D6 Conference Notes 2023

Note: I’ll be updating this post over the next 3 days with all my breakout and session notes. Check back in for live updates and follow along on social media with #D62023

All About Jesus: How to Keep the Gospel at the Center of Everything We Do – Matt Morgan

“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 

Leave the room with a greater awe of Jesus. 

We tell a story and create story lines based on what we see without any context. We create ideas to fit the context we draw from the picture and didn’t realize the pictures is part of a greater picture. Don’t tell disconnected Bible stories without the meta narrative. 

‘When we take the Bible as a series of isolated morality tales, we think about 6 books with hundreds, it not thousands, of stories contained within them. In actuality, there are not thousands of stories. There are not 66 stories. There aren’t even two stories with the Old and New Testament. There is one story and thatis the story of what God is doing – redemotive history.” Ed Stetzer

Keep Jesus the center of every story we tell. 

Why is it important to be Gospel-Centered?

20% of young adults will leave the church and never return. 

50% of young adults will leave the church for extended period of time but eventually return. 

2 in 10 walk away for good. 

We’ve failed to give kids a clear and consistent message of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. 

KidMin is often built on a list of do’s and StuMin built on a list of don’t’s. 

“We’ve been dispensing sood advice instead of good news. our chalenge is to proclaim the good newsolesus so clearly and consistentily that no kids of ous willever place him in a category with typica religious leaders.” Jack Klumpenhower from the book Show Them Jesus. 

We’ve failed to give kids a Gospel-Centered message of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

Gospel-Centered Teaching

Not just squeezing Jesus into your Bible story but showing that Jesus is the greater hero. 

Teach the whole Bible.  

Every page points to Jesus. 

Does what we currently teach include a balance of Old and New Testament teaching?

How to Teach the Gospel from the New Testament?

Focus on the Person of Jesus Christ. Show who He is. Not for the goal of them being like Jesus but to be amazed by Jesus. Read the passage multiple times to see His character, interactions, and teachings. Older kids can pull this out on their own. 

Focus on the Work of Jesus Christ. See what Jesus did. We are drawn to the miracles of Jesus. This gives confidence in His greatest miracle, the resurrection. 

How to Teach the Gospel from the Old Testament

Focus on what God does. 

Focus on who God is. 

Focus on How Jesus fixes it. 

A Few Other Tips:

Familiarize Yourself with the Bigger Story 

Find Good Resources 

Don’t Disconnect the Old Testament from the New Testament. 

Distill the Gospel but Don’t Dilute it. 

Don’t leave out the Good News. Don’t remove sin and repentance for the kids who can’t fill in the gaps. Remind even preschoolers that Jesus is our Rescuer. Kids learn through progressive understanding. Ie. Legos being built brick my brick. Kids need a foundation truth that can be built upon later. 

Does how we currently teach give kids a clear and powerful message of the gospel?

Preach the Good News Constantly. 

Does how we currently teach kids an opportunity to hear the gospel message every time they show up? 

Various ways of connecting the dots to the Gospel and don’t just have the same lesson flow every week. Preach it every week for many reasons but the greatest reason is just that you need to hear it in your own heart. 

Gospel-Centered Classroom Management 

Give clear expectations. Classroom management needs to even be a picture of God’s grace. 

Focus on the heart. Actions are visible but values and beliefs are invisible. 

Correct with a Balance of Truth and Grace


Did I provide an adequate explanation of how the rules were broken and why the consequences must be enforced?

Is this consequence fair?

Have I reminded the child of the promises of the gospel?


Is my goal to guild the child into better behavior or am I concerned for their heart?

Has my attitude toward this child given them a picture of a God who loves them?

Am I providing hope for this child?

A Word of Caution about Rewards

Creating a culture built on rewards for performance goes against the gospel message we are teaching

Rewards have diminishing returns

Rewards put other things as better than Jesus

Rewards focus on performance instead of the process

Rewards can create selt-righteous Kids

“It wouldn’t do to teach that God’s rewards in salvation come freely by grace, But like rewards in the church come by being good and l memorizing verses. Nor would it work to teach that God values with over superior churchy behavior, and then give prizes to kids who excel in churchy behavior I couldn’t say that Jesus is better than absolutely anything else, but reward what kids learned about him with a slip of paper redeemable for candy.” SHOW THEM JESUS

General Session 1

What portion of you is not all in? 

Lord, I want to give you my whole heart, mind, and body!

