Connecting with Volunteers During COVID-19

Game and Announcements Slides-2

Everything changed…but in a way nothing changed. 

Your main role is still to – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” And to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Redefine your thoughts about your role:
You are not just an event planner, events are getting canceled.
You are not just a communicator on stage, there is no one in the seats.
You are not just someone who finds volunteers for Sunday morning because Sunday has been redefined.

Your role is to Love God and Love Others.
You are to be equipping God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. So how do you re-imagine your role? I want you to start asking the question, “What can it look like?“

Your ministry is not on hold, so ask the questions:
What can it look like to equip God’s people to be the church?
What can it look like to serve the church digitally?
What can volunteering look like in these unprecedented times?
When it comes to your volunteers you need to:

1. Connect

Do you know how your flock is doing? Are you being a good steward of your team?

Text your team

Call your team, especially your older volunteers.

Facetime your team, especially those who struggle with anxious or depressed 

Zoom.Us – 40-minute meetup for free 100 people.
  Google Hangout
  Group FaceTime 

Ask, how homeschooling is going? Ask about their work.
Ask, what can we do to help?
Ask, how can we pray for you?

2. Encourage 

If you’re allowed, drop off something at their door – food, toilet paper. Postcards. Pizza Delivery.

Do something fun – Social game/contest on FB groups!

Help them connect and encourage one another. 

If you have coaches, encourage them to reach out to their teams. 

Send prayer requests and needs to groups

3. Equip or mobilize them. 

Equip your team to serve!

Videos for daily

Postcard

Email to parents

Serve in the community

Drive through church

YouVersion Bible App Study

YouVersion Prayer

MarcoPolo scheduling volunteers to be online. Such a great idea! 

4. Pray for them and pray with them.

Open up your volunteer roaster and pray down the list. 

And say, “Hey, before I let you go, can we pray together?”

Let’s rally together. A lot of church are seeing online church x6 regular attendance! Families are having a mealtime around the dinner table! Parents are huddling up together in their living rooms to open up God’s word. God is doing something today, let’s roll up our sleeves and be the church!

Even When I Don’t See, #IStillBelieve

New-ISB-560x315banner

Have you ever allowed a God-given opportunity to pass by? Have you seen an opportunity to share the story of God’s redemption but failed to take your step? 

Hitting theaters on March 13th is the powerful and personal story of Jeremy Camp walking through tragedy yet growing in his faith. I Still Believe is a beautiful story showing how God knows our name and truly loves us even when we walk through the valley. This movie is an encouraging gift that shows how life is rich, not in spite of the disappointments but because of them. 

You will walk away being blessed by this incredible true story of love. You will see someone wrestle with anger towards God. And you will see what happens when you pray for healing but yet someone you care for still passes away. 

Use the opportunity of I Still Believe to share the story of God’s love and redemption. Invite your neighbor, small group, or co-workers and see how this love story can introduce your friends to the love of God. 

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

#IStillBelieve 

Over 70 Breakout Options for Your Ministry

TAY_0354

Options, especially customized options, just make life better. 

Imagine walking into your favorite ice cream shop and there only being vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Or imagine going to a car lot with only one option to buy. Customized options can give you exactly what you need in the context you need it. 

At this year’s Orange Conference you have over 70 options for your breakouts. Ministry leaders from around the country with different backgrounds and specialties will create customizable options for you to select from help you improve your leadership and ministry. You can choose from the following breakout tracks: Children, City Strategy, Family Experience, General, High School, Lead Small, Middle School, NextGen Leader, Orange 101, Parent Strategy, Phase, Preschool, Preteen, Rural Strategy, Salvation Army, Special-Needs, Start Up, and Volunteer. 

This “choose your own adventure” style of breakout options can help you pick what is most relevant to your own experience. Whether you want to focus on a specific age group or work on a particular leadership skill, there will be options. 

 Although my needs my change between now and OT20 and therefore I might need to make changes to my own selections, here are the breakout options I have selected for this year’s conference:

  • Respond To The LGBTQ Reality 
  • Responding To Kids With Anxiety And Depression
  • Keys To Developing Other Leaders
  • Successfully Launching Your First Or Next Campus

Sort through your options today and customize a learning experience so you get the most out of this year’s conference. And if you’re up for it, drop a comment and let me know what you have selected for yourself this year!

Picking Curriculum Breakout Notes for #CPC20

Random Facebook Post

Did you know there are over 50 kids ministry curriculum options each with their own unique way of doing things!?! Let’s explore the options and determine what questions you should be asking before you get started!

