You Will Love to Laugh and Learn with Your Team

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. 

An Orange Event is coming to a city near you! Registration is now open, pay only $99!

Originally shared on the Orange Leaders Blog at http://orangeblogs.org/orangeleaders/2019/07/12/will-love-laugh-learn-team/

How to Make Your SGL Training Unforgettable

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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. 

For only $25 per person, you can help small group leaders do small group better. Sign up now! https://orangetour.org/leadsmallnight/ 

So the Next Generation Will Know Book Review and Giveaway

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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

For a chance to win this book, click the contest link here: https://kingsumo.com/g/ipbstq/so-the-next-generation-will-know-book-giveaway

70 Powerful Leadership Quotes from “Rock Stars”

70 Powerful Leadership Quotes

Rock Stars: Inspiring a Team of Unstoppable Volunteers

“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

Breakthrough Movie Ticket Giveaway

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Have you ever had a spiritual experience in the theater? Could attending a movie be a divine appointment? I believe the Breakthrough Movie will help people who will never go to church to experience God!

The people in your community are most open to hearing the good news at Easter. This movie is the tool your community needs! This tool is sharp and ready to be used, so lean in an find a way to use it.

Breakthrough puts all divisions aside and intercedes for the one. One prayer. One faith. The power of one. When we just love one person amazing things can happen. What the world needs right now is to not treat each other with division but love!

I believe in this movie so much that I’d like to send you and someone you know to watch it this Easter. Enter my movie ticket’s giveaway: https://kingsumo.com/g/9lrf4v/breakthrough-movie-tickets

New Year. New Me. And This Time, It’s Personal

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You can see the difference in a leader who is just showing up and a caring leader who shows up predictably to create a safe community. There’s an obvious difference between someone reading off a script and someone who has crafted an engaging, relevant, and memorable experience. And you can feel the climate change in a ministry when the leader goes from checking off another Sunday to aligning a team with a common language and strategy. The difference comes, and things begin to change, when you make it personal.

In the early church, when the believers form a community, the writer of Acts says: “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer,” (Acts 2:42, NLT). This year, make it personal by deepening your devotion. Leave behind excuses, take off the masks, and get real with your community. Steward well the gift you were given in being a part of the local church. Don’t just tell people to join a volunteer team or life group but model what it means to make community personal.

Paul challenges us to make our work personal when he writes: “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15, NLT). This year, make it personal by working for the Lord. If you work only to find the approval of your pastor you might be tempted to cut corners when not being supervised. Work on both the big projects and the minor details with a heart full of worship.

Paul also offers some encouragement when he says: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up,” (Galatians 6:9, NLT). We all know how long most New Year’s resolutions last, but most people don’t make their commitment personal. As leaders in the church, we realize the impact we have in this next generation. Let’s make the mission personal and not get tired of caring for people.

This year can be a time of both personal and professional growth but it begins with you! Will you take on Orange Conference 2019’s theme and make it personal?

(Originally shared to the Orange Blog at: http://orangeblogs.org/orangeleaders/2018/12/20/new-year-new-time-personal/)

One Christmas Gift from Orange You Need Now

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Every year the Orange Conference is a huge gift to ministries around the world. The work they put into creating a strategy and plan shapes churches and helps us all do ministry with excellence. The Phase Project is one gift that I wish every ministry leader would lean into and learn from.

Orange defines a phase as, “A timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future.” If we want to influence the next generation we need to understand their development and study their culture. To leverage the time we have with a student we need this research-driven project to impact our thinking.
Do you know when attention span increases up to 45 minutes, and the average girl begins puberty? Do you know the phase when “unfiltered words make you laugh, homework makes you cry, and life becomes a stage where you kid shouts, ‘Look at me.’” Are you trying to disciple students in the phase when “friendships shift, grades count, and interests change so often your teenager has to explain, ‘This is me now.’”

The Phase Project helps us understand how to make disciples on their level. In the elementary phase, kids are thinking like scientists and they rely on what they can observe. To help these kids mature in their relationship with God we need to tell one story, use real illustrations, and make it fun!

You have probably heard, you get about 40 hours in a year to tell that middle schooler everything they need to know about God, Jesus, faith, forgiveness, grace, love, life, and eternity. So what’s the plan?

“How are you going to influence the spiritual direction of the average child or teenager when you only have a few minutes every other week? You could increase your time with each kid if you…build a Christian school, show up for dinner at their house once a week, start a 6 a.m. Bible study before school, bring back lock-ins, crusade against competitive sports on Sunday, force every parent to sign a 52-week contract, or add mid-week programming. Or you could rethink your strategy to make the most of the limited time you will have at every phase.”

Take time today to take advantage of the Phase Project gift Orange has made available to you by checking out the Phase Webpage. And if you haven’t signed up yet, make sure you get your ticket now for Orange Conference 2019 because I’m sure this year’s conference will be a huge gift to you and your ministry!

Gamification – Integrating Game Mechanics into Your Teaching

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Have you earned Gold status using the Starbucks app? Are you one of the 100 million monthly active users on Waze? Do you have a Fitbit or work towards closing your rings on your Apple Watch? Have you tried to learn a language using an app like Duolingo? These apps and wearable tech are growing at an exponential rate because of their use of gamification. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring or competition with others) and other areas of activity.

