Breakout Notes from #D62017 with Michael Bayne and Brian Haynes

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Pacing Change – Michael Bayne – @michael_bayne

If people get left behind, are we really leading? Are we just a loud voice or are we actually helping people take steps?

Change is a must in any family ministry setting. We are all leading change…
Spiritual Growth: People have to change
Parent Partnership: Our ministry has to change.
Empowering the home to be a place of discipleship: The home has to change.

The right pace leads to lasting change. You don’t just want your dreams to last today. 

The wrong pace leads to 2 extremes…lack of momentum or confusion. When you don’t move fast enough you create a place where your leaders don’t see progress and get bored. They question if you have a vision. When you don’t move slow enough you create a place where people disengage.

Pacing change really hinges on our ability to be patient.

“One thing people in my Infuse mentoring and coaching program always tell me, it blows them away how patient I am with change. It’s because I realize that anything of value takes more time to build. The difference between a five-story building and a little lean-to is the value, and it is going to take a lot longer to build that five-story building.” – Jim Wideman

In Joshua 2, you can see the best leaders in scripture were able to look ahead and strategically said, this is a big deal, let’s get as much information and plan this out. Our problem isn’t faith, as ministry leaders, we haven’t thought through the strategy for the best environment where God can move fully. Joshua picked carefully, the right people, the right volunteers. Joshua paced forward. He looked ahead to figure out his next steps.

“Pacing change matters because we are leading people to a spiritual place full of promise and full of resistance.”

When planting the church. Spend hours, and hours and hours working through all of the next steps.

Before your Start…

Create a Map – What are the challenges coming up? Where are you starting from and where are you going? Your strategy ultimately determines the success of your ministry.

“Human nature is to need a map. If you’re brave enough to draw one, people will follow.” Seth Godin

“Your strategy impacts your success almost more than your heart does. Sometimes we forget this in ministry.” – Carey Nieuwhof

Vision and energy are not enough. Vision is the spark but the plan protects the vision.

Before you Start…

Gather the right team. Not just doing ministry aimed at people but doing ministry with people. Good strategies for change are focused on the right people at the right moments. Think through your staff and volunteers, who do you have on your team?

“Good strategies for change are about focusing on the right people in the right moments.” – Carey Nieuwhof

Surround yourself with the right people to enact change or the change will fail. Who to put on your team: People with passion, people who are servants, and people who you trust. Who to avoid on your team: People who complain, big talkers who are little investors, and the inconsistent.

Pacing the Change…

Limit the Scope of Change
For your to lead effective change you have to choose what not to change. Change leads to progress but it also causes stress. Too much stress will cause people to disengage and doubt to the point where they walk away.

Launch Change at the Right Time
Success and Timing are powerfully linked! You need to make sure you time your changes to have the maximum success and maximum engagement with the target audience.

“Don’t think. Act. We can always revise and revisit once we’ve acted. But we can accomplish nothing until we act.” Steven Pressfield

Make Sure Change Does Not Detract from Weekly Excellence
People are attracted to excellence and will endure change one some things when most other things are stable and thriving. What are you good at? Leverage what you are good at to have an opportunity to lead change in another area.

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. Luke 16:10

Keep Your Leadership Informed
When you keep your senior leaders informed then you give them info and vision to share with opposition when they go above your head. People opposed to your change will go above your head because it’s easier. Your opponents don’t want to hurt you but they love things to stay the same. Your team can be in sync and can answer the questions being asked of them. Don’t allow your pastor to be caught off guard.

Connect With Complainers and Lovingly Cast Vision
(embrace how we should respond not how we want to respond)
We have to make sure that we don’t take opposition personally. A change will bring friction and goal is to address the friction in a way that is kind, clear, and patient.

“Loud does not equal large and volume does not equal velocity the loudest people affected by a proposed change are those who are most opposed. The more opposed people are, the louder they tend to become.” Carey Nieuwhof.

Celebrate Intentionally
You look ahead at your plan and plot out a few places where you will celebrate with your team. Celebrate intentionally and with purpose. We want to be purposeful partiers! Celebration keeps the team on a mission. People want to be part of a winning change.

Adjust and Learn Along the Change Process
Don’t wait to make changes when you are leading through change. Make adjustments to your lessons learned as you advance the mission. People rally around leaders who are committed to solving problems.

“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Push Through Resistance
Lasting time demands patient effort and encouragement if the change has a chance to merge into the culture.

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Building Teams – Seven Questions to Answer Before You Hire a New Staff Member –  Brian Haynes – @brian_haynes

Question 1: “What are we doing really?”

If you asked your leadership team this question, would you get 5 different answers? The work that you have to do is slow. You need to gain alignment with mission, vision, values, and strategy before you go into the hiring process.

What is your goal? Understand how everyone’s job contributes to the mission.