Learning and Teaching the Shema – Rabbi Jacob Rosenberg

All of scripture matters to how we teach our children. There’s a core value that makes us different and that’s called holiness. 

““These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy,” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When you were formed in your mothers womb you had a holy anointing and calling. 

“and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God wants to prolong your days and expand your capacity to serve Him. 

““Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hearing something is different than listening.

Not hear oh teachers but hear everyone. 

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Teaching how to claim God as your own. Help our children wrestle with God and find Him to be their God. Help them to fear and love the Lord. 

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Not submit to the Lord, but to love the Lord. This is priority. 

Love the Lord with all your Heart. The deep stuff. The inner parts. With everything. Your entire personhood. Your thoughts, emotions, and will. Love God with your heart.

Love the Lord with all your soul. The breathe of God. Love God so much that it comes out as an overflow as the air you breathe. Like if you didn’t love Him, you couldn’t even breathe. 

Love the Lord with all your strength. Your Might. Love Him with your more. Also a creation word. In creation His creation was VERY good. Tov. Love the Lord overflowing and then when you can’t give any more, give more. 

“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭6‬-‭9‬ ‭NLT‬

The Great Shama. The great listening. If we are listening, He will overflow from our lives. This love for God will overflow to our children. Everything you do. Am I loving God with everything? God wants congruence in the way we love Him. Why? Because we used to be slaves and He set us free. We were slaves to sin and he defeated death. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m not the same person I used to be. 

A community of believers, unified, all following the Lord and this will change the world. 

A community of people who are all in. A family much bigger than my family. 

The Family That Disciples – Adam Griffin

“So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.” ‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭19‬:‭19‬-‭21‬ ‭NLT‬

Take on the mantle of responsibility. 

What if we apply that same passion and same listening to loving our neighbors? 

Think about the discipling the disciples behind our own front door. A family discipleship Sunday. How mom’s and dad’s can reach the mission within their own home. Take the mantle of responsibility. 

Home is where you give your best energy not the place you put your feet up and are off the clock. How many times has an accountability partner asked you how it’s going discipling your own kids?

Our children’s ministry is not a ministry of crayons and crackers, it’s a ministry to people who are desperately in need of saving.

How are you doing at handling over the mantle of leadership? 

Elisha burned the plow and followed Elijah. He was all in. He did not store the plow and plan to come back to it in the future.

The thing that’s taking the place that only God can fill, it needs to go. Burn the plow! 

Evaluate your life and see if anything good has become an idol. If so, burn that plow. 

A family that disciples, makes Jesus the thing they are all in with. 

Don’t sacrifice ministry for ministry sake. Is anything becoming more important than God? 

I can’t answer that call today. I’ve burned the plow on ministry being an idol. 

“Is anything good becoming an idol? Then burn the plow!” Adam Griffin 

Don’t give up your soul to keep your job. 


Modeling, how do yo live this out with your kids.

Time, how am I spending my time.

Moments, everyday life.

Milestones, big moments. 

Using the R.O.A.R. Method to Chew and Spit through Cultural Lies – Hillary Morgan Ferrer

“We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We are either taking our thoughts captive or philosophies are taking us captive. 

“A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭24‬-‭26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

*We are in a culture war, and unfortunately, a lot of people are talking past each other. Why? Because neither side will recognize the good that their opponent is offering! The ROAR method is intended to identify a message and analyze its ideas with grace and truth. Doing this requires identifying the good intentions, separating them from the bad ideas, synthesizing a healthier approach, and strategically praying through the battle of ideas.” – Mama Bear Apologetics, 54

Part of our job as parents is to help develop our kids’ spiritual immune systems. Help kids think critically and discern for themselves. 

Teaching your kids the Chew and Spit Method. Help them identify right from almost right. 

Would you rather be…

Heard or understood and persuasive? 

Biblical Discernment: 

Philippians 1:9-10 – “It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” 

Hebrews 5:14 – Solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

Offer Objective Discernment – See things accurately, separate the good from the bad, embrace the good, reject the bad. 

Overcoming Spiritual Fatigue – Marianne Howard

The dirtier the Waffle House the better the food.

Scattered, smothered, and covered…sounds like my condition in ministry. 

Are you? Scattered by a schedule that never stops? 

Are you? Smothered by expectations? 

Are you? Covered by shame?

For a long time, I believed the lie, that it was okay to burn out for Jesus. 

