Imagine if you had unlimited money and resources to spend on your youth ministry…No, remove that thought. I imagine in the end it wouldn’t be good for you and your students to try and do ministry and steward such a gift. But if you’re reading this post, then you most likely have some money for your youth ministry and we want you to steward it well. Here are five line items you might not be thinking about, but you need for your next budget.
If your goal in student ministry is to mobilize students to pursue authentic faith and discover a personal mission, then does your budget reflect this goal? Yes, you probably have a budget set aside for curriculum and events, but if a student came to you with a God-given gift, do you have anything set aside specifically to mobilize that student? Maybe this year you add a budget line item specifically designated for developing your student leaders.
For years, we have had a volunteer appreciation line item in our budget. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any ministry and we need to make them feel appreciated for their time and efforts. While volunteer appreciation is valuable, what if we set aside some of the appreciation money to equip the leaders to do ministry? What if, instead of giving them a trinket to show our appreciation, we gave them some gift cards to take students to grab coffee? What if it didn’t cost them anything to attend school events or we covered the cost of snacks when that teenager raids their cabinets? I know my leaders would feel appreciated and equipped if I just made and communicated this minor change.
Churches don’t always have the best of reputations. Jeff Henderson at Gwinnett Church says that the church is often known for what it is against rather than what it supports. Imagine if everyone in your local elementary school knew that your youth ministry was for them? Yes, this would take some time and strategy, and my guess, a couple of dollars to pull it off, but maybe today you could start by simply buying some donuts for the FCA group. Or maybe, when the teachers are stress out about testing, you cater a meal. Whether or not the students are stepping foot into your youth ministry, show them the love of Christ and open the door for them to see there is a loving place that is for them.
RETREAT / SEMINAR / CONFERENCE
I’m sure you’ve noticed how the days just keep on coming. The moment you finish one program or event, the next one’s just around the corner. It’s no wonder many youth pastors burn out. Ministry is hard and often youth leaders are lonely. Something your soul needs is time away and time with other people that get it. It’s a big investment for a church to make in sending their youth pastor to a conference, but the cost of hiring a replacement is so much higher. You might not be able to convince your board to make this happen overnight but maybe you can make a plan to get yourself to a conference within the next year or two.
RESOURCES AND BOOKS
In many careers continuing education is required to maintain good standing in the workplace but for some reason, many youth pastors can’t even buy a book to educate themselves. This year, how about asking if you could set aside money to buy a book every month. If this get’s turned down, maybe you could ask to be reimbursed for any ministry book you actually finish reading. You need to sharpen your ax, especially when it comes to leading this next generation. Ask for it, but for real, if it doesn’t get approved, skip a coffee or two and make it happen yourself. You need this.
We are grateful for resurrection Jesus but the Jesus that perplexes me the most is wearing Jesus.
John 11:33-35 ESV
Jesus, the man with all the power and all the answers, felt their pain before he tried to heal their pain. He didn’t let knowing how the story would end to change making it personal.
Sympathy: Seeing someone else’s pain. I feel bad for you.
Empathy: Feeling someone else’s pain. I feel bad with you.
What used to be an honor to help someone, the longer you help people, it moves from an honor to annoying. It starts to feel like an inconvenience.We get there by losing our compassion. Here’s 3 ways how to get it back.
1. Prioritize. People over plans.
People remember what we show up for than what we plan. Be more of a minister than an event planner.
Inc Magazine asked top executives if they could name their priorities. 2% could.
We have to beware of spending the majority of our time on things only the minority will even remember.
There should be somebody that it’s personal. I can’t do it for everybody but I can do it for Fred. I can’t spend 15k on breakfast for everyone but I can for Fred.
2. Stay in close proximity to people in pain.
You can tell when a communicator is talking about people from a distance. A distance in time or proximity.
Whenever it becomes personal, issues get humanized and we give way more grace to other than we would have if we had been distant. It’s easy to take shots at people from a distance. Be slow to take a stand against people we’ve never sat with.
“When I see pictures of tragedy, don’t let it get old to me.” – Kristi Northup, Christian Artist
3. Have patience with ask holes.
Ask Hole: “A person who repeatedly asks you for advice and continues to do the exact opposite of what you told them to do.”
At one point we were giving people amazing grace and now we say, “You should know better.” Extend the same grace you gave the first day you met them. God extends this amazing grace to us time and time again.
Where would we all be if the people along our journey gave up on us when they should have?
Make up your mind now to not give up on them.
Ryan stepped down from the executive position because he felt like an in house lawyer who does event planning.
Remember why you do what you do and ask God to show you if you need to make an adjustment.
Reggie Joiner – @reggiejoiner
What if we just decided that everybody needs somebody who sees them how Jesus sees them?
The way you see somebody changes more than you could ever imagine it would change.
It changed the way Zacchaeus saw Zacchaeus. The way you see a kid can change the way he sees himself forever.
It changed the way the town saw Zacchaeus. You can change the way the church sees kids.
It changes what we do for them. When we see them the way Jesus sees them it will change how we treat them.
Everybody needs somebody who knows them personally. Show up on the front lines and get to know them personally. What Jesus did that day was He pulled Zacchaeus out of the crowd. There are things you can’t do in the crowd of your ministry. You need to pull them out of the crowd and meet them personally. Jesus had a plan and strategy and was on His way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover to eventually save the world but He stoped to make it personal.Don’t get so busy in ministry that you forget to stop and help the person right in front of us. Stop and see if there is a kid in the tree in need of your attention.
You can’t really be personal with a crowd. You can only be personal with a person. What does it look like to stop?
How personal are you willing to be with people? How much are you willing to challenge the crowd of your church to make it personal? Getting personal is harder.
The crisis of faith of young people walking away from the faith will not be resolved in a crowd or by a presentation. It will only be resolved when we show up on a personal level. This generation feels ignored and we need to pull them out of the crowd and make it personal.
Give every kid someone who will know them personally.
Discipleship requires a consistent experience with a caring leader.
Zacchaeus climbed the tree not only because he needed someone to believe in but also someone to believe in him.
Everyone needs somebody to believe they can change.
“Today, salvation has come to your house.”
Identity Belonging Purpose
Do you know my name?
The gospel gives us the hope of transformation.
People get up in the morning with the attitude of nobody can really change or anybody can radically change. You pick every day.
If there is ever a voice in your head that says you are wasting your time with a kid or teenager remember the story of Zacchaeus.
Start living the kind of life that will give people hope. Dare people to imagine a different version of themselves. It can actually happen because of the transformation power of Jesus. Give hope to a generation that is discouraged.
One of the most powerful things you can hand to a generation is the idea of hope.
Build a social media strategy that’s personal – Dave Adamson @aussiedave
Social media is the most effective and efficient way to make connections inside and outside the walls of our church.
Online environments are where students are learning about society, sexuality, and spirituality.
Use social media to enhance relationships.
Social Media Stats 2019
More than 97% of U.S. teenagers use some form of social media daily.
85% of students use YouTube every day
67% of teens believe they can learn anything they need to know about life from YouTube.