Vision is where we are going. The more you can spell out what you are doing, the better you can onboard people into your leadership team as well as volunteers at every level.

Values answer the question, “Who are we?” What are we all about?

Strategy answers the question, “How are we going to do this?” The lead pastor holds this piece. When you answer this question it frees everyone up in the downstream.

Question 2: “How do we staff to do it fruitfully?”

Hire to shared values. Don’t hire to strategy because strategy changes. Values also play into longevity. Has this person already done what we are doing before? Does this person value the same things we value?

The way you find this is to look at the fruit of their lives. Find ways that you have expressed this value over time. If he is inwardly focused he will tell you what he has done within the church. If he is externally focused he will tell you what he has done in his personal life. Is this person a love your neighbor guy or a love your church guy?

Question 3: “Who am I looking for exactly?”

Now we are looking into specific skill sets. What do they do? What is their competency? What is their education? What is their culture fit?

Don’t just ask this question in your own head. Ask key people you are working with already. Latch onto the themes being communicated from your team.

Question 4: “How do I search properly?”

First search in-house. You’ve seen these people grow, develop, and change.

Next look outside of the church. Start with your network and if you need to look through a search committee. Share the load of the work. You can also use a search firm but they often cost a lot of money.

Question 5: “How do I onboard a new team member effectively?”

As they come in, they need clearly written documents for salary, benefits, and team structure. Create clear job descriptions. Money doesn’t have to be the last thing that you talk about. If this number is a deal breaker for you, just let me know, I want to be upfront. When you are onboarding, everything needs to be in writing.

What are the expectations? In year one, here is what I’m expecting in your role. Help your family transition well, build community, join a group, cultivate 15 new leaders, etc. Put this in writing and come alongside the hire every 2-3 weeks in a casual way to ask questions.

Is the space set up and ready for him? If they have an office, is it set up and do they have the tools ready to start the first day? Computer? Email? Business Cards?

Question 6: “What staffing mistakes do ministry leaders/churches make notoriously?”

Sometimes we hire a professional instead of a discipler. In a company, you hire a pro to create a product. In a church you onboard a discipler.

We hire to strategy instead of values. The strategy can change and values stay the same.

Neglecting to hire champions to church and home to the highest level. Don’t compartmentalize this area because ministry is both church and home not just at a building. We miss it if we hire a great preacher but he can’t connect the church and the home. It comes from the top.

Neglecting to develop leaders from within intentionally. Not just swapping sheep from one church to another.

Avoiding necessary endings. When you have someone on your staff who is pulling the other direction or becoming toxic you need to cause a necessary ending. *Henry Cloud Necessary Endings Book. Help them find a different way of living out their calling. Give clarity and love. “I love you, and I know what I’m about to say is going to hurt.” Sometimes you need to say these 3 things need to change and next month we are going to see if you are making progress. You might also need to say, “You have 30 days to change your negative vibe, and here are the 3 things that you need to change.”Make it uncomfortable and hard because if they want to work through it they will be so much better on the other side and if not then they will move on. Trust your gut but test it with clear conversation.

Question 7: “What should I do when I hire erroneously?”

We ran out of time for this question.

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Developing a Winning Family Ministry Team – Michael Bayne – @michael_bayne

Change that lasts is not only owned by you. You have to stop leading like a mega phone in isolation shouting where you are going. Link arms with other people on your team and empower them to be what God called them to be.

Equipping the saints means actually letting them lead and giving away leadership

“Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12 NLT

Your ministry will grow to the level of your leadership ability. Yo have to figure out what your leadership level is and continue to develop yourself as a leader. You aren’t done. You haven’t arrived.

Stop Leading Alone! You Need A Team!

One of the ways you can be abetter leader is to stop leading alone. You need a team. The easiest way to improve your leadership ability is to gather people around you who can fill your leadership gaps.

“Your ministry will grow to the level of your leadership ability. It will center on your strengths and will buckle under your weaknesses.”

Why do I need a leadership team?
Because I will hold back the ministry I am called to lead)

If I’m going to be a part of your thing, then I want to do something. I want to be challenged.

If you only attract loyal followers they will let you run yourself off a cliff. Leaders will see things that need to be changed. They will loyally run the ministry into the ground. The group leader might not be the best communicator but on the long run they’ll catch up.

What does a leadership team look like?

“A leadership team is a small group of people who are collectively responsible for achieving a common objective for their organization.” – Patrick Lencioni

Not everyone can be on your leadership team. A team can be too big. When the team grows beyond 6 it gets difficult. Every team has a head coach. A team without a leader is not a team.

Jesus built a team and empowered the team.

“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.” Mark 1:16-20 (ESV)

Jesus get’s two people who are out doing the work and calls them to follow Him. He then goes to those who are fixing the nets and not out doing the work to follow Him. He calls people from different perspectives to join His team.