  1. Why Curriculum? What purpose does it serve?
    1. Tool Belt Teaching
      1. The Lesson –  The scope and sequence, the strategy, the goals, repetition vs. redundant, age-appropriateness
      2. Games – Do they help kids connect? Do they serve a purpose? Do they further the teaching? Are they fresh?
      3. Small-Group Materials – Supply lists, well-crafted questions, fun? 
      4. Videos and Graphics
      5. Worship Songs
      6. Crafts
      7. Environments
      8. Scripture Memory
      9. Parent Resources
      10. Social Media Plan
      11. And so much more…
    2. Tool Belt Varieties
      1. Some are too big
      2. Some are old
      3. Some tools don’t fit
      4. Some you just don’t like
      5. Some you don’t understand
    3. A good fit has the right belt with the right tools. But still, it takes work. 
  1. Question 1 – Will this curriculum help your kids learn the Bible?
    1. Is scripture read and taught?
    2. Will the lesson connect with your kids?
    3. Do the supplemental materials reinforce the Bible?
    4. Does the teaching lead to life-changing application?
    5. Will the kids be engaged and interested in the lesson?
    6. Does this curriculum make learning the Bible fun?
  1. Question 2 – When your kids completely the curriculum will they produce the fruit you are desiring to see in their lives?
    1. Wise and foolish builder illustration
    2. Bible knowledge and application
    3. The vision of your church
    4. Begin with the end in mind
  1. Question 3 – Will this curriculum be a good fit for your program?
    1. Does the lesson length fit your needs?
    2. Will the materials change lives or just fill time?
    3. Does the curriculum provide the service components you are looking for?
    4. Is it flexible? 
    5. Is it manageable?
  1. Question 4 – Will this curriculum be a good fit for your kids?
    1. What age level is it designed for?
    2. Will it make sense culturally and socioeconomically? 
    3. Are their materials for children with special needs?
    4. Are there supplemental materials your kids will enjoy?
    5. Does it encourage community and build relationships?
    6. Will your kids be engaged and have fun?
  1. Question 5 – Will this curriculum fit in your budget?
    1. What is the starting price of the yearly curriculum?
    2. What is the full and real cost of the yearly curriculum? 
    3. What is the cost of the supplemental materials and props?
    4. Are scholarships or flexibility in pricing available?
  1. Question 6 – Do other churches, like yours, recommend this curriculum?
    1. What are churches in your denomination using or avoiding?
    2. What curriculum has your church used over the years and why did they change?
    3. Do churches a little larger than you recommend it? 
    4. What are the arguments against using the curriculum? 
  1. VIII.Question 7 – Does this meet family needs? 
    1. Do the materials take the Sunday lesson into Monday through Saturday? 
    2. Does the curriculum matter for 1 hour a week or 168 hours each week?
    3. If a child attends every other week will they be able to follow along? 
    4. Are materials provided in the curriculum to equip the family?
    5. Will a nontraditional family feel included?
  1. Question 8 – How do you access and edit the curriculum?
    1. Do you have the technology necessary to make the curriculum accessible to volunteers? 
    2. Do you need a CD-ROM drive, jump drive, or high-speed internet?
    3. Do you have the audio, visual, and technical supplies to present the lesson?
  1. Question 9 – How much work will it take for you to make changes? 
    1. Is it editable and easy to alter? 
    2. Are there plenty of options if you don’t like a particular portion? 
    3. Are you going to be making minor tweaks or major rewrites? 
    4. Do you have the time and margin necessary for the changes? 
  1. Question 10 – Do I really need to change?
    1. Are you the only one feeling the need to make changes?
    2. Could you add some flavor to spice things up or do you need to change the recipe? 
    3. Is now the right time?
  1. A special note before making changes. 
    1. The change in your pocket illustration. 
    2. What’s at stake?
  2. Let’s look at some options

 

A link to this full google sheet: HERE

 

In a recent KidzMatter Magazine, you can see a description and overview of many curriculum options.

Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 1.02.26 PM

 

This is a curriculum evaluation created by a team made up of 60 practitioners with years of weekly classroom experience.2

What do you do from here?

    1. Pray
    2. Research
    3. Contact curriculum providers
    4. Explore samples
    5. Seek wise counsel
    6. Pray

Orange Small Group Leader Resource Reviews and Giveaways

Giveaway 

To Enter To Win: https://kingsumo.com/g/tuoom3/small-group-leader-resource-giveaway 

As you look back on this past year, what has changed in your ministry? If you’re not intentional, you can easily drift into bad habits and ineffective ministry. If you want this new year to be an opportunity to intentionally recharge and redirect you and your leaders, here are two books to set you in the right direction. 

When Relationships Matter – Make your church a place where kids and teenagers belong. 

Before kids and teenagers can wrestle with abstract concepts like faith, hope, and the meaning of life, they need to know who loves them and where they belong. When Relationships Matter explores three values and nine practices that will help you create and improve your small group strategy. 

If you want to measure the success of your weekly experiences for kids and teenagers, you need to ask two questions. Are kids connected? Are they known? Research shows that kids who have five or more adults who invest in their faith over time have a greater chance of having a mobilized faith. When relationships matter, everything changes.

“The best way to help kids know God is to connect them with someone who knows God.” – Reggie Joiner

“We have to go out of our way to create a culture in which it’s safe for kids and students to ask hard questions about faith.” – Tom Shefchunas 

“Never sacrifice the next generation on the altar of your past methods and preferences.” – Reggie Joiner

“If you want to fight for everyday, authentic faith in the next generation, you need to support the relationships that matter most.” – Kristen Ivy

Check out When Relationships Matter, the newest release for leaders of small group leaders from Orange. Visit https://whenrelationshipsmatterbook.com to download a sample (plus some FREE RESOURCES).

 

Lead Small – Five big ideas every small group leader needs to know.

Lead Small clarifies the role and responsibilities of the small group leader who works with children and teenagers. It explains five proven strategies you can use to lead your small group well:

• BE PRESENT . . . so you can connect your kids’ faith to a community

• CREATE A SAFE PLACE . . . to clarify their faith as they grow

• PARTNER WITH PARENTS . . . to nurture an everyday faith in kids

• MAKE IT PERSONAL . . . to inspire their faith by your example

• MOVE THEM OUT . . . to engage their faith in a bigger story

“When we lead small we simply make a choice to invest strategically in the lives of a few over time so we can help them build an authentic faith.”

“If you are simply trying to instill faith and morals for the sake of your few, but it’s not a personal priority, they’ll eventually catch on.”

“A child will never feel significant until you give them something significant to do.”

“Your few are not problems to be solved. They are people to be loved.”

Check out Lead Small, a must-read for every small group leader. Visit http://www.leadsmallbook.com to download a self-evaluation guide to see how you are currently partnering with parents and a next step build to build a stronger partnership. 

To Enter To Win: https://kingsumo.com/g/tuoom3/small-group-leader-resource-giveaway 

#NYWC19 Big Room and Breakout Notes

Red and Blue Photo Fashion Influencer Facebook Post Set

Big Room Session One

Albert Tate @alberttate 

“Remix” is when you take something old and make it new again, that’s what I feel like this gathering at YS is all about. I need a remix in my soul. I need Him to do something new with what is old in my life. Ministry, you can learn how to do it and make it happen but what used to be a passionate pursuit becomes something you just show up and do. 

Luke 7:11-17 – Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son

We dismiss the pain of our realities too many times in our Christian circles.

Don’t cry as if there is no hope. 

You may be here on the verge of giving up…don’t give up, don’t quit, now is not the time to throw in the towel. If you still have breath in your body you have purpose in your chest. 