New York Times Article: Why Pastors are Burning Out? 

“If you are part of a church, there’s a good chance that your pastor is not all right…”

46% of pastors under the age of 45 say they are considering quitting full-time ministry

90% of pastors report working 55 to 70 hours a week, and 50% of them feel unable to meet the demands of the job.

74% of ministry leaders report being “extremely or highly stressed”

1,700 pastors leave the ministry each month, citing depression, burnout, or being overworked as the primary reasons.

100% of over 1,000 ministry leaders stated that have had a colleague who left the ministry because of burnout, church conflict, or moral failure.

Burnout doesn’t begin with working too hard, it begins with the heart. 

What is happening to us? 

The moment when a leader loses the motivation, hope, energy, joy, and focus required to fulfill their work, and these losses center upon the work itself.

“Don’t stare at me because I am dark— the sun has darkened my skin. My brothers were angry with me; they forced me to care for their vineyards, so I couldn’t care for myself—my own vineyard.” Song of Songs‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A Scripture about negligence. 

Tend to your soul. Fight for intimacy for your King. 

Impact of spiritual fatigue: 

Spiritual Malnourished, distracted, arrogant, discontent, self-sufficient, anxious. 

We are living on happy meals when Jesus has offered us a feast Spiritually. 

One of the greatest tragedies is that we miss God’s Kingdom assignment because we’re too busy building our own personal kingdoms

What does your family see? Rested or stressed. 

A burned-out leader reproduces burned-out people because we reproduce what we are. Learning to rest is one of the best investments a leader can make for generational discipleship.

Have an All In approach to rest.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28‬-‭29‬ ‭NLT‬

Jesus is the giver of rest. He is the only One who can give you rest.

Rest is not the absence or work. Physical rest leads to spiritual rest and spiritual rest leads to physical rest. Rest declares our dependance on Jesus. 

How do we actually do this? How do we rest? 

First, Slow Down – God wants you to slow down to His pace. 

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46‬:‭10‬ ‭NLT‬‬ // In context: Slow to to be able to know that He is God.

Examine your Habits: What are your habits? What does your schedule look like? What does your time and money go to? What does your day to day look like? 

When you missed time at the table, God’s posture is not “where were you” but “I missed you.”

Be attentive: Pay attention to what you pay attention to. What you think about you care about and what you care about you will chase. 

Practice Listening: Unplug the noice and plug into the presence of God. Silence the chirps and dings. Scripture needs to occupy more of our lives. What do you reach for first? Your phone or the word of God? 

Be Intentional: Be attentive with God, the giver of rest. You don’t recline into holiness and rest. Choose to get to the giver of rest. 

His rest silences anxiety. His rest diminishes autonomy. 

His rest destroys idolatry. His rest confirms your identity. 

Your job does not define you.

You are a son and daughter first.

New to Ministry: Getting Started – Byron Ragains

The good news is what God is going to do with you is incredible. 

“Learn the skill and the craft of ministry. Continue everyday to learn your craft, to read, and to ask question.” 

Where do I begin? Where do I start? 

Leave the conference with one thing or two max and begin to work on them. 

A team is more than one. What if you were to begin your team meeting or staff meeting declaring and testifying who God is.

Write down some of your pain points right now: 

How do you get unstuck? What do you prioritize right now?

Recruitment – a year from now we will be together again and you will have recruited more volunteers to be in your ministry. Never use the word recruitment or even think that word. From now on sub it with the word Invite. Recruitment is stressful. When was the last time someone recruited you invited you over to their house for a party? Recruitment makes you feel like you are being sold something. Invited people who join a flourishing team feel like they belong. 

Calling – Some are wondering why they said yes. When God calls you, He sees your imperfection and your story. Do you trust He can do something with this? Protect your calling. Remember when God called you. Write it down. Journal your calling. Journal days when you embrace your calling and God’s call on your life. When you have tough days, go to the journal and it will remind you that you are where you are supposed to be. 

People – You are in the people business. We are not in the program business. 

How many people are you really accountable for? How do you get around those people? Be present. Spend time with those who invest in you. Invest in those who invest in you. Buy a wall calendar and put names on it. Spend time with your people. It doesn’t have to be training and coaching. 

