Volunteer On-Boarding Kidmin Nation Mega-Con

Volunteer On-Boarding: A Step By Step Guide (Volunteer Track)

What if you could seamlessly move someone through the process of joining your team? What if you brought someone in so smoothly, they were set up from the beginning to be retained for years to come? Come learn how to develop a strategy to onboard your volunteers.

Matthew 9:35-38 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Link to Notes and Additional Documentation: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bwh9guwmw6uh6pu/AABrcKTcFSwVVHIBDtdG9NoMa?dl=0 

Announcing The Kids Ministry Exchange

The future of your kids ministry may feel uncertain. But we can figure it out together. To help your ministry this year, Orange is putting on the Kids Ministry Exchange!

In this two-day, online event they are bringing together counselors, researchers, pastors, teachers, experts, and thought leaders, so you can discover the practical information you need to help you bring hope to your community.

4 main sessions with national thought leaders

20+ breakouts and live Q&As with ministry experts

4 opportunities for virtual roundtable discussion

1 Digital Exhibit Hall with the best ministry exchange

. . . and 3 bathroom breaks

I hope you will gather your nextgen team for this online learning experience! To learn more check out https://thinkorange.com/kids-ministry-exchange/

5 Powerful Verses to Help You Lead up in Nextgen

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How do you lead up in NextGen ministry? 

Any idea on how you can get buy-in from leadership? 

One of the biggest challenges you face as a NextGen leader is gaining the buy-in from leadership without necessarily having the position of influence in your church. For those of you who have a plan and vision that exceeds your authority, here are four courageous challenges and Scripture to help you lead up in NextGen ministries. 

Be Faithful in the Little Things

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Matthew 25:23, NLT) In Jesus’ parable of the three servants, He shows us what it means to faithfully steward whatever has been entrusted to us. Whether you are given leadership over a single budget line item or an entire department’s spending, the best way to influence the future decisions of the budget is to faithfully steward what you’ve been given. When you control your spending, keep track of every receipt, and can show how you used the church’s money to do amazing ministry, you show how you can set the direction for future spending. 

Be Loyal to the Team 

“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:4, NLT) Are you leading for the benefit of others or yourself? In “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge” Clay Scroggins asks, “Are you the type of leader that makes others better?” Being a leader worth following means you lead out of your influence with others not your position with others. When your actions inspire everyone around you to imagine more and to become more, you naturally begin to lead up. In contrast, when you look out for yourself and your position, you push people away and extinguish joy in your workplace. 

Choose Love

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15, NLT) Your leader is not perfect, your team is not perfect, and you are not perfect. Choose today to accept those around you, flaws and all. Nothing stands out more in this broken world, like someone who chooses love. 

Be Dedicated to the Mission

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NLT) Scroggins defines ambition as “that strong desire we have to make something or to achieve something, even when it takes great effort, focus, and determination.” To lead up, you must not give up. Focus on what you can control and make it great. Don’t allow unimportant things to wear you down and get in the way of what God has called you to accomplish. Consider even visually posting the mission where you and your team will daily see what you are aiming towards. 

Above All, Guard Your Heart

“This is a trustworthy saying: ‘If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.’ So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:1-5, NLT). Nothing will make you lose influence or discredit your leadership faster than sin. You might not be in charge of the whole organization, but you are in charge of yourself. What thoughts do you need to take captive to obey Christ? Where have you allowed yourself to drift and need to get yourself back on track? Repent and choose right now to walk in obedience.

21 NEW Games For Your KidMin

You’re here because you’re probably looking for some fresh games for your kid’s ministry! I am right there with you! Finding games that work in a zoom call and live is hard. I was looking for fresh games and decided to just start making some of my own to share with the kidmin community. Here are descriptions and links to make things easier for you!