Over 3M videos are viewed on YouTube every minute
More than 4 billion photos are liked on Instagram ever day.
From fixing their car to fixing their marriage. This generation goes to YouTube for the answers to life’s questions.
Paul used the technology of his day to connect people to God and to each other. Letter writing.
We need to use social media to connect people with each other, and with God.
In our connected world, being personal is different.
Connect for the other 167 hours.
Tip 1: Know People’s Names
We track reach, names, and flowers but not how many people we are following.
Greet people by name and follow them back and welcome them by name.
Numbers matter because people count.
Telephone vs megaphone.
Start talking with your followers. Let them know we see them. Respond by name.
“We see you”
What if you responded more than you posted?
Put people ahead of posts.
Tip 2: Know what matters to the people in your church.
People use social media to post about what matters to them.
Re-post and celebrate with people.
Comment that we hope you have a fantastic time. Stop just talking about yourself.
One benefit is the reward of the algorithm. When you post and comment on other people the algorithm rewards you.
When people feel like they are connect to you online they feel like they belong offline.
Building community is greater than broadcast content.
Tip 3: Know where the students and adults in community live online.
If you want to connect with parents use Facebook. If you want to connect with kids use YouTube and TikTok.
Follow your students and comment on their posts, this is like you visiting their house.
Have boundaries in place. Have multiple people who can comment on posts. Consider initials of who response.
Tip 4: Know what they have done.
What are they facing? What are they going through?
People are more connected than ever before yet experiencing more disconnection than ever before. 46% of people in the U.S. feel alone. Those who feel most alone are GenZ.
Everyone needs to be known by someone. Listen more than you post.
What would it look like if you responded more than you posted?
Tip 5: Know what they can do.
Self promotion vs what’s important to other people and what they have done.
Church tracking software. What if we leveraged this for a different purpose. Celebrate 50 year wedding anniversary.
What if you called out: Volunteer of the week.
“God promotes the lives of those who promote the lives of others.” Brian Houston. And so does Mark Zuckerberg.
Be high tech and high touch.
Churches using LinkedIn
YouTube and Instagram or YouTube and TikTok.
SproutSocial or Buffer
3 essentials to follow: Need a photo, Don’t use profanity, no pornography.
Crisis Escalation strategy – With the 3 hurts.
TikTok. We might not like what we see there (like a skate park back in the day). Be light in the world.
Leverage social to connect and train leaders.
Instagram account for volunteers. Film helpful things for the Sunday lesson.
Notification for a group. Post on Friday. Repost on Saturday.
End service by saying, “Thank you for being part of our church today. We will see you during the week on social media.”
Sam Collier @samcollier
You can’t talk to old people that way.
Sometimes you just have to get out of the way.
You’re not allowed to teach your wife anything.
How do you treat the people in your inner circle? Your job isn’t to teach, it’s to love. What are your blind spots? Something negative you do that impacts other people or you that you don’t see.
The way you fix your blind spots is to get personal and invite someone in.
Don’t get so focused on your public image that you miss your personal issues.
Do you know what matters to me?
Fun leads to trust and trust leads to depth.
Tell me more…
Don’t dismiss what’s important to the next generation. If it matters to them, it matters.
The relationship changes when you are interested in what they are interested in.
Do you know where I live?
Step into their world.
You can’t show up if you don’t know where they live.
Know their generational, geological, or cultural context.
Walk towards the mess. It might require more than we are willing to give and that’s okay.
“I can’t understand why anyone would…” is a cautionary flag. A confession that you don’t understand another person.
One of the best things we can do to be more culturally aware is to pause long enough to understand how someone else thinks.
It’s much better to offend someone with your presence rather than with your absence. @GeraldFadayomi
You can’t out produce culture but culture can’t put relationship you.
You might not be personal enough…
If your budget more on production than people.
If there is. I plan to follow up with those who are missing.
If parents don’t know what you talked with their kids about this week.
If you don’t know which of your kids parents don’t come to church.
If parents or volunteers don’t know who they should talk to when they have a problem.
If adults are standing in the back watching kids.
If you don’t connect with your volunteers throughout the week.
If you don’t know how your students and kids need you to pray for them.
If there’s not a lot of laughter happening in your environments. (Fun communicates you like them) the joy of the Lord is our strength. How strong is your ministry?
If there’s not an intentional plan to reconnect at every phase.
If your team didn’t talk about how to make it more personal this week.
What if we measured success by how personal the ministry is?
Dan Scott – Design a preteen ministry @danscott77
We were all preteens once. We went through that awkward phase we wish we could forget.
Put yourself in their shoes and navigate the world through their eyes.
Why preteens matter:
We pay attention to the seniors walking away from the church but that decision is made in the preteen years.
There are 23 million preteens in 2020! Navigate a brand new world that is very different than ours.
They are navigating a unique transition. Not a straight line of childhood navigation. Our ministries help them transition into and out of the preteen phase. This is the first one they have an active role in how they transition. They are very aware that life is crazy and we help them navigate it.
Embrace the preschool, engage the elementary, affirm the middle schooler, and mobilize the high schooler. Preteens sometimes are thinking like a scientist and other times are thinking like an engineer. And they have no control over which brain will show up at any given moment.
The magic age of 11.
From the start of their birth to about second grade they are thinking a certain way. Around 8-9 years old everything tapers off. They are old enough to do really cool things but not snarky. Then at age 11, they change. They begin to smell, become rude, and don’t want to do anything. The scan of a 11 year old brain is the same as a 3 year old. Cognitive pruning. The brain getting rid of everything it doesn’t need to make room for what it does need for adulthood. Preteens are literally losing their minds. They have had many moments that need brain power so they lose some areas of memory.
Does your environment communicate that kids know they are liked? Is this a place for me?
Make it unique, a space of their own. If you can’t make a room, maybe create a VIP area for just the 4th and 5th graders. The 3rd graders will build anticipation for what’s next and the preteens will feel like they have a place to belong. Will they be in the same environment for 6 years? If nothing changes in their environment, will they think the church is just for the kindergartner?
Make it Uniques
A space of their own.
An experience of their own.
If you can’t make a space, at least give them an experience of their own. A camp, a service project, something for them to look forward to.
When kids get to ___ grade, they get to ___. Worship track, track without vocals, small band, full band. Where do you need to make a compromised for the sake of the kids journey? Use environments to build anticipation for what’s next.
Get your student pastor to teach in the kids environment to champion what’s coming next.
Make it Relevant
It’s not bells and whistles, it’s connecting it to the matter at hand. God’s word connects to today. They can’t always and consistently make this connection on their own. If it’s 2019 outside of the church walls, it should look like 2019 inside the church walls.
How does your room or stage change?
How does your music and preservice music change?
Do your kids walk into the environment and feel at home?
Make it Safe
Physical safe – exits and entrances, background checks, etc.
Emotionally safe. According to the CDC, the leading cause of death 11-15 is suicide.
We need environments that are relatable and relational. Kids need a safe place to be known and to belong.