Jesus was immediately thinking beyond himself when he launched his ministry. You need to think about who will carry on when you are done leading in your current role. Lead for the future through a team!

When you build a team you can stay healthy and your ministry can get healthy.

If you want to grow bigger, you need to structure bigger. – Carey Nieuwhof

If you want to get healthy, you need a healthy structure – Michael Bayne

Chasing big leads you to think short term. Chasing healthy leads to processing growth and long term sustainability. You also need a team that will come along side you and remind you that you aren’t as big as you think you are. You need people that come beside you and let you know they have your back.

When you build a team you add influence, gifting, and encouragement to your ministry.

Not finance. Not Strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both became it is so powerful and so rare. Patrick Lencioni.

Look for people outside your current volunteers that are good at what they do outside the church and invite them to leverage their ability in the church. Look for people who you are afraid to ask and go for it. Look for people who have strengths you don’t have. Look for people who you enjoy being with. Look for people with servant hearts. When you build a team invest in them first so they can invest in others.

“The key lesson: humanity and connection are trumping the desire for corporate scale.” – Seth Godin, We Are All Weird

People need to know they are not being used. Burnout and disillusionment follow manipulation.

Your team gets your first thank you. Your team gets all the credit.

Your team gets to celebrate first. Your team gets to have access. When you have big news, always make sure your team knows this first. Let them come into the next meeting celebrating. You can’t give everyone complete access but you must give a few people complete access.

When you build a team you give away real authority and influence. Don’t ask people to come and be a part of things if you aren’t going to allow them do do something. Let them make decisions for you. If they decide to use blue cups instead of red, who cares. Let them lead. Say things like, “ don’t know if that’s going to work but let’s try.”

“Responsibility without authority only brings frustration and never leaves fruit that remains. You must dare to trust people to represent you well.” – Jim Wideman

You must allow your leaders to make mistakes.
You must allow your leaders to care for and lead people.
You must allow your team to have real input into ministry direction.
You must invite your team into regular evaluation.
Leading the team to win.

Winning teams are characterized by…
Progress
Communication
Trust
Evaluation
Celebration

“Great teams make clear and timely decisions and move forward with complete buy-in from every member of the team, even those who voted against the decision. Patrick Lencioni

Do you have people fighting agains the winning team characterizations above? When these things are not happening you may have the wrong team or inherited the wrong team. Time does not heal disfunction. Have the hard conversation. Have the courage to empower the right people with authority and move people pulling against you into roles with less influence or onto another team. Get the right people in the right seats on the bus.

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How To Align Church and Home For Effective Generational Discipleship –  Brian Haynes – @brian_haynes

Simplicity matters. The guy working and living a busy life needs to know just a couple of things. Where to go. What to say when there. And resourced to make it happen. Behind the scenes it can be complex with systems running but in the front it needs to be clean and clear.

Total alignment requires clarity.

Doctrinal Clarity – there is a thread from the beginning to the end that aligns the home and faith community.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7
Proverbs 22:6
Matthew 28:19-20
Ephesians 6:4

Discipleship is a two-sided coin: Church and the Family. If the church and family are to work together to equip the generations, we must have a common path on which to walk. We call this the path of Legacy Milestones and it is our desire to focus everything that we do to help people mature along this path.

Philosophical Clarity – Without clarity you pull in opposing directions. How you do things is forged in doctrine. The church comes alongside the family.

Missional Clarity – What are we doing? Our mission is making disciples who make disciples.

Values Clarity – Who are we? Share values cause us to move in the same direction. Christ in me. We are family. Love does.

Vision Clarity – What direction are we going? How are we going to do that at the end of the day?  City Station

How do we do it as a staff?

Shared Strategy: http://legacymilestones.com

Milestone 1: Parent/Child Dedication.
Milestone 2: Salvation & Baptism
Milestone 3: Preparing for Adolescence
Milestone 4: Purity for Life
Milestone 5: Rite of Passage
Milestone 6: High School Graduation
Milestone 7: Life in Christ

Celebrate Milestone: Milestones can best be described as “an event, preceded by a period of instruction from parents, which celebrates a spiritual development point in a child’s life.” We believe that these Milestones are critical markers in the life of every individual and these Milestones help to provide a clear path for Spiritual development throughout all of our ministries.

Faith talk: At least one time a week. Faith Talks are intentional times set aside at least once each week for conversation around the Scripture with your family. We see this as a priority because we are convinced that spiritual training takes place one step at a time in the context of everyday life. While leading Faith Talks, relationship is your priority, the Bible is your handbook, and life is your classroom. For parents with young children, Faith Talks are the primary vehicle for leading your children along the path between each milestone.

God Moments/Stories: God moments are opportunities to teach our children spiritual truths informally as God moves in their lives.  These moments can appear at any time, such as a good question from an inquisitive child or an unexpected blessing of family provision.  We must be careful to capture these God Moments for the sake of discipleship.  Our families need to see that God is working in the world and by capturing these moments we provide clear evidence of this reality.