Zoom Games:

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This on-screen game asks if you would rather this, or that? Choose your answers and see what your friends say. Lots of laughs to be had while playing this game!
Would You Rather Quarantine Edition

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Each person competes in these 15 family challenges to earn points towards the gold medal! You could do this game on your next Zoom call, church service, or even send it to your families as an at home challenge! Games include things like the Straw Fridge Challenge, Back Slide Race, and Social Distance Challenge!
Family Quarantine Olympics

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In this Zoom game, kids compete to be the last kid on the Zoom call! You will share several challenges. If they complete the challenge, they stay on. If they fail to do the task in time, they are out! Challenges include things like: Do your best Fortnite dance! Balance on one leg for the rest of the call! …and 13 more.
Last One Standing

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You start with both hands raised and then you have to put a hand down if the statement read, for example: “You ran out of toilet paper” is true for you. The last person with a hand raised wins the game!
Hand Down If Quarantine Edition

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This fun On-Screen Scavenger Hunt game is perfect to do when the kids are stuck inside the house!
At Home Scavenger Hunt


This is the second version of the original Would You Rather? Quarantine Edition On Screen Game! This game asks if you would rather this, or that? Choose your answers and see what your friends say.
Would You Rather Quarantine 2nd Edition

In this game, the kids test their skills by seeing if they can guess what an object is while it is zoomed in! It will slowly zoom out until the entire picture is revealed. This game will work great on Zoom. This game will also double as a way to give bored kids ideas of ways to have fun at home!
Zoomed In Quarantine Edition


This trivia game has 12 questions all about toilet paper. Test your toilet paper history knowledge in this fun game!
Toilet Paper Trivia

Best Selling:


This game is perfect for Zoom or large group settings. Kids will have fun trying to figure out what animal is making the sound played in the video. Lots of laughs and amazement will ensue!

Name That Sound – Animal Edition


Your kids are going to love this video-based extreme game! Everyone can vote if they think the person on the clip will make it or break it. Make it or Break It will work on Zoom or in a room full of kids! The kids can vote “Make It” by giving two thumbs up or “Break It” by making an X with their arms.

Make It or Break It Volume 1


In Version 2 of the original Make it or Break It, everyone can vote if they think the person on the clip will make it or break it. Make it or Break It will work on Zoom or in a room full of kids! The kids can vote “Make It” by giving two thumbs up or “Break It” by making an X with their arms.

Make It or Break It Volume 2

Which of your kids has the best memory? This on-screen game challenges players to remember a sequence of colors with sounds to see who can make it the longest. If anyone successfully remembers all 20, they are officially a genius.

The Memory Game


In this game, the kids test their skills by seeing if they can guess what an object is while it is zoomed in! It will slowly zoom out until the entire picture is revealed. This game will work great on Zoom or with a large group of kids!

Zoomed In

Great Games For Church:


In this fun on-screen game, kids guess with their thumbs if they think the bible trivia answer is more or less!
More or Less Bible Edition Volume 1


Even more of this fun on-screen game, kids guess with their thumbs if they think the bible trivia answer is more or less!
More or Less Bible Edition Volume 2


This game is all about hands! You start with both hands up, and put a hand down if the statement that is said is true for you. The last person with a hand raised wins!
Hand Down If


This game is perfect for Zoom or large group settings. Preschoolers will have fun trying to figure out what animal is making the sound played in the video. Lots of laughs and amazement will ensue!
Name That Sound – Preschool Animal Edition

Seasonal Games:


In this fun game, kids vote if they think the joke is funny or a fail!
Dad Jokes – Funny or Fail


In this fun quiz, kids answer 10 trivia questions about famous dads in the Bible! Do you know which dad was rendered mute until his son was born?
Famous Dad’s of the Bible


In this fun on screen game, kids guess with their thumbs if they think the answer is more or less!
More or Less Mother’s Day Edition 


In this fun game, kids guess which famous dad said it! “I went to kindergarten, I know how the alphabet works.” – Bob Parr or Mr. Incredible?

Which Dad Said It?


Hey KidMin friends, if you would like for a specific game to be created, let me know. I might just be able to make that happen for you!

Tools to Help You Rise Up Notes

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Mega-Con Online is a virtual experience put on my Kidmin Nation! Many of you have asked for notes so I wanted to make these available. If you really want to dive into applying what you learn you should get the Rise Up Workbook. The Tools to Help You Rise Up chapter in the workbook is 16 pages, here’s a preview if you want to take a look.