Curriculum Strategy – your job is to build relationships and not to spend 90% of your time writing.
What you’re teaching and how your teaching.
Teach preteens in a way that…
-Builds critical thinking skills. The device in their pocket has more information than the library. Help students discern what to click on. 6 million hits where the top 5 pay google to be the top 5.
-Develops EQ and empathy. Help students see the world through another persons point of view. Preteens are moving from concrete to abstract thinking. Know what you are saying when you say, “invite Jesus into your heart.” Consider the Bible story of Noah and then they realize this is the time where millions of people died. No longer a happy story of animals but of the death of almost everything. Hopefully, your church can be the safest place where kids can ask a question about faith. You can ask any question you want here. When they ask a hard question, they are testing to see if they can ask you a harder question.
Format – Average attendance is between 25-40%. If there’s a different person every time they show up with they develop a relationship with someone they trust? We have to be consistent because they are not consistent. Small group and large group are important. Preteens are really bad at discussion questions, sometimes. Help small group leaders to lead with a question that frames what the students are to be thinking about.
Events – Preteens are very capable, don’t treat them like little kids. Elevate what you allow them to do and how they can be the body of Christ.
Roles to fill – first, small group leaders. Large group communicator is the last one to get because small group can not be done by a video.
Recruitment – Don’t just get anybody. It needs to be the right person on the right bus.
Training. Show how kids are learning.
Cast vision of what’s most important. For kids to have a caring adult that points them to their creator. Cast vision for what you want.
Partner with parents in a way that acknowledges their day-to-day world.
The ideal time for your event isn’t 5:00, but 7 or 8:00 and with food. Know what the real world looks like in the lives of your families.
If you don’t continue to make it personal to someone you will lose your compassion and you will burn out. You will forget what you do matters.
What we do is not who we are. Don’t form your identity around sin.
Shame: The intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.
Shame might be the greatest tool the enemy has in his arsenal.
God says you have purpose, shame says you aren’t good enough.
Do you know what I’ve done? Jesus didn’t go to Zacchaeus house and say he was a good guy. Jesus knew what Zacchaeus had done and went to his house anyway. Jesus broke the shame cycle. When kids believe they are unloveable they try to prove it.
Shame is a shallow motivator. Love is a powerful motivator. Love heals us from the inside.
When a kid gets brave enough to share their story, the are rarely sharing the full story but testing the waters.
Are you a safe enough place for a student to open up and share and still feel loved.
Can we replace their shame with hope?
“Love someone in a way that replaces shame with hope.”
Gerald Fadayomi @geraldfadayomi
Do you know what I can do?
You know what a preschooler can do when you leave the room for 30 seconds.
You know what a teenager can do when you leave them alone with their girlfriend.
Jesus knew Peter’s story and his potential.
He knew he would fail but also become a fisher of men. He speaks to Peter’s potential.
Jesus get’s in the boat. Getting in the boat means showing up in their world.
Spending less time trying to get students to show up in our church and more time trying to get volunteers to show up in their world.
Speak to their need. Jesus gave fish. How about we teach their worth doesn’t come from instagram likes. Show them what it means to be a person who lives out integrity. Maybe they need someone to show them their worth.
Call them to more. Not just fisherman but fishers of men. Do this for every student and every child.
Imagine how this would change the world to make it personal? You can’t to this for everyone but you can do this for one.
Pick a person, and make it personal.
Reggie Joiner @reggiejoiner
Everyone falls short of the glory of God. What would it look like if we recognized the potential in every human? What if we cared about the potential of every kid more than Disney?
When you stop for one, it always impacts more than one.
There is a ripple effect. Jesus knew that when He stopped for Zacchaeus it would impact more than one. It would impact Zacchaeus’ family, the people they impact, and the people who are watching those people.
If you want to teach a generation then do for one. Demonstrate real friendship to one. You can’t just teach a generation how to love, you have to show them how to love.
If you never stop at the tree, you’ll never know what the story could have been. You’ll never know the potential.
Your plate is full and you feel busy, but is your plate full of the right things? Are you busy for the sake of being busy, or are you actually carrying out God’s calling for your life? For your sanity, and for the sake of your church’s future, you need the clarity of recalibration in your family ministry.
Fifteen leaders in the family ministry movement came together to write Recalibrate: A New Measure for Family Ministry, and you and your team are going to love each chapter. The book aims to help you adjust and measure for healthy outcomes, to help you identify and correct unhealthy norms, and to honor God in the way you lead the families in your church.
A few of the many topics covered in the book include, “Staff and Volunteer Dynamics” by Brian Haynes, “The Art and Influence of Meaningful Conversations” by Ron Hunter, “Grandparenting the Way It Was Meant to Be” by Jim Wideman, “Youth Ministry in Thirds” by Richard Ross, “The Future Steps of Our Children” by Lydia Randall, and “When Churched Kids Don’t Have Churched Parents” by Timothy Paul Jones.
The first chapter alone is full of great insight that makes it clear right from the start just how helpful of a tool this book will be for any ministry. In this chapter, Philip Nation begins to recalibrate the big picture for family ministry by creating a discipleship culture for the family. Here are my favorite quotes from the chapter to give you a taste of how rich this content is:
“First, you need to tell the truth about the spiritual condition in families today. Second, you need to offer practices that will develop a healthy discipleship culture in the home. Finally, set reasonable measurements to know if families are embracing a discipling culture in the home.”
“Too many families live with unhealthy spiritual patterns. One question you may ask is: Do they even know it?”
“Spiritual Absentia . . . Parents hold their spiritual concern for kids as an almost secretive portion of their lives. Discipleship happens but not by anyone in the family. Instead, parents act as surrogates hoping the leaders of the church will disciple their children.”
“Hobbyism . . . Parents disciple kids to believe that entertainment is the point of life. They create the worst kind of church attender—a consumer of religious goods and services rather than a servant of Christ and His mission.”
“Selective Subject Syndrome . . . The only hope is the weekend but it is consumed with extracurricular activities and the mythical “down time” hoped for by weary parents.”
“Secularization . . . Families also allow worldly wisdom to guide decision making, especially for their youngsters.”
“Romanticism . . . Personal eases becomes the end goal of it all. When the mission of God requires sacrifice and the loss of comfort, Christ’s lordship is rejected because it involves difficulty.”
“We are called to be disciples who make other disciples. You can set this as a powerful new norm for families. The spiritual work of a family is to raise disciple-making disciples that focus heart, soul, mind, and strength on loving God and living as Kingdom ambassadors.”
“Kids and students are the disciples of today who can make a powerful impact in seeking revival in the church and spiritual awakening in the culture.”
“The ‘drop off for discipleship’ model has not worked and will not work.”
“Recalibrate your leadership to move families out of survivalist tactics and entrepreneurial dreaming to raising global troublemakers for God’s kingdom.”
“Your ministry will take on new life and power when you recalibrate the expectations of what God can do through families, students, and children.”
“Your choice is between tolerating unhealthy practices of ministry and generating healthy patterns of multiplicative disciple-making. It is the age old choice between pleasing God or man.”