How do parents self disciple?
How to have faith talks?
How to have God Moments?

The secret to Milestones is #7. Real life begins and grows in relationship with Jesus Christ.  From that relationship, a Christ-follower grows in each Core Competency throughout the journey.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

How do we build bridges to the home?

Equipping – An annual event called parent summit. One Saturday, 9-3pm, Speakers and then seminars on each milestone.

Resources – It doesn’t have to be a huge book store. You need to be pointing parents in the right direction to self disciple.

Easy Wins – If you’ve never had a faith talk with your kid and all of a sudden feel like you need to be leading, the first ones are so hard. Give them easy on ramps that are mostly successful.

Technology – Apps, Social Media, etc.

Secret Sauce of Effectiveness

Lead Pastor has vision for generational discipleship.
The conversation is alive in every small group. How celebrated a milestone this week? Who had the best or worst faith talk this week? Any God moments you’d like to share?
The conversation flows out of worship services.
Every group leader carries the DNA of generational discipleship.
Modeled by ministry leaders at home.

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Leadership as Discipleship – #D62017 Breakout Notes

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How many of your churches have a discipleship plan?

How many of your churches have an intentional leadership development plan?

If we are to “go and make disciples” then our ministry will only go to the depth of our discipleship so increasing discipleship focus ought to be one of our highest priories. If everything rises and falls on leadership then our ministry will only rise to the level of our leadership so increasing leadership focus ought to be one of our highest priorities. Both of these are important, we need leaders in our churches. But have we focused on developing leaders at the expense of discipleship?

The Church is divinely designed to develop leaders through the discipleship process. Leaders ought to be developed through our discipleship process. What if leadership development took place within the context of our discipleship process?

Possible differences between Leadership development vs. discipleship.
Discipleship: I learn to live like Jesus
Leadership: I learn to lead like Jesus
Discipleship: Primarily about character
Leadership: Primarily about competencies
Discipleship: Leading self
Leadership: Leading others
Discipleship: Cultivating intimacy with God
Leadership: Cultivating influence with people.

Ephesians 4:12 “…to equip the saints for the work of ministry…”

What does an equipped saint look like?
Loves God/loves others
Exhibit Godly character
Doctrinally sound
Kingdom builder
= Influencer 

An equipped saint becomes an influencer. Leadership is influence.
We are developing others to become influencers.

Cultivating a Leadership as Discipleship Ministry:
1.  Model true discipleship.
2. Commit to leading a disciple making ministry.
3. Create a discipleship pathway.
4. Equip the Saints for ministry.
5. Cultivate leaders being discipled.

Seven questions to determine if you have a disciplemaking culture:

1. Are the few doing the ministry for the many? Or are the few equipping the many for the ministry?
2. Do we spend the majority of our time equipping, training and developing leaders?
3. Is it apparent that every member is to be a full-time minister in your church?
4. Do new believers get called and sent into the mission upon conversion?
5. Do you celebrate those who leave to start new works?
6. Is there shared leadership within the local body?
7. Do you intentionally create vacuums for other leaders to fill?

The Disciple Making Pathway
Needs to be simple.
Needs to be systematic
Needs to be sustainable

Congregation (Worship Gathering) – A disciple should gather together with the corporate church body for weekly worship. During this time, believers are equipped and edified for the work of the ministry through expository preaching of the Word.

Community (Life Groups/Small Groups) – This mixed-gender group of 10-20 people is the starting point for relationships, spiritual growth, and service both inside and outside the church. Friendships are formed in this context for future D-Groups (Discipleship Groups).

Core (D-Groups) – These are gender-exclusive groups of 3-5 people who meet for 12-18 months. The maturity of these groups is measured by the M.A.R.C.S. of a healthy D-Group.

Crowd (Engage the World) – Through divine appointments and relational evangelism, a disciple engages non-believers with the Gospel by forming intentional relationships in their workplace, neighborhood, and community.

Resource- Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development by Eric Geiger

@GregJBaird #D62017

How to Recruit Lifetime Small Group Leaders

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Volunteer recruitment is most likely one of the hardest and most time-consuming aspects of your job. You never have enough helpers to get it all done, and when you are finally getting to that place of calm, someone asks if you have time to talk. What if you could walk over to the wide open back door and leave it only partially cracked? Imagine what it would be like to have a team of committed small group leaders instead of a mismatched group of babysitters. Sounds great, doesn’t it? What if most of your small group leaders actually served for years and years? What if they even considered themselves as lifetime volunteers? Let’s talk about how to recruit those kinds of volunteers. Here are a few basic principles to follow:

ENLIST TO A CALLING

Your job description can be found in Ephesians 4:12, “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Your goal is to prepare your small group leaders to minister to the kids and their parents so the church will grow in wisdom and holiness. As you are building your teams, your goal is to intentionally join them together, so that they resemble the body of Christ, not Mr. Potato Head. When someone is willing to serve wherever needed and they are a gifted teacher, avoid the temptation of filling your worship leader vacant spot, and actually place them in a teaching role. Find their best fit. Get to know your team through a strong on-boarding process and solicit feedback during placement to verify they can see themselves serving in this capacity long term.