Tools to Help You Rise Up Workbook Sample

Tools For Your Time

Apps: Rescue Time, Forest, Hours, 

Beat the Clock Book – Successful Strategies for Effective Time Management.

Wearing a watch

Turn off notifications

Reminders – location-based. 

Create a weekly plan – Benjamin Franklin — ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’

Ryan Frank – Productivity PlayBook

Jim’s Evaluation Toolbox – CM Weekly Staff Report

Michael Hyatt -Full Focus Planner® 

Corey’s Weekly Sheet

Use a Calendar

Appointment Keeper, Reminder, To Do (To Stop Doing List)

Set Appointments with God

Set Appointments with your spouse 

Set Appointments with your kids

Set Appointments where you rest. 

Tools for your Soul:

YouVersion App Reading Plan

Blue Letter Bible (App and Website)

Scripture Memory – Fighter Verses App

Scripture Memory Tool – “TIMC BSAC DNBAOD FTLYGIWYWYG.” “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” If you want to Rise Up with a solid foundation, fill your toolbox with Scripture. 

First 5 App

The Chosen App 

PrayerMate

Ask Questions

Tools for your Team:

Build A Team – Ephesians 4:12 “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Don’t try to build up the church on your own. Equip God’s people to do the work of ministry! 

Postagram

LeadSmall – everything small group leaders need to make a big impact

Delegation responsibility and authority 

Duplication yourself in others 

Tools for your Kids

Nameshark 

Kahoot! 

Circle or Bark for parental controls. 

InterLand – beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com a game to teach kids how to be smart on the internet. 

Gabbwireless.com the perfect first phone for your kids 

YouTube – connect where your kids are. Post videos. Consider making a channel for you kids ministry. Connect with your kids Monday through Saturday with YouTube.

Church Database – Run and print a report of birthdays. Or run weekly reports of the kids who are missing. Follow up with your folk and steward what you’ve been given. 

Become the best teacher you can – record the room and see the kids posture and reactions as you teach. Build a team – solicit feedback and grow as a speaker. 

I love kidmin Facebook group – Ask questions, look at pictures of environments, find resources. Stop trying to re-invent the wheel and just use the search function in the group to find the help you need. 

Tools for your Physical and Mental Health:

Do you know how many steps you take? Argus, Health Kit

Are you honoring the sabbath?

MyfitnessPal for calories 

Map my ride, run keeper. 

Discipleship Group – https://replicate.org 

Soul Care or Counselor – Ministry is hard, you need someone to talk to. Don’t burn out. Don’t give up. Get help. 

Maybe right now you need to pause and text someone you trust saying, “I’m not okay, let’s talk.”

John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

And The Random Tools:

For those of you who want some specialty tools in your toolbox 

Buffer/Hoostuite

Amazon wish list for your ministry

Grammarly

Slack, GroupMe

Boomerang to schedule emails and follow up reminders if someone doesn’t respond. 

Audible or library

Kidmin Nation library and 365 conference 

Canva

Fiverr

Mint for finances

Good Coffee

So, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 

Connecting with Volunteers During COVID-19

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Everything changed…but in a way nothing changed. 

Your main role is still to – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” And to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Redefine your thoughts about your role:
You are not just an event planner, events are getting canceled.
You are not just a communicator on stage, there is no one in the seats.
You are not just someone who finds volunteers for Sunday morning because Sunday has been redefined.

Your role is to Love God and Love Others.
You are to be equipping God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. So how do you re-imagine your role? I want you to start asking the question, “What can it look like?“

Your ministry is not on hold, so ask the questions:
What can it look like to equip God’s people to be the church?
What can it look like to serve the church digitally?
What can volunteering look like in these unprecedented times?
When it comes to your volunteers you need to:

1. Connect

Do you know how your flock is doing? Are you being a good steward of your team?

Text your team

Call your team, especially your older volunteers.

Facetime your team, especially those who struggle with anxious or depressed 

Zoom.Us – 40-minute meetup for free 100 people.
  Google Hangout
  Group FaceTime 

Ask, how homeschooling is going? Ask about their work.
Ask, what can we do to help?
Ask, how can we pray for you?

