How to Create a Better Foundation for Lifetime Change


You have set goals, made promises, and worked to change but unfortunately, you find yourself in the same place day after day. Why do we get stuck in a rut, repeating the same mistakes despite a true desire to be different? What if our thoughts hold the key to create a better foundation for lifetime change? Here are four challenges to your thinking to make the changes you desire in your life.

Meditate on what is true. Your thinking guides your response. If you go through the day thinking about grilling on the back deck and when you get home it’s raining, your response might be to complain and have a bad attitude. Whereas if you go through the day thinking about how you want to serve your family, the rain will have a far less impact and you will find another way to serve them. To lay a solid foundation for change, find times throughout your day for focused thinking on Biblical truth. Meditating on God’s truth will create a heart that is pleasing to God and lay a foundation for the right changes in your life.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14

Ask the right questions. If you want a better foundation for a lifetime of change than you need to take every thought captive to obey Christ. Do not allow questions to stumble around in your head or heart that are destructive or disobedient.

Also, consider if you are asking the right questions to the right person. If you are seeking your approval or love in another person you will always be disappointed. When you ask questions to find your approval in God’s eyes you will find true satisfaction in Him. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Only God can fully satisfy your heart, so look to Him when you are asking these types of question.

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5


Refocus wrong thinking. Take a look back on your past mistake. How would it have been different had you refocused your thinking on what is true and honorable? When you were feeling insignificant and were looking for acceptance in another person, what would have happened if you refocused your thinking and realized God loves you despite your shortcomings? Instead of thinking that you are loved only when you perform a certain way, remember that Romans 5:8says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” To lay a better foundation for change refocus you thinking any time it doesn’t line up with God’s word.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8

Hold onto the right things. You can’t say that you are alone while believing the truth found in James 2:23 that you are a friend of God. You can not believe you are unlovable when you know in your heart John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son.” When you begin believing something that pulls you down into a rut, find God’s truth and begin laying the foundation in your heart that leads to change.

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. – Matthew 6:24

Lasting change begins with your thinking. You really can change and become the person that God designed you to be. And when you stumble, catch it, repent, ask for forgiveness, and take your next step in growth!

Spiritual Adulthood: How old are you spiritually?


If your pastor looked you in the eyes and asked you this question, how would you answer? “How old are you spiritually?” I believe we would all like to say that we are further down the road then we were last year but how much have we really grown? Have we spiritually grown up from a crawling infant to a toddler? Are we confidently walking like a kindergartener? Has our relationship with God matured past the acquaintance phase to a friend? Could we define the relationship as best friend? Are we still battling the same temptations and losing or are we growing stronger in living in the Spirit?

Today, I simply want to leave you with a few scripture passages for reflection. I’m asking God to use His Word in a powerful way to help you reflect and grow.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:11-14

45 Awesome Drop of the Hat Activities from I Love Kidmin

You finished teaching, but there are still 10 minutes before parents pick up their kids! What do you do?

Recently on a webinar with Ryan Frank, we talked about how sometimes we need to stretch the clock. Ryan shared practical time-fillers and activities to do at the drop of a a hat and then challenged the kidmin community to share some of their own ideas on the I Love Kidmin group. Here are 45 awesome drop of the hat activities that you can easily add to your kidmin tool-belt.

A photo by Ben White.

Random Fun

Beanboozled. Russian Roulette with candy. Maybe you will enjoy a peach flavored jelly bean or maybe it will taste like barf. Yum.

Cap It. Water bottle flipping game but with objectives and boundaries!

Heads or tails. A coin flipping game where kids guess by putting their hands on the head or tail. Guess right and stay in, guess wrong and you’re out!

Head, shoulders, knees, cup! Follow the instructions and be the first person to grab the cup.

Minute to win it! Sixty seconds to complete takes using random items from around the house. Here are 30 examples.

Giant cup stack. Play the cup stack game but consider giant cups or buckets. Fastest stacker wins.

Mannequin challenge. Have the children freeze in place while you play a worship songs and capture the video.

Teaching or Review

True/false chair: Think musical chairs but with true and false questions!

Books of the Bible team challenge. Books are listed on craft sticks in baggies. one for OT one for NT. Challenge each team to put one set in order the fastest.

Globe beach balls. Pass the ball around and wherever your thumb lands, pray for them.

Tic tac toe review. Dividing class into 2 teams. Ask questions, team 1 tries to answer. If they are correct, they get the x, if wrong, the question goes to team 2. First team to get 3 in row wins.

Family feud. Play with whatever you were talking about in large group.

Review game or Bible trivia. Get bean bags that you toss and the kids race to pick up the bag and bring it back to you in order to answer the question.

Share missionary stories. Update the kids on what the church is doing oversees.

Bible drill

Get Them Moving

Freeze dance. Play music while the kids dance and when the music pauses all the kids must freeze in place. If they take too long then they have to do 10 jumping jacks.

Chicken in the hen house. Partners will make shapes using their body. Last to complete are out!

Impossible shot. Create a very challenging challenge for students to take turns trying.

Ship Shore. Very similar to simon says but directionally focused.

Musical chairs

Four corners. Use a mega dice or colors to switch things up!

Simon says / Jesus says. Follow the directions and the more the leader laughs the for fun this game will be for the kids.

Red light/green light or wax museum. Don’t let the game leader see you moving! 

Crows & cranes. The leader calls out either “Crows” or “Cranes.” This let’s you know if you are the tagger or the person being tagged.

Indoor snowball fight. Either buy fake snowballs or wrinkle up paper and throw them at each other. Consider adding a twist like capture the flag or protect the president.

Hip hop to it! Have all the kids hop on one leg while playing Christian hip-hop if they stop they are out, if they switch feet they are out. Winner is last one hopping.

Get Them Quiet

Silent ball. Leader counts down, “3, 2, 1, silent” and passes the ball to another person in the play area. Drop the ball, make a bad pass, or make a sound and you’re out.

Guess the time – Choose a time like 60 seconds and everyone tries to guess how long that is. Start the timer and kids hope up when they think 60 seconds is over. Time doesn’t stop till last kid stands. Note time when first kid stands just to react

Sleeping lions. The room of kids go to sleep and the lions try to get them to wake up by telling jokes or being silly. Anyone who wakes up becomes the lion.

Doggie, doggie, who stole your bone. Similar to heads up seven up but with an object that the kids go get.

The Quiet Game. Teams have to sit absolutely still and quiet for a timed period. Anywhere from a minute to five minutes.

Community Building


Throw and Tell Balls

Team building activities

Who Am I? 

Sit down if…


Easy Classroom



Parachute games

I spy

Rock, paper, scissors and creative variations. Egg, chicken, eagle.

Relay Games

Feather blowing competition: kids try to blow one another’s feathers off a table using a straw

Juggling contest

Keep the balloon up

Consider using lesson review words or phrases in these games.

What would you add to this list?
Comment below AND post to the original Facebook post by clicking HERE.

How to Have a Successful Family Service


Imagine the entire church family coming together to worship God. Both young and old, standing shoulder to shoulder with the same teaching and shared experience. Creating a family service that appeals to all generations is possible. With a little planning and a lot of forethought, you can create an opportunity for the families in your church to worship together. With families on the same page, spiritual conversations will be easier the next time the family gathers around the dinner table. Kids can see their parents model worship. As the families in your church grow together spiritually, you will begin to see the fruit grow in each home. To have a successful family service you will need to think about each element of the service through the eyes of each family member.

Keep the ages and development of kids in mind.
You will want to create a family service that is engaging to both the preschooler and preteen. Think through a variety of teaching options such as games, videos, skits, and illustrations. You can engage kids of different ages by the use of mystery and fun props. Keep in mind that generally, the attention span of kids is equal to their age. Therefore breaking your service up into three- to five-minute blocks will help re-engage kids of every age. Having smooth transitions is key to keeping kids wanting more, so make sure all elements of the service flow without dead time. Specifically for the teaching time, you need a skilled leader who can bring a story to life for all ages. In your planning meetings, make sure your team of game leaders, skit actors, storytellers, worship leaders, or whoever is on stage thinks through how the kids in the room will engage in their service element.