If you tie your identity the success of the ministry, when the ministry stops being successful you stop being successful. God has tied us together so we can carry each other through the burdens. God sees you, we come together so we can see each other. 

God jumps in the ditch with you. He says, ‘I’m here and I know the way out. The devil is a liar. Not only does God see you, but we see you and you’re not alone. When you have a ditch in your life, God jumps in with you. He knows the way out.

Jesus wants to breath new life in places that have been dead in your soul. He has been doing great things in your ministry and what He wants to do through you He first has to do through you and in you. And as He does it, you’ve got to thank Him. Thank God with the fullness of expression. 

Every great gift demands a great response. If you got that excited about a tiger (woods), let me tell you about a Lamb!

Social Media Madness: What Kids’ Social Media Posts Reveal About Who They Are and What They Need

Speaker:  Walt Mueller 

In today’s world, kids live out their lives on social media. To get to know our kids along with their deepest longings and needs is a task made easier when we take time to deconstruct how they are fabricating, curating, and promoting themselves online. In this seminar, Walt will walk you through how a student’s use of social media can open your eyes to their most pressing unmet spiritual needs, along with practical ministry responses that will answer those needs with Gospel-centered hope. The seminar will end with some suggested social media practices that can re-form students in ways that bring honor and glory to God.

How to take a social media “purposeful pause – 

https://digitalkidsinitiative.com/resources/handouts/

In a world of tremendous noise, what matters is relationships. Devices are undoing our humanity, but relationships screen louder than this (device). 

95% of teens have access to a smartphone

53% of 11-year-olds own their own smartphones. (4 years ago it was 13)

45% of teens say that are online almost constantly. 

Common sense media census 

Technology is not a bad thing. The question is, “In what direction are we going to use it?” Do we advance the Kingdom of God or advance the kingdom of world, flesh, devil with technology?

Discipleship is about all of life. 1 For 10:31, all for the glory of God. 

Think about integration. Our faith is not about just coming to Jesus but seeing our faith woven in every area of our lives. The Gospel speaks to all of these areas of our lives. 

“Social media is a primary playground for creative self-expression.”

Out of the overflow of the heart the fingers text. 

This is not just a student thing…this is a human thing. 

Two main tasks of childhood and adolescence are:

  1. Identity Formation – Who am I?
  2. Worldview Formation – What do I believe?

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/Media-use-by-tweens-and-teens-2019-infographic

Signals – to deeper needs

For many of our kids, their use of social media is an effort to fulfill unmet human needs.

An identity “fitting room” where I can create and curate myself in order to be liked. Watch the movie “8th Grade”

Fabrication – on who fabricates or manufactures something; a counterfeiter or falsifier. 

Curator – one who has the care and superintendence of something. 

Promoter – a person or organization that helps something to happen, develop, or increase. 

Students believe this about identity: “I am defended by my appearance…and what it looks like to others.”

“Selfie Harm” 2019 Project from British fashion photographer Rankin “Make your photo social media ready.”

”The screen becomes not a vein of truth, but a mirror of desire.” Mark Bauerlein

An identity “fitting room: where I can create and curate myself in order to be liked. Help them to find their identity in Christ. When you find your identity in places other than Christ you are engaging in idolatry. 

Resources: Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World by Kristen Hatton

Resource: What do you think of me? Why do I Care?  Edward T. Welch

Connections in a world of broken relationships. 

“I wanted a hug, and I got pregnant.” 

Significance and validation in a world where I’m forgotten and feeling worthless. We feel less than. <

James 4:2

If we’re honest, way too many of our posts scream, “Hey, look at me!”, “Hey, look at my kids”, “Hey look what I did.” It’s about showing off our kingdom. Humble Brag. 

Seek the spotlight….and it will blind you.
Don’t compare your insides to every else’s outsides.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Fear of Man
Idolatry

Significance and validation in a world where I’m forgotten and feeling worthless. Remember and value! 

Additional Ministry Strategies…

Teach Biblical humility. (Col 3:12) God’s goal for us is to not make us impressive but to make us holy. 

Don’t bite with a “like” when someone is fishing for that “like.” If they are seeking significance and validation in things outside of Christ, don’t encourage this through liking their post. 

Let your work and reputation speak for itself. Teach by your example. You don’t have to post your own report card. 

Answers to the questions I have about life that nobody in my life is answering. How much are you doing in your ministry to give them answers? 

Convenience because my life is hurried and harried. #1 problem with college students. Also causing sleep issues. Offer knowledge and experience of Sabbath rest. It is reflexing and relaxing to rest from social media. 

Escape because I need to forget my hurt and pain. Diversions from time to time are not bad. Offer help, hope, and healing. How much are you doing in your ministry to offer hope and healing? 

Redemption because I am empty, incomplete, and need to be made whole. Ec 3:11. Longing for heaven. God-shaped vacuum. Look for the spiritual hunger points, the unknown gods of this next generation. Point them to the redeemer. How do you point them to the redeemer? 

Don’t forget the relationship. They are watching you. In the context of a relationship, your words and your example speak loudly! 

How to Jump-start Your Youth Ministry

Speaker:  Justin Knowles  @justinknowles3

Whether you are literally starting a new position or you have been in your position for year and just need a reboot, there are some practical ways in which to get the blood flowing in your personal leadership, your volunteer leadership and ministry programming to get the ball rolling again. Sometimes we just need to restart, ask some hard questions, take a go hard look at our ministry and make some tough decisions to breath life again. This workshop is a very practical way on how to essentially…. Re-start.

What does jump-start mean? 

Not immediate, 6 months, full of prayer. 

I don’t want to go anywhere God is not leading me. 

01 Meetings, Meetings, Meetings. Gathering info on the people you serve.

Do we really need more meetings? Most of the time why things get stagnant is because we stopped paying attention, got complacent (into a rhythm) and stopped listening. You only get answers to the questions you ask. Jesus was the master at asking questions. Be the best question-askers. 

Spend 1st month in meetings with: 

God; we don’t want to go where God’s not leading. Spend at least one day alone without a phone and without distractions. 

Leaders; They are your boots on the ground and your best insight or worst obstacle. 