2. Encourage 

If you’re allowed, drop off something at their door – food, toilet paper. Postcards. Pizza Delivery.

Do something fun – Social game/contest on FB groups!

Help them connect and encourage one another. 

If you have coaches, encourage them to reach out to their teams. 

Send prayer requests and needs to groups

3. Equip or mobilize them. 

Equip your team to serve!

Videos for daily

Postcard

Email to parents

Serve in the community

Drive through church

YouVersion Bible App Study

YouVersion Prayer

MarcoPolo scheduling volunteers to be online. Such a great idea! 

4. Pray for them and pray with them.

Open up your volunteer roaster and pray down the list. 

And say, “Hey, before I let you go, can we pray together?”

Let’s rally together. A lot of church are seeing online church x6 regular attendance! Families are having a mealtime around the dinner table! Parents are huddling up together in their living rooms to open up God’s word. God is doing something today, let’s roll up our sleeves and be the church!

Over 70 Breakout Options for Your Ministry

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Options, especially customized options, just make life better. 

Imagine walking into your favorite ice cream shop and there only being vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Or imagine going to a car lot with only one option to buy. Customized options can give you exactly what you need in the context you need it. 

At this year’s Orange Conference you have over 70 options for your breakouts. Ministry leaders from around the country with different backgrounds and specialties will create customizable options for you to select from help you improve your leadership and ministry. You can choose from the following breakout tracks: Children, City Strategy, Family Experience, General, High School, Lead Small, Middle School, NextGen Leader, Orange 101, Parent Strategy, Phase, Preschool, Preteen, Rural Strategy, Salvation Army, Special-Needs, Start Up, and Volunteer. 

This “choose your own adventure” style of breakout options can help you pick what is most relevant to your own experience. Whether you want to focus on a specific age group or work on a particular leadership skill, there will be options. 

 Although my needs my change between now and OT20 and therefore I might need to make changes to my own selections, here are the breakout options I have selected for this year’s conference:

  • Respond To The LGBTQ Reality 
  • Responding To Kids With Anxiety And Depression
  • Keys To Developing Other Leaders
  • Successfully Launching Your First Or Next Campus

Sort through your options today and customize a learning experience so you get the most out of this year’s conference. And if you’re up for it, drop a comment and let me know what you have selected for yourself this year!

Picking Curriculum Breakout Notes for #CPC20

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Did you know there are over 50 kids ministry curriculum options each with their own unique way of doing things!?! Let’s explore the options and determine what questions you should be asking before you get started!