EXPLAIN WHY THEIR ROLE MATTERS

When you pressure small group leaders to serve out of guilt, your temporary motivation will only take them so far. Show them how the role of a small group leader is carrying out the great commission found in Mathew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Point to specific examples and show small group leaders how they are building the church and expanding the kingdom each and every week. Most people serving in the church can point back to a leader who showed up and influenced their spiritual journey. You have a group of influencers who are making a difference in the next generation, so take the time to remind them of this impact.

FOSTER A FAMILY CULTURE

Sundays can be challenging. It comes with the territory. After a long and difficult morning at church, it might be tempting for a volunteer to quit (who hasn’t been tempted to quit?). It’s easy to quit a position but it’s hard to leave a family. When you work to connect your team, the members of the team begin to work together and belong to one another. Romans 12:4-5 explains it like this, “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” Placing the right people in the right positions in an organization built around groups can help nourish this family culture.

MAKE FREQUENT AND INTENTIONAL INVESTMENTS

The secret recipe for keeping your long time volunteers around is to continue to show love to them by making deposits into their lives. Hebrews 10:25 challenges us saying, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Investment is not about giving your small group leader a five dollar coffee gift card, but sitting down with them around the coffee table. No longer is it about the small group leader simply showing up and doing okay but it’s increasing their abilities and equipping them to become engaging disciple makers. When you see small group leaders have a gifting beyond their current position, show them future next steps. And whenever you see a small group leader who needs a break, give them time off with an intentional plan to bring them back on the team.

In the last paragraph, of the last page of Jim Wideman’s book, Tweetable Leadership, he says, “Be a lover of God’s people. The ministry is all about relationships. People matter! I believe the time we spend empowering and encouraging people is never wasted.” For you to recruit lifetime small group leaders, you must enlist them to a calling that fits their gifting, connect them with one another, and continue to love them through intentional deposits in their lives.

(Originally posted to Children’s Ministry Online at http://childrensministryonline.com/how-to-recruit-lifetime-small-group-leaders/)

17 Leadership Lessons and Questions From TSF

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The Solomon Foundation was created with you in mind—whether you are an investor looking for a fixed rate investment opportunity, or you are just starting to save money with our low-minimum investment. Perhaps you are the pastor looking for a partner in ministry, or the church planter needing funding for a facility where your ministry can grow. The Solomon Foundation serves churches through many facets and recently I had the opportunity to attend their executive pastor and financial manager conference called “What’s Next.” After spending two days in beautiful Colorado, here are 15 leadership lesson and questions that I am pondering on my flight home.

1. “Jesus is always better.”

2. Do you currently belong to something meaningful in God’s kingdom? I want to always be a part of His work. This must become my prayer.

3. I need to be praying for Spirit movement and for God to draw people into His church.

4. Does your staff understand the role of the different teams? Do your teams stay within their team roles? Do your team members respect each other’s roles? “You can have a good strategy in place, but if you don’t have the culture and the enabling systems that allow you to successfully implement that strategy, the culture of the organization will defeat the strategy.” Richard Clark.

5. What is your church’s culture? Does the culture of the church match the culture you speak about? Who gets to set the culture? Who is the consumer of your culture? Do you know if your culture is successfully leaking into your community?

6. Is your worship attendance declining? How does this month’s average worship attendance compare to the same month of the last few years?

7. Does your church produce evangelistic fruit? As a general rule, a healthy church will reach at least one non-Christian for every 20 in worship attendance.

8. Are unrealistic expectations of pastoral care a growth barrier to your church? Healthy churches view pastors as equippers for the members to do the ministry. Who gets called for a hospital visit?

9. Is your church fun? Jesus made it possible for us to radically enjoy a relationship with Him and to enjoy His creation. Do you like going to your church? Do you staff members like worshipping there?

10. Is your church reproducing leaders at every level? Do your staff members have a growing apprentice? Can your staff and your key leaders write down the mission, vision, and share next steps on a napkin?

11. What is your average attendance to staff ratio? Tony Morgan from the unstuck group recommends an 86:1 FTE ratio and most others say somewhere between 75:1 to 90:1 depending on your church.

12. What is your average staffing costs as a percentage of the total budget? On average churches fall between 45%-50% of the budget and benefits comprise of 8-10% of the total.

13. Do you have an established hiring process? How are you making sure your candidate has the ideal character, competence, chemistry, and calling for your church? Does your candidate pass the lunch test? Have you checked the references they didn’t list? Is there a group in this decision making process?