What if you could integrate game mechanics into your ministry? I believe if we were to apply typical elements of game playing into our ministries, we could engage students in the church more than ever before.

Early gamification strategies used rewards for students who accomplish desired tasks or certain competition. Some ministries implemented Bible Bucks to reward kids who completed memory work or brought their bibles. I’m not suggesting starting a Bible Bucks program in your ministry, but what could you do to reward or encourage the students who are getting it right? What if you gave a shoutout on social media to the students who were bringing friends? What if you randomly gave out a prize to the student with the longest YouVersion streak? What if the only way to attend a special retreat or event was to currently be in a discipling relationship with a peer or to be active in a small group? There are many simple rewards based gamification strategies you could implement in your ministry.

Another approach to gamification is to make existing tasks feel more like games. I know many youth ministers who have attempted to learn guitar but gave up after a few weeks. Apps like Yousician use interactive technology to help make learning fun. You can begin using apps and technology to engage your students in the learning process. Download Youth Ministry (DYM) Sidekick app has ready to go programming elements that you can customize to engage your audience. You could use Emoji Hunt to introduce your bible story or maybe Survey Says as a way to recap a sermon series. Or maybe you use the Crowd Control JeParody GameBoard as a way to introduce the students to the Bible story you will be teaching. With a little creativity, you could engage your students in the lesson and make the whole teaching experience feel like a game.

Gamification often includes elements of crowdsourcing to engage participants. Apps like Waze allow individual users to share in the navigation experience of other users. With Snapchat you can create shared stories and, with the maps feature, could see the same event from a variety of perspectives. When your students walk onto campus, are there elements in place for them to engage in the process? Maybe for your next “Question’s” series, you promote an easy-to-use tool like Mentimeter where students can text in their questions and upvote what they want to be addressed in real-time. Maybe you ask students to submit a few game suggestions and see what type of games they enjoy playing. Or consider mobilizing students to be on stage doing announcements, to lead the games, or to preach the message. And if your students lack the confidence to preach, try interviewing the student as a first step. You don’t always need to be the person behind the microphone and you might be surprised at how much students lean in when another student is taking the lead.

What Gamification strategies are you currently using in your ministry? What apps or resources should we check out? Let us know!

(Originally shared on the Youth Specialties Blog at: https://youthspecialties.com/blog/gamification-integrating-game-mechanics-into-your-teaching/)

Yancy’s Heartbeat Curriculum Review and Giveaway

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Don’t you wish your preteens understood the true heart of worship? Yancy and Johnny Rogers have teamed up to create a five-lesson elementary and preteen curriculum your preteens are going to love. Heartbeat is a brand new curriculum designed to expand and express our understanding of what worship is and to cultivate a willing response to explore and experience worshipping God in a deeper and more personal way. Want to win? Click here!

Heartbeat Features:

• More than 90 Minutes of Content in each lesson to pick & choose from
• Leader Equipping Tip Sheets
• Leader materials for both Large Group & Small Groups
• Powerful processing time with Reflection & Response Activities
• Object Lessons Illustrations created by Jim Wideman
• Teaching Video Clips with Yancy, featuring a behind the scenes look at songwriting, recording, concerts and more
• What Does It Mean? video clips with Yancy, unpacking Hebrew words connected to Worship
• Helpful Worship Leader Scripts along with song suggestions for worship
• A take-home “Backstage Pass” for each lesson, complete with Life Application ideas and designed for easy use with lanyards
• Themed Video Countdown
• Heartbeat series video opening
• Animated Video Graphics & backgrounds
• Logo & artwork graphic files
• Promotional Social Media Plan

Lesson 1 – When I worship God, my heart overflows with praise.
Lesson 2 – When I worship God, I say YES to His invitation.
Lesson 3 – When I shout God’s praise, I amplify what is true about God.
Lesson 4 – When I praise God with music, I prepare for the battles of life.
Lesson 5 – When I worship with a heart after God, He takes center stage.

To enter to win a Heartbeat Curriculum Giveaway Click Here:

https://kingsumo.com/g/sowo3l/yancys-heartbeat-curriculum-giveaway

The Orange Conference – It’s Personal #OC19

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What is your all-time favorite movie scene? Is there a scene that instantly comes to your mind that includes both inspiration and a man on a horse? 

One of my favorite scenes is found in the classic movie Braveheart. Specifically the scene with William Wallace’s speech to his army right before he leads the Scottish countrymen to fight. The Scotland men, coming from all sorts of backgrounds are united under the one voice of William Wallace. William makes this battle personal for Scotland fighting against their enemy England. There is a spur of action, passion, strategy, and precision. 

If you have ever been to Orange Conference, you have felt this exact same emotion. With energetic worship, passionate speakers, dynamic breakouts, and Seriously Night you will be ready to go to battle for your students, church, preteen, or junior higher. 

Orange Conference is the speech before the fight that William Wallace (Reggie Joiner) gives to the Scottish (attendees) and that is the amazing thing about Orange Conference. This gathering of 7,000+ people makes the fight personal. The Orange Conference is not the fight for Scotland (the church) this is our pep rally before the fight. Let’s make it personal. (Insert William Wallace voice here) Jesus made a difference because Jesus made it personal! Let’s do the same!

Registration opens on October 18th! Don’t miss this gathering. Don’t stay on the fence. Instead, come and find the inspiration you need to fight the good fight and finish the race.