  1. Why Curriculum? What purpose does it serve?
    1. Tool Belt Teaching
      1. The Lesson –  The scope and sequence, the strategy, the goals, repetition vs. redundant, age-appropriateness
      2. Games – Do they help kids connect? Do they serve a purpose? Do they further the teaching? Are they fresh?
      3. Small-Group Materials – Supply lists, well-crafted questions, fun? 
      4. Videos and Graphics
      5. Worship Songs
      6. Crafts
      7. Environments
      8. Scripture Memory
      9. Parent Resources
      10. Social Media Plan
      11. And so much more…
    2. Tool Belt Varieties
      1. Some are too big
      2. Some are old
      3. Some tools don’t fit
      4. Some you just don’t like
      5. Some you don’t understand
    3. A good fit has the right belt with the right tools. But still, it takes work. 
  1. Question 1 – Will this curriculum help your kids learn the Bible?
    1. Is scripture read and taught?
    2. Will the lesson connect with your kids?
    3. Do the supplemental materials reinforce the Bible?
    4. Does the teaching lead to life-changing application?
    5. Will the kids be engaged and interested in the lesson?
    6. Does this curriculum make learning the Bible fun?
  1. Question 2 – When your kids completely the curriculum will they produce the fruit you are desiring to see in their lives?
    1. Wise and foolish builder illustration
    2. Bible knowledge and application
    3. The vision of your church
    4. Begin with the end in mind
  1. Question 3 – Will this curriculum be a good fit for your program?
    1. Does the lesson length fit your needs?
    2. Will the materials change lives or just fill time?
    3. Does the curriculum provide the service components you are looking for?
    4. Is it flexible? 
    5. Is it manageable?
  1. Question 4 – Will this curriculum be a good fit for your kids?
    1. What age level is it designed for?
    2. Will it make sense culturally and socioeconomically? 
    3. Are their materials for children with special needs?
    4. Are there supplemental materials your kids will enjoy?
    5. Does it encourage community and build relationships?
    6. Will your kids be engaged and have fun?
  1. Question 5 – Will this curriculum fit in your budget?
    1. What is the starting price of the yearly curriculum?
    2. What is the full and real cost of the yearly curriculum? 
    3. What is the cost of the supplemental materials and props?
    4. Are scholarships or flexibility in pricing available?
  1. Question 6 – Do other churches, like yours, recommend this curriculum?
    1. What are churches in your denomination using or avoiding?
    2. What curriculum has your church used over the years and why did they change?
    3. Do churches a little larger than you recommend it? 
    4. What are the arguments against using the curriculum? 
  1. VIII.Question 7 – Does this meet family needs? 
    1. Do the materials take the Sunday lesson into Monday through Saturday? 
    2. Does the curriculum matter for 1 hour a week or 168 hours each week?
    3. If a child attends every other week will they be able to follow along? 
    4. Are materials provided in the curriculum to equip the family?
    5. Will a nontraditional family feel included?
  1. Question 8 – How do you access and edit the curriculum?
    1. Do you have the technology necessary to make the curriculum accessible to volunteers? 
    2. Do you need a CD-ROM drive, jump drive, or high-speed internet?
    3. Do you have the audio, visual, and technical supplies to present the lesson?
  1. Question 9 – How much work will it take for you to make changes? 
    1. Is it editable and easy to alter? 
    2. Are there plenty of options if you don’t like a particular portion? 
    3. Are you going to be making minor tweaks or major rewrites? 
    4. Do you have the time and margin necessary for the changes? 
  1. Question 10 – Do I really need to change?
    1. Are you the only one feeling the need to make changes?
    2. Could you add some flavor to spice things up or do you need to change the recipe? 
    3. Is now the right time?
  1. A special note before making changes. 
    1. The change in your pocket illustration. 
    2. What’s at stake?
  2. Let’s look at some options

 

A link to this full google sheet: HERE

 

In a recent KidzMatter Magazine, you can see a description and overview of many curriculum options.

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This is a curriculum evaluation created by a team made up of 60 practitioners with years of weekly classroom experience.2

What do you do from here?

    1. Pray
    2. Research
    3. Contact curriculum providers
    4. Explore samples
    5. Seek wise counsel
    6. Pray

Orange Small Group Leader Resource Reviews and Giveaways

Giveaway 

To Enter To Win: https://kingsumo.com/g/tuoom3/small-group-leader-resource-giveaway 

As you look back on this past year, what has changed in your ministry? If you’re not intentional, you can easily drift into bad habits and ineffective ministry. If you want this new year to be an opportunity to intentionally recharge and redirect you and your leaders, here are two books to set you in the right direction. 

When Relationships Matter – Make your church a place where kids and teenagers belong. 

Before kids and teenagers can wrestle with abstract concepts like faith, hope, and the meaning of life, they need to know who loves them and where they belong. When Relationships Matter explores three values and nine practices that will help you create and improve your small group strategy. 

If you want to measure the success of your weekly experiences for kids and teenagers, you need to ask two questions. Are kids connected? Are they known? Research shows that kids who have five or more adults who invest in their faith over time have a greater chance of having a mobilized faith. When relationships matter, everything changes.

“The best way to help kids know God is to connect them with someone who knows God.” – Reggie Joiner

“We have to go out of our way to create a culture in which it’s safe for kids and students to ask hard questions about faith.” – Tom Shefchunas 

“Never sacrifice the next generation on the altar of your past methods and preferences.” – Reggie Joiner

“If you want to fight for everyday, authentic faith in the next generation, you need to support the relationships that matter most.” – Kristen Ivy

Check out When Relationships Matter, the newest release for leaders of small group leaders from Orange. Visit https://whenrelationshipsmatterbook.com to download a sample (plus some FREE RESOURCES).