Vision – How many of you have a vision statement for you children’s ministry? Do you know it well enough to write it down? There’s something wrong with Jiffy Lube has a mission statement and you don’t have one for your ministry. Ask yourself is your mission statement actually true or just something on the wall. Sit down with your team and ask if you are missing the mark. Note: Whenever Lowe’s and Home Depot move into your neighborhoods be aware that people are coming. 

Gospel Centered – Keep the Gospel at the center of your ministry. Don’t do ministry like Baskin-Robbins where you are just going for the next cool flavor. It might be creative and fun but make sure it is built on the gospel. Change the narrative, the question parents ask is did you have fun today. What does God think when He hears this question. Begin to ask the question, “What did you learn about God today?” What if kids felt bad about missing church because they didn’t learn about God? Look at the curriculum you are using, your team meetings, the music you are singing, your environments, and your entire operation. If your curriculum doesn’t keep the gospel in the center then take it to the dumpster. David C Cook is gospel centered. 

Drink from the well – A rancher visits another country and notices what was missing was fences. Instead of building fences they build a vibrant well and the cattle stay close to the water. Are you close to the water? Are you looking for fences? Are you out all alone in the pasture? When we spend more time building the ministry than drinking from the well, we wander. The enemy distracts and takes us down. Spend time with Jesus drinking His word. What kind of water are you drinking? Is it man’s water or God’s? 

What’s On Your Church’s Radar? – Ron Hunter 

What are your priorities and what are your concerns?

What if you could take a sonogram of the church and detect the health of our church towards discipleship? 

Reginald Fessenden – the story of Regi plays out in our churches today. Our priorities in discipleship haven’t always been listened to. Sometimes we are clouded by other priorities and other priorities are on our minds. 

When you come to a conference it’s not about what the speaker says, it’s more important what the Lord says.

God has been warning us from the beginning of Scripture to the end of Scripture about our priorities of discipleship, and we’ve not always listened.

“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children.” Psalms‬ ‭78‬:‭4‬-‭6‬ ‭NLT‬

How you speak not only affects you but the children even yet to be born. 

Be intentional with every generation. 

Oral tradition. Tell stories of God’s greatness. 






Biblical Servant



Equipping Families for discipleship 

Mentor (one-on-one)






The biggest epidemic the world has ever faced is parental complacency. 

Neh 8 – The pivot, the priest says, we can start now. 

A family aligned curriculum. Around the dinner table, the conversations comes more naturally. Everyday intentionality. 

Leaders, we must do what the priest did in Nehemiah chapter 8 and show parents how to disciple their children. 

Your job is not to do more ministry but to equip parents to do more ministry. 

“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Father’s, Correct and Nurture

Father’s, if your kids always feel like they are performing around you then they may feel like they are only performing for their Heavenly Father.  

“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭13‬-‭18‬ ‭NLT‬

Most of our armor is defensive. 

What’s on Your kid’s Radar?

What’s on Your Church’s Radar?

Do Your Parents in Your Church Equip Their Kids with Radar?

Our pastors are the most prepared but our parents are the most under-prepared. 

If you want your children to value something, make sure it’s something that you value too. 

EveryDay Foundations

Awaken to the Wilderness War – Brian Haynes

Why do we suffer difficulty, wounds, chaos, and calamity? 

Life is not as it should be. It’s just not. 

Everything between Genesis 3 and Revelation 21, is a desert. It’s a wilderness. 

Minbar – desert you can survive. 

T’siyah – desert you can survive if you have help. 

Yashiymown – desert you can’t survive. 

“Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭35‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭106‬:‭14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There are times in life where we can survive, or we can survive with help, and other times where it will take a miracle for us to survive. 

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭12‬ ‭NLT‬

You may think you are just a parent, or just a pastor but the reality is you are more then that as you are shepherding people in real spiritual warfare that effects them spiritually, mentally, and emotionally while also going through the same thing yourself. 

“Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord— rejoice in his presence!” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭68‬:‭4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Our great king is living water. Do you know what you need most in the desert? Water from the rock. 

Jesus is a cup of cold water every day no matter how deep the desert. 

He is the Good Shepherd. Do you know what happens when you find shade in the desert. Refreshment. The Lord is your shade in the desert. He is out wind. He is our light. He is our path. 

Jesus wants us to know there is a way through the wilderness. There is victory through the wilderness. 

God is the same in all the seasons we walk through. The only difference is we are different and cry out different in the wilderness. 

Communicating Vision for Children’s Ministry With Senior Leadership – Michayla White 

Explore common priorities of Senior Leaders

Discuss keys for asking for what you need,

Provide a framework for developing clear presentations.

