22 Leadership Quotes From the #NYWC17

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For the past 48 years, thousands of youth workers gather for training, networking, encouragement, soul care, resources, and much more at the National Youth Workers Convention! Here are 22 leadership quotes that I believe will speak to your heart.

“Let’s start measuring #youthministry careers in decades instead of months.” @joshuagriffin

“If you think someone is hopeless… fail trying – don’t fail watching.” @bobgoff

“The real power in our ministries isn’t the how; it’s The Who.” Mark Yaconelli

“The degree of your intimacy with someone can be measured by the length of time you can be silent with them.” @richvillodas

“How we form our days, is forming us.” @AnnVoskamp

“Stop being Jesus’ lawyer. He doesn’t need one and you suck at it. Just love people.” @bobgoff

“God is killing me softly, with His love.” @efremsmith

“Insecure leaders will never bring out the best in others.” @DougFields

“Christianity can be awkward and confusing but Jesus is compelling” @kpowellFYI

“Love everybody, always. And start with the people who creep you out.” @bobgoff

“We will never reflect the image of Christ to the world unless we see the image of God in everyone.” @AnnVoskamp

“God produces great fruit in the times of the desert.” @richvillodas

“If you are hearing a voice over your shoulder and it isn’t saying ‘beloved,’ it isn’t Jesus.” @bobgoff

“Have a childlike faith, not a childish faith.” @bobgoff

“What we do with our love is where we are in our faith. We’re rivers, not reservoirs.” @bobgoff

“Can you be who you needed when you were younger?” @thebradmontague

“We must help teenagers understand The Great Commission: It’s going to people who look different and calling them family.” @efremsmith

“People don’t follow vision…they follow availability.” @bobgoff

“Lean into the community around you.” @joshuagriffin

“I believe your work is the most important work on the planet.” @thebradmontague

“Remember that taking a sabbath is important. It’s a commandment just like don’t kill someone. Those commands are both equal and need to be followed!”  Mark Yaconelli

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 #NYWC17

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#NYWC17 Conference Seminar Notes with Mark Oestreicher, Mark Matlock, and Steve Argue

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Understanding Teenage Brains

Mark Oestreicher
In what ways might teenagers uniquely reflect the Imago Dei, the doctrine that asserts humans are made in the image of God? Understanding the uniqueness of adolescent development (which really means understanding teenage brains) is critical to effective youth ministry. In this seminar, we’ll look at how teenagers’ brains work and what that means for your youth ministry.

How to maximize ministry:
Most important thing you can do is spend time with Jesus, ministry flows out of your authentic relationship with Jesus.
2nd understanding teenagers and specifically what is going on in their brain.

Adolescence is both a developmental reality and a cultural phenomenon.
Youth culture and external pressure of experience put onto teenagers that is molding and shaping them or just the physiologically side. It’s both. Nature and nurture. Creation stuff. What is God’s creation intention when he created the teenage brains? Basic transformation of the brain and part of God’s design. It’s good at its core.
Culture: why belonging is the lens teenagers view the world. Informs belonging. Where can I belong and that will tell me who I am. Not like when we were kids and asked were to I belong and that shapes and forms who I am. Now it’s the other way around. More and more isolated today. Isolated world from adults. Hard to move towards adulthood because we removed the onramps to adulthood.

The Context: Physical Change

Teenage changes are started in the brain. Hormones released that set off other changes.
2-4 years following the onset of puberty is 2nd largest in terms of the quantity of change in the terms of a human but most significant because awareness of the changes they are going through. Disorienting, confusing, wonderful and terrifying.

One word to describe teenagers: Change
In change: Anxiety and fear. Excitement. If you have agency or choice then you are more excited. This is the everyday experience of teenagers. They see it in the mirror. Kind-of cool and terrifying at the same time. They think they are developing wrong and that is normal. Some short blip while others it sticks with them for years or a lifetime. Too tall, too thin, too whatever. If Christian kids, imprecations for God and belief system. Imply at a subconscious level, God has messed up with me. They are asking, “Does God care? Does He even know?” 
Normalization language into conversations. Seems weird and crazy, but its good and everything will work out.
Illustration of “leg hairs must grow best in the dark.” Wearing jeans all summer long to make leg hairs grow in.
The trauma of the girls hitting puberty before boys. Cultural reality. Age has dropped for the onset of puberty.
1900’s was 14.5 years old for girls.
70’s was 13 years old.