Core Students; Who do you want to listen to? If you’re there to serve them you should hear what they have to say. Would they invite a friend?

Meeting with God. Think through these questions:
How is my heart?
What do I need to work on to be a better follower of you?
Are you loving what you are doing? Am I still called to this?
Am I using the gifts you have given me to really further Your Kingdom?
Are my values aligned with Your Values?
Where do you want us to go?

What is missing that we need to be focused on?

Meeting with Leaders.

What is the best thing in our ministry right now?
If you had the power to change something what would it be?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our service?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate us at outreach/reaching new students?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our teaching/small group curriculum right now?
How do you follow up with new students?
What is one thing you can bring to the table to benefit our ministry?
What is the biggest thing you need from me as the leader of this ministry?

Meeting with Core Students. 

What do you think about…

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our student service? 

In the service, we put on worth being invited too? Why or why not?

On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you inviting a friend? Why?
Are the events we are throwing worth being invited to? Why or why not?

On a scale of 1-10, how are the leaders we have leading our group? Explain.

02 Vision and Strategy. Do you have one? 

Andy Stanley on vision…

A mental picture of what could be, fueled by a passion that it should be.

We don’t drift in good directions, we disciple and prioritize ourselves there. 

Keep it simple stupid. Michael Scott. 

Sandals Church:
Youth Attendance – Last year ____, This year ___.
# of small groups – Last year ____, This year ___.
Summer Camp attendance – Last year ____, This year ___.
# of students serving – Last year ____, This year ___.

Attendance is “a thing” not “the thing”

If I can get a kid to summer camp, I’ll have them the rest of the year. 

Strategy – the playbook

Midweek. Target audience is 11th grade boy. Element of fun (can we uncross the arms and help them lean in?). Biblical message. Nod to new students (assume they are there). 

1st Wednesday

Monthly invite night. 20-30 minutes after service to hang out with students. Cereal Bar. Movie night. 

Groups

A place where students can dive deeper. 15 students max. In house curriculum and front line to parents. Minister to the families of the kids and not just the kids. 

Weekends

Main connection point between services. Care for them and make sure they are there. Attend one and serve on. Attending services outside of just youth services. Connected and serving beside other adults so they feel like part of the church. 

Schools

Pick one school and all in. Want teams and leaders to go all in. Not every kid will come but every kid can know we care. 

Local Outreach and Missions

We want our students to go with the church on a missions trip not on a youth only trip. We can also get adults serving through this 

Summer Camp / Winter Conference

2 strategic events we want every student to attend. 

Online, Omni-Channel. 

Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, podcast (student morning show as they are getting ready for school.)

Why calendar placement matters…

Lots of calendar exists but don’t serve a strategic purpose

Build momentum. 

How does the calendar work with event registration? 

There is a wave that happens when you stack events and teaching strategically. 

What if you had a worship night before summer camp so you jumpstart the worship experience at camp. 

03 Leader Culture and Training. 

Do you have glorified babysitter or ministry leaders?
Do they wonder why leaders are there?
Are they viewed as glorified security guards? 

Do they know the students names? 

Do the leaders know why they are there?
Train leaders to know what the win is before they step into the position. 

If you don’t know why leaders are there then you have a babysitter. 

Do your leaders know what it means to win? Everyone wants to win. 

Conversations about Jesus – Do you talk about Jesus?

Follow up – Did you go beyond the initial contact?

Wednesday plus – Did you interact in some way outside of Wednesday Night? 

When leaders know the target, they can hit it easier. 

Simple, clear, concise goals. 

1-4 most important goals. 

Communicate them every single week.

Follow up in one-on-ones if leaders are not meeting them.

This is how you upkeep your leader culture.

You are the keeper of your culture. 

You are the CRO! Chief Reminding Officer of your ministry. 

By the time you are tired of saying it, they are just starting to get it.

A solid leader process equals solid leaders. 

Potential leader applies online. 

Lead will send them general info of their campus.

1st meeting sit down

2 week of showing other leaders (hands-on training)

3rd week and 2nd sit down (go through expectations)

Add them to CCB groups and co-leader, celebrate them next week as a new leader. 

Leader Expectations 

Eyes and Ears

See the needs

Look for students 

Self care 

Develop relationships

Facilitate over teaching

There is safety or boundaries 

Empower parents

Walk the walk

Be consistent

Get training

Celebrate loud, hard, and often. Drive leaders miss this often. 

If we don’t celebrate, our leaders will feel used.

Every week highlight a leader who did something great. 

Our job as leaders is to make sure our leaders know: 

What our wins are. 

Know how to get those wins. 

Celebrate those wins. 

04 Intentional Outreach

Take a hard look at your service. 

Things to think about…

Changing your culture requires change in the organization. 

Don’t just do things to do things.

Develop any type of culture takes time. 

This should not be done alone. Invite your team into it. 

Tough Questions to ask about your service/events:
Is your service/gathering worth being invited to?
Is the language that you use, new-person friendly?
Is your service/gathering have the new person in mind when they do show up? 

After Service Events

No more stand-alone events but attached to Wednesday nights. Because it has a higher ROI. 

Exposed to a hope and community when they come. 

Events are shorter. Leave wanting more.

Once a month is a great goal. 

It doesn’t have to be extravagant. 

Unleash the leaders to do what they do. 

Summer camp is a linchpin. 

It’s an outreach. 

Challenging to the believer and engaging to the non-believer. 

A week of camp hourly equals a year-long of Wednesday nights hourly. 

Fall is based on the summer camp experience. Make this the main thing. 

Can a non-church kid go?

05 Social Media the place where students will look. 

Don’t do it all. 

Know what your students use most and go all in there. 

Make it stand out. 

Think about how many good looking advertisements there are. 

If social media is the main form of communication and connection for students and friends, why wouldn’t we go join them in that setting?

Helpful Apps

Word Swag

Over

Unfold

To schedule:

Hootsuite

Later

Buffer

Spend an hour now to plan the week later.

Message recap

Monday Devo – written by students and leaders

Schedule it out and follow the plan.

