Exploring the Current State of Kids Ministry with ChatGPT

Are you curious about what ChatGPT can do? ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that can provide answers to questions you ask it. It can provide you with a unique and personal conversation that can be both helpful and entertaining. 

I started asking ChatGPT to analyze the current state of kids ministry and to share trends and challenges we are facing. So if you’re curious about what happens when AI analyzes the internet and spits out a super complex idea in seconds, read on to learn more!

Current State of Kids Ministry 

Kids ministry is an important part of church life and a growing area of ministry for many churches. The current state of kids ministry is strong, with an increasing number of churches offering various forms of programming for kids. According to the Barna Group, more than 90% of churches with 250 or more attendees offer some form of children’s ministry. 


One of the major trends in kids ministry is the increased focus on technology. Many churches are making use of digital tools to help engage kids in their ministry, such as online games, videos, and apps. Additionally, many churches are utilizing virtual reality to create immersive experiences for kids. Another trend is the growth of multi-generational programming. This is especially true in larger churches, where multiple generations of families can attend and participate in the same activities. 


One of the main challenges facing kids ministry is the competition from other sources of entertainment. With so many digital distractions and other activities available, it can be difficult for churches to capture and keep the attention of kids. 

Another challenge is the difficulty of recruiting and retaining volunteers. Volunteers are the backbone of any kids ministry and finding enough people to serve can be a challenge. 


The Barna Group reports that the average church spends 10-15% of its budget on children’s ministries. Additionally, the average number of children attending Sunday school is around 70, with a total average attendance of around 200 children per week. 

Key Players 

Some of the key players in kids ministry include churches, non-profit organizations, and media companies. Churches are the primary providers of kids ministry and are responsible for organizing and delivering programs for kids. Non-profit organizations are involved in providing resources and support for churches to use in their kids ministry. Media companies are involved in creating digital resources and tools for churches to use in their programming. 


In the short term, we can expect to see more churches making use of technology and multi-generational programming to engage kids. Additionally, churches will continue to face challenges in recruiting and retaining volunteers. 

In the long term, we can expect to see a continued rise in the use of technology in kids ministry. Churches will also continue to focus on multi-generational programming and engaging kids in meaningful ways. 

Impact of Current Events/Future Developments 

The current pandemic has had a major impact on kids ministry. Many churches have had to suspend in-person programming and switch to online options. This has created challenges for churches in terms of providing engaging and meaningful content for kids. Additionally, recruiting and retaining volunteers has become even more difficult in the current environment. 

Overall, according to the AI, the current state of kids ministry is strong and has potential for further growth in the near future. What do you think the future of kids ministry holds? What challenges and trends do you see?

In the future, I expect we will see more churches making use of online tools like ChatGPT. Have you begun using the tool of AI in your ministry? Share your insights and thoughts in the comments below!

Global Leadership Summit: Special Edition Notes

Where does vision come from? 

A good idea is more than something that makes people feel good. Vision motivates, inspires, and drives people to action. 

Antoni Gaudi – Basilica de la Sagrada Familia – the longest building project. In 1926 when Antoni died the project was about a quarter finished. 

Gaudi had complete faith that the church would be finished. “I will grow old, but others will come after me,” he said. “What must always be conserved is the spirit of the work, but its life has to depend on the generations it is handed down to and with whom it lives and is incarnated.”

You don’t have to the the one with the original vision to do something great for God. 

Leadership is about the ability to pass on a vision, and the legacy of leadership is having others who will take on the vision at the same level of passion and commitment as the original visionary. 

Generation after generation can catch the vision and make it their own. Carry the baton. 

A vision can start with one but must be caught by many. Each contributes in their own unique way. 

The difference between a legacy leader who accepts the baton. How does one view the vision. A worker of the vision or a steward of the vision? Believe in a God given vision you are now to steward. Be a guardian of the vision. 

“God is able to do much more than we ask or think through His power working in us. May we see His shining-greatness in the church. May all people in all time honor Christ Jesus. Let it be so.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLV)

Serve More Pastors. Provide hope and help. Personally and pastorally. Fire reignited. 

Equip More Churches. The local church is the hope of the world. The love and light of Christ to shine. 

MLK Jr. “Therefore, I conclude that the church, in its present state, is not the hope of the world. I believe that nothing has so persistently and effectively blocked the way of salvation as the church. On the other hand, the church can be the hope of the world, but only when it returns to Christ.”

Bring the church back to the center of the human race by bringing Christ back to the center of the church. 

Inspire More Leaders. Touch and transform hearts. In all places God has called us. 


Paula Faris 

If you have been looking for your people, they’re right here at the Global Leadership Network. 

Tom De Vries 

Leadership requires more than experience; it requires intention and direction.

Leadership is not a title or position…it’s a life long pursuit. 

Grant the gift of respect and humility. If we are humble, we can learn from everyone. 

Craig Groeschel 

Everyone wins when the leader gets better. 

You have good intentions and standards for yourself but embarrassingly inconsistent. 

As James Clear says we have the same goals dreams and hopes but incredibly different outcomes. 

They are not lucky, they are consistently doing the right things. 

Sometimes we’ll look at leaders who are getting it done, have great results, growing in revenue — we think they’re lucky. They’re not lucky, they’re consistent. 

Successful leaders do consistently what other leaders do occasionally.

Reasons we are inconsistency 

Too focused on what you want to do. 

You’ve been trying for too long. 

Stop trying to lead. 

You do what you do because of what you think of you. 

What type of a person am I?

What type of a situation is this?

What does a person like me do in a situation like this? 

The biggest force that shapes your leadership is your identity. Change what you do by changing what you think about you. 

What kind of leader do you want to be? Start with who goals not what goals. Who do I want to become? 

Be a leader who empowers people to reach their potential. Not I want to preach better sermons instead it’s I want to be a spiritual leader who inspires others. 

First response should be, “I’m a leader”

I’m a leader not because of my title but because of my integrity. 

Imposter Syndrome. Who are you? 

Leadership is influence. You are a leader. 

*Create your leadership identity statement. 

I am a compassionate leader who deeply love people. 

I am an empowering leader who brings out the best in others. 

I am a disciplined leader who priorities the day. 

Who are you? 

I am a Spirit empowered leader who boldly leads others to find life in Christ. 

I’m trying…

Stop trying and start training. 

Stop trying to lead and start training to lead. 

Training produces results. 

When you’re trying you give yourself permission to fail. An attempt with minimal commitment.  

Training is whole-hearted commitment to achieve a specific result.

It’s not about your feelings but your commitment. 

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9‬:‭24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Greek word for training. Agony. Strain every nerve towards the goal. 

You are fighting for something that matters. Trying apart from training is unimaginable. Purpose in every step. Disciple yourself like an athlete. Who before do. 

When you see yourself as a leader you come in with a plan. People should feel the purpose. You are so much of who you are they feel the purpose when you walk in the room. 

2020, the time after difficult got harder. Trying not to fail and leading afraid with a defensive posture. Surrendered leadership identity. 

Who do you want to become as a leader? 

How are you going to train to become that type of leader? 

I am a leader called by God who walks in obedient faith.

Heather R Younger 

How does it feel when someone listens to you? How does it feel to be heard? Heard, valued, seen, cared for…

We all want to be heard. We want our work to matter. We care for our employees because of who they are not just what they do for us. 

Presence is the best present we can give to others.

Create a world where everyone has a voice and everyone can be heard. 

What do people actually need? Not what do they think they need?

The cycle of active listening. 

Seek to Understand – Think about if you are going to give something to them or get something from them. 

Paraphrase don’t just parrot. 

Decoding – you want to act on their behalf but we do a disservice to others when we fail to pause and reflect on what they said. 

Impact a sense of importance with the other person. 

Closing the Loop – Be the person who goes back to them, share what you reflected on, share your action steps and let them know their voice was heard. Share feedback where you let people know the chances. We heard you and made this change. This is where listening is made complete. 

Data isn’t just numbers. Data can be a conversation with one person. 

It’s not about yesterday it’s about today going forward. 

When we think about decoding we make things more magnetic. People leave when they don’t feel heard. 

The power to listen can really change how people feel about their value. Be others focused. When you really listen it will be the best gift you give. 


Todd Henry 

Man search for Meaning. We are each questioned by life and we must prepare a response. 

Bravery is choosing to do the right thing in the face of pain. 

We must confront uncertainty with bravery. 

Permission vs optimism. 

Agency vs powerlessness. 

Speak agency into the people you lead. 

Be mindful of the precipices. 

The bravery to act. By the time they engaged in the bravery it was just the next logical step. Bravery is in the everyday interactions with people. Have the difficult conversation. Introduce the idea in the meeting. 

Would you walk a ten foot plank? If you can do it on the ground you can do it in the air. 

Are you elevating artificial consequences of failure? 

Bravery to let go. Think monkey bars. You have to let go or else you get stuck. The thing you are afraid of will actually happen if you struggle to let go. Don’t be so comfortable with how things are that you fail to let go. 

Learn a new skill. 

Copying. Try what others do. 

Innovating. New style. Dangerous because you want to hold onto the old thing. 

Crisis. When you realize you’ve stopped growing. Am I willing to start over again? To learn new skills and apply them in my context. 

Do you have people in your life who will speak truth to you before you realize you need people in your life who will speak this truth. 

Bravery to wait. Bravery is not bravado. Plant both your feet even if it feels crazy. Grow deep roots that bear fruit in decades regardless of what everyone else says. 

Dan Owolabi

“You’re gaining weight.” A compliment in one culture taken as a criticism in another. 

With diversity you gain differences. Diversity can be hard. It’s hard work so how do you do it? 

The worst leaders recognize it’s hard and get bitter. The best leaders are cultural intelligent leaders. The ability to understand another culture without losing your convictions. The don’t get weird, they engage. 

Walt Whitman says, “Be curious, not judgmental.” 

We are all learning in real time. You don’t have to be ashamed. In fact you are making progress.  

The reality is cultural intelligent leaders will win the future. They can work with people who are different than themselves. Diversity. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. 

Robert Morris 

Take The Day Off – why is this the hardest Leadership principle for leaders to do? 

Whatever industry you’re in, you’re a leader. 

You trained for something but somehow you got too good. 

Take the day off. From the original top 10 list. The top 10 principles to enjoy your life and for a healthy society. And really they are not too hard to do. 

Flee youthful lust. It really is a youthful desire. It is repulsive to be intimate with anyone other than my wife. 

There is one do. It has nothing to do with church. Ex 20:8 set apart one day a week. You have 6 days for ordinary work. The 7th day is rest. No one may do any work. This includes you. Your employees. Even your dog. 

He got an idea because he allowed his mind to rest one day a week. 

You’re not having a mental breakdown, you’re just tired. Maybe this might be one of the most important things you hear today, take the day off. 

Cynt Marshall 

Going “All In”

Does what is happening in the world wear you down? Yes. Aware of it and run towards it because I’m a leader. 






In order to be effective leader:

Listen to the people. Listen for even what they are not saying. 

Learn from the people. 

Love the people. Not as employees but as people; including their baggage and dreams. 

Tell me your life story. 

Where do you see yourself in five years. 

Provide a vision. 














There is a difference between doing things right and doing the right things. 

Tell the truth. Even when the most authoritative people in your life give permission to lie. As leaders character matters. 

Inclusion is behavior that promotes and sustains a culture that understands, welcomes and caters to our differences. 

Inclusions is the recipe for success.

Inclusion insists on participation. 

Inclusion makes the numbers count. 

Diversity is being invited to the party. 

Inclusion is being asked to dance. 

Help you feel comfortable and invite you to participate. You can’t assume people know what’s going on. 

Just because you are right, does not mean I am wrong. You just haven’t seen life from my side. 

What inspires you? Inspiration is about people. As a leader you not only have to inspire others, you have to be inspired yourself. 

More Notes Coming as we continue today and tomorrow!

5 Tips to Help Pastors Get Organized and Maximize Ministry Impact

We are all busy and sometimes we can feel overwhelmed with all that we have to do. Having a clear plan, setting goals and staying focused can make all of the difference in how productive you are. Here are a set of proven steps you can take today to increase your organization and see ministry success.

1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives: Evaluate where your are going and how to get there.

Our staff recently worked through the K.I.S.S. Method of evaluation. The Kiss Method of Evaluation is a framework used to assess and evaluate performance. It stands for Keep, Improve, Stop, and Start. The Kiss Method involves four steps: 1. Keep: Identify the activities that are working well and should be continued. 2. Improve: Determine which activities could be enhanced or changed to be more successful. 3. Stop: Identify activities that should be discontinued in order to improve performance. Maybe the reason you are unable to move forward with fresh ideas is because you have no margin. 4. Start: Identify new activities that should be implemented in your ministry. By using the Kiss Method, organizations or individuals can assess their performance and make changes as needed in order to optimize results. Consider setting aside an hour this week to work through the K.I.S.S. Evaluation Method for your ministry. Pull our your calendar and make this an appointment.

2. Create a System: Establish an organizational system that works for you and make sure to use it.

To establish an organizational system, start by setting clear expectations for volunteers, staff and families. Ensure everyone has written roles and responsibilities that are clearly communicated to the whole team. Create a structure that is easy to follow, with plans for regular check-ins and communication. Utilize technology to organize and track progress and information. Finally, provide ongoing training and support to ensure everyone is on the same page.

3. Prioritize Tasks: Take the time to determine which tasks are most important and focus on those first.

Prioritizing tasks for begins with understanding the mission and purpose of the ministry. Ask yourself what goals need to be achieved and which tasks need to be done first to reach those goals. Make a list of tasks to be accomplished and prioritize them based on the importance, urgency, and difficulty level. Once tasks have been prioritized, assign roles and responsibilities to each task and delegate to the appropriate team members. Finally, set deadlines for each task and keep track of progress to ensure that goals are met.

4. Schedule Time for Yourself: Don’t forget to make time for yourself and find balance.

Schedule some time for yourself each day, even if it’s just 15 minutes. This can help you stay grounded and focused on what’s important and help you stay connected to God. Everyday at 1:00pm my phone reminds me to “Be Still and Know God.” This simple reminder keeps me focused on God. Find activities that you enjoy and and bring peace such as kayaking, reading, praying, hammocking, or listening to music. Make sure to prioritize yourself and your needs, so that you can be the best version of yourself for your family and your ministry.

5. Utilize Technology: Take advantage of technology to help you stay organized and on track.

Utilize tools such as online calendars, task management software, and social media tools to help manage and promote events, connect with parents and volunteers, and keep track of your massive to do list. Technology can be used as a distraction OR it can be used to simplify your work. With the right technology, kids pastors can keep children engaged and connected no matter where they are.

Don’t let the feeling of being overwhelmed rob you of the joy and impact of ministry. Put these 5 tips into practice and you’ll be amazed at how organized and successful you can be in your ministry. Your calling is too big to go on as before. Take an action step today and make a plan to get organized and maximize ministry impact!

KidzMatter Breakout on Social Media Strategy 

Social media changes and adapts everyday. On your own, you can’t keep up. Imagine having confidence in your social media strategy as you serve families digitally! Let’s talk about what’s working in kidmin social media. 

Social Media has it’s traps. 

REAL life example. 

Permission to post. (Facebook Closed Groups)

Never finished. Fear of man. Living for approval. 

My goal is not for you to become a social media influencer. I want you to partner with parents and disciple kids. 

Imagine having confidence in your social media strategy as you serve families digitally! 

Cue, Habit/routine, Reward. 

Cue: New Series

Share bible reading plans. Share memory verses for families.

Example: @kidsat12stone – Memory Verse Video 

Cue: You are asked a question. 