14. We are living in a time of five living generations and we are starting to see the 4th generation taking on the leadership of the church. Millennial worship is a very different expression than generation X. How do we get there? What steps do you need to take to become more relevant to the generation you are trying to lead.

15. The Dot: The age group of people that your church is most effective with.

The Sweet Spot: The five-year gap on either side of your Dot that is the sweet spot that connects with your audience. Every church is on a continuum and we need to apply pressure to the left side of the dot to stay relevant. How are you pushing young people to the front of the line and how are older people raising up the younger leaders? Be smart on how much pressure you apply. Know how much you can lead the group and bend them without breaking them. Can you expand the Sweet Spot to maybe 7 years on either side? “Leadership is making people uncomfortable at a rate they can tolerate.”

16. Secondary adulthood is where they retire at 65 but live so much longer. How is the church using the treasure trove of people who don’t need your money but still want a job? Those in second adulthood are self-starters, dreamers, and get things done.

17. Maybe prayer isn’t what we think? Could it be that prayer is just being with God? Could it be that prayer is trust in God?

Hopefully, these lessons and questions get you thinking about the church you are either leading or a part of. Which of these questions stirred something inside you?

Orange Tour Session Notes with Latasha Morrison and Reggie Joiner

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Tasha Morrison – We Build a Bridge

@LatashaMorrison

Most of our society and churches are racially segregated. If the church won’t be the answer, who will be the answer? If we don’t address it, who will? We say that Jesus is the answer. Kids need discipleship and part of that discipleship is racial reconciliation.

“My journey took me to a Garth Brooks concert. I never want to do that again.”

When you step out of your comfort zone it’s a little awkward and messy.

80% of what kids learn is from their parents. 20% is from outside sources such as your church leaders. Where our friendships begin, and when we have proximity in relationships, that’s where assumptions and stereotypes die. Maybe as a youth leader, you can address what the pastor might not be able to address.

Look at your social media. How can I be better? How am I learning from people who are different than me? How can I begin to live outside of my racially segregated box?

The way you start, what to think about, is beginning with the first step. Invite someone new to the table. Find someone culturally different than you. Do something you have never done before. When you come to the table together you can learn about my story, perspective, and experiences. God created us differently. This is about unity and oneness, not sameness.

Diversity makes us richly blessed.

BeABridgeBuilder.com

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Reggie Joiner – We Do Something We Don’t Have To Do

Party- Any effort to CELEBRATE, SERVE, or ENJOY each other in ways that adds value to life.

If starting over with a group of 9th graders the first thing Reggie would do would be to start enlisting kids to do something and to serve. Collecting the names of 9th and 10th graders who are leading. Invite them to a big party. I want to invite you to be the student leadership team in this town. You represent 20 different churches in different schools. I believe if this town is going to change it will begin with you. The day before mother’s day. Gave buckets of roses. Sending them out to make a difference. Serving changes the way that someone else sees you. When you do something you don’t have to do, it takes your faith to another place. The dilemma, student leadership team meeting 4th Sunday of every month but what am I going to tell them?

Here are the 7 things I want you to have and start with.

Do something you don’t have to do. Attached to something you see at a party. Food

Invite someone new to the table. Chair. New, not someone you don’t know but someone who is not like you. We Dine Together. Invited to the same table, and transformed the school by spending time with people who are new. We are called to be in the world but not of the world but many of us forget that first part. Learn the difference between racial prejudice vs. racism. “We know you aren’t a racist, we just want to know if you are anti-racist.” Racism is not your fault but it’s your problem; it’s our problem. We have to join side by side and declare war against anything that goes against what Jesus taught us. In the story of the good Samaritan it wasn’t hate that was the bad example, it was indifference.

Fast Forward someone else’s dream. Gift. Give the gift of generosity. We are created in the image of a generous God. Don’t look out for your own interests. When you invest your treasure your heart follows.

Inspire every kid you meet. Balloon. Stop and pause to look into the eyes of a child. Jesus said to His disciples to allow the children to come to Him. “When you welcome one of these children, you welcome Me.” -Jesus. Something happens to a culture and community when children matter. Teach them to serve children. The church would collapse without them. Changing the teenager more than the kid when you invite them to serve.

Create beautiful spaces. Flower. What we do when we care about the spaces around us is almost a way for us to say to the people around us that there is hope. God is the God of restoration. When you put makeup on, cut the grass, restore spaces, you are doing the work of a heavenly Father who created a beautiful world. Can we say we care about people when we don’t care about the places they live in? Help the next generation restore something that is broken.

Speak up for someone else. Flag Banner. We raise the flag when we use our voice. If you have a voice you have influence. If you have influenced you have a responsibility. Raise your voice to be passionate about what Jesus was passionate about. The marginalized and poor. When someone was being abused. When power was being abused. We should be bothered because we represent a God who said to love our neighbors.