Big Room 2

Lucas Ramirez @TheLucasRamirez

It is time for the generation of leaders today to disrupt division and move us into completion. 

John 17:20-23 Prayer for Unity

It is time for the church to rise up as the example of unity.

A murmuration of starlings – moving together and avoiding a collision. 

The why and how behind the formation. Birds first taught us how to fly and now they will teach us to unify. 

Our movement is density-dependent. Critical mass. You can’t murmur ate with 3 birds. 

 

Reggie Joiner @reggiejoiner 

How you work together can change how a generation sees God.

The enemy gets nervous when we decide to do things together. 

Nehemiah 8:3

I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down, why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?

Nehemiah was actually working on the wall. He couldn’t stop the daily work he was doing because it was too important. 

Keep working together, regardless. 

Keep doing something personally, that reminds you why you do what you do. Who is the person and what is the ministry in your life that is remind you of what’s important? Experience first hand the impact of how important the work you are doing is to the kingdom. 

All the volunteers Nehemiah needed were already in the town. They just needed a strategy and a plan. 

What would it look like if you decided to surround yourself with the right kind of people?

Who are the people in your circle who make you feel inspired? 

Take it a step further and make a list of the people who do NOT inspire you. You have VIP in your life. Inspiring, and you have very Draining people.

Leaders who are negative, who think they are the smartest people, who want to pick political fights…do not inspire me. 

Keep reminding everybody everywhere what matters most. 

By showing up week after week, you are making a statement week after week that THIS matters. 

This work matters; it is so critical. You are surrounded by people who collectively make the enemy nervous. Keep working together regardless. 

Those on the outside the wall changed their mind about who God was. Wouldn’t that be great if we did something so amazing that people changed their view of God? Those inside the walls trusted God in a way they never did before. Worship broke out in a way it had never happened. It changed how an entire generation listened to God. It wasn’t because of a bible story they listened to God. It wasn’t because of a communicator. It was because of what they experienced together. The miracle of this story is what God did with what they did together. How you work together can change how a generation sees God. 

Danielle Strickland @djstrickland

Lie number one is it’s none of your business. 

Lie number two is it’s too hard and too late. 

Maybe the ministry of reconciliation was a hope for a better future? 

Start to rediscover who Jesus was. 

Start to preach this. 

The heart of the gospel is reconciliation. 

If you want to combat the lies there’s one posture that will help. Be in Christ. When it looks too hard and too late, be in Christ. 

The clearer your vision of Jesus, the truer the Gospel you preach.

It’s not too late, it’s not too hard, and it is part of your business. Preach a Gospel of transformation to the too hard and too late. Pray for Sauls to be transformed into Paul’s. If you’re believing the lie, get a clearer vision of the one you serve. It’s not too late, it’s not too hard. 

Samer Massad @SMassad7

Death by distraction – being pulled in so many different ways that we can’t keep it all together.

Distraction is anything urgent that takes your attention away from something important.

If we aren’t careful, distraction will drain the life right from us.

Your ministry is the ‘urgent’ that wants to distract and pull you away from the thing that’s most important… your personal relationship with Jesus.

Ministry can take up so much energy that it distracts from actually sitting and being with Jesus.

Luke 10 – Mary and Martha

Are we doing too many things for God rather than spending time with Him? 

How many of us have the voice of Martha in the inner parts of our hearts? You have messages to write, small groups to plan, work to do. There’s no time to listen, sit, and learn.

The Distraction Dilemma: 

Even a good thing can distract you from a better thing. 

Doing for Jesus is not the same as being with Jesus. 

Ministry is important, but what Jesus is saying to Martha is that it’s about order and priority.

If the devil can’t make you sin, he will make you busy…. even with ministry.

Jesus wants to restore what’s been depleted. When we get caught up doing for Jesus instead of being with Jesus, we have a depletion and fatigue of the soul that sleep cannot fix.

Your capacity alone will never be what it can be when you’re connected to Jesus.

What if we took on the posture of Mary? Time to sit and learn, unadulterated time with Jesus. 

Nobody wins and nobody gets your best when you fail to come to Jesus and get rest.

Jesus doesn’t love you because you’re in ministry. He loves you because you are a son or daughter of God.

Faith for Exiles
Mark Matlock and David Kinnaman

The Builders 1927-1945. 

Believed the exterior world could change our interior world. Focused on technology to make you happier. Dreamed of a 3 day work week. Dad would point to the roof over the families head as a way to show love. 

The Boomer 1946-1964

Massive generation out of world war 2 generation. Shaped by Vietnam. Blind faith in question. 

The Busters (Gen X) 1965-1979

Small generation. Surprise to parents well made plan. Contraceptives with errors created surprises. Latch key kids. Reality Bites movie. 

Millennials (Gen Y) 1980-1995

Most abused and misunderstood generation. Participation trophies from their parents who felt abandoned by their own parents. Positive psychology comes into play. Technology to prepare for kids in a whole new way. Internet disruption. Corruption in so many leaders in business, sports, and politics. Technology- A wisdom to their generation they could teach the older generation. 

Digitals (Gen Z) 1996-2009

Never breathed air without internet. New way of interacting with the world. Pioneers with an imagination of how to do things in a whole new way. 

Generation Alpha 2010-2025

Parents have these kids later in life. More single kid families. Parents change vocations more in their lifetime than any other. 

Direction setting questions 

Teenagers ask the same basic questions. 

Identity: Who am I?

Autonomy: What decisions are mine to make?

Belonging: Where and with whom do I fit in?

Epistemology: what is my trusted source of truth?

Being asked in adolescences and again in their 20’s. 

The shift facing the church in these changing times. No longer living in Jerusalem. Trying to preserve something that feels list. Make America Great Again. 

https://youtu.be/Q8mQRTkrBcs

Weight of Digital Babylon v. spiritual input. 

2767 hours per year on social media

153 hours typical spiritual content 

291 hours for churchgoers. 

Screens Disciple

Normally someone who has doubts would talk to someone. Today they do research online before taking with a person. The screen has the discipling conversation before you even get an opportunity. Same as doctor asking what we think is wrong because we research before walking in. 