Is this a question 99 other people are holding in? 

Example: @bibleappforkids – Not sure how to teach your kids about the Holy Spirit? Visit the link in our bio to discover Bible App for Kids stories that can help!

Note: Shor.by

Cue: “I’m excited about…” “I can’t believe….” “Please pray about. ”

Use social media to enhance relationships. 

Be social on social. So many people use social media as a blog or mini journal. 

Don’t make it all about you.

Example: @lcparents – “How Can We Be Praying for Your Family?”

Cue: Your family loves something. 

Movie, book, game, outing, church take home activity…

Example: @northpointupstreet Sticker for water bottle.

Note: Kids, not just announcements. Telephone vs Megaphone. 

Cue: This is fun.

Share the personal, fun side of ministry and life. 

Example: @tbcokids – Joy Joy Joy

Note: emoji icons. Teaching point. Simple. 

Cue: We have a need.

Vision. Imagine a restaurant posting, “We need more customers.”

Example: @Saddleback_kids – You could change a kid’s life just by by being there! Become a Saddleback Kids Leader! 

Example2: @Highlandskids – There’s no team like the Dream Team! Shout out to the amazing Highlands Kids #DreamTeam! 

Cue: Seasons and Holidays 

Link in bio for recipes, decor, and activities!

Example: @elevationekidz – Fall Family Activities

Cue: Sunday

“What did you learn?” “Did you have fun”

Make this easy for parents. 

Example: @redrockskids – weekly resource

Cue, Routine, Reward. 

@SandalsKids YouTube – Church Services

If you quit for 30 days, would anyone notice? Would anyone actually care? Would your content be missing? If yes, resume with purpose. If no, find a new way to serve families. 

Don’t make social media a quest for self importance. Your job is kids pastor. Which task would define this better. 5 hours a week recording and posting content or 5 hours WITH you kids. 

Social media changes and adapts everyday. 

On your own, you can’t keep up.

So, do what you do best in all areas of ministry, build a team.

Equip the saints for acts of service. 

Huge. YouTube – Statista 2022, over 2.6 billion people worldwide use YouTube once a month.

Podcast: Social Media Marketing Podcast by Michael Stelzner

Book: From Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital Discipleship by Nona Jones

Book: MetaChurch: How to Use Digital Ministry to Reach People and Make Disciples Dave Adamson

Solomon Foundation Conference Notes 2022 

Collaboration: It Stimulates Brain Health and Increases Youthful Vitality Dr. Wes Beavis, Psy.D. 

Fred Brown running the mile. 

Lap 1 – Scoffing and ridicule 

Lap 2 – Judging and criticism

Lap 3 – Advice giving 

Lap 4 – Encouragement 

Collaboration (def.): the action of working with others to produce or create something.

Principle #1: Talent is often discovered and developed within the context of collaboration

• We flourish in collaboration and flounder in isolation. 

“Finally, the king’s chief cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he told Pharaoh. “Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard. One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning. There was a young Hebrew man with us in the prison who was a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he told us what each of our dreams meant. And everything happened just as he had predicted. I was restored to my position as cup-bearer, and the chief baker was executed and impaled on a pole.” Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh.” Genesis‬ ‭41:9-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 

Principle #2: Collaboration is a remedy for Emotional Exhaustion and Burnout

Symptoms of Emotional Exhaustion

* Lack of motivation 

* Trouble sleeping

* Physical fatigue 


* Absentmindedness



*Difficulty concentrating

Root Cause: Accumulated stress from personal life or work, or a combination of both. 


* Take a break 

* Eat healthy and exercise 

* Get enough sleep

* Meet with a counselor/coach

Eliminate the stressor (so much to do)

“When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?” Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.” “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”” Exodus‬ ‭18:14-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Principle #3: Collaboration Increases Brain Size

& Intelligence(Activates Neurogenesis)

“Collective action and the collaborative brain”

Brain health, not brain size. 

• Brain size does correlate with both group size and population density. Neurogenesis by collaboration. Being with people.  

• Collaboration causes growth in areas of the brain associated with communication and learning.

Collaboration requires the most advanced skills of all: > Building Trust

“Creating an environment where people feel psychologically safe is a prerequisite for successful collaboration. Without trust, people won’t share their ideas or feel comfortable taking risks” Allaya Cooks-Campbell

Collaboration – most complex and most powerful form of teamwork. 

Cooperation – more ownership not just taking orders. 

Coordination – most simple. 

“The Umbrella of Mercy” might not take you to the goal but inch you in the right direction to shift towards the goal. 

> Engaging in creativity and innovation. Neuroplasticity.  

Not always a problem to be fixed but simply a tension to be managed. 

> Resolving inevitable conflict that arises from working at complex levels

Scientific research has revealed. 

• As an environment becomes more unstable,  collaboration is a key to navigating and surviving the uncertainty. 

Brain operative at 7% better capacity. 

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed… A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)

If collaborative abilities remain low, a group is predicted to split, with a small proportion of individuals contributing to public good and the rest free-riding. 

20% doing 80% of the work. 

• Collaboration activates brain regions involved in reward processing independently of material gains. 

Dopaminergic lift comes from collaboration regardless of goal achievement. You don’t actually have to reach the goal. The journey of working together may be the real goal. 

Principle #4: Collaboration, especially during difficult circumstances releases oxytocin (the bonding chemical) that strengthens relationships. 

“The juice is just not worth the squeeze.” 

“I’ll see you right through to the end.”

“Not running, not shuffling, but bonding.”

Ecc 4:10 “for if either falls, his companion can lift him up.”

Who has lifted you up? ___

Who are your people? 


Dr. Diana Glyer 

Secrets of Success from C.S. Lewis. 

Clive Staples Lewis, known as Jack. 

Not just who lifted you up while you were running the marathon but the people who modeled life and you thought, “I want more of that.” They showed you a vibrancy of life. 

His words transfer over time and they continue to grow decades after his death. 

Four key traits:

1 Range – He wrote poetry, theology, and Children’s books. He was sensitive to the world around him. Not only what did he say but when did he say it? Different seasons of his life. 

2 Surrender – the depth of his commitment to Christ. What was it like to know him? He held nothing back. “The most thoroughly converted man to Jesus Christ.”

He grew up in a Christian home but experienced the hardships of pain. His faith was shattered by the First World War and death of his mom. But he was not good at being an atheist. “I don’t believe in God and I’m mad at God for not existing.”

He met sincere Christians. He saw embodied faith.

The most reluctant and dejected convert in all of London. Faith in Christ is not a sprinkling of what you want to do anyway. He realized what it meant to be a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice wants to get off the alter but chooses to stay. Hopes, dreams, and aspirations surrendered to Christ. 

3 Mind and Heart. Not enemies but companions. A continual life of learning. He wasn’t just a brain but he cultivated his heart of compassion and curiosity. 

In preaching are we bringing together wonderful stories as well as deep understanding? Realize God at a deeper level than ever before. Do we bring wisdom? Do we give helpful insights even in average conversations? 

Boarding schools were bleak. Worked and lived in Oxford. By age of 19 he published first book. Spirits in Bondage. He sold very few copies but kept writing. 

4 Friendship 

What changed? If Lewis was equipped for success and surrendered daily, and nourished his mind and heart, what transformed him from an obscure college professor to who we remember him today? Friendship. 

JRR Tolkien – when he first met him, he didn’t like him. He needs a good snack. 

Tolkien was the missing piece and was rocket fuel for what God wanted to do through him. 

Difference in rank. Rookie and tenure. 

Temperaments. Lewis was boisterous. Tolkien was introverted and spoke softly. 

Lewis was an atheist at this time and Tolkien was a devote catholic praying for Lewis. 


How they dressed. 

They overcame their differences. Stopped thinking of differences as a problem and recognized differences were strengths. 

How can you use their unique perspective? What do they value that perhaps we are undervaluing? 

Energy and press vision because of our differences. 

Tolkien and Lewis became friends through a book club. Iron sharpening iron so continued to meet. Profound through simple decisions. They got together for lunch once a week. Unstructured time meeting together. Lewis called it his favorite hour a week. They didn’t even write a mission statement, they just got together and grew in trust. 

They had the courage to connect and they practiced a variety of ways of supporting each other. They invested time. 

Praise counterbalances the negativity and shame of our culture. Not just impacting those we speak to but our own souls. 

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Encouragement is directed towards the soul. To put courage into the hearts of those who are listening. Focused on an individual. I believe in you. Most people are starved of encouragement and hearing confidence that God is using you. 

“I’ll believe it until you can see it.” We can hold hope for someone else. If words were water, encouragement pushes into the cracks of the soul. 

Practical Help – gathering paper for one another during a paper shortage so everyone had enough. 

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.””

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We become so busy and stressed when we try to be all the body parts. 

“I got stuck, I needed help.”

It’s amazing what happens when we function as the body. 

Mentoring through example and becoming an apprentice to their way of life. People further down the road so we know what’s coming. Here’s what worked for me. Shadow them for the weekend. Interview them. Why do you do what you do? 

Is there someone you need to be mentoring? Invite them to coffee. Come alongside. 

Resonating – I understand. Tell me more. 

The gift of listening. Slow to give advice. They give feedback to you what you told to them. 

Listen patiently. Ask good questions. Clarify. 

Then restate what you hear. It sounds like…

In the piano you listen to the body of the instrument not the vibration of the string. 

Curiosity. Become more genuinely curious. 

Humility. As you listen get away from the assumption my experience is the same. Believe you. 

Patience. You don’t need to just jump in and solve the problem. Listen. 


What has the past year been like for you?

WhY do you feel you need most in your life going forward? 

Secret to success. Understand that by the grace of God we really are better together. 


Kingdom Minded in a Castle World 

Tradanius (Trey) Beard Northwest Church of Christ 

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 

Everyone has a personal relationship with God but he didn’t mean for it to be private. You are not an island.  

What is Kingdom? (We grew up in a democracy and read with a bias.)

A territory by which a king rules and reigns. He influences the kingdom through His will, power, and law. 

Maybe we’ve done church but not kingdom. Don’t be castle-minded but kingdom-minded. 

You can’t have a kingdom without a King or Lord. 

We are so concerned with Him being the Savior of our lives we miss Him being Lord. We become spiritually vampires wanting His blood to be saved but not king of our lives. 

A Kingdom has a territory. A Kingdom has a constitution. Our constitution is the Bible. 

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Allow the Word of God to be law in the Kingdom. 

Every Kingdom has subjects and we have become those subjects in the kingdom. The citizens don’t dictate the constitution. It’s not what we want, it’s what the King wants. 

“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,” Colossians‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What does this look like in 2022? Kingdom is not what we do a few hours a week. How do we make sure we remain kingdom minded in a castle world? In a kingdom we are trying to evade territory. Colonization. Culture over another territory. Teaching new language, new law, and new lifestyle. When you invade territory, the more territory you invade it gives the King more glory. “All the the Glory of God.”

Thy Kingdom come on Earth as it is in heaven. Take over territory. Invade Earth with Heaven. 

Invade the hearts of men for God to reign and get more glory. 

How do we become Kingdom Minded?

1 Know Your Limitations. 

You can’t do it alone. God gives the man of God vision to set before His people. 

“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

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:4-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There is no member of the kingdom who is not gifted. The constitution dictates the culture. God says He didn’t give us all the gifts. He made it necessary for us to depend on others. 

2 Always Remain a Student 

We do not graduate from being a disciple. God calls us to go make disciples. It’s hard to go make something you are not. 

“Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.” Luke‬ ‭6:40‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We are not above the King but we are trying to be like the King. 

“Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” Luke‬ ‭2:52‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus increased in wisdom. 

Jesus even grew in every area. 

Wisdom. Psychological. 

Statue. Physical. 

Favor. Spiritual. 

Favor with man. Social. 

3 Recognize we are not in competition with one another. 

“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:6-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Paul and Peter’s ministry was different but they were on the same team. God causes the growth. 

“John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” John‬ ‭3:27-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In one season you are okay with encouraging one another because things are going well for you but in other season you stop being a cheerleader because your season has changed. This isn’t how it should be. 

See how the seasons change:

“John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”” Matthew‬ ‭11:2-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus didn’t just die for us, He lived for our model example. He is the Lord and ruler of my life. 


Don’t Be Fooled.… Retirement is Terrible for Your Health by Dr. Wes Beavis, Psy.D.

Myth: Retirement is one long vacation after an eternity at the grindstone. 

Retirement (def.): to remove from view to withdraw from circulation. 

Retirement is Cultural. it is not Biblical. 

Num 8:23-26 When a Levite turned 50 years old their work responsibility did not end, but simply changed.

We are to always bring value to one another. 

Current retirement model- 

Preparation 25 years – learn how to do life. 

Occupation 40 years 

Relaxation 25 years

• In the two years following retirement, participants in a study experienced a cognitive decline equivalent to 1.7% relative to the general population. 

Use it or lose it. 

Cognitive decline at an older age. 

• The study revealed that decreased mental activity results in atrophy of cognitive skills and suggests that retirement plays a significant role in explaining cognitive decline at an older age.

• The largest negative effect was in “delayed recall” which measures a person’s ability to

remember something mentioned several minutes ago. 

3 IQ points drop in average. 

65 years of age IQ = 100 (Average)

76 years of age IQ = 84 (Below Average)

80 years of age IQ = 70 (Low)

90 years of age IQ = 63 (towards half)

• There are now more people over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 5 – a dispersion that has never occurred before

• People who retire early have a higher risk of dementia than those who stay engaged in social

activities and continue using their brains in the same way they did when they were working. 

Do This Instead!

Preparation 25 years

Systems Leadership 40 years – minimum time control (family, profession, financial) 

Free Agency 25+ years – maximum time control because no longer responsible with family, profession, financial. 

Go long and strong. Actually live the last years of your life. 

Consultancy, Coaching, & Mentoring – it’s okay to charge for it. Even if you give the funds away. 

Tourism with a Purpose – collaborate. Could you meet with pastors in the area and encourage them? 

Part-time organizational work 

Whatever challenge gives you that “Friday feeling” (Sun arvo) Sunday afternoon relief. 

Benefits of the shaded zone: Memory & Recall

Thinking “on the go” and solving novel problems (fluid). Adapt. 

Maintaining Independence & physical mobility

Ability to access the stockpile of knowledge (crystalized)

Create income

Expand relationship

Maintain relevancy 

Limit self-worth erosion

How much time do you spend preparing for free agency phase? How much self worth are you attaching to your current position? 

“Senior employees in general are slightly slower to pick up on new technology than their younger colleagues, but once they have picked it up, they tend to apply it more productively and with less error.” David Bogan & Keith Davies: Avoid Retirement and Stay Alive

Healthy life-long contribution, contributes to a longer healthier life (read Psalms 92:12-14)

“But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.” Psalms‬ ‭92:12-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

YouTube. Making life better with Dr Wes Beavis 

Try new things that tax you mentally. 

Vacation but not full time. 

“The trouble with retirement is you never get a day off.” Abe Lemons 

Our brains thrive on consistency and novelty. We must hold both simultaneously. 

Juxtapose with mental effort. 

Day 2

Expanding the Kingdom Together 

Doug Crozier

The TSF Model

We are your ministry partner, we are not your lender. 

We want to be in relationship with churches and their leaders. 

It is more than lending money. 

We are here to help with when needed. 

Tuesday #WMLC calls

Dr. Wes – clinical psychologist 


TSF Update 

2021 was another record breaking year. 

Total growth $162 million 

Gross deposits were $227 million compared to $192 million in 2020 and $154 million in 2019. 

No delinquent loans. 

