house anyway. Jesus broke the shame cycle. When kids believe they are unloveable they try to prove it.
Shame is a shallow motivator. Love is a powerful motivator. Love heals us from the inside.
When a kid gets brave enough to share their story, the are rarely sharing the full story but testing the waters.
Are you a safe enough place for a student to open up and share and still feel loved.
Can we replace their shame with hope?
“Love someone in a way that replaces shame with hope.”
Gerald Fadayomi @geraldfadayomi
Do you know what I can do?
You know what a preschooler can do when you leave the room for 30 seconds.
You know what a teenager can do when you leave them alone with their girlfriend.
Jesus knew Peter’s story and his potential.
He knew he would fail but also become a fisher of men. He speaks to Peter’s potential.
Jesus get’s in the boat. Getting in the boat means showing up in their world.
Spending less time trying to get students to show up in our church and more time trying to get volunteers to show up in their world.
Speak to their need. Jesus gave fish. How about we teach their worth doesn’t come from instagram likes. Show them what it means to be a person who lives out integrity. Maybe they need someone to show them their worth.
Call them to more. Not just fisherman but fishers of men. Do this for every student and every child.
Imagine how this would change the world to make it personal? You can’t to this for everyone but you can do this for one.
Pick a person, and make it personal.
Reggie Joiner @reggiejoiner
Everyone falls short of the glory of God. What would it look like if we recognized the potential in every human? What if we cared about the potential of every kid more than Disney?
When you stop for one, it always impacts more than one.
There is a ripple effect. Jesus knew that when He stopped for Zacchaeus it would impact more than one. It would impact Zacchaeus’ family, the people they impact, and the people who are watching those people.
If you want to teach a generation then do for one. Demonstrate real friendship to one. You can’t just teach a generation how to love, you have to show them how to love.
If you never stop at the tree, you’ll never know what the story could have been. You’ll never know the potential.