Keep parents in mind.
If you engage the kids but lose the parents, the family is unlikely to return for a future family service. The use of humor is often the best way to engage parents. Even if the humor goes over the heads of some of the kids, when their parents are laughing they will lean into whatever is happening on stage. Parents love to see their kids having a good time as they learn at church. A family service can also be a great time to model a family having a spiritual conversation. Show the parents how they can creatively teach their kids as they sit at home or drive along the road. As you are wrapping up the service, help parents see their next step and give them easy ways to win at home!

Keep those without kids in mind.
When most churches host a family service there will be people without kids who show up to be a part of the church family. Those without kids and even grandparents play a key role in the church community so remember to keep them in mind when planning a family service. Through the variety of teaching formats, there will be something in the service that challenges them. Communicate to this group, helping them see how they can apply the message to their workplace or neighborhood. And remember, fun appeals to everyone in the room, so work hard at creating a fun environment where everyone can learn.

Keep those without parents in mind.
Whether your family service is during a major holiday or Sunday morning, there will be someone without their parents in the room. Maybe it’s a teenager who drove to the church by himself, or maybe it’s a ten-year-old whose mom passed away last year. Don’t make it extremely awkward by telling everyone to turn to their parents and interact. You can address the parents in the room, and you can pull parents on stage for games, but keep those in mind who do not have their mom or dad by their side.

When you work hard to create a successful family service that appeals to everyone in the room, you will create a memorable moment for the church. You can spark spiritual conversations around the dinner tables in your entire community. Start the conversation today, and begin to dream about what a family service might look like in your church.

(Originally posted to D6 Family at:

If you would like to connect online through a 30 minute zoom call to talk more about how to have a successful family ministry service click this link:

Next Conference Notes Part 2: Leadership, Volunteers, and Culture


Leadership: Question, Leadership, and Trust – Andy Stanley

Check out the 7 Habits book by Stephen Covey and The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations book by Kouzes/Posner

Navigating culture advice? Don’t be a current events church.
Might need to know angle and message on Syria.
We have to choose our battles or we respond to everything and accomplish nothing. Always putting out fires.

Concern for the next generation as it relates to the Bible. In the old days you didn’t hear anything about the Bible outside of church and a few college classes.  Now with social media high schoolers have access to all the negative perspectives all at once. Was a moment.  Now it’s everywhere.
We need resources and tools to talk about the Bible in a different way. As soon as you drift your language from the normal you are labeled a heretic. Remove “the bible says” from vernacular. If we want students to maintain their intellectual integrity and stay rooted in faith we must be intentional to establish validity. Tie the text to the context and the people. If Jesus literally rose from the dead, that’s it. All else is icing on the theological cake. Real people who did real things. Events not the belief in a book. Events came before the book. 30 years ago this wasn’t as important as it was today. Now there is a new atheist that evangelizes. The Bible says builds a wall for a lot of people today. Build a bridge instead.
Check out the great courses on audible. Based on our Sunday school faith we need to make some adjustments. Friends in the church want to understand who Jesus is.

We are for this community. We don’t like their traffic but we are so glad we are there. Find the best charity’s, knock on their door and support them. Word will get out. Over time they become dependent on you. Be rich campaign from north pointe. You don’t know how to do an event, that’s our expertise so let us help. Be rich campaign. Kit. 1 Timothy series. Be rich in good deeds. This is what rich people do. Give serve love. For people we know 39.95 to vetted organizations. Celebrating. And serve in those organizations. Biggest tangible Marta. Buck head church sign. Positive enough reputation that Marta added them to the sign. Reputation and view is in a favorable light. People who like Jesus should be liked back. Might not want to be like us but definitely should like us. Get those best people together and the community should like us. Brand it in such a way that the community knows. It’s not enough for a politician to do good thy must be seen doing good. Not you as an individual but you as a church. Jack up the reputation of the church. Leverage the power of the local church so they see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.

Leadership. Reggie out in the woods far ahead in the future. Circle back around to let us know what’s coming. You birthed this baby now go raise it. What I wish someone taught me in leadership earlier than later. Play to your strengths and delegate your weakness. The less you do the more you accomplish. You can do 2 or 3 things extraordinarily well. Wind in your sales. The more value you add to the organization and the better you feel. Next generation leader.

Write your ideal job description. I’m not quitting and I’m not complaining but if you want my maximum impact here is where it falls.

Be a student not a critic. We resist what we can’t control and don’t understand. When you resist, stop it. Until I understand stop. What everyone believes and does make sense to them. If you don’t understand you need to figure out why someone would believe it. Be curious. Don’t be narrow minded. Get out of your box or you’ll be stuck. I don’t ever want to be that guy. Be a student instead of a critic. Curiosity creates common ground. If you as a leader don’t do it you shut down the curiosity of those under you. They will leave or  stop being curious themselves.

Reggie Favorite staff meeting.
Trust vs suspicion
Intuition says trust has to be earned but it can simply be given. Whenever there is a a gap we get to choose what to put into that gap. Choose to believe the best every single time. Choose to trust. Compelling evidence. The one thing book. Marriage illustration. Couples who go the distance. Each person gives the other person a generous explanation. Late, I bet he had an emergency. Believe the best. Upward spiraling effect. Triggered reaction. Trust is the currency of an organization. Rich

Fight for the relationships that matter. Deep and wide introduction. Fight for dad. What would you say? The bullseye on the target is for your son to want to be with me when he doesn’t have to be. Gail was not compliance, educational, obedience, spiritual, but adult children who want to be with us when they don’t have to be. Whatever you have to do to get there, do it. Relationally parenting goal. Bullseye impacts discipline. How communication happens. The goal is a relationship. I can punish him and I’ll feel vindicated but we will lose him and I don’t want to lose him.
Disciple. It might be right but it won’t get you to where you want to be in the end.
Sandra’s dad. Spiral notebook. When in class and kept it with him always. Not nosiness but he is interested in them. What is my spiral notebook that communicates interest.

Ministry is taxing. Seems to be a lot of leaders crashing and burning. Don’t bury the wounded. What or you say to leaders who are overwhelmed or depressed. Often times the lead pastors. Unhealthy people anyway. Even stories of guys who just burn out were not healthy. Often done to themselves. Wanting to feel needed and please people. Unresolved issues is a fuse burning. Being a really good speaker has nothing to do with my relationship with God. Pitching voice does not mean anointed. OT theology. We are a body and not special lily anointed. Don’t allow yourself to get surrounded by people who can’t speak truth into you. Be accessible. Allow people to speak truth into you. Not many people can survive isolation.

What have you learned about church. Deep and Wide one day before the tour stop. If you were to summarize the reasons and motive for writing that book, why? The church is the hope of the world. The world should look at us and say I might not believe that but I want to be a part of it. Give unchurched people permission not to apply. Assume they are in the room and adjust. Adjust because you have guests in the room. I feel like they are for me and the community. Jesus died for us. He is for us.

“How fortunate we are to spend our life’s doing something that matters.” 

Leadership: Growing as a leader. Strategic relationships. 3×5 – Kenny Conley

Doing ministry alone vs with others.

Peer relationships.
Those who do what I do.
We have to decide every day what we are not going to do.

Those further than you. Specialists who are experts. More often then not they say yes.

Professional relationships.
Life coach. If you lose your why. Systematic process. Counselor.

Leadership: Where to Look. 3×5 – Todd Lesher

Center me. Directional. Attention to them.
Look in. Hunger and humility. Learn.
Look up. Work prayer into your work.
Look down. Foundation in books podcasts.
Look forward. Vision in ministry.
Look back. Mentors. Who shaped you.
Look around. Us. Time with others. Parents.