Identify which groups you need for support and collaboration.

Foundational principle is alignment. Motivated by love. John 13:35. It’s not about getting what you want, but about the mission moving forward. 

Defined: Alignment is – according to the Oxford dictionary – what happens when something is in correct or appropriate relative positions. It is also a position of agreement and alliance.

Working together. Not in conflict. 

The elephant in the room: alignment might feel impossible based on your experience in your church environment. Suspend the voice in your head and be open handed. 

Grab the elephant and say it. Call it out. 

Common priorities of senior leadership (what keeps you up at night). Understand their priorities. 

Preaching and Services. Sunday is always coming. Both the message and the service. Every yes in the week is a no to developing the message. No matter how gifted most leaders crave time to steward their preparation. 

Growth of the Body. The pressure of the phrase healthy things grow. Many think on attendance and maturity. Who is there and who is not there. Reflecting the community. 

Stability of the church. Every church has its own story. Finances and team. Money is everyone’s least favorite thing to talk about and for many it’s an overwhelming priority. The team is the stability force of the church. How long the team will be there. What their next step is. Who will fill their place. The tenure of ministry. Most positions feel like a revolving door. 

Care for the community. They might ask hard questions because wanting to measure impact with limited resources. What does our community need right now.

Framework for communicating vision. 

What is your pastors style? What matters for him as a leader. 

Imagine you got an email Monday and your lead pastor is asking you to come share your vision for the ministry. 

Remember the goal of: Greater alignment for the purpose of momentum. 

Key Question 1 – What do you want your senior leader to feel when the meeting is over? 

Key Question 2 – What do you want your senior leader to know when the meeting is over?

Key Question 3 – What do you want your senior leader to do when the meeting is over?

Key Question 4 – What do you want your senior leader to remember when the meeting is over?

What lingering thought do you want rolling around in your leaders mind? 

Key Framework:

Introduction (Feel) A hook, question, or unexpected. Start with something of value. 

Body (Know) Don’t feel like you need to prove the point more then you actually have to. Sharing too much data leads to overload. Communicate vision through story. Stories are data with a soul. Most leaders want to be moved not just talked at. 

  •   What (problem)
  •   So What (solution)
  •   Now What (benefis)

Conclusion (Do/Remember) 

If there’s no call of action you are looking for, maybe the action is just connection or community. 

How to ask for what you need. 

Resonance. Honor their time. Help your leader hear the things that matter to them. Use phrases like, “As I’ve heard you share about.” Show your alignment. 

Clarity. Focus on what’s possible, not just the process. The greatest piece you can offer is the vision. Don’t expand on the whole process but paint the picture of where you’re going. 

Options and compromise. Be open. Not passive aggressive or absolutes in language. Open hands and open arms. Pay attention to your thinking face. A resting face can misrepresent and unintentionally communicate poorly. Ask friends to help you with this. 

Areas of Support and Collaboration: 

Leaders with influence. Whose voices carry weight in conversation?

Members with expertise. Network within your own church. Collaboration. 

Community partnerships with impact. Build partnerships with local groups.

Remember to pray first. Pray for them, for their vision, for alignment, and for words to say.

Progressive Christianity: A Biblical Response to a Growing Movement – Alisa Childers

The Bible, The Cross, and The Gospel. Our beliefs should mirror Jesus’ beliefs on these subjects. 

Christians say, God’s word, authoritative, inspired by God, breathed out. 

A book about God vs a book God breathed. These are different views. 

Jesus referred to the Bible as the Word of God. 

“Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ ””‭‭Matthew‬ ‭15‬:‭3‬-‭9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus modeled to us the authority of the Scriptures by using the words…”It is written….” 

Sin – See Isaiah 53

Did Jesus think He’s that guy? If yes then His death is substitutionary. 

“For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’ Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭37‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus said, “Behold the Lamb of God. 

John 10:18 – He was willing to lay down His life.

The argument for Cosmic Child Abuse doesn’t work if you understand the Trinity. 

“Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.””‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16‬:‭23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Convincing people they are sinners is the hardest part of evangelism. The biggest obstacle to evangelism is telling people they are sinners. 

How? Teach your kids the real thing…because then when the counterfeit comes…they will spot something off.

You Feed Them – Chrystal Evans Hurst

There is no guarantee but our job is to plant seeds and let God worry about how it gets watered.