“Your work as a leader is to give biblical instruction that will lead to personal application.”
“Faithful living will display itself in lives characterized by such things as grace-filled relationships, moral holiness, and an increasing faith in God’s power.”
“Anyone can stay busy. Leaders must measure whether or not the ministry and the families are spiritually fruitful.”
“The ultimate fruit of your leadership is new followers of Jesus.”
You have probably seen the stats and know there is a generation walking away from the church. Your whole team needs to come together and join in a fresh conversation about what disciple-making looks like in the future of the church! This year’s Orange Conference is the opportunity you need and here are 5 reasons your whole team needs to be there!
BREAKOUTS DESIGNED TO ALIGN YOUR TEAM.
If you are a preschool ministry leader you will find breakouts designed specifically for preschool ministry that teach the same concepts and truths being taught in elementary or high school ministry breakouts. Your team can then come together to discuss one general concept while each team member brings their specialized insight. Instead of walking away from a conference with dozens of competing ideas, your team will walk away with the momentum of moving the same direction.
LOWER COSTS TO YOUR CHURCH.
Four separate rental cars, heading four different directions, being parked in four different hotel parking lots is hard on any budget. What if those four people came together and shared the cost? Attending a conference as a team is a great way to squeeze every drop out of your ministry budget. This year, my team is even talking about tailgating lunches to have more time together and save even more money.
APPLY WHAT YOU LEARN.
It’s so easy to listen to a podcast, think about how great the ideas are, and do nothing with the information. When your team comes together and you share in the ideas together, it creates a layer of accountability to apply what you learn. As you talk about your sessions together you will also find your retention increases.
ALIGN LEADERS WITH A COMMON LANGUAGE AND STRATEGY.
I love the way Amos 3:3 says it, “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” When your team comes together to grow and learn you can walk away heading the same direction. Your team will begin to measure success using the same yardstick and you will know when your team is winning.
If culture is the soul of your organization, the Orange Conference is the soul care your team desires. Sign up now to get the best rate on Orange Conference 2020 and my team will see your team there!
People do tend to enjoy getting information in specific formats but it’s more about their engagement and interest.
Opposing argument – no one size fits all model. In fact, research shows that teaching students according to different learning styles has no effect on how they perform on assessments. Every time scientists have tried to prove this theory, they’ve failed.
We retain different types of information in different ways. There is truth to this though in how passive a student is and how active a student is for retention.
Sports and Podcasts Illustration
The goal is not information retention. The goal is disciple-making!
Teaching a lesson vs. teaching kids
You can’t teach all these ways the whole time but you can slide things in to help retain everyone.
The role of the Holy Spirit
John 14:26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
The best I’ve ever taught vs the best they’ve ever listened.
System – a set of principles and procedures, an organization method. You have a high calling. A huge responsibility. But it’s not all on you. So ask your helper for help.
SIGHT (VISUAL SYSTEM)
Felt Board Comic Book Clips Movie Scene YouTube Clips Speechless or Pantomime Story Pictures Art Whiteboard Blacklight Art You as the Character Gameshow or Quiz
HEARING (AUDITORY SYSTEM)
Whose Line Is It Anyway Sound Effects Seat Sections Make Certain Sounds Sound Jar Opera Singing Karaoke Recorded Sound Effects Voiceover Bring in a Guest Character Action News Reporter
MOVEMENT (VESTIBULAR SYSTEM)
Kids as Actors Cue Cards Action Figures Acting Hats Use the Room as Props
TOUCH (TACTILE SYSTEM)
Object Lesson Clothesline Prop Box Costumes Small Group Leader Statues Kids Sketch Scenes Story Boxes
TASTE AND SMELL (GUSTATORY AND OLFACTORY SYSTEM)
Flavors Candles or scents Scratch and Sniff Stickers Imagine the taste
BODY AWARENESS (PROPRIOCEPTION SYSTEM)
Hunger Swallow Breathe Balance Pressure Weight Temperature Time Light & Darkness
Work hard at making the Gospel fun in the church AND work hard at making Christianity fun in the home.
1. I am so thankful that God called me into the ministry & particularly to Kids & Family Ministry.
2. I’m also thankful God called me to be Julie’s Husband, Yancy & Whitney’s Dad, Cory & Nigel’s Father-in-love, & Sparrow & Rhythm’s G.
3. It matters to God how you manage your ministry & your family. Your kids are your greatest ministry.
1. Too many ministers are married to the church and date their family. I believe it’s important to be married to your family and date the church.
2. My family is 2nd on my priority list, 1st is my relationship with Christ.
3. My ministry is priorities 3, 4, & 5
•My pastors’ problems
•The level of leadership directly under me
•Everything else about ministry
4. When it comes to reaching the kids that live at your house as well as the kids at your church, “What happens at home is more important than what happens at church.”
5. Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Impress means intentional. Don’t be more intentional at church than you are at work. Be married to your family and date the church, not the other way around.
6. Let your family be your greatest sermon (If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time!) Make a list of things you want your family to be known for.
7. 12 Things You Can Do To Connect With Your Kids For Life
1. Make Jesus the king of your house not just your heart
1. Be the example of living the word they see (Father & Parent like God)
2. Let faith be caught not just taught
3. Make Jesus an everyday part of your lives (Never did devotions)
4. Use the tools you tell your church parents to use at your house
5. Give them the Word and do not allow strongholds or attitudes to be formed
6. Model making choices based on the word & prayer
7. Teach your children how to hear God’s voice
8. Be a worshiper at home not just at church
2. Love your spouse the way you want your children’s spouse to love them
1. Adore your spouse
2. Model love (Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another
3. Whatever you did to win their affection is what you do to keep their affection
3. Spend lots of time with your kids (at home & at church)
1. Ephesians 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live –not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.
2. Master time management
• Act like your time belongs to you
• Live by Priorities
• Make appointments by your priority
• Evaluate how you spend your time (identify time wasters)
• Know how many nights you are willing to work at the church. Block time off. Plan things with your family.
3. Making time for your family has to be a lifestyle choice (watch your nights)
• On the phone (FaceTime)
• Rituals (Saturday/ Sunday Lunches)
• Family Outings
• Include your kids on errands
• Make time off fun
3. Special Times
• Events and happenings they choose
• Events and happenings you choose
4. Be consistent in your discipline
1. The keyword is consistent
2. Correct tell why
3. Punish (different ways with different kids and at different ages) AND reward them when you catch them doing right!
4. Pray with them
5. Hug them, tell them you love them
6. Move on
5. Seek to understand how God has made each of your children & grandchildren differently and allow them to be different (Personality test help)
• Different is good!
• Teach them to serve
• Teach them to work
6. Find each of your children’s natural giftings and bends and encourage them in it.
Identify God’s call & purpose
• Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it
• Encourage- to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope. To spur on; to give help to
7. Learn about their world, their interest, their music, their styles. When you care about their interests they’ll care about yours.
“Because I take the time to ask Fortnite questions to my grandson, he asks me questions about the Bible.”
