3 Free Ways To Better Screen Your Volunteers


There’s no question that we need to screen our volunteers, especially those who work with kids. But how do you properly screen workers on a limited budget with limited time? How can you ensure the safety of those who have been placed in your care when you are also trying to prepare for next Sunday? Here are 3 free ways to better screen your volunteers.

1. Know Your Process.

Can you list every step a volunteer must take in order to go from a pew sitter to a member of your team? Write down your full process and ask a lawyer, officer, and/or school counselor for feedback. Read over your application to make sure you are collecting the proper information and compare your application to that of other churches. Know your background check process and know exactly what the background check is screening. Know what questions you will ask a reference and what you will do when a red flag is raised. Know what standard questions you are going to ask in the interview and know how to ask these questions to get accurate information.

2. Follow Your Process.

While knowing your process is important, if you don’t follow it you will find yourself in trouble. Don’t cut corners or make exceptions, even if you know the person or they’ve been serving in another ministry. If your policy says that a person must be a member in order to serve then hit pause and wait for that step to be complete. Even if you desperately need someone to fill the position, or if your gut is telling you to let them through, still follow your process. When you always follow your process you can confidently tell parents that every member of your team has been properly screened.

3. Document Your Process.

Along the way, write down dates and keep a written record so that you know each step has been completed. Document the date your background check was sent out and write down when you have received a clear report. If any red flags are raised in the reference check or interview, write down both what was said and how you resolved the situation. If there is anything questionable or out of the ordinary also consider running the information by your supervisor and have them sign off on the document as well.

When you know, follow, and document your screening process for new volunteers you are on your way to building a healthy team. The time you invest in these three steps will help you protect the kids and can save your ministry from a sticky situation. What is one step that you need to take today to better screen your volunteers?

Are You Satisfied With Your Prayer Life?

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. – Jesus, Luke 11:9-10

Are you satisfied with your prayer life?

Or to put it another way, do you rely more on your cell phone or your Heavenly Father for answers, security, and direction? When Jesus taught on prayer in Luke 11, He gave three visuals to clarify what it means to bring a request to God. As you go into your next time of prayer think about these three aspects that Jesus taught: ask, seek, knock.


ASK: When you ask, make sure your motives are pure. James 4:2c-3 says, “Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” When you bring your requests to God, have the same attitude as Jesus when He prayed in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.” As you begin your next prayer, ask, but ask with a pure heart. 

SEEK: Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Prayer is not just about asking, but doing the work and looking for the answers. James 2:17 says, “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” We need to be people who ask God and then put our faith in action by seeking His answers. Think back to your past prayer requests. Did you simply ask God for His favor or did you take it a step further to put your faith in action?

KNOCK: As you ask God and seek His answers, a few doors may present themselves. Your job is to step out in faith and pursue opportunities that glorify God. Knock on doors with consistency and persistence. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Don’t give up when the first door you knock on doesn’t open. Stay persistent in your prayers and continue seeking Him.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encourages us to ask, seek, knock, and then He says, “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:9-11). Take time today to ask, seek, and knock for we have a personal God who cares about you and your story.

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. unsplash.com/photos/4K2lIP0zc_k

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: http://d6family.com/how-to-have-a-successful-family-service/)

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: https://calendly.com/coreyrayjones/30min/

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