 

Lead Small – Five big ideas every small group leader needs to know.

Lead Small clarifies the role and responsibilities of the small group leader who works with children and teenagers. It explains five proven strategies you can use to lead your small group well:

• BE PRESENT . . . so you can connect your kids’ faith to a community

• CREATE A SAFE PLACE . . . to clarify their faith as they grow

• PARTNER WITH PARENTS . . . to nurture an everyday faith in kids

• MAKE IT PERSONAL . . . to inspire their faith by your example

• MOVE THEM OUT . . . to engage their faith in a bigger story

“When we lead small we simply make a choice to invest strategically in the lives of a few over time so we can help them build an authentic faith.”

“If you are simply trying to instill faith and morals for the sake of your few, but it’s not a personal priority, they’ll eventually catch on.”

“A child will never feel significant until you give them something significant to do.”

“Your few are not problems to be solved. They are people to be loved.”

Check out Lead Small, a must-read for every small group leader. Visit http://www.leadsmallbook.com to download a self-evaluation guide to see how you are currently partnering with parents and a next step build to build a stronger partnership. 

To Enter To Win: https://kingsumo.com/g/tuoom3/small-group-leader-resource-giveaway 

5 Line Items You Need for Your Next Budget

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Imagine if you had unlimited money and resources to spend on your youth ministry…No, remove that thought. I imagine in the end it wouldn’t be good for you and your students to try and do ministry and steward such a gift. But if you’re reading this post, then you most likely have some money for your youth ministry and we want you to steward it well. Here are five line items you might not be thinking about, but you need for your next budget.

STUDENT LEADERSHIP

If your goal in student ministry is to mobilize students to pursue authentic faith and discover a personal mission, then does your budget reflect this goal? Yes, you probably have a budget set aside for curriculum and events, but if a student came to you with a God-given gift, do you have anything set aside specifically to mobilize that student? Maybe this year you add a budget line item specifically designated for developing your student leaders.

LEADER SUPPORT

For years, we have had a volunteer appreciation line item in our budget. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any ministry and we need to make them feel appreciated for their time and efforts. While volunteer appreciation is valuable, what if we set aside some of the appreciation money to equip the leaders to do ministry? What if, instead of giving them a trinket to show our appreciation, we gave them some gift cards to take students to grab coffee? What if it didn’t cost them anything to attend school events or we covered the cost of snacks when that teenager raids their cabinets? I know my leaders would feel appreciated and equipped if I just made and communicated this minor change.

CAMPUS MINISTRY

Churches don’t always have the best of reputations. Jeff Henderson at Gwinnett Church says that the church is often known for what it is against rather than what it supports. Imagine if everyone in your local elementary school knew that your youth ministry was for them? Yes, this would take some time and strategy, and my guess, a couple of dollars to pull it off, but maybe today you could start by simply buying some donuts for the FCA group. Or maybe, when the teachers are stress out about testing, you cater a meal. Whether or not the students are stepping foot into your youth ministry, show them the love of Christ and open the door for them to see there is a loving place that is for them.

RETREAT / SEMINAR / CONFERENCE

I’m sure you’ve noticed how the days just keep on coming. The moment you finish one program or event, the next one’s just around the corner. It’s no wonder many youth pastors burn out. Ministry is hard and often youth leaders are lonely. Something your soul needs is time away and time with other people that get it. It’s a big investment for a church to make in sending their youth pastor to a conference, but the cost of hiring a replacement is so much higher. You might not be able to convince your board to make this happen overnight but maybe you can make a plan to get yourself to a conference within the next year or two.

RESOURCES AND BOOKS

In many careers continuing education is required to maintain good standing in the workplace but for some reason, many youth pastors can’t even buy a book to educate themselves. This year, how about asking if you could set aside money to buy a book every month. If this get’s turned down, maybe you could ask to be reimbursed for any ministry book you actually finish reading. You need to sharpen your ax, especially when it comes to leading this next generation. Ask for it, but for real, if it doesn’t get approved, skip a coffee or two and make it happen yourself. You need this.