The name of the numeral is not a good measurement of if they are a teenager or not. #Thirteen

Now the average age now is 10 years old. 2-year bell curve. 80% from 8-12.
The short answer to why: Food. 75i(sh)% is the food bad camp with preservatives and modified foods.
25 diversification of food. Globalization and not just our backyard gardens.
The US has the lowest of any country in the world.
Most research is on girls because of the first period.
Another big reason is that girls talk and boys don’t…and the boys lie.
Boys are on average 18 months behind the girls. Not just when the sex-bits are changing but the brains changing.
Girls are cognitively more advanced than boys in this age.
Dropped and extended. Was 18 months long. Now ages 10 to 30-year-old adolescents.
Early ad 10-14. Late teenage or middle adolescence 15-20. Late adolescence of emerging adult 20-30.
When do you take full responsibility for yourself? 20 year spread where we as a culture take full responsibility.
Stanley Hall described it as a time of storm and stress, rebellion, and moody. Built on a faulty assumption that has been debunked.

A developmental capacity and developmental permission.
Who am I?
What do my choices mater?
Where do I belong?

God’s puberty gift: Cognitive Change

Get the gift of the ability to think abstractly. The world is revolutionized.
Dormant muscle (brain capacity), never used before and the capacity grows into usefulness.
Illustration: Inability to move thumb after major surgery.
Abstract thinking is basically thinking about thinking.

Speculation – wrestling with what if and why questions. Journey to Christlikeness. No longer black and white.

3rd Person Perspective – considering what other people think of me or what other people think of someone else or even an idea. Preteen and child perceive their own perspective and put that into another person.
Put a 7-year-old in front of a mirror and describe self, will say what she has heard.
16 year old is mostly speculation about what she thinks other people think about her.
Literal leap of faith vs. figurative. Make it concrete so that you can bring them to the abstract.
I think I want to become a Christian but I’m afraid to jump off the tower. The girl thought it was literal.

“MarkO wanted me to share about how I lead a lot of people to Christ but that’s not what really happened…God lead a lot of people to Himself through me.”
An incredible clash of abstract thinking.

Implementing:


Emotional implications.
Wild emotional rollercoaster ride. They want to hang out with you and think you’re great and then they hate you.
Preteens and children have a small primary pallet of colors of emotions. Teenagers have a giant pallet of colors that they don’t understand. It takes years of practice before they really understand Color Theory (understanding and interpreting emotions) They often paint why to bright and bold (girls) everything extreme bright and bold or they mix in all the colors too much (guys) and get beige. Cray to observe but imagine what it’s like to experience it. You feel the emotions that are huge but you don’t even know what those emotions are. We are called to normalize this experience.
Hit a button where the teenager explodes in emotion, think, “She’s showing me her brain.” John 10:10 Jesus promises us to give us life to the full. Because we are made in the image of God we have been given emotions to have the full and rich emotions of life. You had little kid emotions but are growing into adult emotions so that you can have the best life. It’s taking time to get used to emotions. Once you get used to them you will experience this full life.

Relational Implications
Teenage friendship has abstract thinking. 
Children and preteen friendship are based on proximity.
What are you thinking about me right now? Who has power and who doesn’t?
Teenagers build a friendship by affinity. Like or value the same things. 
Teenagers are developing a new way of forming friendships and relationships as well as an upheaval of losing friends because it doesn’t fit the new qualifications for friendship but also have not figure out the new thing. Social death risk when hanging out with old friends.

Genderalization
Girls tend to form friendship groups of 2 or 3 girls. Can’t sustain 4 or more. They will break into 2 and 2 or vote someone off the island. Girls have extremely high value on vulnerability and intimacy and this can’t be sustained in a large group. Get included in or voted off because of this.
Girls are friends because we talk about stuff together
Boys not about vulnerability. 16-year-old boys use about 5k words a day. Girls 20k words a day.
Boys extremes of an affinity group, together because of the things we like to do together or the other extreme of just being alone. They haven’t figured out the process so they are alone and lonely.
Boys are friends because we do stuff together (or did one thing together once.)
Host opportunities for boys to do things together.