Do you see problems or solutions in the waiting? 

When we give God problems and He gives us solutions, we start listing all the things we don’t have, as if His solution ever started with what we have.

The solution lies in our obedience. Your one job is to do what God asks you to do. 

At a time when Jesus wanted solitude and rest, He still served. 

If you’re walking with the Lord and you have been watching His Word, when you run into a problem you have to assume you have what it takes or He will provide what it takes. 

Challenges aren’t just there to pray about. It’s an opportunity to see God’s glory in a new way.

What if the place you were wishing away, is exactly the place where God is wanting you to grow?

“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Are you willing to engage in the middle of the problem to see God bring the solution? 

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭10‬ ‭NLT‬

He doesn’t expect you to have all the answers. He knows you are a little undone and need to rely on Him. You are His masterpiece. 

Leading in Seasons of Change – Jim Wideman 

The thing about change is you can either fight it or you can learn to be flexible with it. 

Nothing stays the same except the fact that change is always present! 

Change is like Tarzan swinging on the next vine. We are called to swing out on a few vines but God seldom shows up early. We must learn to trust Him. 

1. Change and how we navigate it, is one of the most important keys to following God

  • When you follow God you have to be open and willing to change
  • Most people maturely fight change. Change builds a platform (Tarzan)
  1. I have not always welcomed change in my personal life nor have I in my
    professional life
  2. Not all change is improvement. But without change there can be no improvement
  • There is no growth without change. 

We have to learn to change in order to reach the next generation. 

Book: The new diversity. 

  • Learn to change with change or you will get changed!

C. Change is a part of living. 

Being on staff means we are needing to learn to flow with change. The oldest two generations are not the majority in the workforce. We can change or be left out. 

1. Charles Exley, CEO of NCR (National Cash Register) Corporation said, “I’ve been in business thirty-six years. l’ve learned a lot and most of it doesn’t apply anymore.”

  • My goals have changed
  • My family has changed
  • My role as a leader has changed
  • My ministry has changed
  • I am constantly changing how I look at life
  • As I change so will all the above

2. Choose to be flexible

  • Nothing in life goes the way you think
  • When you’re not flexible, you miss out on what God has for you
  • Leaders resist change as much as followers do

1. The result: Unchanged leaders equals unchanged organizations. 

Sometimes people are waiting on you to model the change before they accept it themselves. 

2. People also need an example of choosing to be flexible and how to accept changes

D. If you want to continue leading, you must continue changing. 

  1. I’m not the same style children’s minister I was five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago, thirty years ago (yikes!)
  2. ”Don’t make the same mistake twice, make a different one every time!” – Jim’s mom. 


Some people will instantly reject change. 

Unmanaged change instantly reverts back to the original. 

Some people get creative in change. 

As changes become more normalized the team begins to get in a good rhythm. It can even become fun. 

If a change is unreasonable then people give up or fight it. 

3. Why people resist change

  • The change isn’t self-initiated (Someone else’s idea
  • Routine is disrupted (We are creatures of habit and we are selfish by nature
  • Change creates fear of the unknown
    (Many people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions)
  1. The purpose of the change is unclear (God leads in steps you don’t always know Z) The steps of the righteous are ordered into the Lord. 
  • Change creates fear of failure (What if we lose? What if you win?)
  • People are too satisfied with the way things are. 
  1. Too many people and organizations choose to die rather than choose to change.
  2. Same actions bring same results
  • Change requires additional commitment (Whatever it takes) 
  • All In = whatever it takes. 
  • Tradition resists change
  • Pride resists change (and goes before the fall). 
  • Our want to and excitement can change (It’s your job to keep yourself stirred up and refreshed) – Marianne’s new Rest Book. David was a man after Gods own heart. He knew how to encourage himself in the Lord. 
  • When everyone is mad, count the everybody’s because it’s probably the same 3 old ladies who have not been happy in decades. 

4. Creating an atmosphere that encourages change. 

  • People don’t just resist change; they resist “being changed”. The best thing you can do is model whatever God wants for your life. 
  • Desire whatever God wants for your life, even if it means to change everything about your life! (This is something you have to continually model.) What God wants for me is better than even I want for me! 