Resilient Disciples digest nearly double the hours of Christian content annually. 

562 hours of content annually

Four kinds of exiles 

(Not different religions or those who never identified as Christians)

18-29 year olds who grew up as a Christian. 

Prodigals ex Christians 22% (10 years ago was 10%)

Nomads lapsed Christian’s 30%

Habitual Churchgoers 38%

Resilient Disciples 10%

Pressures facing today’s exiles

Searching for identity: who am I, really?

Fighting anxiety: how should I live in today’s world? Fear of missing out

Experiencing loneliness: am I loved?

How do I make a difference in the world?

How do we define resilient disciples?

Christ followers who…

Attends church at least Monty and engage with their church more than just attending worship services.

Trust firmly in the authority of the Bible. 

Are committed to Jesus personally and affirm he was crucified and raised from the dead to conquer sin and death

Express desire to transform the broader society as an outcome of their faith.

Resilient disciples: developing Jesus followers who are resiliently faithful in the face of cultural coercion and who live a vibrate life in the Spirit. 

We have a lot of people in the church who have their hand on the doorknob of the church almost ready to leave. 

At what age did you consider this. 

Resilience 11 

Habitual 9 

Nomads 8 

Prodigals 8

Those who are stronger in their relationship with Christ are engaging on a deeper level at a later age. 

Meaningful relationships means being devoted to fellow believers we want to be around and become. 

What do you mean by discipleship? 

Recognizing our identity, aligning our values, and developing skills in the way of Jesus Christ. 

3 Part Triangle: Values, Identity, Skills. 

Put post it notes on each of these. What are the marks of a disciple? 

Pay attention to how the programs and interactions at your church are forming the identity, skills, and values, and what the content is they are conveying. 

Exiles are instrumental to God’s purposes in time of change. God uses a remnant in moments of epic trust, where they are all in for the glory of God. 

Vocational Discipleship

Josh Griffin Why games?

Humor and fun are disarming. 

Fun shortens the distance to the heart. 

Games help speed up interaction and relationships. 

When students walk into your ministry they have their arms crossed and an “impress me” attitude. 

Games are a tool in your toolbox to invite kids to Christ. 

Potential engagement tool as a part of the message and teaching. 

Demonstrate cultural relevancy. (Is Kanye Smiling game). 

Always Games?

Entry level programming should always have an element of fun. Fun can take many forms and shapes…sometimes games. 

Back pocket game: sit down if…

Lightsaber or slap wrestling. 

First to…

Head, shoulders, knees, cup

10sie. Ten dice per person. All ones. 

Train Wreck. Half kids on each side, pull out a chair. 

Frozen Turkey Bowling

Wink: sit in circle. Boy girl look down. Whoever is it winks at another. 

Cougar Cougar. Sardines but once found, they can tag. 

Broom hockey. Line up by height. 1-20 and 20-1. Yell number and get puck in through goal. 

The Grunge: one tag person and get ride of the grunge by assembling the flashlight. 

DYM: Create a great game that crushes it. What if instead of it dying on the your hard drive it goes on a site that you split the costs. Instead of 20 people playing and enjoying it 2000 do and you make some money. 

Name that candy bar. 

Nailed it or failed it. Cat edition.  

Extreme Bingo

Chris, Chris, Chris, or Chris

Peter, Peeta, pita, or p.e.t.a

Is it really in the Bible?

Picture of game on screen. 

Instructions. Here’s how to play

Who can play. 

What are we playing for? Prize. 

Here’s how everyone else can be. If the person loses the prize is thrown into the audience. 

Rock Paper Scissors to determine tie but if you tie you’re both out. 

Might even come back to the game later in your talk as a callback. 

The Source for Youth Ministry games database. Click group size, supplies, etc. 

Use Facebook communities and groups. DYM community. Private closed group so a youth pastor can join without worrying about church. 

Dude Perfect YouTube. 

Minute to win it. 

Crowd control games

More than dodgeball – 3 things on a cracker. 

Rhett and Link. 

Jimmy Fallon and Ellen. 

Pinterest. Extreme Jenna with a twist. 

Exhibit hall

Sit down if

Jiggapuff 

Poser

Rock Paper Scissors

Head shoulders knees cup. 

Screen games. 

All play vs contestant. 

Trivia in corners. 

Dead Cat

Name it, Claim it 

Lamentation or Taylor Swift Lyrics

Birds, Bees and other animals

Name that celebrity tattoo

Nailed it or failed it pool party edition. 

So you want to move to Canada. 

Trump or animal

Movement games

Mazecrase 

Mafia2.0

Messy games

Use sparingly

Blender of doom

FAQ

Should game tie in? Yes and no. It can but doesn’t have to. Who’s my neighbor game. Father’s Day game my dad is smarter than your dad. 

Where do games go in the program?

Think roller coaster. If you come late you miss it. 

Is there a strategy of putting games in some certain order. Wouldn’t lead with blender of doom because win rapport with all play games. 

Encore game. Take turns singing a word back and forth between two groups based on word. This is a game to play later. 

What should I use for a prize?

Bob Ross Funko. Cans of Pringle’s. Dollar store. 

Also big fun and extravagant prizes. Sometimes games to promote. Grand prize be scholarship to camp. Also used as marketing. 

How long should the game last. 

Based on content and if leaning on evangelism more is okay. If focused on discipleship, less. 

Should one person host. 

Missing a great opportunity to invest in the next leader with a cohost even if not needed. One person drives the game, the play by play. The second person is color commentary. 

How do I shake up a game or format that feels tired. Variety is the spice of life. 

DYM Gold. 

Dym.today/gold

30 days free trail without credit card and with credits. 

Consider:

Introduce the prize halfway through the game. 

A twist in the game. 

Almost always do the game before the game. 

Nona Jones #nonanotnora

If we are not careful we will allow what we see in them to become their truth. 

We will allow their behavior to become the ceiling for their potential to rise.

There are people who say that this generation is dead, but I know a God who can bring dead things to life.

Mark 5:21-36 

Don’t be afraid, just believe. – to think to be true. 

Believe has the power to make reality conform to what we believe to be true. 