Spiritual Implications
What we talk about in youth group is very abstract.
Childlike faith is praised, childish faith is not.
Faith needs to grow and change in the teenage years.
The backpack of faith with tinker toys. Systematic theology of beliefs. God answers prayer but it can’t be a selfish prayer and I really have to mean it. But then he finds out his grandpa has cancer. If I have the faith of a mustard seed then I can move a mountain so he prays that cancer mountain. But then his grandpa dies and his belief system is challenged. The scaffolding erodes. Questions and doubts are good and we can walk alongside teenagers.
Think Thomas and Jesus. Jesus doesn’t let him off the hook. He helps him process the doubt. Not a shaming but an encouragement. We processed this and now you can set it aside. Your doubts are a gift to you. Normal. Essential to faith development. Let’s find something better to replace your doubt.

Some New Findings

Preface: Do we see teenagers as a problem to be solved or a wonder to behold?
90% of adults in our world see teenagers as a problem to be solved. Broken and problematic.
We spend time telling them what they are supposed to be like and they are good at falling into the norms. We can change this and give them a new norm.

15 years ago, the medical community had a misunderstanding. Thought brain was developed by 6 or 7. MRI taught us that it’s not finished developing until the mid-20’s.

Physical maturing = Age 16
Knowledge maturity = Age 18-20
Wisdom maturity = Age 25

Two primary areas that are underdeveloped in teenagers
The Pre-Frontal Cortex – Logical and Rational part of the brain.
“the frontal lobe” 4 lobes x 2. What separates us from animals. CEO or executive office. Hire order thinking.
The pre-frontal cortex is responsible for decision making, wisdom, propitiation, impulse control, planning, empathy, organization, focus.
Wonder to behold. Teenagers are not incapable of these, they just struggle. How can we help them with this? How might the struggle actually be a benefit? What might God have intended it this?

This must be a good thing.
We are risk adverse but teenagers are really good at trying new things in order to figure out how things work. This is a strength.

Temporal Lobes
Responsible for emotional understanding and interpretation (among other things)
Showing emotions on someone’s face. Generalization. We would get 8-9 right and girls would get 5 right and boys would get 2 right.
Emotional interpretations. We need to help students with this.
Be a surrogate temporal lobe. What emotion do you see on his face? I think what is happening is this, explain.

Neuron Proliferation and Winnowing
Prior to puberty, the brain grows additional million’s of neurons. Weird spike before and after puberty. Electronic Superhighway.
Dismantling of neurons. Use it or lose it principle. Those used will stay in play and those that don’t are dismantled and repurposed.
The brain is hardwired for the rest of its life. Think accents and the age 14. Childhood accent is hardwired and stays that way forever.
How are you stewarding the hardwiring of the brains of your teenagers and their faith? What are you doing with this opportunity?
How are we hardwiring their brains?
Stuff them full of the right information or do we want to hardwire their brains on how to pursue God, process doubts, experience God.

Amygdala. The lizard brain. Responsible for fear (and anger)
Highly developed amygdala. If you allow that part of the brain to be overly developed then you can’t logically process what you have fear about.
Haunted house, you know logically it’s a person in a costume but in that moment the amygdala is going crazy.
Fear-based faith. Understand God as wrathful and judgmental. Lean to legalism.

Anterior Cingulate
The Anterior Cingulate rests between the prefrontal cortex. Buffer zone.
Fulcrum between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex.
Understand God as compassionate and loving. See the needs of others.
Have a thriving faith and understands a caring and loving God.

Newest Brain Research

#1 way to grow the Anterior Cingulate is through prayer and medication.
8-10 minutes a day 6 days a week. Measure the Anterior Cingulate activity. At 2 month mark noticed a 50% increase in the strength and ability of the Anterior Cingulate. This is how prayer changes us. Prayer changes the brain. It grows the Anterior Cingulate and allows you to understand God as compassionate and personal as well as seeing the needs around you. The second way to grow the Anterior Cingulate, a distance second, is through faith-based singing. A consistent and regular practice of prayer and medication. Actually sing it out loud and you will rewire your brain to the way it is supposed to be. Maybe our number 1 priority is to help teenagers develop a practice of prayer, medication, and singing. We’ve got to be Anterior Cingulate superheroes!