Leadership: Phases. 3×5 – Christine Kreisher 

Changes she has been praying for for the last ten years. You have to trust Gods timing. Trust. The very things she was praying for she wasn’t ready for.
Honeymoon phase. Handed the keys.
Disillusionment phase. People are there.
Discouragement phase. Greener grass. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Decision phase. All in it all out. If stay you become toxic. Who are you working for? Lord.
Breakthrough phase. Happens inside you. Takes work. Know why and who doing it for.

How we learn so that we can continue to grow. Reggie. Ask questions. Listen. Read. Mentors. Something different experienced. Mistakes. Experiment and take risks. Seek feedback. Build off the past. Watch other leaders. Podcasts. Become self aware. Ask wife. Formal education. Be still. Engage in worship. Evaluate. Debrief, explore others, unexpected, we process out loud, teaching, talk with those who disagree, ask why.
We need each other.

Leadership: Awareness action and advocacy – Shawn Watkins 

In the African American culture you have to learn two words. For instance, we can’t get a GED without navigating the white world. Drive, talk, and act different. As white leaders what would you like for us to understand on how to build a bridge that is not currently happening? Cross cultural awareness.

Awareness action and advocacy 

Awareness. Induction to the context. Books for day. Content is great but also the context. Unify the city. Why is it divided? What caused the gap. Displacement but not for the day. 6 week missions trip because no longer a place of power.

Action. Not just learn something but do something. GIJoe. Knowing is Half the battle.
Nehemiah. Things come up in life, bad thing, it is not your fault but it is your problem. Action is huge. Gentrification. Move and bridge. Spoken word when something bad happens. Ministry of presence. Crisis timeline. Did they mayor have to say something. If president did you might need to.

Advocacy. Bring someone with you. Not just are you not a racist but are you against racism. Not just against and silent.
Christians that agree on principles that transcend the political systems. Build relationships. We are not as aware as we need to be. We are not as big of advocates as we should be. When the issue is no longer and issue but a person we change how we approach and talk about things. Opportunities for Christians to treat each other the right way.

If we don’t build relationships with those who are different than us we limit our ability to share the gospel. Now we have people in our country coming to us. Greatest opportunity to practice what Jesus said to practice love your neighbor. Jesus redefined neighbor. Build a relationship with those who are different.

Leadership: Perfection – Jon Acuff

Study: University of Scranton 92% of resolutions fail. Every year we think it will work.
Resolutions don’t work.
Why do we set goals?
If you cut your goal in half you are 63% more successful. Psychologically it changes things. If lose 8 pounds in 10 goal we lose. If goal is 5 and we hit 8 we win. Cut it in half or double the timeline. How do we really learn?

Perfection looks good at first. Perfection parades as excellence. Perfection parades as quality. Idea in head and self edited so didn’t write it down. Quality check.

3 things perfection tells you when you try to do something. 

1. Don’t do it, it won’t be perfect. You aren’t the right person. Better to get a zero instead of a 50. Fear.

2. Do it perfectly. Actually you can and it should. Immense pressure. Go from not running to marathon. Can you do a 1k. Go volunteer where someone is already doing it. Wanting to set a goal in every area of life. 7 areas. Like wanting to learn German and say you need to learn 7 languages.

3. Don’t finish, it won’t be perfect. Won’t meet your expectations. Expectation vs reality. The day a book comes out, the world is still the same. * Watch Conan o’brien can’t stop.”
The finished project won’t match the dream.
Problem with working with kids is you almost never see the results.
No runner stops at mile 25. But so many un-launched books, degrees, job applications… Treadmill clothing racks.

Perfection fears action and community. Put something on paper. Be honest about the catalyst moment. Don’t miss the chance to be in the trenches.

“My favorite thing about Satan is his hair.” – Jon Acuff 😉

You are a lyric not the whole song. You do play a part but not the whole story.
How to handle critics?
Poorly, passive aggressively, and then pissed, lol! Everyone needs a group of people that you can text people to but don’t tweet. Mute people on twitter. Put it in the context of real life. If someone drove by your house and yelled that you suck you would think that guy was a psycho. But on Twitter you track the person down and try to help them know you.
Look at what you are getting not what you are missing. We look at the 4% with a magnifying glass and the 96% with a telescope.

Leadership: Filling the gap in the line of authority – Frank Bealer

Wrestle with detail and strategy. Unique background of business and ministry.

At 23, in charge of insurance group. People twice his age. Maybe before we look ahead at the staff that will be look at the staff you have now. Are they meeting your expectations? What do you do with those who you fought for but they aren’t quite as far along as you hoped? For some you had a bad application or interview process. Worried about filling a need that you ended up with a team member you never needed.

What happens when caution takes the lead?
Sometimes the leader crosses the line. Then they love back and drop below the line of authority you gave them. They are cautious and become either complacent or frustrated. They seem like they are coasting or they become discouraged.
Invisible fence dogs. Most dogs cross it once and avoid at all costs. Very few keep pushing towards the line. Maybe in the heart and passion for our ministry we don’t have a system in place to get them back in line.
We either become frustrated or we question if they’re right all together.
When there is slack in that line we often pick it up.
Great leaders will cross the line sometime.

There response – our response

Recoil – Redefine.
What if after we correct we go back to what their role is and give clarity.

Replay – Reassure.
What you were called to is good. You can do it. This is what I saw and see in you. Can’t move forward because they keep rewinding. Or maybe we need to release them. To something else. Or give it to them again and hand them the keys again. Help them get through a mistake.

What if they are all running 80%. Before long if you leave this gap people will want more staff and volunteers. Not because they don’t have enough but because they are operating behind their level of empowerment.

If we are corrected, ask for redefinition. Understand better where I can lead well. Remember frustration falls on both ends. That was my mistake and I don’t want that to be what I am known for so help me redefine.

Volunteers: 10 things I’ve learned about volunteers. Jim Wideman

Who here has kids of your own? Interesting news, you never quit parenting.
Just like you never quit parenting you never quit recruiting in ministry. Small church or huge, you will need workers.

1. People need to be needed more than you need help.
Chicken and pig. Sacrifice vs commitment. Moving to the next level.

2. Use faith in recruiting
2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Having all that you need includes people needs in the church.

3. Every believer is a minister.
Ministers do the work of the ministry. Everyone can do something for the Lord just some people take longer to determine their role. Ephesians 4:12 “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Help people engage in ministry.

4. All ages can help in some way and we need to be organized.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:11-12
Are all apostles? Are all profits? Are all teachers? No. Not all are those. Helps and administrations were left out because everyone can help someone. “Shake and bake, and I helped.” We know train up a child in the way they should go, so why are we not creating places for them to serve. Establish feeder programs into everything you do.
Get teenagers involved in serving.

5. Make a list
People and growth come when you can handle it.

6. Replace giant manuals
People today like bullet points.

7. Train don’t talk.
Training isn’t verbal instruction.

8. Build depth in all key positions.
Not just a replacement but let them lead. Give them some playing time. Let the true freshman get some playing time. The truth is in most of our churches we are winning by a landslide and can allow the second or third string some playing time. 5th Sunday let someone who never lead lead. Can’t send everyone to hell in one week.

9. Catch folks doing things right.
God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) Bible is book of do’s not don’t’s.

10. Don’t just delegate, duplicate.
Exact copy of the original.
Let them know your heart. Help them understand the strategies and vision of the house.

Volunteers: Systems and culture of growing young leaders – Tom Shefchunas

I want my volunteers to be leaders. “I was a principle at 28 and suffer from angry resting face.” What do you do about cell phones? They measure how I’m doing as the communicator. Control over environment verse an environment of freedom. Freedom in their sweet spot. Want the person who thrives. I’d rather reign someone in then have to whip them to get going. Jurassic park. Goat on a leash. T-rex wants to hunt. Full freedom doesn’t work well either. Allow them to hunt in the midst of doing the right thing.

Recruitment. Orientation. Culture Maintenance. 