I thought I was being invited to hang out with my friend. What I didn’t realize was it was Jesus calling me to hang out with Him.

What he realizes was that the church was not a place you go, it’s a community you belong to. 

Church is not something you do for 90 minutes on the weekend it a lifestyle of 168 hours. 

Our God is a God of impossible faith.

Mark 5:37-38

This generation is not a generation that is dead, they simply need to be awakened. The people laughed at Jesus and Jesus put them out. 

Mark 5:41-43

If we want to raise this generation to life, we have got to go to them. We bring the power of God to them. Where they are, is in the digital space. If we say, “I don’t do Facebook” what you are really saying is you don’t do home visits. 

Check your team

There are people on your team right now who don’t really like kids and who don’t believe in the power and potential of this generation. We don’t need warm bodies we need people who believe in the power of God to bring the dead back to life. We need people who are not constrained to tradition. We need people married to the message but not the methodically. We have to give them something to eat because this society is giving them junk food. Jesus is the bread of life. 

God has chosen you to the assignment to which you have been called. 

Crystal Chiang @CrystalcChiang

Keeping up with student culture is pressure.

If you think about those who are leaving the ministry, it almost always comes down to the pressure. The pressure to try harder and plan better.

“Every week there are opportunities laying on the ground that we won’t get too.

Grace and Peace

We trust grace to step in with our salvation but not our exhaustion. 

We think peace is the absence of pressure. 

Their peace comes from knowing who calms the storm. 

Peace is knowing I planned the event but God owns the results. 

Peace is knowing that I present the truth but His Spirit convicts. 

The faith we pass on is the one we live not the one we preach. 

Lean into what might feel impossible and trust the one who saved us from our sins to save us from our schedules.

Doug Fields @DougFields

Busy is not a Christian versus a non Christian issue, it’s a heart issue.

Everyone in our youth ministry is too busy (families, kids, you).

We are called to follow a Savior. To walk with Him, not to run ahead of Him.

Are we substituting abundance for busyness?

I hear you all say, ‘My pace has never been faster and my soul has never been drier.’

Busy is an enemy of love. Discipleship cannot be rushed. You can’t hurry depth. That’s just not the Jesus way. 

How would you describe Jesus in one word? Dallas Woolard used the name relaxed. 

Jesus modeled a love that stops, that strolls, that meanders.

Jesus was relaxed and moved slowly – normally to the frustration of people.

Presence is more important over business. 

The greatest command was not to get more done but to love Him and to love others. 

Don’t focus on a more productive life but a more present life.

You have to become comfortable with “no” Anytime I’m too busy it always points back to unneeded “yeses” 

Anyone can do your job. Only you can care for your family.

I’m afraid that we are being heroes to our ministries rather than being a hero at home. 

Become aware of what’s beneath your “yes”

Business is the surface issue of something much deeper.

You want to feel love, value, and appreciated so you say yes. And a subset of this is a fear. A fear you won’t be loved, valued, and appreciated so you say yes. 

Ask: Why did you say yes to that? This is where you find the brokenness in your life. 

Busyness is a choice, and there’s a price to pay for it.

You don’t have to answer people right away. Say you will get back to them. 

What’s the worse that could happen? You’ll lose your job…what about your marriage. There’s one Savior and you’re not Him. Jesus left people unhealed. Jesus didn’t minister to everyone. You won’t either. Maybe what you’re wanting to do is not on God’s agenda. 

Less panic, more prayer. 
Less activity, more intimacy. 
Less movement, more moments. 

What is one area in your ministry where you need to cut back and say no?

“Busy?” “Nope. Just trying o be like Jesus.”

More Coming Soon: Subscribe now so you never miss a thing!

5 Line Items You Need for Your Next Budget

5-LINE-ITEMS-YOU-NEED-FOR-YOUR-NEXT-BUDGET-1024x576

Imagine if you had unlimited money and resources to spend on your youth ministry…No, remove that thought. I imagine in the end it wouldn’t be good for you and your students to try and do ministry and steward such a gift. But if you’re reading this post, then you most likely have some money for your youth ministry and we want you to steward it well. Here are five line items you might not be thinking about, but you need for your next budget.

STUDENT LEADERSHIP

If your goal in student ministry is to mobilize students to pursue authentic faith and discover a personal mission, then does your budget reflect this goal? Yes, you probably have a budget set aside for curriculum and events, but if a student came to you with a God-given gift, do you have anything set aside specifically to mobilize that student? Maybe this year you add a budget line item specifically designated for developing your student leaders.

LEADER SUPPORT

For years, we have had a volunteer appreciation line item in our budget. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any ministry and we need to make them feel appreciated for their time and efforts. While volunteer appreciation is valuable, what if we set aside some of the appreciation money to equip the leaders to do ministry? What if, instead of giving them a trinket to show our appreciation, we gave them some gift cards to take students to grab coffee? What if it didn’t cost them anything to attend school events or we covered the cost of snacks when that teenager raids their cabinets? I know my leaders would feel appreciated and equipped if I just made and communicated this minor change.

CAMPUS MINISTRY

Churches don’t always have the best of reputations. Jeff Henderson at Gwinnett Church says that the church is often known for what it is against rather than what it supports. Imagine if everyone in your local elementary school knew that your youth ministry was for them? Yes, this would take some time and strategy, and my guess, a couple of dollars to pull it off, but maybe today you could start by simply buying some donuts for the FCA group. Or maybe, when the teachers are stress out about testing, you cater a meal. Whether or not the students are stepping foot into your youth ministry, show them the love of Christ and open the door for them to see there is a loving place that is for them.

RETREAT / SEMINAR / CONFERENCE

I’m sure you’ve noticed how the days just keep on coming. The moment you finish one program or event, the next one’s just around the corner. It’s no wonder many youth pastors burn out. Ministry is hard and often youth leaders are lonely. Something your soul needs is time away and time with other people that get it. It’s a big investment for a church to make in sending their youth pastor to a conference, but the cost of hiring a replacement is so much higher. You might not be able to convince your board to make this happen overnight but maybe you can make a plan to get yourself to a conference within the next year or two.