Book for further study: How God Changes Your Brain

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What Research Is Telling Us About Flouring In Ministry

Mark Matlock

Millions of dollars have been spent researching how ministers flourish, but do you know what the findings are and how to implement them in your life? We’ll look at cutting-edge research from Notre Dame’s Flourishing in Ministry project along with recent research from Barna and practices recommended by Full Strength Network to help you thrive.

Brotherhood Mutual: Not directly doing ministry but aligned with kingdom values. Not reduce youth Ministry claims, just want to help. Insurance goes up, what could be used for ministry is going to insurance. Churches suffer deeply and often divide or split. Harm to the neighborhood and reputation of Jesus. Brotherhood mutual turning 100 and want to give something back to the church. Want to create an organization that can help ministers and their families thrive. In August, they launched Full Strength Network: Strengthening pastors and their families.

Findings from my conversations with pastors.
Tweeted out a survey about being burned out and 36 hours later 200 responses.
Would you be willing to have a 1-hour phone call about responses? 70 share experiences.
10 interviews. 60 others sent them a link to share the story. Some responded.

Barna on the state of pastors.
On the whole, people are doing well and experiencing health. Questions to see risk and see many are at risk. Positive net effect but a sense of fragility.
And those who were not doing well were really not doing well.
Also found the aging of pastors. Median age was 44 and in 2016 the number was 54. We don’t have younger pastors coming into the pipeline.
The financial collapse in 2008, they couldn’t retire because of a strength of finances, and they are holding onto their place longer.
Youth ministry pool will be pulled.
In Christian Colleges the numbers are low because it’s not an attractive field of work.

Surprised by Pride

Seen it happen to others but didn’t believe it could happen to them.
They believed initially it would pass and they didn’t realize how far in they were.
After repeated appeals, they would believe that they needed to listen.
Relationships help us identify and see when we enter into these moments.

Isolation

The number of friendships outside of the church congregation.
Don’t know where to turn to in their greatest moment of need.
Most didn’t even feel they could talk with their spouse about it.

The Power of Human Contact

What transformed their lives or brought them into awareness was the relationship with a person.
They couldn’t read anymore. They could watch TV and be present at sporting events but when it came to actually reading they lost that ability.
Am I aware of the fact that I might be in need?
Am I able to sit down and read?
Am I feeling more alone then I’ve ever felt before?

The Science of Pastoral Wellbeing Matt Bloom

Hedonic Well-Being – Daily happiness.

Daily Affect (affect=modes+emotions)
Life Satisfaction
Losada Ratio (5 times more positive experiences than negative experiences. Observing couples and predicting longterm)
Succeed vs. Failing. Have more daily wins than losses. You can create more wins in your daily happiness. Cooking dinner.

Eudaimonic Well_Being – Thriving.

Sense of meaning and purpose
Ability to invest one’s resources to attain cherished goals.
Clean knowledge of one’s knowledge, skills, abilities (Strengthfinder and assessments to discover who you are)
Living authentically, being able to live in accordance with one’s true self
MCORE – https://motivationalcore.com 27 motivational themes. Why we do what we do. There 6 themes that showed up in the top of all but two of the youth pastors surveyed. Are we training correctly to begin with? Experience the Ideal. 36% had this in their top 3. Motivate to make concrete something that is an idea of value inside of you. Might be an idea for an event or the ideal in Jesus Christ. Clear knowledge helps you thrive. Bring the skills you need and build the team to thrive.
You can change yourself: Add skills to add to reach the goals. Do I need to add skills?
Adapt the environment: Use knowledge, skills, and abilities the reach goals. Do I need to change?
Select new environment: Go where you can accomplish the goals. Do I need to move?

The line between positive and negative sacrifice
The sacrifice of Jesus is one of the reasons we have gotten into ministry. We entered into a vocation of self-sacrifice.
Thinking you are a superhero. What will these students do if I’m not there or if I don’t respond to them?
Be mindful and check in with yourself to see if you have crossed the line.
We can only sacrifice to the amount that we are connected to the vine. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Articulating Your Narrative

Write down your experiences.
We have many ways to know and remember things. Story unites what we cautiously and unconsciously know. This brings healing to our brains. Confess your sins is telling the story and in the process, it brings healing to your brain. Biologically and spiritually.

Mindfulness

Take a minute to breathe.
Scripture reading.
Pastors who practice spatial disciples had less risk matrix for burnout.