Find the right person. Cast vision. Highlight the challenges. Admit it’s not for everyone. To the right person they hear “this is for me.” Replace half to with the words get to. In transit we need adults who walk through the year with middle schoolers every week.
The ideal team player by Patrick Lencioni. What does hungry mean to volunteers. The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick Lencioni.

Continue to cast vision. Remind them they are part of an elite force. Paint a picture of success. High on inspiration and low on requirements. Inspire over require every time. Shirts. Hate volunteer handbook because it mainly accomplishes one thing by saying, “There is an equation to do this thing and I can’t figure it out.”

Culture Maintenance
Inspire before you require.
Report abuse: you have to and I have to
Celebrate what you want repeated.
Tell stories. Celebrate the person who did it.
Treat them like rockstars.
Pay for camp.
Give them shirts all the time. Part of the strategy.
Control. Not going to look like what you pictured and that’s a good thing.

Culture: Irresistible Volunteer Culture – Clay Scroggins

Create an esteemed culture where small group leaders are valued, inspired, and equipped to grow and lead. Not childcare, not chaperones, and maybe even not volunteers. Seen and respected as an army ranger who served in Afghanistan.

Cue(s), habit, reward(s) – The power of habit by Charles Duhigg.
Covey said stimulus.
Keystone habit. *What is ours for our church?
Learn names? Strategic service?
Invite. Sour people become sour because they do not invite. More effective because they understand church and what we are all about.

Cues: Not in church. Not going well. Not prepare for.
Habit: Invite
Rewards: Rewards for serving. Help volunteers feel valued. If I see the value in it then I’ll do it. What do you gain from the pain? Seeing life change, t-shirts, cupcakes, recognition. One big reward for making people feel valued. The greatest reward for serving: The reward that you give yourself. I’m the kind of person that give my life away. I am servant minded. To tell yourself that you are helping out the next generation. You give you the most powerful reward. Give them a clear win because nothing trumps feeling successful. Do you FEEL like you are winning? Do you play with caution or do they feel like they can play free and big.

Commitment more to less. Value. Give them a clear win.
Create a stated win for every volunteer and ensure they know what it is. Vision. Create a space where students can own their faith. Relationship. Time on their turf. Allow them to talk. Create the best culture by giving them a clear and stated win. Common and shareable. What is the language that we are going to own?

Corporate. January and school starts. Vision. Stories. Why we do what we do. Coaches. If you’re making up meetings then cancel the meeting. Schedule but cancel if not needed. North pointe borrowed survey from Newspring to all volunteers. If you survey, share what you learned and what you will do with it. We got your feedback, got it. Let’s do this: for the next 3 months we are changing the way we are doing this. So come and if they don’t change in this timeframe then we will change it. Meetings when they are already there.

We failed 3 times…Quality for a great coach is a mentor level guy. Someone who I would want to go to lunch with. You just joined a gym with a free trainer. Coaches can fire a leader. How many volunteers per coach. Pyramids. 12-14 people that they walk with for a season. Don’t structure with competing systems. Still going to church. Allow to be invested in other areas.

How many years to create this culture?
Are you hearing stories of them showing up? Are you hearing that small group leaders are setting things up? Did they get a group parent and leverage this influence? Celebrate what your best volunteers do! Sitting with the parent on a bleachers.

On boarding volunteers.
If you like your culture hire from within. If not then hire out. Caught is always more powerful than taught. I’m preparing for this talk, come along side me as I prepare. Come follow us as we do this. It’s vision casting not telling the rules. Introduce them to find someone to walk beside for a time to catch the vision.

Culture: Racial Reconciliation – Bernice King 

Bernice King is an American minister best known as the youngest child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. An amazing thinker and orator.

My life, my love, my legacy book: Someone carried that legacy. Someone who will carry your vision forward. An opportunity for our country to do some healing. In light of the tension what would you like to say to us?

Leaders in the body of Christ should be taking the lead in this tense time. Light of the world. In this day! Light is a guide. “When you reach a certain age you’ve got to pay your water bill in the middle of the night.” Right now this nation needs a guide and direction. This should come from the leaders. This generation needs it. If we don’t rally around them they will grow up confused.

Light illuminates and clarifies. In the dark it’s hard to see what’s what and in the light you can see the fine details. The truth of God. On nation under God. Here for a reason. Have to learn to connect, know and understand each other. Model this and be an example. “… I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.”

The Most Segregated Hour in America. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., once said “it is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.”

Connect to people who are radically different.
We are at a pressure point and we can not further the divide. Things happen for a reason. Connect and understand one another. You will find out what you really have in common. Letter From a Birmingham Jail: “…I felt we would be supported by the white church…” Jesus and the woman at the well. Come out of the comfort zones. The white community in particular. Tremendous responsibility to take initiative. Come after me, deny self. What hinders us from being courageous? You subbed misunderstood but be okay because you are in great company. Most great people who transformed because you are going against the grain.

Appropriate innovation. Create seeing and environments for dialogs. Meet each other in a numeral context and allow for the organic dialog to take place. As leaders we must do it first. Not just worship together. Allow folks in your homes. In personal space it’s easier to have those conversations. Be honest and transparent. Share with those who know the stories of both sides. Expose children in appropriate context to enlighten them. African American history is exempted from history books. How we ended up here today. We are not lazy people.

We think we are right about what we believe. We have a bad reputation as Christians to how we treat people who are different than us. Safe and mutual respectful conversations. How do we as leaders tone down the unnecessary conversations so that we can hear? Humility. It’s hard to get an individual who thinks they believe everything to think that they need to know more.

“I know how important it is to always be the student.” At the end of the day no one has experienced everything. Acknowledging that fact. We have to be that constant student and realize there is something the other person can deposit in my life. Learn to listen better. The first step is to acknowledge it. Listen for a win win. Discover how do we live together. Teams have to learn to play together regardless of who is on those teams. You don’t get to choose your team. Play with the team you end up with. We didn’t choose our family, coworkers and we have to find this way forward to win together. Learn to transcend the disagreements.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. Who are people really following? When you look at their lives who does it show? Does this lead to question how much Christ is in you?

How has your dad impacted and influenced you?
He help me understand the interrelatedness of life. “We are independent but not interdependent.” How many people will be effected by the decision we are making. How many people will be impacted by by the words we speak? We effect the whole culture!

How has your mom impacted and influenced you?
The best thing for the next generation is an example. Messages are okay and needed…but what impressed me the most was the embodiment of those words in her life. It gave me something to inspire to because I saw it modeled in her life.”
She modeled how to manage pain and adversity. Genuine. The grieving widow. Not hateful, hostile, or bitter. Kept talking about the message of love and embarrassing non violence. Tenacious. Involved in making sure the message always stayed out front. 15 years for it to become a holiday. She believed it was gong to happen and out everything she had into it. At some point this nation and world will come by Martin Luther King Jr. Founding father on times magazine. Architect of the 21st century but a few years shy of living in that century. See something connected to him. What he represented pointed us back to the teachings of Christ.

“Love is such a powerful force. It’s there for everyone to embrace-that kind of unconditional love for all of humankind. That is the kind of love that impels people to go into the community and try to change conditions for others, to take risks for what they believe in.” Quote from My life, my love, my legacy book

Latosha. Be the bridge. Reconcile.
Holy discontent in racial division.
Starts relationally and in proximity. Transformative for church.
First must be aware.
Acknowledging situations.
Not about shame and guilt but Godly conviction.
Reconciliation. Not agreement. You don’t lose your identity you open your heart to be in community with someone who may or may not be different than you.
Non violence 365. Reconciliation is the center piece. The way I address or encounter the individual. Remember they are part of the community and the methods I use don’t disconnect but reconnect. A pathway to connecting holistically.

A story and what was the leaders role?
What is your vision for racial reconciliation. Truth and justice that leads us. See the pastors who are willing to sit in this without having all the answers. Walk through steps and it’s hard because it’s a new direction. It takes more work to reconcile then be diverse.