Discover life together. Coffee Cup. Sharing a drink of coffee. When we are in a community together, transformation happens. Every kid needs a consistent leader in their life. Their chance of a mobilized faith is a consistent leader who points them to Jesus. Here’s how I want the church to win. Put a consistent leader in the life of every kid. When you do this the town wins. Community does something that therapy, presentations, and a sermon can never do. Community get’s to the core of who we are and what we do. Think about the preventive work that you are doing because you are putting kids and teenagers into a relational community. When they hit a wall, they have someone to run to. The role of the church is to give kids safe places, to give resources so that leaders can be better in creating a community for kids. You can never do faith alone and win.

When I do these 7 things, God becomes alive to me. Instead of just coming together and learning, this sets them up for experiencing authentic faith.

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Dan Scott: Make the Tween Years a Bigger Deal

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Dan Scott: Make the Tween Years a Bigger Deal.
@danscott77

The role of music in Dan’s life and how he got there.

We get to work with kids and this will change the directory of their lives.

Something will happen during these years that will set them on a course.

What are we doing to make the moments huge to assist in the transition?

There is something happening in the life of a fifth grader that makes them think they are might be done with church.

What is a preteen?

No one agrees on this definition? Early onset of puberty. Not just physical but mental changes.

Today we are looking at the 10-12 years old. Just a Phase. A phase is a timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence a kid’s future.

In-between Phase – Physical changes – Growth spurts, puberty.

Mental changes:

Elementary kids think like a scientist. What if questions.

Concrete and literal thinkers.

“There is an Icecream store around the corner.” Thinking literal corner.

“Inviting Jesus into your heart.” Thinking, Ewwww.

Middle Schoolers think like engineers.

More abstract.

Paul saying always be joyful. Think about Paul being in prison. Think about the state of mind. Connecting ideas and concepts.

Magic age is 11. 5th grade spring semester. Don’t talk to them like kids. They are perceiving it like we talk down to them. Preteens think like scientists and engineers at the same time.

Changing Emotionally and Spiritually

Not always linear and sometimes the steps forward and one step back.

Elementary Students Provoke discovery: So they will…trust God’s character and experience God’s family. Like the proverbs. It doesn’t always work out like we thought. Principle vs dynamic truth.

Middle Schoolers: Provoke discovery. So they will…own their own faith and value a faith community.

Changing Culturally and Relationally:

Crisis in this 4-5 grade phase: Friendship- Do I have friends? Help them learn how to develop friendships. Emotionally hurt and made a concrete evaluation of that hurt. Because we are not getting along anymore we are not friends anymore. When parents argue, they are getting a divorce. When they miss a field goal they don’t think they can play anymore. They go to the concrete. Starting to realize they don’t like everyone and are not liked by everyone. Teach them how to be friendly even when they are not friends.

Crisis in 6th-grade phase: Puberty. Girls average age 10 and 11.5 boys. Who do I like? Who likes me? Gain stability. Hormones and emotions. Wrapped into their identity. The church should be a place where no matter what a child or middle schooler walks in and knows that someone likes them.

What should we do:

Engage: Their Interests

Affirm: Their Personal Journey

Engage the 4th/5th grades to let them know that what they like is cool. Not a time to be pessimistic. Engage them on their level.

Affirm the 6th grader in their personal journey. Let them know that we are in this together.

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The Preteen World
Pop Culture – They are now their own taste makers. I’m going to listen to my own music because I’m done with adult contemporary. They are getting into popular culture and popular culture is getting into them. They know more youtube stars than they know movie stars. Youtube, Spotify. We have to be careful about what they are being exposed to. Be careful and open. Just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Start with Rhett and Link and follow the rabbit trail to dude perfect. What social media are they looking into? Digital Natives growing up in a smart world. Speak to Siri and Alexa to find out anything they want to find out. They might not ask a parent about sex but they might ask Alexa.

Education –

Group projects. What people bring to the table can be frustrating. They are doing way higher level thinking than we were doing as kids.

Evaluation
Synthesis
Analysis
Application
Comprehension
Knowledge

From bottom to the top of the spectrum.

From what and when, to how, and then to why.

Help students wrestle with the content we are teaching them.

Evaluation: Take one thing and put it into the context of another. Move from Sunday to Monday.

Motivation and Currency

Fun Matters. They want to laugh and enjoy themselves.

Autonomy: Not absolute freedom but giving them three good choices and allow them to pick. They will own the learning process and it becomes their learning.

Friendship: Relationships are important. Consistent small groups matter. Programming will fade. They return week after week because of the friendship that the small groups cultivated in their circle. Relationships over time matters.