• Be truly interested
• Dare to learn about what they like
• Be all in
8. Admit your mistakes. When you’re wrong make corrections. (Ask for their forgiveness) Ask them to pray for you. There’s a huge difference between I’m sorry and Godly repentance.
9. Talk to your children about everything. Be open and honest.
(Establish an open-door policy early)
• Talk about your mistakes and temptations. Have you ever noticed that the devil attacks family the same way? Prepare them.
• If the devil tempted you in an area, you can rest assured he’s going to tempt them in the same area
• Don’t overreact when they express views that are different or wrong.
(Don’t freak out)
• Don’t forget what it was like to be their age
10. Make their friends welcome in your home
• Include them in your time with your kids
• Invest in your kids’ friends
11. Don’t open the door for rebellion in your children by rebelling against authorities in your lives
• Always side with authority
• Children are masters of managed information
• Never lie to your children about anything
• If this has been an issue, repent.
12. Don’t exasperate your children
• Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
• What does exasperate mean?
1). to excite or inflame the anger of: enrage
2). to cause irritation or annoyance to
1. Don’t forget what it was like to be a teen
2. Set boundaries and let them earn your trust (check up on them, but be fair)
3. Let the punishment fit the crime
4. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on your kids
5. Don’t have one set of rules for them & another for yourself
8. It’s never too late to make the right choices
If you’re not dating your spouse, you need to be.
Whatever you did to win your spouse’s affection, continue it today!
Let her know there is no one you love more than her, including the church.
If your pastor wants the church to be a priority over your family, you’re working for the wrong church.
1. We serve a God who is the God of a second chance
2. Where do you need to make changes?
3. Let’s pray
Breakout 2 – Jim Wideman – @jimwideman
Resourcing Grandparents To Pass Their Faith To the Next Generation
Very few churches have a ministry to grandparents or mobilize grandparents. This is a mission field.
1. Thanks/ notes/ Intro family/ Whose in the room?
2. Many churches today focus on 1 generation
1. God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob
2. Multigenerational ministry – This makes the church balanced.
3. Every generation can be influenced by each other
3. More grandparents are living on the earth than at any other time in history
4. What do we know about being a grandparent?
1. It’s more than wonderful
2. Grandkids are better than your kids
3. It’s the reward for not killing the first bunch
4. You can send them home when you get tired
Love your grandkids by giving them the same rules at your house as they have at their parent’s house.
5. Grandparent ministry today offers the same opportunities and potential that children’s ministry did when I started over 40 years ago.
1. More than 70 million grandparents currently in the U.S.
2. Only 30 million indicate attending church (43%)
3. There are 108.7 million people 50 years old & above in the U.S.
6. Fun facts that you may not know from AARP’s latest report
1. About one-third of all adults are grandparents.
2. The average age of becoming a grandparent is around 47.
3. The average age of grandparents is around 64.
4. The average grandparent has six grandchildren
5. About 77% of grandparents are married.
6. About half are still working.
7. A slight majority, 54%, have at least some college education.
8. About 6% of grandparents have a grandchild living in their home.
9. Parents are not present in around 43% of those homes, a phenomenon known as a skip-generation family. How is your church helping grandparents who are the primary caretaker for kids? Help with childcare, car clinics, date nights, back to school events.
10. About 15 % provide regular childcare for grandchildren in their homes.
11. More than half of grandparents help with grandchildren’s educational expenses.
12. A little less than half of the grandparents help with grandchildren’s living expenses.
13. A quarter of grandparents help pay for medical or dental care for their grandchildren.
14. More than half of all grandparents believe they play a very important role in their grandchildren’s lives. What if we could change this to 100% by letting them know?
7. Grandparents Matter
1. Grandparents are incredibly important to their grandkids.
2. Grandparents are uniquely positioned to spiritually influence their grandkids.
3. Grandparents have a Biblical mandate to do so.
4. Have you ever wondered why God designed for the family to have 2 parents & 4 grandparents? Maybe parents really do need more support? What would happen if the church can come alongside grandparents and grad-friends to help bear this burden?
8. If God designed the role of Parent & Grandparent what was His purpose?
1. Deuteronomy 6:1-7 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
2. Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
3. Have you ever thought that the purpose of every Jewish celebration, Holiday and Feast day can be summed up in one thing; “Remember what the Lord has done, and teach it to your children.”
All Jewish Holidays & Feasts can be summed up in one thing “Remember what I’ve done & teach it to your children!”
Write down God stories on the back of pictures or else those memories and God stories will be gone when grandparents pass away. Pass those God stories on. If you don’t get intentional then your whole families Biblical history can be lost with the passing of the patriarchs.
9. Grandparents must be intentional to pass on their family’s God Story to future generations! (Sparrow & Rhythm’s story)
10. The Church & Home have a Grand partner and it’s time that we invite them to the conversation.
11. Service is over but church is not…
(Why do parents & grandparents want better for their children in every area except spiritual things?)
12. We must recalibrate how the church & the homework together
1. Old model: The church teaches & the home reinforce.
2. New model: The home teaches & the church reinforce.
In the Family Ministry Movement, we talk a lot about partnering with parents but what if we realized the Church & the Home have another partner…Grandparents?
Service is over, church is not.
13. We must recalibrate Grandparenting
1. Old model: Spoil, send home all hyped up, my house, my rules.
2. New model: Train, all in, partner, same rules, transfer faith.
14. How do we start the recalibration process within the church?
1. Start the conversations…
2. Encourage mentoring, seek out Grandfriends…
3. Start a small group or Sunday School Class
4. Offer Grandparenting classes. (Close/Distance)
5. Offer technology training (involve the youth)
6. Include Grandparents in child dedications…
7. Offer multigenerational events church-wide
8. Offer Grandparent events & activities
9. Present Grandparents Bibles to pass on…
10. Throw first-time Grandparents a Baby Shower
11. Encourage older adults in serving in kids & youth
12. Join the Legacy Coalition! (www.legacycoalition.com)
15. Deuteronomy 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
16. BE INTENTIONAL AT CHURCH & HOME!
Write down your own God story.
Start conversations with your church and let this be part of the partnering verbiage that comes from your pulpit.
We as the church pass on the faith and make disciples.
Breakout 3 – Lena Wooten – @Lena_W
Developing a Thriving Family Ministry
1/168 – If we are lucky families are in church 1 hour of the 168 hour week. What are we doing to make disciples during the other 167 hours?
1. Integrated Family Curriculum
Birth through Grandparenting.
D6, Orange, David C. Cook, LifeWay, and others.
2. Email and Social Media
D6 Family App is a great resource for families. Family Fun Questions.
Splink: Spiritual Linking. Help families spiritually link to each other regardless of their age. A free resource to start spiritual conversations.
3. Family Events
InstaHunt – Instagram Scavenger Hunt. Gave papers after church with things for the family to go do and post. Take items and spell out your families last name. Reenact a scene from frozen, etc. Use the church hashtag. Gather at 5:00 and eat ice cream where the photos shared based on a hashtag on the screen.