Representation in your church. Often seen as one present. Reconciliation is your joys are my joys and your problems are my problems. Unified and together. Genesis 12. Populations grew. Systems of oppression sense day 1. We are doing something new. Why do we want to be reconciled? We want to be together.
Invited everyone to do. Start a group.
Be connected to someone.
Inviting churches using the guide to help people journey through conversations. People want to be better. We can be better. Walking through a guide. Be the bridge course. Level 1 is an on ramp. Really start to examine my heart. Get out of my bubble and myopia. Take up the banner for your community.
Check out the Be the bridge Facebook group.

We are forced now to dig deeper. Regardless of vote. We can’t hide behind. We can’t shut people out and shut them down. Expose the hate so people can see it and rally around truth.

Not echo-chambers but allow the voices to be heard. We might discover something. Some might be antagonistic. “A lot of pain is associated with the confederacy.” Apologizing for the hate. It’s not enough to simply apologize but it provides healing an a healing atmosphere. Some people join groups (kkk or gangs) because it’s a cultural experience or they lack community. Let’s get together and work this out. Most people don’t know they are racists until someone tells them. Have enough, mature enough people to provide the space for them to unpack and self examine.

Sean: This is the first time trumps name has been mentioned. This is the benefit of white privilege. Determining what lends. We don’t have that option. What if we are terrified by what it represents. Family discussion on the question, “How are you doing?” Your joys are my joys and problems my problems. There are people who are terrified. What does it mean to have empathy for them. Acknowledging the fear. How do we care into that? If we don’t we will stagnate.

The black community doesn’t think the white community wants to come to the party and the white community doesn’t thing they are invited. The church can do something to send the message. It starts with you. You have a seat at the table and oversee the next generation. We are invited to the party what are we going to do with the invitation?

The answer is in your hands. God wants to get your attention. Further the legacy that God began. “It’s no accident that we intersected with the king legacy today.”
Small group study: be the bridge.


This is part two of the Next Conference Notes, make sure to check out Part 1 for Strategy, Teams, and Family

Next Conference Notes Part 1: Strategy, Teams, and Family


Strategy: Job Description – Reggie Joiner

Champion Every phase:
How does our church value kids, teenagers, and families?
Age groups/phases are important. Consider having a parent council from every age group. Creates opportunities for seasoned parents to give credibility to what you are doing. Public milestone events. Visibility and platform.

Align key leaders:
How does your team play together?
Projects and events outside of specific age group. Kids pastor share in celebration when youth pastor wins. Do something together. Plan the calendar and budget together.
The referee of the different representatives. Get them to play together.
Youth pastors are often mavericks. Kids pastors are often organized. Get them to value each other and each other’s ministry. Be the glue.

Gauge the effectiveness and success:
How does everyone measure success?
What does a win look like in every age group and how do we celebrate these wins together?
Share best practices.
Attendance vs engagement.
Not sitting in service but engaged in service. Something will shift in your church when you stop measuring attendance but measure who will plug in and serve.
Envelopment and commitment. What culture is brewing in your ministry.
Listen to the conversations and dialog.
Recycle or refreshed group of leaders.
Are you experiencing new growth.
What is your retention after the first quarter of school? Gauge previous years numbers. Moving up from grade, compare to the previous. Not just what you measure but when you measure. We need to intentionally focus on times when attendance begins to drop off.

Assist ministry systems:
How are ministries resources, equipped, and supported? How can I help them win?
Standing meetings. Problem solving. Where your treasure is your heart is. Invest in and you will start to care. Get them involved. Emotion and heart will follow.
Explain the why. Give the information to crack through the tension. Not just that they want more money but understand why they want more money.
Bridge the gap between the senior level and the workers.
Planning the budget will help you find the why’s in that conversation. Sit around a table and discuss it. Walk away understanding the decisions. Not just the last person who spoke to the pastor.
Create unified systems where the gifting is helping the team win as a whole. Recruiting small group leaders vs. recruiting for one ministry.
Disciple kids in a system. If we want them at this point in high school what will it look like at the previous phase to get them there. Begin with the end in mind. One discipleship thread through it all.
Help make proposals for needs. Help them think it through and write it down.
How much do you spend per volunteer at every phase. Extravagant?
Become an advocate to the program director. Communicate the value of the ministry itself not the event that you are sharing.
A great idea is having student pastors lead parent nights out with kids ministry.

Expand learning:
How are your leaders growing and developing? Help your team continue to develop.
Ministry action plan.
Who are you recruiting?
Who are you developing?
What are your wins?
What are your goals?
Did you reach your previous goals?
What are your resource and budget for training opportunities.
What do your teammates need and fill those gaps. Put it in the budget.
Use the professional leaders in your church to help develop your leaders! This ultimately gets both sides excited.
Ask for help. Help me grow. Speak into my world.
Take the staff to go and serve one another. Not just a book but hands on learning.
Personal goals and ministry goals. Evaluate both.
Attach to others on staff who are further along.
Once a month a 4×4. Four big tasks for the next four weeks.
Have them teach because when they digest it to teach it they learn.
Consider utilizing outreach trips so extended time.
Networking locally and globally. Colleges. Churches. Invite conversations.
Direct reports get and hour and a half every other week. 3-4 questions. Some personal. Put on calendar and block out the time. Be accessible.

Partner with parents:
How are ministries keeping parents engaged?
Parent conversations. Felt need. Phase. Same window in time. Coffee and dessert.
VIP treatment about once a quarter.
Is the groups department covering parent content a percentage of the time?
Communication through one department to the family.
Live videos with ministry leads about what we talked about after the services.
Parents are awesome recruiters.
Training small group leaders. You are the bridge from parent to child. Let them know one thing every week. Leverage as a conduit to parents.
Open house so parents see what we experience not just walk through the buildings.
Intentional milestone events with the families together. At that event give parents the opportunity to live out what you just learned before heading home.
When sending off to camp have a prayer times with the parents. When they get home baptism and story time together.
Coffee talks. Or just ask what works for you?
Invest resources into discipling parents.
While something is happening for students have something happen for the parents.
Give calendars ahead of time and answer questions.
Prayer partners for every volunteer. Parents.
Strengthening their marriages.

Orange strategy:
Align leaders
Refine the message
Elevate community
Engage families
Influence service

Strategy: Growing Young Research – Kara Powell 

15-29 year olds.
Average church in US is shrinking and aging.
Study the shining spots. From nominations. 250 thriving with young people.
“Not just churches changing young people but young people changing churches.”
Fuels, flavors, infuses the above 5 strategies.

Align leaders:
Leaders who got passionate about young people.
The Kind of leadership that was important was the keychain leadership. We will pay you and give you a key to the church.
Ask kids, When do you feel closest to God?

Who are my keychain leaders? Train in developmentally appropriate ways.
Keychain Leader 1: _________
Keychain Leader 2: _________
Keychain Leader 3: _________
Keychain Leader 4: _________
Keychain Leader 5: _________

Engage families:
No more important influence in faith development than their parents.
“We can’t out preach what you teach at home.”
Responding to kids in the moment of instability.
As connected as our kids are to the church,  leaders and you pastors see many 5% of what parents see in the child. I need you to help me know how to respond in the moments of instability.
Parent pastor conferences! 30 minute conversations about my kid. Know where ministry is going but far more important talk about how to respond in instability.

Elevate community:
Diversity in the churches. Half we’re not predominately white. Top answers that kids loved in church was it’s like family. Not hip and cool but warm. “Warm is the new cool.” Small groups. Mentoring. Structures for community.
Illustration: Emmanuel’s brigade. Faxed from library.

Refine the message:
Less shame and fear and more grace and love.
Not Christianity focused but Jesus focused. Hunger for Jesus. He is always magnetic. How do we help that magnetism be seen?
Balance of grace and obedience.

Influence service:
Young people want to serve. For 5 out of 6 young people service does not lead to long term life respiration. 3 steps forward and 2.93 steps back because of what happens at home. How do we influence service more?
Missions Trip: Move from and event to a process. Not a week long event but a six month process. Spiritual preparation, heart preparation, and cultural preparation.
Serve anonymously.
Find prayer partners from same gender but different age. (not college girls with high school boys)
Pictures and Stories pot luck.
Where does this person feel called and how do we fuel it?