Lowered our troubled debt restructures from $48 million to $27 million. 11 loans to 9. 

Lowered our loan loss reserve by 1.2 million. 

2021 Openings!

Opened 31 projects in 2021

15 of the 31 churches who never had a building. 

Over 45 projects in constructions. 

965 million assets. 

Record Cash reserve 145m

Pipeline of 143m

Planned giving initiatives. 

Funded almost 900m in loans in 11 years. 

Many to the fastest growing churches in the restoration movement. 

“RLM and 242 are Solomon customers”

Over 11m granted to churches and para-church  organizations. 

Churches grew by over 125,000 people. 

Over 45,000 baptisms

Next building phases are needed now. 

Current Trends Church

People are coming back to church since Easter. 

Record giving levels. 

Record baptisms. 

New people

Online is here to stay – but we need to get people back in person. Relationship. 

Struggles: burnout, anxiety, and many more. 

Current Trends Economy 

Inflation needs to get under control. 

Building costs are not going down. 

Interest rates are going up. 

Political polarization is here to stay. 

Work force shortages. 

Planned Giving 

100M Initiative

Donor Advised Funds 

Field of interest funds. (Build your own)

Single organization fund.  

CRUTs, CRATs, etc. 

The 20x Factor 

The power of an endowment!

What’s Next? 

Goal to visit every loan church in person in the next 12-18 months. 

Dream about the next phase, new sites. 

Consider a TSF Single Organization Fund with your mission or ministry programs. Build an endowment. 

Get a retirement plan for your staff. 

Get into a mentoring group. 

Hire an executive coach. 

Celebrate the wins together.

Pray for the next season of ministry. 

TSF Church Loan Panel 

Stories of Collaboration 

Alain Lopez – multicultural family church

Matt Richardson – New Church

Will Archer – Potomac Valley Church

Tim Moore – X Church

God does miracles when you step out in faith. 

Fight to include voices that are different in leadership. 

Embrace the fact we are all messed up people. 

You will always have fear when you step out in faith. Pursuing the giant, you have fear. The difference is what are you going to listen to? 

Faith is being obedient in the moment. 

If you put together all the Latino population in the US it would be the second largest Latino country. 

There is a need for resources in Spanish. 

Don Wilson – founding pastor CCV / Accelerate 

Orpheus Heyward – Renaissance Church of Christ

Jerry Harris – Christian Standard. 

20 year span of independent Christian churches grew 3.5x 

God is moving in our movement. 

Baptisms were also 3.5x 

Leadership pipeline 

Leverage the power of our unity. 

Learning again the principles of our movement. 

In matters of doctrine, unity. In matters of preference, liberty. 

Preference does not have to divide us. 

Be careful unity does not bring about unity. Your mission brings unity. If we are not careful we can allow our preference to become a denomination. 

Don’t compromise a doctoral truth. 

The people in our churches need to encourage young people to go into ministry. Christian parents don’t want their kids going into ministry. More counseling majors than ministry majors. We will have staffing issues. When hiring from within you might not have people called to ministry but just ministry in your church. 

How do you champion the restoration plea in the next generation of leaders? 

An elder based leadership model. 

How do we make decisions has changed over the years. Congregational vote. By the time you finally make a decision the Holy Spirit has gone on to another church. 

The elder lead model where we trust the pastors to lead. Pastor lead, elder protected. 

Protect moral integrity. 

Financial stability. 

Doctrinal truth. 

Pastoral succession. 

Checks and balance model in leadership. 

Lead pastor sets the vision and elders support the vision. 

The Bible governs the church. 

New church planters are being told to wait a long time for elders. When it hits the fan, you better have elders to protect you. A dangerous trend is the first executive team being pastors across the country but the congregation doesn’t know them or trust them. 

Life eldership is hard because you have the guys who were there before you and plan to be there after you. Rotating eldership brings new vision. CCV was one Sunday offering off from closing for 5 years. 

Keep bringing in younger elders so your pipeline is always fresh. 

Marriage conference based on the traditional vows. 

Matt & Tina Wilson: For Richer or Poorer

Matthew 19 and Mark 10

“Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 

Do you play to the crowd or hold fast to essentials? 

Financially poor and spiritually rich. 

Religious leaders in Jesus day thought Jesus didn’t measure up. That he wasn’t religious enough. 

If you’re not happy following Jesus with nothing, you won’t be happy with riches. 

If religious leaders seem helpless, what hope do I have? 

Moses gave you permission for divorce, God didn’t. Work it out. 

• God doesn’t bless ministry dependent on money, but ministry dependent on faith

• God doesn’t bless marriages dependent on money, but marriages dependent on love

• When we think we’ve given up something for others, we need to remember it wasn’t sacrifice but investment

• Marriage and ministry both prosper in season as long as Christ is the focus

Chad & Malisa Goucher

In Sickness and Health. 

Choose your emotions ahead of time whenever possible. 

2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the

knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Don’t allow circumstances to cause you to forget who God is. No matter what the doctor tells you, be gracious to those people and give God glory and honor. 


•Remember what God has done for you in the past. Remember Daniel 3, but even if He does not…

•Submit to Gods story… the results may not be what YOU wanted

•Stop asking “WHY” and start asking “HOW”

•Always consider your spouse

•Always put Joy on the Calendar

Wes & Ellie Beavis

For Better or Worse

Culture’s Current Position on Marriage:

Stay in it as long as you are happy and your needs are being met.

God’s Position on Marriage:

Marriage is the crucible of life-long commitment where a couple learns to become the best version of themselves… and that growth can never happen if you or your spouse wear a parachute, ready to jump out of the marriage when things become turbulent.

“For better or worse” provides a context for us to take appropriate risks and become vulnerable… without being inhibited by the fear that our missteps will result in the termination of the relationship.

Be a Championship Team – a win for you is a win for me. Ecc 4:9

Have a vision for your marriage (a rational one)! 

A commitment to write a very good last chapter. 

A commitment to bring value to those around us. 

Pass the ball to whoever has the best shot at scoring in the moment. 


5 steps for collaboration in this event. 

Make friends. Connect. 

Know your audience. Send out a survey to guide where you’ll be most helpful. 

Enjoy the credibility. Have other churches speak into what you are doing. 

Reap the ongoing fruit. 

Learn from all the leaders here. 

Executive Pastor Collaboration with Jimmy McLoud

Our movement is behind the curve when it comes to churches collaborating with one another. 

No playbook to be an XP but maybe we can help one another succeed. 

Team Culture Statistics 

2020 study 5000 employees. 

On average 2.09 wasted hours per day. 

Program for adults with disabilities. 

“Missional Businesses”

3 types of procrastination 

Classic – put off what you don’t want to do. 

Creative avoidance – busy being busy. Distraction from. The real work. 

Priority delusion. Shift to less important tasks. Tyranny of the urgent. 

1 common response to eliminate lost time: Collaboration. 

Also 75% say job satisfaction in collaboration. 

When project fails, because of a lack of collaboration. 

Our teams are hungry for shared wins. People both need one another and want to be with one another. 

3 enemies of collaboration specifically in churches and non profits.

3rd lack of alignment. 

Thing that worked was having a plan. How to execute the vision. Give a playbook. 

Clear, intentional and vision focused. 

Communicate the plan consistently. 

Once a month, highlights of the plan. Evergreen. Ask what needs to shift. Re-communicate it to the staff every month. 

Hold people accountable to the plan. Quarterly goals set with the team leader. Smart goals. Stretch but not kill you. Make sure the goals align with the plan. 

Nehemiah Principle. 52 days to complete but still paused to remind them. 

Core values are more than a poster on the wall. 

Staff core values that align with the church core values. Core values referred to as “culture statements.”

When issues arise, start with the core values. PIP should align. Core values are our filter. New ideas or programs need to fit. 

2nd Lack of Trust – 5 dysfunctions of a team. 

Absence of trust is the fear of being vulnerable. Solution is relational equity and trust. 

Spend time together. 

Get to know each other. Don’t just rush right into train but give time to hang out. 

Human Bingo. Find someone who has ____. 

Intentionally getting groups together for lunch. 

Invite teams to dinner at your house. 

Foster a culture of healthy debate. Allow disagreements. Trust you can disagree and stay on the same team. Ask for different view points. 

Have fun together. 

Block out an afternoon to go play putt putt, watch a movie, corn hole, chili cook off. 

See what happens when you put different things into a microwave. 

Demonstrate vulnerability first. Risk losing face so the team will be willing too as well. Admit weakness and failure. 

When we have someone do a swot analysis type project and stick it in a drawer, it does more harm. Do something with the precious information they trust us with. 

Don’t just student ministry think. Bring a worship leader in to think with the group. Have outside thinkers. 

In staff meetings, stop doing ministry updates and celebrate wins. Only share wins that are mission/vision focused. 

1st Busy

Be intentional in your minutes. 1,440. 

4/5 say too busy to accomplish everything they want to in a day. 

Culture of people who trying to make up for lost covid time. 

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Set down what you are working on in order to help others. Don’t be too busy for your team. A busy culture needs us to lay down our life for our friends. 

Tips to improve collaboration meetings. 

Never skip planning. Communicate the purpose of the meeting ahead of time. Tell them what we are going to accomplish and how. Have an agenda for the meeting. Help them be at their best and ready to collaborate. 

Refresh the expectations. I know we set out the goal for the meeting but let me remind you the desired outcomes. 

Honor the agenda and honor peoples time. 

Average attention span of adult is 20 minutes. 

Productivity dies when people are tired. 54 minutes. 

Before leaving the room outline clear next steps. 

To improve collaboration get everyone involved in the meeting. 7-8 people in the room helps decision meetings. 

Keep things positive. Don’t allow naysayers and can’t do attitudes. Atmosphere matters. Music before meetings. Food if dreading the meeting. Good lighting. Natural light. Get off campus. Change scenery. 

Encourage open mindedness. Affirm. 

What gets rewarded gets repeated. 

“Successful teams do consistently what other teams to occasionally.” – Craig Groeschel

Don’t allow meetings to be dominated. Ask someone to stop talking or ask someone specifically what they think. 

Schedule time to be interrupted. 

Be the main cheerleader for the team. 

What Matrix should we measure. Get Dashboard Help. 

Thank you TSF for investing in Southern Hills! We truly loved the conference and walked away refreshed and ready to take collaboration seriously!

D6 Conference Notes #D62022

It’s hard to capture all the notes while sitting through a family ministry conference and I’m here to help. I’ll attach my notes as we go and will do my best to jot down that quote or key takeaway you were hoping to save for later. Come back throughout the conference as I’ll update as we go.

Here are the things that I needed to hear most:

*stop to pray and intercede during counseling. 

*When you pray are you considering you are talking to royalty? 

*What if we shifted our thinking from ‘tactics, methodologies and programs’ to ‘building objectives?’

*Don’t fall for the trap of doing ministry for Jesus when you should be doing ministry with Jesus. 

*Extroverted people like a celebration setting to feel close to God. Introverted people like quiet time for reflection to feel close to God. 


War In The Wilderness – Parenting Through Difficulty by Brian Haynes 

Parenting between 2 garden. The Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3 and Garden of Peace in Revelation 21. Everything in between is desert. This is life. 

Midbar. Wilderness you can survive in. Isaiah 43:19. We forget we live in the desert sometimes. 

T’siyah. Desert you can survive in if you have help. Jer 2:6

Yashiymown. Desert you can’t survive in. Psalm 78:40. 


We are raising our children in a desert called “life.” A very real wilderness war. Eph 6:10-14

War-fighting through difficulty. 

Spiritual battles – lies

2 basic lies. Lies about God and lies about yourself. Overpower lies with the truth. Identify lies and replace them with truth. 

Physical battles – sickness

Often acted out in different ways. Stress related sickness and cutting. 

Mental battles – mental health

It’s all connected. 

Can’t focus on the spiritual because so messed up physically or mentally. You need to help in all ways someone is battling. At first it might appear through one battle but often all 3 are under the surface. 

The freedom cycle. (For spiritual battles)

“I wasn’t worthy of God rescuing.” Lie and it gives birth to other issues. 

The event leads to a lie. The lie gives birth to a cistern (living water vs hole in the ground you dig and capture water that eventually become toxic). A cistern leads to a thirst. The thirst leads to another event. 

Cistern can be any type of thing they go to instead of God to medicate the pain. Leaves you empty eventually. 

Break free from the cycle by pointing to truth and truth leads to freedom. You have to believe truth in order to get out of this cycle spiritually. Often a work of parents and other adults all speaking new truths. A work of the Holy Spirit so we must pray for it. The truth is what sets you free. This is a fight. Abide, hear, and obey. Build a tribe. Learn to pray. How will you know a lie, if you don’t know the truth? 

*stop to pray and intercede in counseling. 

You need a counselor, a doctor, a pastor…You need a tribe. 

Learning to pray is far more than thanking God for food. Recognize demonic assignments being made in your own home. Generational sin. 

Keep drinking living water. 

John 7:37



General Session 1

Hear O Israel means to listen in, to stop and listen.

The world and families change the Word of God remains the same. 

Remember the goodness and kindness of the sovereignty of the Lord.

“Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence.” Ecc 8:3

Dr. Richard Ross

D6 is For THE Kingdom not for their kingdom. 

If we can detect the highest goals of parents we can understand those parents better and move them towards change. 

1. Ones life in Christ, including parenting flows from the heart. 

You shall love the Lord your God with all you HEART. 

First Love, Revelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.”

We have got to see the hearts of parents change before anything else about parenting is about to change. 

2. Parents with a first love in Jesus embrace biblical goals for themselves and their children. Can you imagine parents with these goals for their children, higher than any other goal for their kids? 

3. The majority of church parents don’t have a first love in Jesus.

4. Parents are not doing what you want them to be doing because of lukewarm hearts. 

Until parents’ hearts change, their practices in the home for discipleship will not change. 

We’re you ever closer to Jesus than you are right now? 

5. Guide

Church parents have 3 goals for their children. Success, happiness, and Morality. 

Carefully lead parents to identify their top goals for parents. Then show them their top goals are the same goals as the lost people. Gently but clearly show parents having the same goals as the lost is the same as having cold hearts. 

Parents spend 10% of their income on Club sports…In other words they are tithing. 

6. Parents need genuine discipleship in order to have hearts oriented towards in Christ.

What do you want to see passing from one heart to another? Disciples are transformed when they being to embrace the cross and the thrown. 

Parents move towards a first love in Christ as they fully embrace Jesus. 

When you pray are you considering you are talking to royalty? 

7. Parents restored to a first love in Jesus will embrace biblically sound goals for themselves and their children.

8. Parents who embrace biblically sound goals for their children will be motivate to lead their children spiritually.


New Maps For guiding Your Ministry Objectives. 

What was the epic childhood toy of your generation? 

Boomers 46-64 – Space

Gen X 65-80 – Cabbage Patch Doll / Rubik’s Cube

Millennials 81-94 – Tickle Me Elmo

Gen Z 95-12 – Angry Birds

NASA had 8 goals. Their systemic problem was a complete lack of focus. 

President JFK said, “Land a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth before this decade is out.”

3 problems that had to be solved. Propulsion, Life Support, and Navigation. 

The whole organization rallied around this to achieve the mission. 

Children’s Ministry and Family Ministry have a similar challenge. 

VBS/Sunday School/Youth Group/Large Group/Small Group/Community Groups…

“What if we shifted our thinking from ‘tactics, methodologies and programs’ to ‘building objectives.’”

Most people see the how of your ministry but the why is what drives your ministry. Your how is informed by your why. 

It’s what happened below the waterline that sunk the Titanic. 