A Preteen Strategy
#1 Environments: When a child walks into this space for the first time their brain lights up. Week two they think it’s cool, week three they don’t notice. Nothing has changed but the brain recognizes it and they think they will hear and learn the same thing so they turn it off. Sometimes when kids don’t pay attention it’s their fault other times it’s our fault. Cue the brain that something is new so that it cues the brain. Help them personalize the space. Chalk wall. Plywood tables with markers. Help them create the environment. Continually changing the environment and they create it. Soft lighting, stage lighting. Focused attention on a certain spot. Get them by themselves as soon as possible. Ikea furniture, Ikea lamps, Xbox in the hallway. It doesn’t matter because it’s their space.

#2 Content: “I want them to go deep.” The definition isn’t more information but putting that information into a different context. Allow kids to wrestle. Ask the question. Let them wrestle with the answers to help them figure out what they need to do to make this week better and to make their faith grow. Wrestle, personalize, and do it in order to learn it.

#3 Large Group: Host and Storyteller. Entertainment and sermon. With preteen, there is a communicator. They look at the content through the lens of himself and it becomes a more personal and authentic talk. Storyteller is more like an actor where a Communicator is more of the pastor.
#4 Small Group: Attacking the question heads on. There are activities because discussion does not work for every preteen. Many preteens are not full abstract thinkers so they must start concrete before abstract. A hook the abstract thought.

#5 Home: Life with a preteen can be exhausting. Don’t want to talk on the drive in the car. Mom and dad need help because no one is prepared. We gloss over all the awkward in our own minds. Specific devotionals that they can do throughout the week. Take Sunday to a new place. Wrestle with faith skills. Prayer activity. Faith Talk. Bible Navigation. Worship with your life.

Transitions Matter!

Help parents with the transitions from elementary to adolescence.

Transition activities. Wanted in the next instead of kicked out of the current.

Students are literally stolen. Here’s a t-shirt, we are going to middle school.

We want those kids to feel wanted. Building anticipation is okay. Letting kids wait is okay. Don’t rush them to the next phase. 5th graders should not be with 8th graders, they are completely different beings. It’s dangerous and they can’t handle it. They will do anything to fit in.

SmarterKinderLouder.com/252Preteen

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Using Slack With Your Team Is Simple and More Productive

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Have you ever struggled to find the message your coworker sent you? Was it text? Email? Your other email address? Maybe it was sent on social media? We have all been there and found ourselves frustrated in the communication hiccup. Or do you have a hard time pulling away from work after hours and wish you could push do not disturb on just work messages? Or maybe you find yourself on a big team with multiple communications and you wish you could simply mute one of the text conversations that no longer applies to you. A simple communication tool to solve many of your workplace issues could be SLACK. Slack is a cloud-based communication tool designed to make your life easier.

HOW DOES SLACK WORK?

When you create a new Slack team, you are on your way to bringing your communication to a centralized location. You can create specific channels for specific topics such as “Fall Kickoff,” “Family Ministry Team,” “Staff” or even a channel to schedule lunches. Then within each of these channels, you can customize your notifications. Maybe you want the “Staff” channel to send you all notifications but only get “Family Ministry Team” notifications when your name is mentioned. And maybe you want to get slack messages only until 5:00 pm but you are a morning person who would love to see what’s going on as early as 6:00 am. All communications within Slack are customizable for your preferences. Another amazing feature of Slack is the ability to search the entire archive for messages, files or works within an attached PDF. With Slack, all communications are in one place and simple to search!

HOW DO YOU TRANSITION TO SLACK? 

If you find that Slack will work well with your team then the next step will be to create an implementation strategy. If only part of your team begins using Slack then this can further muddy up communication. First, take the time to learn how Slack works. Learn the features, understand how to navigate the app, and brainstorm on how you will use it within your context. Next, if you are not the decision maker or have the authority to make it happen then introduce the communication tool to your leaders and gain their support. Next, decide on your communication policy and how you will help transition everyone to begin using this tool. And finally, determine the best way to introduce and train your team on why and how it works.

HOW DO YOU ENSURE SLACK WORKS LONG TERM? 

Consistency is key in making sure this product makes you more productive in the workplace. You may need to schedule a few additional training sessions to help the late adopters come on board. You may also need to continually point to the features and explain why this helps everyone stay on the same page. Remind your team of the notification preferences and how they can personalize their own communication to fit their schedule. For Slack to work long-term, you will need to help everyone understand how it works for them.

Of course, this is a tool that only goes so far, but I believe Slack can solve a lot of the headaches you are currently facing. Take some time today to learn about the additional integrations that can be added to your channels, discover the side benefits of being able to edit sent messages, and find more ways that this free app can help your team get more done with less stress.

Learn more at HTTPS://SLACK.COM/ or learn how to communicate without chaos with this video:

(Originally posted the Youth Specialties blog at: https://youthspecialties.com/blog/using-slack-team-simple-productive/)

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