The gift of Fuller and Growing Young is we can say, “Research says” 

Strategy: Be and Identify Nehemiah – Reggie Joiner 

Rightsville GA. In the middle of nowhere.
When a teenage experiences what God can do through them, it forever changes them. How are we tapping into His purpose for them.
Professional work and still called to something.
You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s easy to think you know more than you really know. Get back in the trenches to realize what it really means to care for people. Think about God and His word in a new way.

Nehemiah chapter 3.
Convinced that the change in a community had to begin with the change in a few. It had to start in his life and his heart. Likeminded dissatisfaction and the people together.
What is the Holy dissatisfaction in my life? The thing that keeps me from getting tire in the ministry even though I’m tired in the ministry. Something in my heart of life that changes because we rubbed shoulders.
The volunteers we need are already present. For Nehemiah, the population is older. They feel they have paid their dues. The walls were built by the same people who had given up on them. If given the right vision we can reignite the heart to do what seems impossible. Chapter 3 shows specific gifts given and family names named.
If you are not clear about what matters most, you will tend to get distracted by what does not matter. “I’m doing a great work, so I will not come down.” Why would I leave this thing that is so important to do something that is not really important. Distractions from calling. Critics who pull us in another direction. Drain. Distract.

You will tend to engage families when the mission becomes personal to them!
“Why do you think families outside the church don’t trust the church? Why don’t they look at the church as a solution to their problems?” See the families as valuable. How do you treat the parents? How do you treat their children?

When rebuilding the wall and morale begins to fade, at the same time the enemy begins to threaten. Nehemiah 4:13-14. “I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.” Fight. He made it so personal for the family. It changes the passion and intensity. Somewhere in the context of what we do we must turn the mission around and make it personal to their children. Not for the kids in my town but for your kids. Make it personal.

If you want this generation to listen, invite them to do something significant. Nehemiah sees a generation that potentially will walk away and the need to change their perception of God. They were a part of seeing the wall go up. It changes they way they hear God. After the walls are build Ezra comes. Listened intently until noon. They saw God do something amazing and they listen in a different way. It changed what those outside of the wall viewed God and how those inside the wall trusted God. Worship had not been experienced this way since the time of Joshua. Involvement changed how the entire generation listened to God.

“You are in the business of being a Nehemiah and identifying Nehemiah’s.” 

Give the church permission to make kids a priority. What can we do in the middle of all the chaos to be driven by a calling to ministry to people on all sides of the issues to show them Jesus? If we are going to be in the transformation business we have to be Nehemiah’s.

Team: How to lead when you’re not in charge. – Clay Scroggins:

Speaks 15x a year and Andy 30x per year.
North Point is a church of families. Strollerville

5. Challenging up.
Something to challenge your boss on?
Too often we start with this one. One of the greatest mistakes. This is number 5 not number 1.

1. The influence outpaces authority.
Myth in leadership. “I thought that would get an amen.”
First day walking in and think, it’s awesome being in charge but then would hear from everyone and realized your not in charge. More bosses then ever had before. You don’t have to wait until you get in charge to start leading. Whatever your role is you can lead where you are at. The greatest changers in the world have led without a title. Martin Luther King Jr. Influence is more powerful than authority.

2. Kibosh it’s in you.
Genesis. Multiple, fill the earth and subdue it. Kibosh. Seinfeld snuffing something out.
Do not be like the rulers with authority but serve. Push forward and make something great. The DNA of God is in me to create. To help. To do. Exercise a redeemed kibosh. Quit the blame and bloom where you are planted. Cultivate where you are. You don’t need to leave, don’t mute it, kill it, or let it go without control.

3. Find your steering wheel.
Like a kid in the shopping cart. Think it will turn but you don’t have real control.
No control over it. Series at church, topics or virtues. Why get frustrated over what you have no control over?
You do have control: Attitude. Energy.
Buckets of influence. Your Team. Org chart. Where do your frustrations fall? Above the chart. Instead of frustrated on things you have no control over you have an opportunity below the chart. Focus your energy where you do have control.

4. Create an Oasis. Of excellence.
They gave you a lot to lead. Instead of frustrated on what you are not in charge of, put your energy into what you can effect. Lead it to the best of your ability. Where is your space (your garage). Create a well ordered, under budget, planned out, strategic place.
Idea: Pig roast with dad and 8th grade sons. Letter for dads to write with a template. Small groups around the fires where dads read the letters to their sons around the fires.
Romans 13. God established leadership.
I’ve got to love my boss, you can’t lead someone that you don’t love. Not jealous. When you call your boss the name pops up and your boss has a feeling about you. You have an opportunity to influence that feeling.
When you leave people need to be surprised. If this is the last job God has for you are you okay with it?

Most people want feedback but they don’t want to do the work to get it because it feels like rejection. What’s it like to be on the other side of me? If you were me what would you do differently? Your boss has feedback for you but when you ask for it, it builds a bridge. It will be good for you. Proverbs 12:1, “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.”

Team: 4 Esteems of Leading a Team. – Michael Owens 

A leader of leaders. Trained on how to lead kidmin in an effective way. COTM.
In youth ministry we often don’t value what we are doing. Ignorant about the job of reaching young people. Not a second class leader. Not babysitting. See yourself from God’s perspective so you can lead your team with passion. Esteem communicates great passion and vision. Average is an enemy to greatness. God didn’t create you to be that way. Greatness begins with the leader.

1. Esteem power with people not power over people.
Embrace the heart of “WE” not “me”.
Embrace the power of your team. Make everyone feel valuable.
Make sure everyone is involved in the process of leading.

2. Esteem the power of creativity.
Innovation. Create the end result in your mind so that you can extract it to the world around you. TV companies do research on young people to impact and catch the hearts of young people. There are people sitting on your team who have the answers to the questions you need. Your team is there to help solve problems, give them a platform to innovate. Consider having creative meetings with students to impact their peers.

3. Esteem balance with relationships, leadership and family.
Familiarity can be a gift and a curse and your family should be priority and not the minority in your life. Are you neglecting your children and your wife? Build your calendar around your family not your family around your calendar.

4. Esteem character.
Character is doing what is right because it’s right. Deal with the issues inside your heart. Character goes all the way down to your personal life.

5. Esteem love.
Love leadership is the heart of God, He is love and we are his love agents. Love helps you develop empathy. Your team will go above and beyond when they know you love them authentically.

How are you structuring your care and love for your people? Team to feed your team, email contact, celebrate birthdays, team for when life happens so meals, cleaning, laundry. I heard this happened, so I’m going to come by tonight and bring dinner. Healthy communication between volunteers and leadership. You need a system of care.

Team: What standards do you have for staffing? – Nick Blevins 

Is the conversation subjective? It doesn’t have to be. Check the research.
There is never enough money. What do churches do?
1:98 staff to kids
1:51 staff to Youth
What is your main program for kids?
What is staffing for multi site?
1:126 vs 1:95
1:81 vs 1:64

Feeling understaffed is subjective.
Might be a fit issue. Capacity issue.
Multisite churches have more volunteers and require less staff. Central services model and not just a coincidence. You have to lead into volunteers more.

As churches grow they should strive to become more lean in staffing. Becoming more lean and leaning into volunteers helps you grow. Is it? Does this shut down the potential of volunteers? Forces you to develop volunteers to fill the holes. Production vs small groups. Ratios are important for small groups. Train and develop leaders.

What’s my first step?
Figure out ratios and compare them.
Students 1:11 staff to volunteers. The core of the issues is are we leaning into volunteers well. Is that us doing the work or are we truly leading through volunteers.
Look at your ratio of staff to volunteers and compare to what others are doing.

