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
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!
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?
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!