Gingerbread House Making Party – at a local elementary gathered empty milk cartons for the base of the house. Gram crackers, icings, candy, and let kids sit with their families to decorate the houses.
Family Camp Out – at the church on a Saturday Night. Smores, hot dogs, and then go into church together smelling like a campfire.
Share the Bible App Devotionals.
52 Creative Family Time Devotions – 1 a week for a year and things around the house that can be done in under 5 minutes.
Being pulled in so many directions is torture.
Ministry is full of Discipleship, vision, lessons, leaders, events, budgets, stages, small groups, volunteers, meetings, teaching, curriculum, supplies, etc… What if there were resources to help you? Pain points for parents.
Volunteer Training – Give the info and then in the P.S. include a quick info tip they need to see.
Parent toolboxes being printed in snail mail. Magnet sent to the family as a reminder for spiritual conversations.
Your volunteers are ministers, not babysitters. Communicate this to them and help them buy into the value of this position.
6. Parenting Seminar
Right Now Media has resources if you are not able to bring someone in.
FamJam – Sunday after church. Lunch provided. Jim Wideman and Dr. Ron Hunter came in to teach. Free event. Children’s classes covered by teenagers who made money. 45 minutes each and workshops by people in the church. Marriage, preschool, young adults, etc.
7. Parenting Resource Hub
An area in the church for parents to find recourses.
Roast marshmallows in your fireplace and make s’mores
Throwball in the back yard
Have a Nerf battle
Go ice skating
Shoot some hoops
Have a dance party
Pitch a tent in your back yard
Make a fort in your living room
Draw a family portrait
Paint a picture to hang in your home
Play hide and seek
Make homemade ice cream
Have an outdoor movie night
Go to Goodwill and pick out an outfit for each other to wear
Make play dough creations
Go on a hike
Play four square
Do a puzzle
Make a time capsule
Watch the sunset
Have a craft night
Look at family photo albums together
Make your own pizza night
Have a lip sync battle
Write letters to each other
Plant a garden
Make a meal for someone who is sick
Play Frisbee together
Create sidewalk chalk masterpieces
Make a craft from Pinterest together
You do not have to be a parent to disciple children.
Breakout 4 – Michayla White – @michaylawhite
Developing Spiritual Practices in Children
Michayla’s Calling: Shape the future of the Church by connecting leaders who serve kids and families to what they need.
Key factors for spiritual formation.
Foundations for Discipleship of Children
What happens when a child comes to faith in Jesus?
New Creation – The old has passed away, the new has come! They have been given righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ.
Coheirs with Christ – Sons, daughters, with full rights of a natural heir.
Peace with God – They have peace with the Holy God of the universe through His blameless son, Jesus Christ.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit – God’s love has been poured into their hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to them.
Spiritual Gifts – They have spiritual gifts to share with the Body as evidence of God’s grace to all of us.
Conquerors – They are more than conquerors through Him who loves them.
Prepared in Advance to Bring Him glory – Before the foundations of the earth was laid, they were prepared for the glory of the Lord!
Fellow Disciples – When a child comes to Jesus, they are welcomed by God and are fellow disciples with us.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
The proper response to the Gospel is praise.
Do they really understand what they’re doing?
This is His work we are invited to participate in.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
If a child is truly trusting in Christ, his fruit will be evident over time.
Passing on the knowledge of God is a community mandate to all believers.
What does it look like for us to nurture thriving relationships with Jesus?
If we are not careful, we can unwittingly pass on facts to our kids, and fail to pass on faith.
Romans 8: 27-29
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
“Christian spiritual formation for children is the lifelong process by which the Holy Spirit serves as the child’s teacher, deepening the child’s relationship with God, transforming the child into Christlikeness, generating an overflow of love toward God and others.”
From Kidz At Heart Intl.
The fruit of Christian spiritual formation for kids is Christlikeness and this can coincide with their development.
The child’s view of God is started at conception.
Psalm 51:6 “Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.”
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Knowledge isn’t necessarily sufficient evidence of spiritual health. Are you growing in love for God and others?
Know God’s story – Follow his instructions
We demonstrate spiritual formation.
This is a whole lifelong process. We are formed every day, either spiritually or not.
We are drawn to the way of Jesus or we are drawn another way.
The world and the enemy is actively opposed to the Christian spiritual formation of children…It desires to create a spiritual life that is asleep or directly opposed to the hope and love and intimacy of Jesus.
The Kingdom of God needs to be their worldview-not the temporary, fleeting, empty narrative of the world; but the eternal, satisfying, and FULL narrative of the gospel.
Who God is, who we are, and the extent Jesus took to bring us back to Him.
A demonstration of balance on one foot and being knocked over. Then being protected. Then being surrounded. With an even bigger circle, there was more protection. What did you see going on here? Everyone in the community brings the best opportunity to stay standing. Healthy relationships. Adults can only take children where they are going themselves. A side by side journey together.
Believing the right things and doing the right things vs. falling in love with Jesus.
If you are in love with Jesus how did that happen? What’s your story? What made the difference for you? Communication, time, presence, sacrifice, mercy, forgiveness. The same things that grew your relationship with your spouse.
Environments and Experience
The pace of life is a big issue today. Over-scheduled. They need models that show the pace of a disciple. Evaluate the pace of our home and maybe even Sunday morning. Focused or distracting environments. Learning requires us to create an environment but making space for children to connect with God is another thing entirely.
Utilize multiple intelligence.
Include the Holy Spirit as teacher and trust Him. What if we invited the children to listen to God more than to us?
Allow the Holy Spirit to help the child to make connections.
What is discipleship?
Emulation – A disciple’s actions were expected to be consonant with his rabbi.
Diligence – Diligent in observing, diligent in learning from, and consistent in practicing what their rabbi practiced.
Much more than feeling and much more than a set of actions, it was a commitment to look like Him and walk like Him.
Scripture – reading or hearing and trusting the God-breathed words of Scripture as our guide and source for life.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
We need to make sure that they see how much we love the Word and that we love taking the time to read it. Make sure there are age-appropriate Bibles in the house.
Ask: Did God ask you to do something. Invite their response to that scripture.
Ask: What do you think you should do having heard that scripture? Internalize the word.
At church help them by encouraging their imagination and act it out. Don’t micromanage this part.
Say, imagine what it would be like to _____. Get them to wonder why. Encourage curiosity. Don’t be afraid if things don’t go as planned.
Small groups where they read the passage together. Slow them down in their pace of reading through the scripture. Have them repeat it multiple times. It’s not how much of the scripture we can get through but how much of the scripture is getting through to them.
Prayer – hang continual conversations with God.
Mark 14:35-36, 39
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.
John 11:1-13 Lazarus
Draw pictures of those who you want to remember to pray for.
Writers can start prayer journals
You can go on a prayer walk as a family. Point those things out. Ask the kids to point them out.
Fill in the blank prayer is a great practice. “Today I want to thank God for _______.” Today, God I am worried about _______. Today God I wonder about _______.
Worship – declaring the greatness of the Father and demonstrating love for the King.