Guiding Objectives

Bible Engagement (daily reading not just church reading)

Sharing One’s Faith (creates growth and accountability)

Volunteering in the Church (they belong they don’t attend)

Involved, Nurturing, Warm Adult 

Insight #1 – Barna Children’s Ministry Leaders fell like they have little impact. 

Insight #2 – The reality is…

39% or 2 out of 5 children in the children’s ministry have a positive, meaningful real action ship with a mentoring adult. 

Achieve the mission. We need one loving and caring adult in the lives of each child. This is what makes the difference in a resilient child.

Bob Ross Principles-

Foundation – Bob Ross always painted the background first. It’s boring and bland, but you have to start there. The background is the why of your ministry. Intentional Ministry.

Layers – know why you are layering. 

Mistakes – happy accidents. 

Time – people wrap their minds around the what because we think it can be solved in 90 days. It takes a generation to see significant results. If we want to redeem our families it takes time. 

What to do this week to implement? Number one thing is having the most robust systemic questions on the under side of the iceberg. Have conversations about our why. 

Church and home have to work together in ministry. 

Discipleship that occurs in the home is transformational. 

@ronhunter @Markins 

Pastor Paul Kim from South Korea 

Pastor Alex Kennedy 

Define reset as to set something as it was or to set something in a new and fresh way. 

Remember God’s grace in the Shema. 

A cup filled with water, a little bit at a time, that is now overflowing. 

Love God, Love Others…Begins with God’s love for us and overflows. 

There’s a big difference between condemnation and conviction. 

Conviction is from the Spirit and full of hope. 

Robby Gallaty 

Performing for an audience of one. Who do you do ministry for? Who are you performing for? Who are you counseling, teaching, or leading for? 

Hebrews 11 Enoch pleased the Lord. 

“It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:5‬ ‭NLT‬

Enoch didn’t please his spouse. He didn’t please the chairman of the board or his boss. He didn’t please his pastor or the deacon. He pleased God. 

You can’t please God and fear man. 

Prov 29:25 “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. 

What’s more important to you, the approval of God or the applause of man? 

You can not please God and promote self. 

Promoting self is such a gray area because we justify it for the cause of Christ. 

The higher you climb, there’s no graceful way down. 

Some of you are climbing a ladder of success that you’re going to realize is leaning against the wrong wall. The wall of self achievement. 

Charism outpaced character

Godliness was a byproduct of gifted news. 

Fanfare of the world outpaced the Lord. 

Ministry can become a sudductive mistress. 

We can fall in love with the ministry of Jesus but fall out of love with the Jesus of our ministry.

You begin to enjoy the tile, accolades, and forget the person who called you into ministry. 

The Bible became a tool and not a treasure. 

You know you’re sliding in the ministry when 

Don’t fall for the trap of doing ministry for Jesus when you should be doing ministry with Jesus. 

Leading on Empty Book: Pastors get into the trap of burnout. You bypass how the Bible is meant to nourish your soul. Bible, heart, mouth but before burnout it’s Bible, mouth, speak. Are you there? You can’t outsource your devotional time with God. 

Jesus never promised an easy life but He did an easy yoke. 

You can please God by faith. 

Exodus, rule of first use in English. Tool of interpretation. 

When a word is introduce in the Torah it impacts the rest of the Bible. 

“So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill.” “As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭17:10-13‬ ‭NLT

Faith is the word for steady. Continuing. 

Faithfulness. A great translation is allegiance. A rededication. Loyalty to something you re-up over and over again. To have allegiance to God everyday. Jesus is the King to who I give my loyalty. Believing it is so, when it’s not so, because God said so, so it can be so. 

Do I believe that God can send revival to my context? 

If you don’t slow down, you’re going to burn out. 

The law of reciprocity. When you do this, you get that. 

But what about the Spiritual disciple of silence and solitude. 

Silence was God’s first language. He spoke everything out of silence. He spoke to the profits out of the still small voice. Have you sat long enough to bend your ear to the accent of the Holy Spirit? 

Over time, when you let the water sit, the sediment is still and you can see through it. Think of your soul this way. The volume of the culture is so loud. You can’t hear the voice of God. Our prayer life is trying to tell God that He can do better. It’s about getting God’s Kingdom on Earth through me and that takes listening. Started with 20 minutes. Soon it because insatiable…and not to GET something from the Lord but to just sit with Him. 

The problem is not your staff, the problem is you. Gut level honesty with the Lord is painful. If you sit with the Spirit long enough you see where you are prideful. That you really want the credit. That you have jealousy in your heart. Jealous when another pastor baptized more people. If you can’t pray for the church down the street to be blessed then you have an issue. 

Robby heard from the Lord. 2 words. Spontaneous baptism. And for 15 weeks a season of revival with 1000+ baptisms. Do you have a word from God? 

Every great movement of God begins by not moving. You have as much of God in your life as you want. 

You may be the blood clot for revival coming to your church context. The problem might be you. Prayer and repentance. 


General Session 2

Resetting your mindset with the mind of Christ.

Key Point #1: We reset our mindset when we recognize that our thoughts are not God’s thoughts.

Key Point #2: We reset our mindset not by thinking positively but by thinking righteously.

Key Point #3: We reset our mindset by unlocking our thoughts through repentance.

Key Point #4: We reset our mindset by transforming our thoughts with the mind of Christ.

Romans 8:5, ESV For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”

Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Are you choosing your thoughts over God’s. 

Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Prov 4:23

Who or what influences our thoughts the most? God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.  

Choose today who you will serve. You have to choose your thoughts every single day. 

We have a world where emotions are driving the bus and this has to change. 

How do you want to feel when you wake up tomorrow? What do you need to think to feel that way? 

We need to think righteously. 

Eph 4:22-24, NLT “put away the old person you used to be. Have nothing to do with your old sinful life. It was sinful because of being fooled into following bad desires. Let your minds and hearts be made new. You must become a new person and be God-like. Then you will be made right with God and have a true holy life.”

We have the mind of Christ but a lot of times we don’t operate in that, we shrink back into the flesh. 

Repentance is the key. We need to repent of our negative mindsets.

WWJT: What would Jesus THINK?

Romans 2:4, ESV “ Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”

Our thoughts impact our body chemistry. Our minds control our body. How have you been talking to yourself? A lot of kids are mean to themselves. 

Embrace a mindset of “want to” vs “have to.”

What worries do you need to give to God so you can walk in confidence? 

Book: When Sorry Isn’t Enough

The power of “even though” and “with God’s help” tapping. 

Gratitude, give thanks 139x. 

Mindfulness 5-4-3–2-1 (bring yourself into the present)

Distraction – Not addiction. 

Containment (give your worries to God)

Matthew 16:21-23, ESV “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

The Mind of Christ is the goal but not the means. 


What would your life look like today if you lived out each day believing you had the mind of Christ?

SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely)

What is one takeaway you will implement this week?

Share it with someone

Power of writing it down

@TheDenisePass @MichelleNietert 


Game: Easter Bunny: Cute or Creepy – https://www.downloadyouthministry.com/p/easter-bunny%3A-cute-or-creepy/games-3117.html

How do we help the next generation of introverts become who God created them to be at home and at church? 

You were made on purpose, for a purpose. Being an introvert or extrovert is not our identity, nor is it our destiny, they are just descriptions.

Empower the next generation of introverts. People being how God made them to be. 

Being an introvert isn’t a struggle, it’s a super power. See the gifts within you.

Knowing that God intentionally created introverts and extroverts. 

It’s not about how you like small talk or being in groups but about your brain science. 

Dopamine or acetylcholine – 

Extroverted people like a celebration setting to feel close to God. 

Introverted people like quiet time for reflection to feel close to God. 

Brain pathways, extroverts like quick action and quick conversation. Connecting with everyone at the same time. 

Introverts take into account the past, present, and future. Need more time to process but go deeper to add more context to the conversation. Connecting with one person at a time.

Help introverts get solitude and support. Help introverts live connected. Give space.

Love your neighbor as yourself. This is one neighbor. The Good Samaritan is one person. Love in God’s economy is about quality and not quality. How has God equipped you to love one person at a time. 

Help the next generation of introverts by replacing labels and expectations with love and encouragement. 

Shyness is about fear. Being in an environment with less stimulation. These are different labels. Quiet has taken on a negative connotation in our culture but in scripture it’s beautiful. 

Make it your ambition to live a quiet life. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

You are observing, what did you notice? Tell me about that? Give students a place for quiet and a place for reflection. The church can offer a balance of both enthusiastic worship and quiet reflection. 

Extrovert happiness feels like enthusiast and excitement. 

Introvert happiness feels like calm and contentment. 

It just looks different. One is not more valuable in God’s eyes. Be who God created you to be. 

Elijah the profit. The still small voice of God. God is in the whisper. Sometimes He blows are mind in the big expressive way but other times in the gentle whisper. 

The only person God is asking you to be more like is Jesus.

Let me help you see yourself the way God sees you. Here’s why God made you exactly who you are.


The Power of Discipling Kids in Worship

Psalm 8:1-2 MSG “God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name. Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble.”

Every time you press play on a song in your kids’ classrooms you are unleashing God’s power.

Matthew 21:16 NIV “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

I have a dream that every church leader and every pastor would champion worship to happen in the disciples they are making. 

2 Samuel 12:19-20 “David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

Stop just doing songs and start leading kids, students, and families in worship.


How to Measure Success in Youth Ministry 

Rabbit Starvation and Youth Ministry

What I realized, is that change happens over time, by God’s grace in ways I don’t often expect. 

The Relevance Myth

They starved to death eating twice the amount of calories they were recommended daily. 

If we are just their friends, that’s enough. But we don’t realize that friendship is not discipleship. 

The path to relevance makes you feel like you’re accomplishing your mission but the most important thing is not for the students to like you and follow you, it’s for them to follow God. 

Real relevance is not saying to kids what we think they want to hear but speaking to them what their hearts have always longed to hear.

The Pragmatic Myth

If it works do it…if it’s healthy it grows…weeds grow, cancer grows, James 1 says sin grows. Our culture shares this myth. Do it whatever the cost because if you throw everything at it, then it will grow. The problem is they are not here to hear your message. 

Events and programs are not necessarily transformational but a form of rabbit starvation. When our mission is all protein and no fat the church is in trouble. 

The groups that depend on the blubber animals are the most fortunate in the hunting way of life, for they never suffer from fat-hunger. This trouble is worst, so far as North America is concerned, among those forest Indians who depend at times on rabbits, the leanest animal in the North, and who develop the extreme fat-hunger known as rabbit-starvation. Rabbit eaters, if they have no fat from another source—beaver, moose, fish—will develop diarrhea in about a week, with headache, lassitude and vague discomfort. If there are enough rabbits, the people eat till their stomachs are distended; but no matter how much they eat they feel unsatisfied. Some think a man will die sooner if he eats continually of fat-free meat than if he eats nothing, but this is a belief on which sufficient evidence for a decision has not been gathered in the North. Deaths from rabbit-starvation, or from the eating of other skinny meat, are rare; for everyone understands the principle, and any possible preventive steps are naturally taken.

Overconsumption of relevance and pragmatism has left many churches filled with unsatisfied. 

For students a TP Cannon is far more exciting than an adult sharing the Bible but that’s not the goal. 

Not how big but how vibrant is the youth ministry in your church? 

Ask your pastor, what does a well developed disciple of Jesus Christ look like? This is success for you. 

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

How do we build disciples that last. 

Proclaim Christ and Him crucified. 

Gospel Preaching and Disciple Making

Discipleship is inherently personal. 

“Avoid the vocabulary of numbers over names.”

Eugene Peterson

Repent of our idols of programs and relevance. 

Agonize over the right things. Be more passionate about the Christ likeness of your kids. 

We don’t do this alone. Go and make disciples by teaching them. We can not do this on our own but here is the beautify, Jesus is with us always even until the end of the age. 


Time in a Bottle

The 260 Concept – From the time your teenager is 13 years old until age 18 years, you have 260 Saturdays. How will you spend your 260?

Do you need to redefine how you spend your Saturday’s? 

As the time get’s lower on the clock the intensity changes. If the athlete realizes they might not meet their goal in the allotted time they change the strategy. 

Parents must evaluate where you are, know the time you have with your children is getting lower and lower and change the strategy as the time expires. 

The teen choice coach approach

Create positive family traditions. Frozen Friday. 

What is a tradition you have or want to have and how do you do this consistently. 

Begin with the end in mind. 


Healthy Marriages, the Starting Place of A Great Family Ministry

Finding the source of the Nile. Underwhelming. 

Marriage is a lot like the source of the Nile. It’s not very exciting once you get past the wedding and the cake. The marriage not so much. But that’s the headwaters. That’s the starts. Family Ministry starts at marriage. Not at baby dedication or high school. 

Some of you guys are doing really incredible things but a lot of you are starting halfway down the Nile. Kara Powell shows us that 12% of parents have faith conversations. Maybe we need a tweak and need to go back to the start of the marriage because it just flows downstream. Correcting a polluted stream is hard. 

What would happen if you shut down everything you did to help parents disciple their kids and you just help marriages? Maybe you do both. 

*NextGen ministries must champion ReEngage. 

If you want to have a great marriage, draw a circle around yourself and fix everything inside the circle. You have maximum control of everybody in that circle. 


Reset to Produce


to Readjust, Realign, Reboot, Recalibrate, Recharge, Reconnect, Reevaluate, Reexamine, Reflect, Refresh, Regroup, Renew, Replenish, Restart, Restore, Retreat, Retune, Revive…Amen!

Jesus said…..I am the True Vine, My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch that does not bear fruit He takes away, but every branch that bears fruit He prunes that it may produce more fruit. Abide in Me, and I in you. A branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me…From John 15

Jesus said.I am the True Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit, but apart from Me you can do nothing. If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask and it will be done. By this My Father is glorified that you bear much fruit and as you produce fruit you prove to be My true disciples.. From John 15

Jesus is The Vine…We are the branches (+) Half-Time Adjustments (x)

+ Abide bear fruit x

*God’s Heart for Multiplication*

The word prune sounds painful, and guess what, it is!

There is always purpose in pain.





(x)Intentionality (x)

Rest (+) Adjust (x) Reproduce

+Evangel-Shift x

+Disciple-shift x

+Leader-shift x

To Hear

To Learn

To Obey

To Share

Ask more questions. Offer more prayer. 

*PRAY because Prayer is Ministry and Prayer is something we can ALL Do…

With open hands…

“Prayer is a powerful form of indirect communication. In almost every conversation there is something that we can respond in prayer for/with them.

*May I pray for you…? *How can I pray for you…?


How a Heart-Based Approach to Parenting Changes Everything

Every family is unique, every family has a story, but we aren’t the heroes in the story. Watch what God does. 

Inside the heart we find:




The problem with a behavior modification approach is it feeds the selfish side of a child. Reward/punishment model in parenting feeds the selfishness in a child and has long-term damage. If you do this, then you will get that. We need to focus on the heart. 

Character: A patter of thinking and acting in response to a challenge. 

Psalm 19:14

May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my rock. 

Romans 5:3-4, Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. You can only control one word here; perseverance. 

Common Belief: My job in life is to have fun. As kids are going out the door we say, “Have fun.” Or as they come back from church it’s, “Did you have fun?” Don’t encourage this belief that their mission in life is to have fun. 

A Mission-Oriented View of Life: Love the Lord your God with all your HEART. My mission in life is to love God with all my heart. Integrity, maturity, godliness, responsibility.

When you pursue pleasure the outcome is addition. 

Overemphasis on safety leads to anxiety! Safety is not our goal in life. We go behind enemy lives. Christians are who are on a mission and not bound by safety. 