RESOURCES AND BOOKS

In many careers continuing education is required to maintain good standing in the workplace but for some reason, many youth pastors can’t even buy a book to educate themselves. This year, how about asking if you could set aside money to buy a book every month. If this get’s turned down, maybe you could ask to be reimbursed for any ministry book you actually finish reading. You need to sharpen your ax, especially when it comes to leading this next generation. Ask for it, but for real, if it doesn’t get approved, skip a coffee or two and make it happen yourself. You need this.

Orange Tour 2019 Notes #OT19

an173-647aec91-4700-43a2-9b7c-b65e326e5f04-v2

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. 

Environment

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. 

Programming:

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. 

Volunteers: 

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. 

Parents:

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. 

Kristen Ivey

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? 

Potential. 

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. 

 

Recalibrate: A Book Review and Giveaway

recalibrate

Your plate is full and you feel busy, but is your plate full of the right things? Are you busy for the sake of being busy, or are you actually carrying out God’s calling for your life? For your sanity, and for the sake of your church’s future, you need the clarity of recalibration in your family ministry.

Fifteen leaders in the family ministry movement came together to write Recalibrate: A New Measure for Family Ministry, and you and your team are going to love each chapter. The book aims to help you adjust and measure for healthy outcomes, to help you identify and correct unhealthy norms, and to honor God in the way you lead the families in your church.

A few of the many topics covered in the book include, “Staff and Volunteer Dynamics” by Brian Haynes, “The Art and Influence of Meaningful Conversations” by Ron Hunter, “Grandparenting the Way It Was Meant to Be” by Jim Wideman, “Youth Ministry in Thirds” by Richard Ross, “The Future Steps of Our Children” by Lydia Randall, and “When Churched Kids Don’t Have Churched Parents” by Timothy Paul Jones.

The first chapter alone is full of great insight that makes it clear right from the start just how helpful of a tool this book will be for any ministry. In this chapter, Philip Nation begins to recalibrate the big picture for family ministry by creating a discipleship culture for the family. Here are my favorite quotes from the chapter to give you a taste of how rich this content is:

“First, you need to tell the truth about the spiritual condition in families today. Second, you need to offer practices that will develop a healthy discipleship culture in the home. Finally, set reasonable measurements to know if families are embracing a discipling culture in the home.”

“Too many families live with unhealthy spiritual patterns. One question you may ask is: Do they even know it?

“Spiritual Absentia . . . Parents hold their spiritual concern for kids as an almost secretive portion of their lives. Discipleship happens but not by anyone in the family. Instead, parents act as surrogates hoping the leaders of the church will disciple their children.”

“Hobbyism . . . Parents disciple kids to believe that entertainment is the point of life. They create the worst kind of church attender—a consumer of religious goods and services rather than a servant of Christ and His mission.”

“Selective Subject Syndrome . . . The only hope is the weekend but it is consumed with extracurricular activities and the mythical “down time” hoped for by weary parents.”

“Secularization . . . Families also allow worldly wisdom to guide decision making, especially for their youngsters.”

“Romanticism . . . Personal eases becomes the end goal of it all. When the mission of God requires sacrifice and the loss of comfort, Christ’s lordship is rejected because it involves difficulty.”

“We are called to be disciples who make other disciples. You can set this as a powerful new norm for families. The spiritual work of a family is to raise disciple-making disciples that focus heart, soul, mind, and strength on loving God and living as Kingdom ambassadors.”

“Kids and students are the disciples of today who can make a powerful impact in seeking revival in the church and spiritual awakening in the culture.”

“The ‘drop off for discipleship’ model has not worked and will not work.”

“Recalibrate your leadership to move families out of survivalist tactics and entrepreneurial dreaming to raising global troublemakers for God’s kingdom.”

“Your ministry will take on new life and power when you recalibrate the expectations of what God can do through families, students, and children.”

“Your choice is between tolerating unhealthy practices of ministry and generating healthy patterns of multiplicative disciple-making. It is the age old choice between pleasing God or man.”

“Your work as a leader is to give biblical instruction that will lead to personal application.”

“Faithful living will display itself in lives characterized by such things as grace-filled relationships, moral holiness, and an increasing faith in God’s power.”

“Anyone can stay busy. Leaders must measure whether or not the ministry and the families are spiritually fruitful.”

“The ultimate fruit of your leadership is new followers of Jesus.”

To win a copy, click here: https://kingsumo.com/g/o87oio/recalibrate-book-giveaway

Recalibrate-web

Is Your Anchor Attached to the Almighty?

template-blog-pic-2-2

Have you ever heard a speaker address a large crowd, but knew God was using the person to speak directly to you?

I’ve attended many conferences and have heard many speakers deliver top of the line messages but for some reason, there has been one message rolling around in my head more than any other. At this year’s Belonging Conference Robert Madu said, “You don’t have a faith problem, you have an awareness of God’s authority issue.” As he spoke these words, they hit my heart deep and helped me see things about myself I’ve been missing for years.

If faith is the anchor to your life, I’ve always had a strong anchor. I hope for the things of God and see the evidence of Him lived out in my life, but an anchor needs to be attached to the boat. Robert Madu explained how the chain is your awareness of God’s authority in your life. You see, for me, I believe God has the whole world in His hands, but I fail to trust Him as the authority in my little corner of the world. What struck my heart was the need to see God as the ultimate authority in everything in my life, both big and small.

The prophet Daniel understood God as his authority and it’s evident in the scripture. Daniel 6:6-7says:

So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions.

Daniel could have lived his life under the authority of the king, but this thought never even crossed his mind. Daniel 6:10 tells us, “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.”

When the authority of the world said you must worship a certain way, Daniel knew God’s authority was bigger. When the consequence for worldly disobedience was certain death, Daniel knew God has power over death.

Everything is under the power and authority of God! And He cares deeply about your little corner of the world, just as He cared for Daniel. God Almighty can handle whatever the world is throwing at you.

The next time you feel the pressures and stresses of life weighing down on you, take a look at the chain tied to your anchor of faith and ask yourself a hard question, “Are you aware of God’s authority in this issue?”