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
“When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”
More than just singing, is there anything you see about how great God is. Worship is public and private. When you realize there is something you are thankful with God about, name it there.
Ask: What did you notice about God today?
Break up worship at your church. Worship response station. A blessing station with printed promises of God. Pull one, read it, and ask how it makes you feel about God.
Service – overflowing with His love and compassion to others in the form of action especially those in need.
This doesn’t work unless you are modeling it first. If our hearts aren’t overflowing it will be impossible to model and it’s a costly habit in that it requires us to give up ourselves.
Let one another go first. Give someone else the bigger cookie.
Not just the behavior but talk them through the why and how it connects to their hearts.
Serve in the community and in the church.
Sharing the Gospel – sharing the gift of the gospel generally in the power of the Spirit.
Are you making time for people?
Are you inviting your neighbors into their house?
Are you looking people in the eye when ordering food?
Encourage your kids to smile at people. Ask your kids to help you see people. Pray together to see what God wants us to see. Team up in sharing the Gospel.
What hope do you have now for the future now that you believe in Jesus?
Think about kids they know that do not know Jesus. Ask God to help them share that love.
How are we as a whole changed by the presence and participation of children in the discipleship journey?
“Teaching and passing on faith to children strengthens the faith of adults. Keeping our focus on God, enjoying and serving the Lord with our children takes intentional diligence…especially in a culture of ease. The needed diligence is filed by the depth of our commitment to Him and the depth of the commitment that we will together be people that passes on faith to our children.” Scottie May
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Don’t you just love quality time with your friends filled with laughter and deep insights? With 15 stops all across the country, Orange Tour is an opportunity you’ll kick yourself if you miss. This one-day event will end with you and your team feeling inspired and equipped to make disciples of the next generation!
At Orange Tour Your Team Will Laugh
It’s so life-giving to relax for a minute and simply laugh with your team. Ministry can be full of deep and difficult conversations and during your programming, it’s hard to step back and just enjoy being present. Take a day to be blessed with shared memories and deeper more personal relationships.
The Visionary Training Will Stick
You know how you say something a thousand times but it fails to stick until another person says the exact same thing? Well, Orange Tour might be what your team needs to create a common language with intentional vision. With speakers like Reggie Joiner, Kristen Ivey, Jon Acuff, Kara Powell, and Kellen Moore, you know your team will walk away with top-notch training. And don’t forget, with this being a regional event, you will also have access to a network of orange thinkers from your part of the country!
And Best of All, It’s Affordable
This one-day local event means your conference experience is affordable! You can gather your whole team for an opportunity to experience Orange at just a fraction of the cost. And if sending your team even for the tour is out of your price range, consider doing what I did and invite them if they pay their way.
Your small group leaders are busy. You’re busy. And the job that God calls us to as leaders in the church requires us to be ready and to lead well.
It can be difficult to know precisely how to give leaders what they are needing. What if there was an affordable option where you could bring every small group leader in your ministry to a night of fun and training?
Lead Small Night is where your SGL’s can talk leader-to-leader about the practical ways to impact the lives of kids and students at every phase.
At Lead Small Night, you’ll learn:
How to help every kid and teenager feel known
How to lead better conversations with kids and teenagers
How to implement the Lead Small Principles that help you become a successful small group leader
How to do something small in order to make a big impact
Lead Small Night is a two-hour event that takes place across the country prior to the Orange Tour.
Are you ready to answer the difficult questions students are asking?
“What scientific proof do you have that God exists?”
“Why should I believe in miracles?”
“If evolution is true, why should I believe in God?”
“Why should I trust something on ‘faith’ when I could use ‘reason’?”
“Why should I trust what you or my pastor has to say about Christianity?”
“How is believing in God any different from believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?”
“Why does science seem to contradict the claims of Christianity?”
“Why would an all-powerful, all-loving God allow so much evil in the world?”
“How can I be sure Jesus really rose from the grave?”
“If Christianity is true, why are so many Christians hypocrites?”
“Why is the history of Christianity filled with so much violence?”
“Why should I care about any of this to begin with?”
In the book, “So the Next Generation Will Know” Sean McDowell teaches how to explain what is true to a generation seeking answers. The percentage of teens who identify as atheist is continuing to grow and Sean writes to help parents, youth workers, and Christian educators recognize the challenges students are facing.
“According to one study at UCLA, 52 percent of college students reported frequent church attendance the year before they entered college, but only 29 percent continued frequent church attendance by their junior year.”
Sean points out how most young people abandon their Christian faith while they are still at home with their parents. We have an opportunity to answer skepticism with intellectual responses but we must be prepared.
We need to be ready to answer students most difficult questions if we want to help them track down the truth and trust Jesus.
“A problem well defined is half-solved.” – Sean’s Father
“There is great power in your words. In over to BE a rock star, you need to FEEL LIKE a rock star. In order to be a rock star, someone else needs to believe you are.” – Tina Houser
“The volunteers God has entrusted you with are not just warm bodies or job titles, they are children of God first.” – Corey Jones
“Would my team say I cared more for them as a person than I do for them in the role they fulfill?” – Corey Jones
“Who on your team would be serving better in a different role?” – Corey Jones
“A healthy family is often growing numerically and their relationships are growing in depth.” – Corey Jones
“Do I know the people on my team better today than I did last week?” – Corey Jones
“Developing a vibrant, life-changing children’s ministry requires a clear picture of where God is calling you to lead your team and how to get there.” – Butch Hunter
“Finally, remember, the temperature of your ministry is always a degree or two below you. When you’re running hot, your team is running warm.” – Butch Hunter
“Take video footage of your leaders in action, splice it together with a narrator who talks about how you’re all moving towards the vision together.” – Butch Hunter
“When you’re preparing to cast vision, think about how you can invite people to join a team working towards a common goal.” – Steven Knight
“Think about what your volunteers want. They want to serve. They want to roll up their sleeves and get to work. They don’t show up to be underutilized. They’re ready to go.” – Steven Knight
“The effectiveness of blanket calls for volunteers always lags behind personal communication.” – Beth Howe
“Volunteering for ministry serving—like tithing or gathering for corporate worship—should be seen as a mark of discipleship. When approaching with a pure motive, serving is a sign of spiritual maturity.” – Beth Howe
“Volunteers will stick when they see their leaders following the example of Jesus as servants.” – Erica Holloway
“Leaders must help their volunteers succeed in the midst of very busy, extremely demanding schedules.” – Erica Holloway
“The ability to be out ‘guilt free’ goes a long way in maintaining glittery volunteers for the long haul.” – Erica Holloway
“To effectively equip believers to utilize their gifts, leaders need to make intentional preparation, invest in relationships, and provide continual evaluation for their teams. Helping volunteers find their best fit in ministry service is crucial for the church community as a whole, but also for each individual’s personal flourishing and long-term spiritual health.” – Dawn Gentry