Two Training Cycles

A break vs time out. A break resembles repentance. 

Jonah, cycle #1 to get things done. 

When a child is off track we move from Cycle #1 to Cycle #2 and we refuse to allow them to engage in what they are doing. Taken into the workshop of the heart. 

The heart is the most sacred place on earth because that’s where God lives. 

What is God doing inside your heart?



To be continued…Consider saving this as a bookmark, sharing on social, or subscribing on the homepage so you don’t miss a thing.

Take the D6 Conference home with you! Get 2022 videos and MP3s at https://store.randallhouse.com/product/d62022-media-vault/

KidzMatter Mega-Con 2021 Notes

How to Use Media in Your Ministry Like a Pro

Can you do one in the Digital Ministry track (like how to use media and games when you teach) We are short in this area. You can also push KidzMatter PRO and the KidzMatter store. You can give everyone a coupon for a free game download at KidzMatter. Thoughts?

Why it matters? 

Did you know that 90 percent of the information processed by the brain is visual?

Retention: Researchers found that people are likely to remember only 10 percent of the information they heard three days after they heard it. However, if an image is paired with that information, people remember 65 percent of the information three days later.

Engagement with kids: If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million.

God’s Example:

God chose communication methods or MEDIA to speak with His people.

Face to face with Adam and Eve – Genesis 3:8

In dreams and visions for Joseph – Genesis 37:5

With a burning bush for Moses – Exodus 3:1-9

The sound of a voice and appearance of a dove at Jesus’ baptism – Matthew 3:13-17

Tongues of fire for the Apostles – Acts 2:3-4

*Different media for what the person needed at that time. 

Noah – object lesson – building the ark.

Moses – written document of authority.

Jesus – stories, parables, metaphors 

Jesus – also sermon on the mount with verbal instructions

See the difference:

  1. Worship Transitions – see the difference?

“Good job kids. Who wants to sing another song?”

Kids, You can have a seat. 

I love singing about how God’s love is never ending. He Fights ’til your found. 

God is the highest King and he welcomes you? He loves you. 

So now we are going to lift up another sweet sound of worship to our Father, the God who loves you so much. 

  1. Games – see the difference? Reverse Charades

**Piece of paper or whisper – pogo stick jumping

Video: Music, a picture, countdown. EASY, brush teeth. Hard, ride horse

  1. Teaching – see the difference? 

Choose today who you will serve and as for me and my house we will serve the lord. Jeremiah 24:15

The Right Choice Video with David Laflin

  1. City Station Preschool – see the difference?

*Interactive – what stands out.

Boost your brand – 

Signage to help people know where to go. 

New here gifts to help people know they are welcomed. 

Bright colors

Kidmin Logo

Feeling at home. 




How does it feel?

Social Media – 

Printed Media – 

Audio – 

Video – 

Promotional Videos – 



Your Curriculum


Book: From Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital Discipleship by Nona Jones 

Podcast: Tim Elmore Growing Leaders Habitudes

Thus saith the Lord

God, what might we need to let go of?

Jesus, how can I lead in a new way? 

Holy Spirit, might you have a word for us today? 

How Your Church Can Intentionally Love Your Community

The Story of City Station.

Growth and need to build. 

Let’s not build something that gets used only a handful of the 168 hours in a week. 4100% increase.

Would Your Community Care if Your Church Disappeared?

If your church was at risk of disappearing, would your community rally and fight to keep it alive?

Model: Mobile within our own facility. Everything multi-purpose. 

Baby steps: 

Boy Scouts. 

Boys and Girls Club. 

Another church meeting at a different time. 

Office space 

Software to manage spaces.

Parties and events 

Building design

Cleaning up and leaving stuff out. 


Building and communicating to the city. We are building this FOR you. 

Ground Breaking – City officials 

Tours for all the decision makers. School principles, mayor, police chief, city counsel. 

Grand opening was on a Saturday, not church Sunday. 

Opened – 

Story: Basketball open gym. Over 90 people. Hole in the wall. 

1 year in video

Today – Update

400-600 events a month

In August City Station hosted: Birthday parties, Baby showers, Bridal Showers, Banquets, Blood drives, Business meetings, Board meetings, Boy Scouts, Basketball, Body Blast, Brunch, and a Back to School Experience

We hosted Event Rentals for people names: Betsy, Bruce, Butler, Bryant, Brooks, Ballentine, Beam, Briona, Brandi, 

2x Brian, Brenda, Brittney

What’s in your hand?

Nicaragua Church – Edgard example.

Space: Room rentals, open gym, 

Equipment: Musical instruments, inflatable, nerf guns, sporting equipment

Technology: computers, video editing,

Skills: helping to plan gatherings/parties, 

Events don’t all have to be yours. You can lend your space. 

Special needs prom might be more than you can manage but what if you approached the school and said you would love to host and decorate? 

Carrollton Dawn Breakers Rotary – 1,000 boxes of food given away! 

CCF – College Ministry

Blood Drives

Music on the lawn

Rooter float nights

Community Asks:

Santa Pictures 

Halloween at City Station

Divorce Care, Grief Share, 

Equipped to Counsel 

Faithful with the little things, ruler over much. 

Where there is no vision, the people perish. 

To equip the saints for acts of service. (Impossible to do with just your staff)

More Resources:

Know What You’re FOR: A Growth Strategy for Work, An Even Better Strategy for Life by Jeff Henderson 

Other Video

How can you unsilow your church from the community? 

Who do you need to build relationships with? Reach out to clubs and schools.

Ask: What is in my hand? 

Invite: Would you like to be a part of ____? Prom football team and cheerleaders. 

Share: Offer your space.


I hope to see you next year. For more info check out: https://www.megacon2022.com/

Developing and Retaining Volunteers

Do you care more for your volunteers personally than you do the work they do for your ministry?

In this interview I sit down with my friends at D6 to talk about why a family culture among volunteer teams is important, and why you might be struggle with delegation.

Check out a 5 minute clip and download the full episode:

For the full interview:

Apple Podcasts:


Watermark Church Leaders Conference Notes 2021

God’s Church is unstoppable – Matthew 16:18

3 Things That Never Change 

Blake Holmes – Campus Pastor


1 the character of God. 

We constantly make theological decisions. How we spend money, deal with suffering, all our decisions. Remind yourself of who God is. 

Jeremiah 9:23 boasts in knowing God. 

Heb 13:8

James 1:17

Fix your feet on the rock. 

Rest in the character of God. 

2 the word of God. 

It’s not your opinion about the text, it’s the text that matters. Not everyone doing what’s right in their own eyes. God’s authority and His word remain the same. 

Ps 33:11

Ps 119:89

Fix your eyes on the rock. 

“What does the Bible say about that?”

Basic Worldview Questions:

Who are we?

What’s gone wrong?

What’s the solution?

Where are we heading?

3 the mission of God. 

Rome fell, products come and go, companies fail, blockbuster, Enron, floppy discs, countries. 

To make His glory know through all creation. 

Luke 19:10

The Bible is one story of the mission of God. 

Col 1:15-18

1 Cor 2:1-5

Matthew 16:13-18

Session 2

Don’t Stop Giving Feedback. 

John McGee & Caitlin Van Wagoner

Are you open to some feedback?

Feedback is a means of God’s grace. 

Healthy churches view feedback like Eph 4:15 as an act of love. 

How to give feedback like a pro:

Ask permission. Are you open to receiving feedback and is now a good time? This levels the playing field. Timing matters. 

Fight frustration. Prov 15:2. 

The emotional state should act as a barometer. 

It could mean you need to look at your motive. 

Be specific. Not helpful to generalize. 

Pinpoint specific examples. 

If you can’t define the problem it’s not fair to ask them to work on it. 

Make it actionable. 

Paint a picture of success. 

What if next time you considered “x”

Frame your feedback as an act of love and service. Help connect the dots for them. Wounds from a friend proverb. 

How to receive it like a pro. 

Consistently ask for it. “Do you have any feedback for me?” How can it be better?

Fight defensiveness. 

Choose to see and receive it as an act of love. This person loves me and is for me. They believe in me or wouldn’t say these things. Fight or flight. If always defensive then you stop getting feedback. 

Seek clarity. 

Ask questions. What do I not see? 

Paraphrasing back. 

Try it on. 

Think of it as a shirt. 

You don’t have to own it all. Ask your wife and community. Explain it and see if it’s true and what you need to do. If hearing the same feedback repetitively listen up. 

Move towards them. 

Thank them. I believe you’re for me and I appreciate that. Here’s my next step and why I’m owning it. 

Ask, what would you do if you were me? 

Say thank you and let them know the next steps. 

This is biblical. Eph 4:15. 1 Thes 5:14

Sharpen one another. 

If your church gets this right you start to produce healthy leaders and then your church is healthier. 

Feedback is a skill you can learn to grow. 

Give feedback because it’s a way we understand our gifts. No personal manual on yourself. Instead, He chose to give us the body of Christ. 

Give 10 positives to every corrective feedback. 

It’s hard but worth it. 

David Marvin – Young Adults. 

Identity becomes wrapped up in ministry. You become the ministry and this is dangerous. Your identity should be in Christ alone not your responsibility to keep the ministry going. Identity is a constant battle involving 2 things. 

Self-esteem and self-acceptance and self-worth are different. 

Self-esteem is a roller coaster of performance. 

You can walk in self-acceptance because of your identity in Jesus.

You are completely accepted in Christ. Am I enough, yes? Jesus already answered these questions. Rom 8:1-4. 

Everyone asks, “Was that okay?” There is only 1 person to who you should be asking that question. God is the only one who has the right to answer that question. 

Your value or self-worth is unchanging because it’s not dependent on circumstances. Your worth comes from being made in the image of God. Gen 1:26-27. Moses delivered this truth to slaves under Egyptian rule. Your worth has nothing to do with what you do. 

Penny Illustration – some are old, some are shiny, some have been in the trash, what they have in common is value because of who’s image is on them. Regardless of your success, you have value because you matter to God. Jesus paid the highest value to God. God was willing to pay for everything for you. You have value. 

Callie Nixon – director of women’s ministry teams.  

Thank you Jesus for your love and for my story!

Prov 28:13

Truth is being canceled and the church is losing her voice. We have to learn how to lead with a limp. Hidden and unconfessed sin. 

3 ways I almost canceled myself: 

I almost never confessed. You feel your sin disqualifies you. 

I almost kept my confession to one room. What if by sharing your story you start to become free? When you share people get set free. Obedience takes the next right step. A healthy body sharing weakness brings joy, not judgment. Remember God is kind and prepares the way. God is asking you to believe and obey. 

I almost let ungodly responses stop me. 

Remember Ps 34:18

John 14:15 if you love me keep my commandments. 

You might get canceled. Don’t send people out of the church bring them in. 

When the church is in a season of grief it’s hard but be bold and obediently follow. Don’t be sidelined by your sin. 

Lead from weakness in Christ rather than strength in yourself. 

“It’s not about becoming a smarter sinner but to fall in love with Jesus.”  – JD Rogers watermark institute. 

What is it like to work at Watermark? David Penley 

Culture- the way a group of people behaves. What is allowed and what is encouraged. Teams can even have a culture. Peter Drucker says culture eats strategy for breakfast. Culture endures. 

How you can build a culture? 

Clarify your culture. What is the set of behaviors that define our culture? Define it as a team. 


Excellence. Honors God and inspires men. 



Ownership. Pick up the trash. Stop and arrange the chairs. 

Relationships. We are a team serving on a mission but also the body of Christ. 

Trust. The trinity of trust. Professional,…

The watermark staff owner’s manual. A small book that outlines what is expected, tolerates and corrected. 

Celebrate your culture. When you see excellence, celebrate publicly. Correct privately. Preserve it to build it. 

It takes effort to be excellent. 

Why is fun part of our church culture? 

Farkling. We celebrate losers. If one person loses and they pay a consequence 99 people celebrate. 

CBS sports March madness. Losers go to magic school and perform for staff voted and picked a loser. Comedy school. Hot Fudge Sunday. Take the SAT at a high school. Cinderella-themed dance. Hire a choreographer. Have to do it at CLC. Loser makes a trick shot and lives there until. 

We need laughter.

Ecc 3:4. Ministry is full of times to cry. Prov 17:22. 

We need humility. 

Level playing field. Phil 2:3. 

We need unity 

Eph 4:3

Ps 133:1

Shared experience is team building. Break from normal life. Have fun. Farkle 

Wheel of consequences. 

Take Fun Seriously 

Tongue test:

No complaining. 

Don’t brag. 

No gossip. 

No insult. 

Don’t defend or excuse yourself. 

To affirm and encourage people. 

Community Shepherd Showcase

Rom 12:1

Simple 2 Cor 11:3

Stillness ps 46:10

Solitude mark 1:35

Surrender John 15:5

2 Cor 1:8-11

Where is our strength? 

It has to be from God from beginning to end. 

IS 40:28-31

Strength in weakness because it brings about dependence on God. Follow Him. The weakness we feel is a blessing. We don’t have to feel strong to be strong

What is our next step?

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalms 46:10 NLT

There may be a question I need to ask but it all starts with being still and knowing God. I am a vessel filled by God and that’s most important. 

What’s our hope?

2 Cor 4:8-9

Rev 21

What is our confidence?

John 4

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT

Removing the word just from the “just” pray. 

Our prayers reveal our deepest convictions about God. What do we believe about God and the Gospel?

Abide in the Lord. 

Walk humbly with our God. 

If not, it’s a red flag and you need to slow down. 

Pray scripture. 

Pray until you pray. 

Stopping to pray for someone is one of the most loving things you can do for them. Before someone leaves my office, pray. 

*writing letters to the church. Biblical example. Write handwritten letters to encourage the church. Strength and build them up. Remind them of the God who saves. 

-write first and last name and we will address, stamp, and mail them on your behalf. 

Shifting a Culture. Pastor JP

Some of you have been spinning your wheels and the harder you try it feels like the more stuck you get. 

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. 

Culture is a strategy applied and lived out. 

Ask, why do we do that? Respectfully ask the question why don’t we do it this way. Senior leadership defines the culture. 

5 things to do in an effort to shift the culture. 

S.H.I.F.T. Don’t forget the fun or else it’s really crappy. 

Start with the mission statement. Actual or inspirational? This is what we are doing and we will base success on this. We will spend money on this. We will do this. We exist to … and then every decision made is run through the mission. If it doesn’t fit don’t do it. 

Core values are what you want to be about. 

Check-in and measure yourself on these values. Who is living out Christ in me? Who is living out what love does? Who is living out we are family? If you aren’t living it out stop everything and do it! 

Honor the history. 

Esteem those who went before you. Know the history. 

We benefit from their hard work. 

Honor but don’t enable. 

Invest in the individuals

You can cast vision widely but it comes from the individual to see if there is buy-in. 

Prob 15:22

Groupthink matters. The minds of individuals. 

The Lord has called us all here. 

If you don’t choose this church here then I will personally help you find a place where you make more money. 

If you had to love God more before the sunset today, what would you do? Meeting adjourned, you have to go do it right now. 

Frequent Fun

You have to make this a priority. 

Whirley Ball – go make a memory. 

https://www.cheapcaribbean.com for the winner 

Loser goes swimming in January. 

Trust that trust doesn’t transfer. 

Trust is gained in drops and lost in buckets.  

Go slow. 

If there is broken trust in your staff you need to deal with it. If you’ve been hurt by someone in this room, you need to deal with it. If you haven’t, do it now. If you haven’t told them, stop now and address it. The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy. Don’t give him the opportunity. 