10 ways to encourage and flow with change

  1. Seek God for His plan and purpose, now. Thus saith the Lord works every time. 
  2. Evaluate constantly. Know what a first down is. What is a touchdown. How do you get a two point conversion? 
  3. Make personal changes before asking others to change. I’ll never ask you to do anything I’m not willing to do. The bad news is that I’m willing to do just about anything. (Throwing a good party?)
  4. Good leaders understand the history of the organization
  • It’s important to know what’s happened in the past before making changes for the future
  • What has worked? Is it still working?
  • Learn the thinking of the house
  1. How are others doing what you are doing? (Network) Is there a better way to do what you are doing? Never quit networking. 
  2. Brainstorm and seek the opinion and advice of trusted allies. Find people who will let you call them. Ask how would you handle this? 
  3. Develop a game plan that will assist change
  4. Explain the change to others, why you need it, and communicate the plan. Don’t give your team leadership whiplash. 
  5. Talk up the benefits. “The main reason young people let me buy them coffee is because I buy them coffee. The second reason is asking them questions and talking about apps.” 
  6. Remember there are people counting on you in the future to make the needed changes. The changes you are making today make your next changes possible.

5. Are you willing to make the changes needed to cause you to go to your next level? 

  • Don’t run away from change- start with yourself!
  • What are you afraid to change? Be honest. Identify the sacred cows. This is the first step. 
  • Get some help, don’t do it alone – every top level athlete has a coach. 
  • As people see you make changes to yourself they will come on board with changes in the ministry and embrace the change you model

My 3 things to change. 

1 Learn best practices for throwing a good party with the staff. 

2 David encouraged himself in the Lord. Study this for myself and create a rhythm. 

3 Read the book: The new diversity to determine how I need to change in leading our oldest and youngest staff members. 


Redeeming Rest – A Roadmap Through Burnout with Marianne Howard

Remember we are Moving through the valley. 

What and where has been your favorite spot?

What made it your favorite?

How do you rest physically? 

How do you spend your days off? 

How do you rest spiritually? 

If you could define ministry burnout, what would it be? 

Burning out can be defined as losing the motivation, energy, hope, joy, and focus required to fulfill your work, and these losses center on the work itself.

The feeling of I don’t event want to walk into the office today. In teams and pressure our default is control or escape. Control in the kingdom is a complete myth. Escape is avoidance where you try not to make a decision. 

If you could define spiritual fatigue, what would it be? Spiritual fatigue is a condition of the heart where a person is spiritually dry and emotionally empty.

A place of wandering aimlessly getting nowhere

A place of hunger and thirst – no provisions

A place of isolation – no companionship or support

A place of sorrow and defeat – no joy or victory

A place of pressure – no peace

A place of hopelessness – feel stuck

What are the effects?

The burden of busyness. We think hard work signifies our value. Generationally divided by those 35+. 

The prison of people pleasing. We have difficulty saying no even at the expense of our soul. You have to learn to say no to the good things and yes to the God things. Wait, pray, ask. Your default should not be yes. Sometimes your no moves you out of the way for someone else. Arrogance and pride in people pleasing. 

The impact of identity. We assign to ourselves identity. We get identity vertically or shop for it horizontally. You are not your job. You are a son or daughter of God first. 

The seduction of self-sufficiency. We pay more attention to the outcome rather than the process. 

Roadmap through burnout: A personal heart evaluation. 

My flesh and heart may fail, BUT GOD… 

Time with God needs to be relational not transactional. Slow and savor. Unhurried. 

What stirs your affection for Christ? 

Do you need clean to rest or rest to clean? 

Rested body. Bible. Focus turned on. 

“And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did];” Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭10‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Disciplines for Intimacy with Christ: 

The discipline of Silence

Abstaining from speaking. Silencing noise. Listening and being quiet. Silence sensitizes us; It helps us focus on what matters.

The discipline of Solitude

To be alone and turn away from human interaction and external distractions with the purpose of refining the soul.

The discipline of Stillness

Stop, cease, and desist, makes room for listening, gives us the freedom to observe, opens us to peace, and invites us to know our limitedness and god’s vastness,

The discipline of Surrender

To cease resistance and submit, let go and trust, releasing control.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm‬ ‭23‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When the Lord is your shepherd, you will not want. 













““Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John‬ ‭15‬:‭5‬ ‭NLT‬‬ // Nothing, meaning nothing! 

Don’t settle for the happy meal, feast. 

Restore the joy of my salvation!

I’d love to see you at next years conference! If you’d like to learn more about Everyday Foundations and be entered to win 2 to D6 2024  including travel expenses, click here: 


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