Teams: What would you do different? – Geoff S Surratt 

NextGen the most terrifying job in the world. Parents, environments birth through college, services and campuses. Variety of backgrounds. Sexual identity and orientation. No matter what there background is at home they need to love Jesus, the Bible and the church.
Do you have a score card? Do you know it? Budgets or numbers?
No finish line in NextGen ministry. 20 graduate and 20 are born. Will we leave? Will we get fired?
Know what it’s like when your budget gets cut, key teen gets pregnant or leader is moving. Help me get into ministry! NextGen value. Best and worse feelings.
The disasters are seldom as bad as they look at the time.

Success is NextGen ministry is measured in decades

What would you do different?

1. Start with parents. Before he saw 3 buckets: Potential volunteers, potential drivers or potential pains in the butt. Now would spend time with parents to ask about their home. What are your dreams for your kids? What are your fears? How can we invest in you and your kids? Move beyond the walls of the church. School counselor. Family counselors. If you tell parents you want to help them win as parents they will talk with you regardless of church attendance.

2. Identify a scoreboard. Wise and foolish builders. Can your house survive a storm?  What are 2 or 3 indicators that it will last. How do you know you are succeeding? Not surface level indicators that change often but deep preferred outcomes.
Build a game plan to drive the scoreboard vs vice versa.

3. Recruit to strategy. Not guilt, not need, not candy (cool). Strategy. Here is how we know we are winning. Do you want to be a part of helping kids share their faith with one other friend. % of kids who shared their faith last year. We want to increase this number. Do you want to help?

4. Celebrate like crazy. Weekend’s keep coming but you MUST stop to celebrate wins. Every one who is saved gets a party in heaven. Why do we move past this so quick on earth?

5. Create a feedback loop. How does your pastor prefer communication? Here’s where we are winning and losing. Is this a good measurement? Define the scoreboard. The stakes are overwhelming but who else goes to work every day knowing that what you are doing is changing the world?

Teams: 7 Questions and Pirates – Reggie Joiner

In 2006 Reggie started working as Orange. He built a strong team that together can accomplish the mission. The last 3 years has brought growth. 60-70 staff to 120. Maybe in fast growth we need to back up and start over again so the DNA stays in our organization. Know the way you craft words, messages, handles, phrases and brands. Do the people inside your organization really understand those phrases and DNA. From a TV series of pirates we see they have a strategy, make plans and know organization.

7 questions that if everyone knew the answers to, we would be at a better place when it comes to messaging. Your job is alignment, alignment, alignment, alignment, alignment. You never have to work to get misaligned that is natural.

1. Why do we do what we do? (Mission and vision.)
Pirates provide for their family. This is their why.
If you are on an airplane and they ask you want you do what do you say. What do you say when they ask why. We forget his over time. Know your mission.

2. What exactly do we do? (Practices.)
Pirates rob ships and get money.
Create environments where people have the best opportunity to help families win.

3. How do we plan to win? (Strategy.)
Pirates prepare the ship, chart the course.
Strategy. Put the pieces together
A plan of action with an end in mind.

4. What is most important right now? (Priorities.)
Pirates protect the cook.
Not the 45 things but 3. How do you contribute to these 3 most important things? Partner with parents, volunteer leadership.
Never let the small group piece suffer for production.

5. What do the wins look like? (Goals.)
Pirates know where going, who to get gold from, gold measurement in weight.
Most important exercise. Clarify the win for EVERY environment. When this hour is over we know we won if these 3 things happen.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

6. Wow do we work together? (Values.)
Morale on the ship is important. Loyalty is high in value.
Committed to the vision. Who is on the next journey or next ship? What are our values and how do we treat each other on this journey? DNA of organization and how we treat one another.  90% of problems are system problems. Sometimes you have to go back to the values in how we behave and treat each other. Compass and boundaries. You are not the smartest person in the room. What we do collectively is greater than alone.

7. Who does what? (Roles.)
Every role and contribution is important.
One sentence job description of Everyone. Strength finders option beside what they do.
Do the rest of our staff know the answers to all of these 7 questions?
Put these questions out there. What are the 3 priorities for the next two years?
The reason for the order they are in. Strongest to the weakest.

Reggie is willing to learn from every and any source!

Kara Powell discussion with:

EJ Swanson – @ejswanson
Nina Schmidgall – @ninaschmidgall
Allyson Evans – @AllyEvans
Paula Forte – @paula_forte

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Drucker
NS: Collaborative leader. Expect everyone to contribute. Move forward. Culture where in the same room often and everyone contributes.
AE: Understand the overall vision. “Inside out” new staff orientation. Values vision culture. Collaboration, trust, and feedback.
PF: Collaboration, unity, trust. Don’t portray yourself as someone who knows all the answers.
EJ: Collaboration, honesty, and availability. Drop everything to dive into vision.
EJ: Budget year starts in April. Changes all jobs but the main pastor roles. For the next year, this is your role. “House Hangouts.” Your still on the team but your role is changing to fit gifts and needs of the church.
AE: Central support team. Staffing to volunteer leadership team. Associate positions are pipeline positions. As soon as develop she will go to a campus. Able to run slim because of central team.

Define the win:
PF: Direct reports personal for life’s as well as ministry. Meeting times each week. Are you progressing? When you lose, redefine failure.
NS: Win by values. Maximize investment. Make Sunday’s excellent. Small window but important. Bringing friends.
Focus on relationship. Content vs the relationship. Teachers often focus on the content.
Partner with parents. Give tools.
Encourage missions hearts. Purpose in the community and world.
What are you doing to contribute?

Family: Partnering with Parents – Reggie Joiner 

“Reactivate every parent strategically to be more present at home and be more connected to a faith community.”

Be More Connected:
-Connect with mentors and peers
-Engage in faith activities.
More engaged then they were previously!
Clarify and indicators you are winning with parents.
Know the sgl’s name
Parents volunteer
Parents tell other parents about church
Proactive and reactive communication
Participate more often
Milestone involvement
Parents serving with their kids.

Be More Present:
-Leverage family times.
-Initiating critical conversations
-Reinforce what their kids learn at church
-Expand adult influences in their kids.
Share stories about their life
Parents disciple their own kids.
Relationships improving.
Financial investment
Approach small group leader about goals
Talk about church at home.
Use tools at home.

Family: How strategically do you partner with parents? – Sherry Surratt

Inflection points. Destruction that causes a change. Think and feel.

Fall – Start
Family rhythm disrupted. How is schedule change? What is the new rhythm?

Winter – Restart
Back to reality. How do we get back to normal? Jan 24th most depressed day of the year. What is new normal. Think: we can help you restart.

Spring – Focus
Deal with what teacher has been saying all year long. Families feel overwhelmed. Asking how can we finish well? Help them focus.

Summer – Recharge
What do we do with little ones while working? What trouble will they get in? What will I do with my summer? Help them recharge. Schedules change and help them recharge.

Parents need from us:
1. Cooperate with their rhythm. Parents are thinking about this new role for child not our events. Spring give resources

2. Reactivate them around their felt need.
Events that help what their inflection point is thinking and feeling. Reactivate them.

3. Give them what they need when they need it.
Think medicine isle when sniffles. Boil it to minimum. KISS. Clear. Easy. Strategic. What one thing do we put in their hands to make it easy? Tell them why it matters.

4. Help them reimagine the end.
At baby they are imagining the end but then life hits. They lose sight.
Help them know God, love others, and see themselves as God sees them.


Family: Patterns of predictability in our ministry and in families. – Kristen Ivy

What are the vulnerable ares of our ministries?

“We are all vulnerable because of the very transitory nature of life. We are vulnerable because of illnesses and the fragility of human relationships. No one is so formidable as to be victorious in all circumstances. We are weak, hence vulnerable. It takes courage to face the fact of how very weak we are.” – Moishe Rosen

Authentic Faith – Trusting Jesus in a that transforms how I love God, myself, and the rest of the world.

Spiritually discontent: Never want community to become satisfied with where students are currently.

In the rhythms of life we see patterns of vulnerability.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
“Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.” Ecclesiastes 3:15.