When you’re stuck and spinning your wheels, invite God into the problem. Scoot over out of the driver’s seat. If wheels are spinning maybe these aren’t the changes God is wanting you to take. 


Making Your Church Staff An Awesome Place for Female Leaders

John McGee & Caitlin Van Wagoner

The Church should be the best place for women to lead and use their gifts. Hear how we think about women in leadership and get practical takeaways for how both men and women can contribute to further cultivating a healthy, God-glorifying environment for female leaders.

It shouldn’t be weird, it should be normative with brothers and sisters in Christ working together. 

Why Talk About This? And why now?

 The math issue. Generally, senior leaders are men, and support roles are occupied by women. 

Women are working longer in the workforce. Thinking different about career trajectory. 

Society is telling us there is no difference between men & women. Younger women are trying to apply God’s truth inside the church structure. 

We take 1 Timothy 3 / Titus 3 seriously. 

Two roles are designated for men inside the church: Pastor and elder. 

Outside of those two roles, we expertise freedom and wisdom’

We have several instances of men report to women professionally. 

Whose job is it to make sure your church staff is awesome? It’s yours. It’s both of our jobs. 

What’s at stake:

If you get it right, all people feel like they can flourish, lead, and deploy their gifts. 

If you get it wrong, women, especially young women, feel demoralized. 

3 Barriers to making your church staff awesome for women: 

 Assumed ceilings

Development disparity

Unhealthy boundaries. 

Analogy: If scripture draws the boundary at the 20-yard line women are at the 50-yard line tiptoeing around the issue. 

The vicious cycle of assumed ceilings:

Leaders don’t clarify where true biblical ceilings exist and where there is freedom. 

This leads to confusion, women self-limit and then don’t aspire to roles. 

 Then leaders assume they know the career trajectory of the women they lead. 

A role becomes available and a woman is not considered because a woman hasn’t expressed an aspiration to the role. 

Women don’t feel freedom or safety to clarity their desire for the role. 

Often not malicious. 

Clarity ceilings with humility, prayer, and using scripture as your guide. 

Men – it is unkind to not clarify the filing. Have regular conversations about career trajectories. 

Women – if you’re unclear, seek clarity with humility and courage. Initiate career trajectory conversations. Embrace your gift. 

Express your desires and aspirations in the annual performance reviews. 

Development Disparity 

Let’s do some math. Most senior leaders in the church are men. 

 + most support roles are women 

+ natural tendency for older men to develop younger men 

= fewer development opportunities to be developed professionally in leadership roles. 

When John walks out of the office to grab lunch he will naturally grab a younger man. Understand this disparity. 

Initiate development conversations

Women – ask for feedback regularly. Own your development. Ask for access. 

You are your own “Chief Development Officer” it’s not a sin to be assertive but it’s a sin to be prideful. 

Men – Prioritize the development of everyone on the team. Give regular feedback. Same shots. Lean into the encouragement of calling out gifting in your staff. Debrief after significant meetings. Did you see this? Did you pick up on that? Here’s some context for the meeting. Or as we walk into the meeting here’s some info you need to know about. In God’s economy, use your power to serve. 

Unhealthy Boundaries – A unique dynamic of being on a church staff. 

Men Diagram of Personal, Spiritual, and Professional. In a church, there is a lot of overlap. 

An image of the church is that of a family. There will be a closeness in the family of God. 

When you add the spiritual component it also becomes very personal. 

We need wisdom to balance this dynamic. 

How we think about…

Men report to women – not just professional advancement but the spiritual part. Typically someone in the same department where there is the same gender to talk with about issues that arise in the personal and spiritual side of things. At the root of professional issues is often a spiritual or personal issue. Professionally some men report to women. 

Married/single/male/female dynamics – Personal Guardrails that are helpful. Do not text married men one on one about purely personal things. No asking how was your weekend. Do not call or text specifically married men at night out of respect for their wives and families. Pursue the wife of the men you work with. It would be a loss for you to not develop a relationship with the spouse of those you oversee. Clarify these guardrails with those you lead on day one. 

Guardrails are important but don’t treat women like sexual predators who are seeking to destroy your marriage. Billy Graham didn’t have an affair and finished strong. The posture for both of us matters. It’s not a trust issue but respecting your sisters and brothers in Christ. Clarity is kindness. Feeling like your work with your brothers can feel awesome. 

Meaningful Healthy Boundaries:

Be thoughtful

Be wise

Communicate clearly

Affirming women publicly. Praise publicly and correct privately. In staff, meetings call out the good of what you are seeing. 

If someone says they are just a secretary, correct and reframe the ministry they are doing. 

Communicate this is a valuable person on our team and here are the huge things they do for the body. 

Eph 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Visionaries and Integrators: The Due Turning Ideas into Action

John McGee & Eric Hassfurther

Book Recommendation: Rocket Fuel

If you were to go back and start the relationship how would you get there? Move from nothing to something. 

The Concept

What is a visionary? 

Creates/keeps vision – Thinks big

“What if?” More than “Why not?”

Bogged down by details

What is an Integrator? (By far minority) 

 Laser-focused on execution and priorities. Bring clarity to chaos. 

If Visionaries ask “why?”, Integrators ask “How?” “When”

Moves the entire team or organization towards synchronized action

Help the team row in the same direction at the same cadence towards the same goal. 

Take many points down to two options and once having direction move forward in steps. 

1 plow horse 800 lbs, 2 pull 2400 lbs. You can do more together. 

Keys. To Success: Visionaries

1. Define the new dynamic for your team. 

When bringing in a new integrator: Let them know what’s coming and what this will mean practically. Show the new org chart. When you go to the integrator vs going to the visionary. Not in name or title only. 

2. Empower the Integrator

An admin will knock off your to-do list, the integrator is a lead with type person. Value gifts, empower them. I can get a yes or no from the integrator. Allow them to make decisions and put things in motion. Visionaries want to know when things are moving and need to trust the integrator to move. At times you may have to stand down and trust the thinking of the integrator. You don’t have to cast the tie-breaking vote. Give up control. You can have growth or control but you can’t have both. Circle back and give updates on the things you know the visionary cares about. 

3. Give integrator access to visionary’s time. 

Not always right back immediately but the priority is at the top. The Integrator is solving problems and getting things unstuck so don’t make him wait. Open the door for your integrator. 

4. Communicate and clarify the vision. 

Everyone knows a yes from the integrator is a yes from the visionary. No need to circle back. Clarify the vision for the integrator. A visionary may say in broad generalities and the integrator will be asking questions about it. They have the right to ask as many questions as they need to move forward with the vision. 

One of the hardest parts: Check some of your ego at the door. The hardest part was once it got going people stopped going to the visionaries office. Redeploy your energies towards something else that fits the visionaries life. 

Keys to Success: integrator

1. Force clarity for the Visionary’s priorities. 

Sticky notes that represent time. This priority here, who is working on it. Quickly you run out of sticky notes. Hire a ton more people or focus and prioritize what you are spending your time on. What are all the ideas in the visionaries head and prioritize resources towards those objectives? Manage the tension there. “You can have everything you want in the world, just three at a time.” Mutual respect working in unison with opposite and complementary gifts. 

2. Execute. Execute. Execute. 

“Ideation without execution is nothing more than delusion.” Ultimate responsibility for execution falls on the integrator. The integrator’s job is to put the team in the place where they can succeed at reaching the visionaries goals. The chief servant of the team. Have what they need, when they need it. Clear responsibilities. A clear understanding of success. Clear boundaries. Chief Unstuck Officer. 

3. Communicate well with both the Visionary and team

The team comes to you and you also need to know the visionaries heart. Weekly check-ins and often daily. Radar for what the visionary cares about. What can I just go and do without the visionary speaking into so that the team can move forward? Communicate clearly with the team. How their piece fits together with all the other pieces in the puzzle. Clarity is kindness. 

4. Stiffen your spine

Visionaries are passionate about their ideas and the integrator needs to be able to debate that idea healthily. Is this the right time, do we have the resources, how does it fit. What is our next best yes? Visionaries have the end in mind and the middle is mush. For the team the middle matters. Help the visionary see what the costs are in the middle of the vision push. Try not to say no to the visionary because it frustrates. Say yes we can but here is the cost or we can but what shifts in the priories. Tier 1 priority. Tier 2 priority. Tier 3 priority is you can work on it but not a priority. 

Other Notes:

1. Born out of a relationship. 

Someone you would want to hang out with.

2. Functions like a marriage. 

Different roles but must have mutual respect. 

3. Tension is to be expected but not confused with a lack of respect. 

4. What if we aren’t big enough for a full-time integrator?

There’s someone in the church where they already have competency in this. The COO Type executive can serve in this role. Or a group of COO’s can serve that way. Cook up a meal, invite the group over, explain where you’re going and ask for help. Do a post mortem of an event and you’ll see where gifting falls. 

5. Recommended Reaching: Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business

What is the most difficult thing to work with a visionary? 

Getting the wrap of the “no guy” is difficult. You are the deliverer of the bad news or the hard questions often to the visionary. That is part of the role. There is a part of the job where not all the work is fun. You are serving the team and the church at that moment. 

What is the most difficult thing to work with an integrator? 

How do you ensure the best idea wins vs. the biggest personality. If you have to ask your wife to submit you probably have something wrong. You need to work through things and maybe sit on them or bring more people in. We can violate a little no but not a big no. Not my preference and I believe you heard me so we will move forward. This isn’t a hill I’m willing to die on. You can knock me off this idea but you’ll have to pack a lunch and get ready to work through it if you want to move in a different direction. 

An integrator working in the flesh has a writing of a micromanager at times. Constantly be aware of this in your wiring. Where I can give clear expectations and lanes of responsibilities. Where clarity is there, I feel less need to micromanage. Submit to the Spirit. If the visionary senses this going on then step in to speak. 

Ask what’s going on? How can I help you? How can I serve you? 

If 3, expect a 3 headed monster and practice all the one another’s of scripture. Talk about expectations and frustrations along the way. 

When looking for an integrator: see how they think, operate, handle problems. Do they figure out a puzzle? Do they distill it down? Give them a test project. Personality tests with strength finder-type projects. 

When live processing, try to poke holes. If enough holes in the boat and it still floats then you have a great idea. I’m not trying to squash the idea, I’m just trying to make sure it floats. Position questions in a way that you are trying to make sure the great idea stands. 

What has maximum impact on the church? What is urgent and important. Ask what is easy to implement and have a huge return. Don’t start with the most difficult but the easy and big impact. Parable of the talents. Steward well. Think in percentages. Ask what the Lord has given us to steward. 

Study experiencing God by Blackaby

Creating a culture of authenticity 

Nate and Brett 

What does it mean to be “terminally unique”? 

The idea you are different in a bad way and can’t relate. The idea that no one understands you or can’t handle what you dealt with. Remember you are unique like everybody else. 

The idea hurts the body of Christ. Our nature is to move away from Christ but He reaches out to grab us. 

Why churches struggle with authenticity 

It’s human nature to hide and blame. 

Genesis 3:8

Porn is an idol issue, not a porn issue. 

Summer 1999: Watermarks nine core values. 


Full devotion to Christ

Grounded in grace

Passionate about prayer

Authentic in our walk

Committed to community

Committed to the uncommitted

Relevant and innovative 

Focused on ministry and service

2000 community groups involved in pastoral care

2001 first public testimony of a known leader. 

2002 celebrate recovery – everything but Jesus is a coping mechanism. 

2002 confidentiality and anonymity 

2002 watermark news stories. 

2003 hurts habits, hang-ups, and hopes series. 4 live testimonies. Struggled to find them. 

2009 Christmas Eve cardboard testimonies. All 90 stories filled up in 30 minutes. The leader knew 80 of them because they are the leader of the leaders. 

Bottom-up will affect culture/top-down will change a culture. 

Be patient, change is hard, prepare for resistance. 

Keys to changing culture. 

Start with you. Lead with your own story in every forum. Avoid us vs them thinking talking and attitudes. 

1 Cor 11:1

Call others to tell. Exhort others to fulfill the great commission through life stories of life change. Top 10 lists. 

1 John 1:3-4

Help others see. A changed life is a treasure for the church. Illustration of service. Invite all to heart testimonies. Invite pastors to share authentically in ministries. 

John 1:46

Help others tell. Review, practice, and hone testimony. Capture them in print and video. Allow them to share outside of the church. Make sure stories have been fully baked. 

Col 1:28

Don’t shoot the wounded but also don’t lead them to the front line. 

The confession of sin makes the most sense to those they have the most influence over. 

What older leaders and younger leaders need to know to build up the body. 

You can make fun of their fashion but don’t mock their passion. 

Champion them. They aren’t on probation. Be their biggest fan. I have your back. 

Empower them. Give them opportunities in all facets. Don’t be the old guy holding onto the reigns. 

Develop them. Give helpful feedback. Be a coach, not an umpire just calling balls and strikes. 

Generational Territorials will make people just go do their own thing. It’s not just they are the future of the church, help them make space for this today. Call them to hire and make a space for them to step into. 

Young leaders need to be asking for feedback and remember to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. You need people that call out gifting as well as calling out sin. It’s not you, it’s God’s gift you are stewarding. 

Be family. Be an extension of the community. 

The lessons that stick are the lessons that are painful. At a young age get your arms around where you are gifted. What are you not good at? 

A lot of people start well but few finish well. If you’re going to get in a ditch know what the top 3 reasons are you will get there and deal with those issues. When ministry is hard it will get you unless you’re dealing with it. 

Social media. The enemy can use it in a dark and twisted way. The Lord uses it to draw people to Him in a mighty way. Don’t fear and push away what you don’t understand. It can be a tool to seek to understand why. 

Social media profiles are not who they are. Sit down with them to get to know them. Don’t make assumptions. Your social media does say something about you though so know how your posts represent you. 

It is God who humbles. That’s not your job. You are to encourage one another. 

Take the time to get to know one another. We need to be about developing the next generation not keeping them behaved. Help them take over your job in a God-honoring way. 

Don’t tap out, lean in. Disciple the next generation. 

Creativity not just on social media but use those in the 9-5. Find the wisest person in the room and learn from them. In pride, you think you have it all together. 

Gen Z needs a gospel that is clear and uncompromised. Fight for this generation that needs Jesus. 

 Blake Holmes 

Ever Given blocking of the Suez Canal 

101 miles long. 50 ships a day pass through. 

Shipping across the world. Blockage estimate would reduce global trade by 10B a week. One ship impacts world trade. What a metaphor of what happens when one believer or one church doesn’t live in accordance with the Gospel. When we run astray the blockage for the community.

2 Cor 12 ambassadors for Christ. 

Impacts view of God and credibility of Gospel. 

Always strive to keep consciousness clear. 

Church, can I give you feedback? Character grate blocking our witness for Christ today. A quarrelsome spirit is killing us and hindering our witness 

2 Tim 2:23-26

“Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” 2 Timothy 2:23-26 NLT

When should I argue? 

Paul warns us against engagement in foolish arguments because it brings quarrels. What do you naturally run from? Snakes. Sushi. Avoid folkish arguments. Foolish in Greek is “moron”. Don’t be a moron. Ignorant or unlearned controversy like speculation without basis in truth. Simple to understand and hard to do, don’t take the bait. 

We should engage people with the truth. Acts 17:17. Fight for truth. Acts 18:4. Avoid foolish and unproductive arguing. 1 Tim 4:7. 2 Tim 2:14-17. Titus 3:9. Bottom line, some things are not worth arguing over but far too many of us like to argue. Look no further than social media. We live in an outrage culture expressing itself to hear their voice. A mask represents many things. A political statement to some people. Biden Badge. Conspiracy. Test in faith. Way to stay healthy. A way to serve and protect others. Do you not trust God? Do you not love others? You aren’t protecting someone or simultaneously you can’t see a smile. Is your social media clear in your stance on God or politics? Is your church know more about what they are for or against. Are people drawn to Christ by you or are you arguing?  