“Personal relationships establish a foundation of pastoral care for everyone on your team.” – Dawn Gentry
“Be understanding and flexible, recognize the need for them to try a new assignment rather than getting buried indefinitely in the old one.” – Dawn Gentry
“No matter how big or small your ministry is, there are things everyone serving in your ministry area needs to know. So what are those things?” – Shayla Hale
“Orientation lets you begin to equip your team. It establishes you as the shepherd of your leaders. Orientation gets your volunteers ready for a great adventure.” – Shayla Hale
“Your volunteers influence a child’s foundational faith beliefs, and they should understand the gravity and honor of their position.” – Brittany Nelson
“Share stories or specific examples of how God moved in the lives of the children in your ministry over the past year and remind volunteers that they play a part in a child’s story of faith.” – Brittany Nelson
“Shadow leading is a successful training method and can solve more problems than simply a shortness of trained volunteers.” – Susan Magouirk
“Training leaders are your best teachers, but every your best teachers are not all cut out to be training leaders.” – Susan Magouirk
“Creative teachers take what they have and make it the best it can be for their students.” – Susan Magouirk
“Volunteers who feel unnecessary, tend to be short-term volunteers.” – Susan Magouirk
“When using technology, think about users experience and remember, if it’s not easy to use, it’s not going to be used.” – Patrick Miller
“Creating smaller learning objectives leads to higher information retention. This concept of breaking topics down into smaller chunks is called microlearning.” – Patrick Miller
“You have been given the opportunity to train volunteers even when they’re not sitting in from of you.” – Patrick Miller
“Simple truth is that you are just stronger together than you are alone.” – Tammy Jones
“A team will accomplish more together, prevent leader burnout, and multiply the results.” – Tammy Jones
“A good team leader is one who supports, encourages, and equips the other team members. Praise them when they have done a good job and show them grace when things go wrong.” – Tammy Jones
“Vol-Staff (n.), short for Volunteer-Staff. This term is used to identify kidmin volunteers who function at such a high level of buy-in and responsibility, that they are treated as a vital part of the department staff, yet without financial pay.” – Sherry Chester
“Volunteers are assets, totally worth the time and investment; help them become who God has called them to be.” – Sherry Chester
“There is a stark difference between unity and agreement. Agreement is mental acknowledgment of a mutual understanding. Unity goes way beyond mental understanding to a yielding of ones self will.” – Sherry Chester
“Mature Vol-staff believe all authority comes from God. They walk in unity knowing God is in control; therefore, they trust with ease.” – Sherry Chester
“Your choice to appreciate your volunteers reminds them that they are not alone as they serve, that God sees them and you see them, and this provides strength for them to continue to serve.” – Jamie Lane
“When you take the time to give specific feedback and appreciation to your volunteer, you foster growth in them.” – Jamie Lane
“If you say you’re going to be there, be there. Work ahead. Be organized. Be on time. These things seem simple, but when trying to gain respect from an older generation, these things must be done with excellence.” – Stacy Marks
“There is a generation of kids living without grandparents. You must lean into the relationships kids can have with the volunteers in your ministry that they might not have on a regular basis in their nuclear family. It will make the next generation stronger and our churches stronger as the family of God ministers to each other.” – Stacy Marks
“It’s an amazing thing to behold when teenagers are empowered and given the platform to lead other kids.” – Josh Zello
“Let’s envision together a ministry where teenagers can be treasured by kids, tethered to a Gospel community, and taught to discern and live out their own personal callings.” – Josh Zello
“A Gospel community can be life changing (or even life saving) for teenagers. Your kids’ ministry can be a safe place for not only the kids who sit under you, but also the younger leaders who serve beside you.” – Josh Zello
“Trust them beyond what even they think they’re capable of.” – Josh Zello
“Your church is filled with leaders you haven’t found yet. Many of these leaders don’t know that leadership capacity is within them. Many of these leaders don’t know their gifting or how to live it out to build up the Church.” – Josh Zello
“Often, you’re burdened in children’s ministry for workers. But if you train up the kids themselves to have servants’ hearts, then there will be so many fewer needs.” – Rachael Groll
“Consider which kids God might be laying on your heart to serve within your ministry.” – Rachael Groll
“The role of a helper is often marginalized when it should be lifted up in your ministry.” – Joe Mally
“As you recruit for the helping positions remember not to phone it in and just fill the spot. Instead, seek individuals who have the gift of service.” – Joe Mally
“When you ask adults who had the most influence on their life, most of the time it’s the individual who took the time to get to know them. Encourage your volunteers to seek out these connections.” – Joe Mally
“Each person on the team needs to know what’s going on in your ministry so your ‘who will you communicate with’ is very important.” – Rob Livingston
“It’s important to reach your volunteers in a way they understand and in the 21st century you have various avenues you can take.” – Rob Livingston
“You would be crazy (to) not use the technology most are carrying around in their pocket to help you communicate with your volunteers.” – Rob Livingston
“The bottom line when it comes to communication is you must do it in such a way that all your volunteers can understand.” – Rob Livingston
“Cancellations are part of ministry. Even the most committed volunteers get sick, or someone’s plans change and they need to call off. The best thing you can do is remain positive, anticipate cancellations, and build steps into your program that put you in control rather than letting the cancellations control you (and your Saturday night plans).” – Becky Rydman
“The Dream Team is a perfect ‘yes’ for those who have a desire to be on the team, yet need to make a more flexible commitment.” – Becky Rydman
“Leaders who schedule in on-call positions take control of cancellations.” – Becky Rydman
“The consistency for such a long period of time is great for kids.” – Terrie Sitzes
“Yes, pray. You’re not picking out your clothes for the day; you’re investing in volunteers’ time, children’s hearts, and your sanity all together. You need prayer.” – Terrie Sitzes
“Pray that God will send you the workers you need so that your ministry is filled with willing, eager, enthusiastic volunteers and the right scheduling will be possible!” – Terrie Sitzes
“The third grade public school students is the same third grader in your classroom. He has the same needs to be known and to have consistent leadership.” – Joy Canupp
“Rotating volunteers often results in glorified babysitting situations. Weekly volunteers invest on a deeper level and typically get to the heart of why and what they teach the children.” – Joy Canupp
“Knowing these benefits and others will give you the ‘why’ that you need to share as you make the transition and ask people for larger time commitments.” – Joy Canupp
“If you’re going to attempt ‘over appreciation’ efforts, do that with your volunteers who are most invested and on the front lines with your children every single week.” – Joy Canupp
“Start writing a bunch of ‘What if…’ questions. ‘What if we cut Sunday school during the summer?’ ‘What if we combined some age groups?’ ‘What if I used the teens more for volunteers?” – Amber Kreider]
“Temporary change can provide rest for volunteers, excitement for kids, and a new perspective for you. Or maybe you’ll drastically change something in your ministry to accommodate your changing culture in the summer, and find it to be so successful you’ll adapt it all year.” – Amber Kreider
“You have to always be aware of who the Lord brings across your path and why.” – Connie Lackey
“As you journey with your volunteers, you come to know them on a personal level and build relationships.” – Connie Lackey
“You love the Lord with all your heart, minds, and souls, but sometimes you get so busy preparing, scheduling, practicing, doing life, that you put God in your pocket.” – Connie Lackey