Nothing new that hasn’t been faced already.
Resurfacing the same issues. Just the stakes might be a little higher.

Life maps:
Why the shape of the line?
High at beginning. Dips but up in 4/5 grade and then back down after 10th grade. Then back up after 12th. Seasons of intensity. Puberty rises things in an emotionally demanding way.

Rhythms and Seasons
As a parent, there’s nothing my child will face that hasn’t been faced before.
Do more in the vulnerable places to raise the bar even higher.


Family: Millennials – Kara Powell

The 18+ phase
Fuller institute. Millennial. Born 1989-2000. 17-37 year olds.
Twitter post: How to confuse a millennial: Show them a phone book.
The millennial response: Crash economy and ask why they live with parents.
The reality for young adults. Define reality.
+ 5 years for almost all milestones. Married. Babies. Financial independence. Vocational stability.
The church has ministry for: Children, Youth, College, Young Married.
The reality is there is now: Children, Youth, College, 5 Year Gap, Not quite as young Married. AND so many new options now.
Overall they are lacking relational support.
Young adults and technology.
Enhance ability.
Filters make everything look pretty.

28 is the new 18. And they feel bad about that.
Don’t feel like they are accomplishing the milestones their parents have. (Or pastors)
Figuring out God’s calling later.
Tell the millennial this: We’ve been both 18 and 28. We can connect.

IBP: These questions are always present. When older they are at a low simmer but at 18 they are boiling over!
Identity. Who am I?
Belonging. Where do I fit?
Purpose. What difference do I make?

The spiritual reality:
80% college students have an interest in spiritually and 75% believe in God. Ucla
18-29 year olds make up 20% of us population but only 10% of churchgoers.
Not you’ve left the church but about the church leaving them. Our lack of empathy and unique journey they are traveling on.

What do you love and hate about this age group?
Hungry for an adult mentor and support. Coffee and conversations on life.
Challenging: Like all of us they are a complex mixture of selfishness and selflessness. Thinking the world revolve around them.
Graduation Sunday. Students feel abandoned by the church.
Idea that it’s not an event but a process. Not goodbye but hello.
Redefine what happens during the weeks around graduation.
Senior Sunday. Pictures for bulletin vs helping them stay connected.
How do we respond?
Growing young research.

Young adults are the legacy of your ministry
They are your volunteers
The parents of your volunteers.
Steve Argue book on those 18+

1. We don’t judge we journey.
Entitled and lazy. Negativity. Labels by those who spend no time with them and miss remember their own time. Don’t assume it’s similar. Picture 80’s teens.
“When I was your age.” Eliminate from vocabulary because it communicates we did better. Deserve to be listened to not labeled.
“Young adults are not our pariahs; they are our prophets.” – Steve Argue
Vonda journeys with. Empathizes. Percentage wise they are growing more because she trained how to walk with and not judge.
What if a certain percentage of your congregation tried to build a relationship with a young person? Not to recruit but to know.

2. We help them move from coasting to calling.
Identify Purpose.
Agency. Hungry for a sense of agency. Former youth pastors are working with this group and they don’t realize they can release the ministry to them. Have you talked with any young adults? They want to be involved in kingdom work. With young people today it has to be true impact. Not hashtags but actual change.
Homeless Jesus statue. Magnet to young people. Use your gifts to change your community.

3. We offer a stretching faith not a static faith.
When young people’s faith grows it sometimes scares us or throws us off. Faith is a verb that grows and evolves. Doubt isn’t toxic to faith, silence is. What do you believe about faith now that you don’t think I believe?
Instability: Main adjective to describe young adults. This can be a catalyst in their faith journey. In the midst of chaos millennial can begin to wrestle with their identity, belonging and purpose.
Who are we. We are people saved by grace?
Where do I fit? Grounded in the community of unconditional love.
What is my purpose? By being involved in Gods mission.
“The Gospel is the best story and the better story always wins.” 

Family: Don’t Give Up on Partnering With Parents! – Jim Burns

It’s messy because all families are messy.
It’s hard to measure families.
You are walking on Holy Ground.
It’s not a curriculum or organization it’s a movement. Be part of God’s movement.

1. When you reach the family you reach the world…democrat or republican… Christian or atheist.

2. One of the purposes of the church is to mentor parents, parents mentor their children and the legacy of faith continues to the next generation. Not transferred from the church or synagogue but by the family. The strongest influencers are 1: Mom. 2: Dad. 3: Grandparents.

3. “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not just welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Asked: What are you doing in your family or church to help parents succeed?
Common Answer: It’s our biggest priority next year.
Partnering with parents is not a program. It’s a mindset.
The church can help the home have hard conversations.

What’s holding you back?
It means more work. Already too busy.
We’re insecure. No kids at phase or not doing well in own parenting or own marriage.
We sense parental resistance. Felt it because they didn’t come to the program. We still measure success by numbers.
Don’t want to know. Parents might really be struggling.
Over committed and under connected.
A silo church mentality.
Don’t feel they have a say. Meet with all the silos and get them involved.
“I’m in family ministry and I do elementary ministry.”
Lead pastor is threatened. Might not be into orange. But more so pastors are hurting today. They feel shame. Short term movement started in the mid 80s because of the youth ministry. It doesn’t have to come from the top.

Be a facilitator to partner with parents.
Jesus sower and the seed. 25% was great.
We are not in control we are simply corse controlling.

Inform parents.
The number one desire is information. Parents are wanting to know what you are teaching and what’s going on at the church to help families. It doesn’t even have to be in the church, it could be something to help the family that comes through the community.

Assist parents.
Bring in an expert. Assist with family counseling or pointing them in the right direction.

Encourage parents.
Your son is amazing and did this ___
Parent advisory. They support what they help create.


This is part one of the next conference notes, make sure to check out part two for Leadership, Volunteers, and Culture

Are You Prayed Up in These 4 Areas of your Life?

“Are you prayed up?” This question caught me off guard when I found myself complaining to my high school teacher. When I was younger, I began a Bible study with the goal of reaching my entire school for Christ. As you can imagine, progress was slow. There were times when huge crowds gathered to study and other times when there were just a handful of students. 

During a busy season, I found myself sitting alone with Mrs. Francisco waiting for someone, anyone, to show up for the lesson. When I began complaining, she cut me off and asked, “Are you prayed up?” Honestly, I wasn’t, and I found my motivations getting out of line. That evening I began talking with God about my discouragement, purpose, and motivations in leading the study. 

Throughout the years, I’ve seen God move in big ways to answer prayers from His followers. Here are a few challenges to get you prayed up in these 4 big areas of your life.


Are you prayed up for your personal walk with God? Although this should be our top priority we often neglect our own walk with the Lord. When was the last time you cared for your own soul? When have you taken the time to build strong foundations in your relationship with Jesus? To become prayed up, you must be honest with God, sharing with Him your innermost thoughts. Thank Him for showing you true and perfect love. Ask Him to drawn near to you as you draw near to Him.

Are you prayed up for your family? Colossians 3:13 challenges us to “make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Often times those who are closest to us, are those who hurt us the most. To be prayed up for our family, we must forgive any hurt and see our family as God sees them. Pray for the children in your family to learn that in obeying their parents, they obey God. Ask God to give your family patience and to show kindness to one another. Take a few minutes to pray 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 over your family.

Are you prayed up for your church? The mission of the church is to make disciples who make disciples and thus impact God’s kingdom forever! Pray bold prayers for God to use you and those in the church to make disciples. 1 John 5:14 says, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.” Pray for the leaders in your church and ask God to continually help each member in the church take their next step in obedience. 

Are you prayed up for your work? In Colossians 3:17, Paul says, “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Whether you are a teacher in front of a group of students, or an accountant in front of a computer screen, your job can be worship towards God each and every day. In verse 23, Paul goes on to say, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” To get prayed up, ask God to give you a heart of worship in your work. Repent for the times you have failed, and go into your job with a new heart. 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7