When must I speak? Center of the bullseye essential to the Gospel. You must speak on the essentials. Take your stand and be loud. 

When should I speak? Moving out from the bullseye. What are your convictions? Membership matters for a healthy church and other churches might not hold that conviction. 

When could I speak? The outer part of the target. Opinion. Sports. Major on the majors and minor on the minors. A ten-dollar water bottle with a sip taken out. If water bottles rise to the level of essential, you have a problem and you won’t be a blessing in your home. Your community will be repelled and confused. 

How should I argue?

Promote kindness, patience, gentleness to everyone and not just those who agree with us. Skillful in our teaching means clear communication. Patient NLT says patient with difficult people. Correct with gentleness. What you argue and how you argue are equally important. We have lost the ability to respectfully disagree. Eph 4:29. Col 4:5. James 3. Instead, we attack people’s character and fail to address the issues at hand so instead, we chase the logical fallacies. What does the Bible have to say and have you done your homework? You are never USF responding to an argument you are responding to a person. God has providential put you in front of that person to lovingly talk with them. Extend them grace. 

What are Christians like? Anti and against

What is Jesus like? Loving. Compassionate. 

How do we explain the contradiction? 

Wisdom offers a better way. 

Prov 18:2. Seek first to understand. 

Prov 29:11 Check your emotions. 

Prov 15:1 measure your words. 

Prov 10:19 Limit your words. 

Prov 17:14 Shut up. 

Barna research. Look for to talk to about faith are looking for someone who listens without judgment. 

Book: the rise and triumph of the modern self

Book: Secret thoughts of the unlikely convert. 

How did you arrive at your interpretation? 

What biases do you think contribute to your conclusion? 

The kindest letter of opposition. After a week I called and it began a friendship when someone reached out to engage a person. 

What if we trained out people in arguing?

Why should I argue? 

2 Tim 2:22

Satan is our true enemy, not those who are arguing with us. Satan is the father of lies who blinds the eyes of unbelievers. John 8:44. We are to pray for people 2 Cor 4:4. Come to their senses means a return to soberness. Escape the snare and captive devil. The goal is not to win an argument but to win a brother. Don’t interrupt. Don’t yell. Don’t take the bait. Watch your emotions. Don’t dig in your heels. Don’t miss the opportunity to love. 

Remind yourself the goal is love. 1 Tim 1:15. Humility should mark me but I put on the best plate of pride. 

Prov 18:19 It is hard to win back those we have offended. 

Pray we would begin to think again about when we should argue, how to argue, and what’s motivating my argument. Are the blessing of God flowing through my speech? Through our staff meetings? 

Ps90:12 teach us to number our days so we can gain a heart of wisdom. 

Ecc 1:11. No one remembers the former generation. 

You will die soon and be forgotten. Be on mission and sold out today. So much freedom on remembering you are a minor player in God’s story. Colossians 1. The goal is to bring GOD glory. 

Exodus 3:11-12. 

You don’t have what it takes. God’s response was simply I’ll be with you. 

1 Cor 11:23-29

Thomas saw the wounds of the Savior. 

The resurrection power of a mortal wound. We were dead in our sins in trespasses. God being rich in mercy made us alive. Romans 3:23. 

How your wounds in order to share the savior that saved you from the dead. Everyone has a mortal wound and dead in sin but not everyone has a savior. Show your wounds, share your savior. 

Share your common ground because everyone has them. Put your hand on my sin. That mans dead and gone because I have a savior. 

Thomas put his hand into Jesus wound. That’s intimate. 

We put our worst food forward as a bridge. 

People argue about the Bible. Show them your wounds. Are they going to argue about that? What are they going to do, argue your life? 

Recovering Pharisee who thought they were good enough for God. God have mercy one me. 

Undone raw opened wound. My faith is secure and know God is never done. Although the wound is open, I know He is in the process of healing me. 

I’m not a good person and need a good savior. Never forget your wound. 

Mary Magadaline is not the one who funded the ministry but Mary the one who had 7 demons . 

Paul writing the letters remembered I am writing with large letters. My eyes were affected. 

Gariseen Demoniac – we don’t even know his name. Jesus says what is your name. Legion for we are many. Crazy weird exchange. Demons bargain with Jesus about going into the pigs. Says yes to demons and they die in the pigs. Then the man is clothed and in front of Jesus. The man begs let me go with you. Jesus usually says leave that and follow me but here Jesus says no. Says yes to the demon and no to the man. Go back to where you are from. Mark 5:19. Go home to your friends and tell them how much God has done for you. Some day later they caught up. Mark 5:30. Everyone marveled. They were amazed. When they saw the demoniac they were amazed. They saw his scars and were amazed. He showed his wounds so he can share his savior. 

Show your wound to share your savior. 

He saved you to send you. Go back and show your wounds to share your risen savior. 

D6 Conference Notes #D62021

I’ll be updating this post along the way! Come back and check out my notes after each breakout and session at this year’s D6 Family Ministry Conference.

Volunteer Retention 101 with Rachel Price

Vision – The why

Why are we here? What is the vision?
How does serving on this team contribute to the vision?
Opportunity vs. obligation. 

*Survey the team, know what attracts them and keeps them. 

Organization – Not optional 

Put them in a position to win. 

Make it easy to serve. 

Communicate their time is valuable. 

Communicates you care. 


Personally – lead them personally before you leverage them organizationally. Keep a pulse on your team. 

Be there for them more than they are there for you. Actually care for them. 

Spiritually – Invest in their spatial growth. 

Organizationally – Jesus leadership model: 1, 3, 12, 72. Your team is a reflection of your leadership. 


Useful vs Used

No one wants to be a seat warmer. 

Are they there because they have a pulse or because they have a purpose? Do they know their purpose? 

Be a delegator not a dumper. 

Authority develops our leaders.


Don’t be afraid to say no, for yourself or for your team. 

Taking rest is key to avoiding burnout. 

Even God rested at creation. If God needed rest, how much more do we need it? 

Schedule on your calendar time to do nothing. This keeps your priority. 


Match the task to the talent

Right people in the right seat on the bus

Identify high-capacity leaders and challenge them.

Staff your weaknesses – let others’ talents shine where you are lacking. Moses and Aaron. 

Identify your high capacity leaders, put their talents to good use in higher positions. 


Empower and equip your team

Make decisions at the most efficient level. 

Empower them to lead within parameter. 

With empowerment comes accountability. 

Make the decisions that only you can make. Train them to think the way you want them to think. 

Luke 12:48


Show gratitude

Thank you in person every time they serve. Sincere and intentional, not just drive by. 

Card in the mail. 

Candy bar. Empowering team members to give out gifts. 

Reminder: You are making a difference. 


Relationship with your team, with the kids, and with the families. 

As You Go…

Talk to your team

What’s working? What’s not working? What can we do differently?
Do an exit interview when someone steps down. Ask why. 

Constantly Evaluate

General Session 1

Tim Elmore

Becoming Life-Giving Educators for Generation Z
Book: Generation Z Unfiltered

High Empowerment vs. High Entitlement
These teens are pictures of the spectrum of Generation Z

“Affluenza” is a social condition that arises from the desire to be more wealthy or successful. It can also be defined as the inability for an individual to understand the consequences of their actions because of their social status and/or financial privilege.

Greatest Question for today’s students.
Will they win or lose the battle for mental health?
Average teenager today experiences the same drama as students in the 60’s in a mental ward.
Will the pandemic produce distress or growth 82% of GenZ have experienced at least one traumatizing experience.
What narrative will they carry with them?

Who, are these new kids on the block?

Five generations coming of age: Builders, Boomers, Busters, Millennials, Homelanders

Coping and Hoping

1 Chronicles 12:32a – “From Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”

What are the shifts going on as the millennials give way to Gen Z?

  1. Confidence is morphing into cation.
  2. Spending money is morphing into saving money.
  3. Attacking an education is morphing into hacking one.
  4. Idealism is morphing into pragmatism.
  5. Consuming media is morphing into creating media.
  6. Viral posts are morphing into vanishing posts.
  7. Feeling special is morphing into feeling savvy.
  8. Text messages are morphing into iconic messages.
  9. Anticipation is morphing into anxiety.

In the fall of 2020, the CDC reported that 1 in 4 young adults contemplated suicide in the last month. Lead with empathy!

Music is always a reflection of culture. gnash “pajamas” – 2019 song prophetic of the pandemic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkPMM3OEJv0

Can we be thankful we got through a hard time? The narrative has changed for students.

Helping Gen Z PROVE They Can Learn
Problem: Start with a problem not a curriculum. They learn just in time, not just in case. the Bible is the answer but let’s create the dilemma the Bible can solve. Give them a problem that engages them.
Relationships: They are craving real relationships. Primary looking to the older generations not institutions. Earn the right to be heard.
Ownership: Prescriptive not descriptive. Let your kids own the problem. Project based learning where you said, “What do you think?” What goal do you want to reach?
Visuals: Do a series that is all image based. Jesus was parable based. Story images that teach a lesson.
Experiences: They aren’t looking for a sage on the stage with a sermon, they are looking for a guide on the side with an experience.

SWe have an expectations problem.

66% of today’s adults report a negative rather than a positive emotion when they think about the future of Gen Z. How do you think these feelings impact them? How about believing in them?
65% of today’s adits believe that Generation Z will not be ready for adulthood when they reach it.

Habitude Quarterbacks and Referees.
Referees enforce rules, call fouls and watch boundaries.
Quarterbacks provide direction, inspire and deploy their team.
Fight the impulse to slip into a referee mindset. Be quarterbacks.

On the scandals on college admissions: Worst part of the whole experience, when I stood in my kitchen and my high school daughter looked at her and asked, “Why didn’t you believe in me.” May that never be asked of me or you again.

Dr. @TimElmore #D62021

Valerie Bell

Think about your mom for a minute. Mom-ism’s
Walk, don’t __
Look both ways before you cross the __.
Color inside the __.

Mothers were abundantly protective of us.

Protection says get in the back seat and fasten your seatbelt. Preparation says, get behind the wheel and learn to drive because you’re going to need that for your life.
Drowning is a risk, so get in the pool with me and learn to swim.

In one year…
Opioid deaths are up by 21%
Screen addiction has risen dramatically.
Anxiety disorders have tippled.
Depression has quadrupled.

Go through the grid of preparation not precaution. It’s time to raise up the greatest and most resilient generation regardless of what life throws at them. Who were trained to face hardship. A generation like we’ve never seen before.

It’s not about fun programing and beautiful decorations but having a relationship with God for life.

The world is more needy today than it’s ever been. Many people are damaged by this last year.

When you are hurt, when you are damaged, when you are afraid, going golfing is not going to the solve the problem…there is a natural gravitation to things of God and people of God.”

We have an opportunity now, like we have never had before, to raise up the greatest generation of disciples. We are in a battle for the souls of children and I believe we can win!

Resilience: A quality describing the spatial elasticity of a child or adult, the resistant strength to bend and flex, but not break against the weight of the culture.

Resilience is possible to learn. And even better news, it’s a spiritual quality.

Resilience is the muscle discipleship builds.

Discipleship is the muscle that builds resilience.

1 factor can mitigate the problems children are facing.
Belonging – the power of a loving caring adult.

Spread faith everywhere you go, especially with children.

Believing – The power of the Bible.

Moralistic therapeutic diesem. *google what this is teaching

What do I say when things are hard, “God is for me.”

Become – The Power of Identity – This takes believing and belonging and turns it into real life. Making choices based on your allegiance to scripture and that God is who He said He is.

God is for me!

General Session 2

Arlene Pellicane

Phones as a new baby analogy.

All screen time is not created equal.
Digital Vegetables vs. Digital Candy.
A little candy is okay, but if you’re diet is built on candy you have a declining health that affects your brains.

There are no stopping cues today with technology. TV shows just continue forever without a stopping point.
Netflix’s competition is sleep.

How do you know if your kids are in trouble.
Casual, at risk, addicted.
Causal kids play for 30 minutes of enjoyment and then can put it down.
At risk kids know they are only supposed to play on the weekends but want to play all the time.
Addicted kids skip out on family dinner to play.

Self control comes from the prefrontal cortex. That muscle needs to be flexed to give it resilient power.

To be normal in today’s day and age is not a good thing.

Script the critical move. What’s the one thing that if you did in your family would make a big difference.
No phones at the dinner table.
No phone in the bedroom at night.
Help your kids regulate.

Impress the word of God on your kids heart.

Digital candy is no way to build a life.

Ron Hunter Jr., Ph.D.
After 12 years, 270 speakers!

The Grand Canyon National Park

A picture is not the same as an experience.

How long should you visit the Grand Canyon. 

We want our church to be a place not where people come and see but where they go and be. 

Four Major Family Ministry Models

D6 Model – a philosophy not a program. Church and home working together. Curriculum is a tactic that supports the philosophy. 

We did it too cool. When seniors graduated school they graduated from the church. Siloing each ministry kingdom creates individual kingdoms. D6 movement needs to be generational caring about the current and next generation. Being intentional with “as you go” moments. What do you do with silos? We bring them into the perimeter of the church. Remove them with overlap not integration. Higher accountability and deeper study. 

Integrated Model – Recognizes the silos as a problem. Brings them into the church. Removes them with integration and see parents as the primary discipler of church and home. We need to borrow more integration especially in worship and missions trips. When God is doing something awesome they come home and show the parents but image what would happen if mom and dad when on the missions trip with them. We need intentionality but also need age specific teaching. 

Integrated Model – Recognizes the silos as a problem. Brings them into the church. Removes them with integration and see parents as the primary discipler of church and home. We need to borrow more integration especially in worship and missions trips. When God is doing something awesome they come home and show the parents but image what would happen if mom and dad when on the missions trip with them. We need intentionality but also need age specific teaching.

Adoptive Model – Not about celebrating the event itself. It’s about prepping both parents and their children. It’s not about the purity event but getting parents to model and teach this with their kids leading up to the event. This speaks far more than the event itself.

Milestones Model – peer to peer, a more mature teenager works with a less mature teenager. Older generation to younger generation. Possibly a season ahead teaching a season behind helping them navigate their next steps.

Overlap the family ministry models.
Milestone models – events over life (emphasis on birth-24)
Adoptive model – behaviors for a life practiced weekly.
D6 model – Church preps all ages for week ahead – practiced daily.
Integrated model – church preps for week ahead – practiced daily aged integrated with family first priority.

At Home – Unforgettable moments
We are doing this well at church but failing to help parents at home with these unforgettable moments.

Dr. Richard Ross – PVC Pipe and Ministry in Thirds.

What transfers faith to the next generation. Longitudinal study. The warmth of a father’s heart.

It’s easier to do church at church than to teach parents how to do church at home.
We need to be park rangers teaching parents how to do church at home every day. Give them tools, encourage them, show them.
The ranger reminds people what’s important.
Measure engagement more than we measure performance. Not attendance and offering but Bible engagements and faith talks.

You are here to teach people not just how to walk into church but how to carry out their faith outside of church.

General Session 3

Ryan Frank

Don’t just remember the why behind the what, but the who behind the what.

One of the greatest tools the enemy uses is discouragement. 

Remember the One who is with you. God is working in the lives of His people.

Exodus 3 and 4. Moses and the burning bush.

It’s often in the mundane that miracles happen. 

Excuse #1 – I’m not good enough. God was not concerned with Moses’ inabilities but his availability. 

Instead of saying, “I’m not good enough” remember WHO is with you. 

Excuse #2 – I don’t have all the answers. Remember “I AM” has sent me. 

Excuse #3 – They won’t take me seriously. Ask yourself, “What has God placed in my hand?”

Don’t over think it. Don’t make it complicated. Don’t compare it with others. Trust God.

Excuse #4 – I’m not a good public speaker. 

God is looking for someone who is humble, relying on Him, and trusting His word. 

Callings are confirmed by what God does with sub-par equipment. 

Excuse #5 – I’m desperate. You’re not alone, remember God is with you.

God seldom works when or how we expect Him to.

Sometimes God pushes us to the edge of our limit. 

You’ve got this. Trust in God and depend on His word. 

All God expects us to be is available.” 

Remember HE is the “I Am”

General Session 4

Jay Strother

The first job of a leader is to always define reality.

Fewer young adults are connected to church and that trend is growing.

If life is a cafeteria, young adults are choosing something other than our churches for their spirituality.

The young adult challenge: Our church methodology has not helped.

2nd Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

  1. Young adults need spiritual mentors. Paul saw Timothy as a true son in the faith.
    Do you now how much it would mean for you to speak to a young adult as Paul spoke to Timothy? Do you know how empty their tanks are?
    Cultivate a disciple making culture in your church.
    Welcome them to our tables and our lives.
  2. Young adults need a spiritual root system.
    2 Tim 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
    2 Tim 3:14-15 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
  3. Young adults need to feed the fire of their spiritual gifts.
    2 Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
    Timothy was not like Paul. Call out the gifts in the younger generation.
  4. Young adults need to share in Gospel ministry.
    2 Timothy 1:8-14
    What millennials are looking for is contributing to something that matters.
    2 Tim 2:2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

We all need a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.

Holy Spirt, bring to mind a Timothy for all of us. Someone we can invest in like Paul invested in Timothy.
Look for people who are fat. Faithful, Available, Teachable.

Grace Filled Sex – Dr. Tim Kimmel

We shouldn’t be ashamed to discuss what God wasn’t ashamed to create.

“If I take out the shepherd getting the sheep to go astray will be easy.” Satan

When you get married you blend your assets with your liabilities.

The key to building a resilient marriage and writing a lifelong Loe story as a couple requires a commitment to maintaining heart connection with your spouse.

  1. The ME lens.
    Phil 2:3-4
  2. The Love It Lens
    Ps 103:10
  3. The Pious Lens
    It’s hard to convince someone of their self righteousness.
    James 1:22

All 3 of these lenses are rooted in selfishness.
James 4:6b

  1. The GRACE lease
    We tend to exclude grace to salvation. Grace is for everyday.
    1 Peter 4:10
    Grace AND truth
    We must be guided by His truth and tempered by His grace.

Treat your spouse the way God treats you.
If marriage is the ultimate outlet for love and grace is its most needed ingredient, then sexual intimacy within that marriage is the ultimate test kitchen for God’s applied and active grace.

Personally honor and bless your spouse.

A grace-filled marriage gives us the power to overcome the standard ways sex is often mishandled in a marriage.

Emotional Intimacy and Physical Connection

If you want your spouse to be more interested in Emotional Intimacy you need to be more interested in Physical Connection.
If you want your spouse to be more interested in Physical Connection you need to be more interested in Emotional Intimacy.

How do you react when your spouse is different than you? Respecting the differences will enhance the sexual relationship.
Instead of allowing the differences to drive you crazy, respect them.

A grace-filled marriage helps us have a kinder and more understanding view of our spouse’s wiring when it comes to sex.

Sexually intimacy is one of the main ways men connect emotionally with their wife.

A grace-filled marriage gives our marriage enormous protection and security in the midst of a sexually contaminated culture.
1 Cor 7:5

Fight sexual temptation as a team. Help each other.

Addicts are takers not givers. They are controllers.

Be available to each other.

When it comes to everyone else, stay pure.
Have a RED light glowing. Not a green light or a yellow light.

1 Cor 7:3-4

God’s grace empowers us to keep our marriage focused and dependent on Him rather than each other.
Matthew 27:37-39

It’s not my love for God I pour over my wife, it’s God’s love for me that I pour over my wife. His love is infinite.

The secret to maintaining heart connection is to make a daily commitment to pursue your spouses heart. Make that commitment until one of you takes your last breathe.

The key to loving each other, and enjoying the sexual intimacy that comes with that is loving God most.

You have a choice to go around wounded or broken.

It is well…with my phone?
Arlene Pellicane

It is well…with my phone? Ask yourself this question. Ask your kids and spouse this question.

Your soul health and phone health are connected. 50% of 18-24 year olds report feeling depression.

The pandemic doubled screen time reports. Post pandemic, what are we going to do with the new habits we formed with technology?

Not all technology is bad, digital vegetables and digital candy.

We are reaching the devices instead of the divine. God, not google.
When my child has a fever, start with God, not google.
Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?”
Kids are playing games, but it’s much harder for them to pray.
In 2020, 2.7B gamers in the world. 1 in 3 people. 45% are woman.
Guys disappear while girls play in little short spurts as they go.
What if during all the little times, you were still to know God? Reading a book? Talking?
18-35 year olds is largest population who game. Those years they are forming life decisions on calling.
Think about David – 1 Samuel 17:33-37 “But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Position your kids so when they leave your homes they aren’t addicted to games. This starts when they’re young.
2 Sam 5:4 – David was King at 30. What could your child do at 30 without distraction and Digital junk food and an idol iPhone.
This idol worship is a gradual drift where you become so attached to something other than God. When holding a phone, you’re competing for attention and heart affections.

1950’s experiment with kittens in the dark for the beginning of their life. Later out in the light for 1 hour a day in a little cylinder. Then take them out into the world. They would run into objects, you can touch their nose without them pulling back, and they didn’t chase anything. Later they didn’t change. Those early weeks of development changed them forever.
Kids in the cocoon of digital world. Then later so hard to look face to face and be a friend, have an interview, or fall in love.

Nomophobia – fear of being without your smart phone.
Iowa state university study.
58% of men and 47% of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off. 55% of those surveyed cited keeping in touch with friends or family as the main reason that they got anxious when they could not use their mobile phones.
Feeling of dread without your device.
Uncomfortable, annoyed, anxious, feeling weird because you don’t know what to do.

These devices are not neutral.
Watch the Social Dilemma on Netflix

We must put people before devices.
Do you think your spouse is more interesting than your phone? If there was a hidden camera that watched you all day, would someone else conclude this?
Do you actually put people before tech? Do your eyes show this? Does a notification show this?

Still face experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0
Connection is easily repaired.
What if this talk was given while the speaker was holding a phone in their hand. Eye contact makes a huge difference.
When you are still faced and phone in hand, you are communicating you are not as important to me as my device.
Do the Pivot. When people come into your airspace, put you phone down. Eye contact communicates a world of difference.
Courtesy of people must come before devices.

5 A+ Skills (ScreenKidsBook.com)
Anger Management

It takes 10,000 hours to become an experts
Today with their devices kids are becoming experts in Amusement, Entertainment, Immoral Thinking and Jokes
Do your kids know how to receive love and fill their love bucket?
The deceive always gives you what you want. It never asks you to do hard things or to do chores. It creates self absorbed idol worshippers.

Strengthen your attention muscle through reading.

No phones at mealtime.
No devices overnight in rooms
Digital sabbath
Delay devices
Time limits

Screen Kids Book – Screen Kids and Grandparenting Screen Kids Offer Help for Raising Digitally-Balanced, Well-Behaved Children in a Tech-Driven World.

Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right

Take courage to stand up.
Don’t go with the flow…where the flow is going, is not very good.
Do this in a confidence and relaxed way. Be fun at home. Don’t make it all about what kids can’t do.

Millennial Parents of Faith in a Post-2020 World

Michayla White

Thank you for enduring, thank you for not giving up. 

Every generation matters, every generation is unique. Generations are a construct we created to help us understand one another better. 

Goals: Discover and Consider Implications for our ministry. 

Establish who we are talking about. Share results rom our survey. 

A lot can happen in 15 years. Research defines Millennials span to be rom 1981-1996. Implications for how we move through life together. What’s common behaviors we need to be aware of? 

Who are they? Parents are boomers, most diverse generation, largest living, highly educated, digital natives, majority of current workforce. 

Older cohort and younger cohort changes. 

The oldest Millennials are turning 40 this year. 

What is shaping them? The Context. The Narrative. 

Clinton Scandal, OJ Simpson, 911, Princes Diana, Columbine Shooting, Housing Bust, Recessions, War, Y2K – shaping economics. 

For the church – rise of media and years of abuse coming to light. Witness to many cracks in the church. Many were victims of the abuse. 

The millennial parents of faith research study by INCM – insights for how this group is navigating and processing things like parenting, faith, culture, the church, discipleship. 

Sample Data: Majority USA/Canadian Sample. 94% married. 2-3 children average per home. Children’s ages: Primarily early childhood- elementary. Majority working FT or PT, 80% working, 20% working from home or seeking. Majority birth year: 1980-1989. 

The Millennial Generation has been splitting in two. Jason Dorsey research. 

Mega-llennials, Me-llennials. 

1981-1989 , 1990-1996 The birth of the internet changed and created a split here. 

Majority of the people taking the survey were in the older group. 

71% grew up in a home that valued faith and God. 

89% described their relationship with God as a devoted follower of Jesus. 

How they view the church? What do they want with their child’s relationship with the church? 

Nomads, Prodigals, Exiles: Barna Group Research 

Nomads, most common group of millennials, Christian background but walked away from the local church, identity as Christians 

Prodigals: Lost faith but claim no Christian belief. 

Exiles have a tough time feeling at home in a church setting but chose to remain in the institutional church context.  

91% say my faith is important to me and influences how I parent

93% say they want their kids to grow up to know, love, and serve Jesus. The desire is absolutely there. 

23% say I make reading my bible a regular part of my day.  Highly Agree.

36% say  I make reading my bible a regular part of my day.  Agree.

22 % highly agree they are in a discipling relationship. 

37% agree they are in a discipling relationship. 

The degree they are experiencing relational discipleship is the same as they are reading their bible. 

58% say church is big support to them as a parent

90% say they attend church regularly as in 2-3 times a month. 

But HOW are they engaging church? Right now, 68% are in person. 20% online if open. 7% if not open. 5% not attending at all. 

Anecdotal feedback did show an appreciation for the online experience if someone is sick, baby is having a hard morning…they appreciate the online option. 

Strong response for in person is the prevailing preference for HOW they want to gather. 

Throughout the pandemic, did you regularly engage the virtual children’s ministry programming made available to you from your church? 

Yes 56%, No 36%, 9% not offered. 

“While online church exists for us, it doesn’t work for us. In person, or not at all.”

Church for millennials is community, it’s what they want for their children, not to put them in front of another screen. Online church is not the same.

Children were too young to engage. Attention span did not hold up, tired of screens, zoom fatigue, it’s not the same. 

What do we currently feel comfortable with? 

Spring 202171% would love to be in person. 21% online. 8% are in the category of watching covid numbers to determine decisions. 

Summer VBS 67% in person, 15% virtual/at home. 

Lots of chatter to “get ready for September” but don’t miss the summer to get ready for the fall. We should be moving. 

Fall 81% in person 9% online. 

Parents are paying attention to the schools. If the school is closed, why are you open and vice versa. 

They are also paying attention (the more cautious group), are all your ministries following the same policies. Do the student ministry leaders follow what the kids ministry? Because youth ministry wasn’t following the same protocol they didn’t want to bring even their kids to the church. They were all coming home to the same home and this really mattered to parents in the survey. 

When it comes to decision making for commitment to your church home. 

1: Theological alignment (or ideological alignment) 

2: Preaching 

3: Children’s Ministry.

They will endure preaching and worship IF their child is thriving in the kids ministry. 

What do they value most?
Being Known – people who know their children’s names and show an interest in them. 

Relationships – having people in our kids lives who disciple and mentor them.

Communication – having good communication about what our kids are learning about. *Millennial fathers are the most engaged fathers in a long time. Affirm those fathers who are showing up!

Leadership – I value knowing the children’s ministry director or pastor. 

Safety and Security 

Expectation of Millennial parents when rising a church with their kids. 

Safety and Security are non-negotiable. 

They should know your policy and see you are following them. 

Ethos: Hospitality and inclusion. Longing for community. If they can’t get it, then their kids are are going to get it. 

They are testing out how you feel. 

#1 concern of Millennial parents when visit a church with their kids. 

If a child keeps showing up with bad behavior, do you get to know why and help?

What are the biggest questions they are wrestling with? 

Child’s behavior 27%

Child’s relationships 21%

Child’s spirituality 26%

Wholistic development and behavior. The affect of screen time on kids. Screen Reliant Kids. 

The next part of the survey was heavy. Develop compassion and mercy and sight for what parents are navigating. 

Their children’s Biblical worldview, “I’m afraid culture will impact our kids by confusing them about what they’ve been raised to believe but the world is saying the opposite.” 

Concern for the confusion their kids are facing. 

LGBTQ+ and Sexuality #1 Concern

“The emphasis on gender rights now and LGBTQ+ topics..I don’t believe the church is providing guidance to address this with their children. 

Social Media #2 Concern

I don’t want my kids to get caught up. I want to protect them from the harm and anxiety it is causing. 

Kids are still being bullied through google docs chat feature. It’s so hard to protect them. 

Cancel Cutlure #3

This is a different form of bullying and they are concerned for the implications on their kids. 

Values and theology 

They are afraid was the prevailing thought. This should cause us to have compassion. 

Culture is polarizing and kids will have to navigate this with a Biblical worldview. 

What are they hopeful for right now? Socially they are hopeful for what it looks like to be with people in an actual community. 

Hopeful for a greater empath. 

A desire for revival. Want or believe it to happen. 

Longing for greater community and connection. 

A commitment to healthier paces and better priorities. Honor this and help them set healthy rhythms. 

What does this all mean? 

Last question we asked them? What does it mean to be a parent? 

Millennial parents of faith love their kids and feel deep responsibility for their role as a parent. The vast majority recognize they are entrust by God to steward their kids. 

They also expressed this feels like a lot! 

Something happened. W

What we might be working towards…

When Millennials were growing up in the church christian education had seen a rise of programs for ministry. Biblically illiterate. Learn how to walk with Jesus on a Tuesday. Show them. 

Reading the Bible is like eating a mango. It’s messy, something weird in the middle, it might hurt you. It’s confusing unless you DO know how to open a mango. Your fruit world is changed forever. 

Teach parents HOW to open the Bible. They can open it but they’ll face questions about the thing in the middle. Give them someone who they can talk with and show them. 

We are partners in the discipleship of kids. Parents and Home. This works when parents know what it looks like to follow Jesus on a Tuesday. Millennial parents of faith have a gap. They need spiritual mothers and fathers to come alongside them to help disciple them. You might invite someone once and they say no, they are testing you with a question mark. Ask 12 times for them to come over. Do you really care about me? They need the pursuit. The Jesus level pursuit. Jesus went all the way to the tax collectors home and sick girl. Few people saw it. It wasn’t for scalability. It was for that person to have a transformative experience with him. Instead of programs and events, maybe it looks more like dinner. 

They need to experience discipleship relationships right alongside their children. They aren’t equipped to do what we are asking them to do. Knowledge does not equal relationships. 

Invest in their children and you will experience their trust. 

Invite them over for dinner. Get involved in their everyday life. Pass the baton of making disciples. Help the elderly in the church to help families. They aren’t coasting, mobilize them.