Pastors who regularly practiced meditation or contemplation–almost every day–had lower levels of burnout, reported experiencing less stress, and had higher levels of both daily happiness and thriving. – Matt Bloom

Help You Monitor Your Wellbeing
Connect to Strengthening Resources
Receive Confidential Assistance when they need it

Build Narrative Presence: Taking the time to write down a story. Share it with a community or one person. Interact with a story.

Resources:
Read Flourishing in Ministry – Emerging Research Insights on the Well-Being of Pastors
Sign up for this community to Champion your Growth and Wellbeing 

adult

You, Parents and Your Post High School Students

Steve Argue

These days, it takes longer for young people to “adult.” This phenomenon is raising new questions for ministry leaders and parents as they reimagine parenting for emerging adults. These parents are seeking advice, resources, and support as they forge new relationships with their children. In this seminar, we’ll highlight key topics pertaining to emerging adults and offer helpful insights for parents. We’ll address the questions parents are asking: Is taking a gap year a good idea? A Christian college or secular college? Is college a hostile place for Christian students? What do I do when they come back home? If you’re a leader seeking resources for your students’ parents or a parent of an emerging adult, this seminar is for you.

Emerging adulthood.
The path to get to adulthood is much further than it used to be.
If my kids are at home longer, what does that mean for me?
If it takes more education and longer, how do I coach them through that?
If they are getting married later, how do I parent them?

Questions: ‘Would you reply “yes” or “no.”
Have we always had emerging adults?
Emerging adults and millennial are synonymous.
Emerging adulthood is a problem in society.
Emerging adults feel like adults when they get a job or become a parent.
30 is the new 20.
A college is a good place for Christian, emerging adults.
Emerging adults are leaving the church.

The judgments we make on young people are usually based on assumptions and expectations that we have on them. 
If you’re not making a judgment, someone you are working for, an elder, a parent, or someone does have these judgments.
There is an ambiguity around how we are supposed to support an emerging adult.

Perspective

What do we mean by emerging adulthood? ESA
18-29
“Begins with biology and ends with culture.” Santrock 1990.
This is changing though.
Biology: Young people are entering into puberty younger and younger.
Culture: Is changing. Most adults do not see younger people becoming adults until their late 20’s. 18 vote but not drink until 21.
No longer a transition of 5 years, but 20 years. This is no longer transitional but two decades of life.
Your role as a pastor in a young persons’ life is powerful. You are relationship force they need during this time.
Early, Mid, Late, Extended Adolescence.
Arnett, 2000 18-29.

Growing up looks different
More and more expectations are being placed on young people. Generations ago with a high school diploma, you can get a job and a pension.
More education, more responsibility, more involvement, more competition in global jobs.
Less and less support is being offered. Not always for the benefit of them but for the benefit of themselves. Support so that schools have a higher graduation rate, not necessarily for the students. Is it possible that we love bigger youth ministries because it is powering the business of the church?
The Gap is Social Capital: Used to be in the positive, but around 1970 we entered into a social capital deficit. Hire expectations with less support.
Ripple effect with a higher rate of unemployment. Higher school doubt.
Acknowledge that the deck is stacked against the emerging adults

Five main features of EA’s.
Identity explorations, instability, self-focused, feeling in-between, faced with unparalleled possibilities.
Instability: The difference between a fire drill and a lock-down drill.
Self-focused vs. selfish. If my world is unstable and my development is unstable, where is my attention going to be? On myself so that I don’t blow it.
Feeling in-between: Not college ministry…do they go in singles ministry? They are in-between in areas.

Identity Formation: 
Love: What relationships look like.
Work: What is their vocation
Belief: What is the belief system I have and how do I hold that?

“Adulthood” for EAs
Not marriage/job
Taking responsibility for yourself
Making indecent decisions
Becoming financially independent

Same icon but with a different interpretation. So staying home with parents because they want to become financially independent.
Cues of past generations are different for the adults today.

A Tension – Our expectations need to change

“It takes time to grow up today” Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

“Emerging adults must use this period wisely.” Meg Jay

What and how they know:
Intellectual

The starting point. Trying to tell their colleagues the examples and illustrations they use need to connect with this generation.
Beloit College Mindset List 2021

Perspective Taking
Binge Watching/Studying
Watch TV everywhere except TV
The first generation educated by video
Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland FL 60M library with no books there.
How do they learn?

Paradox of Privacy
Can hide everything from parents online
Aware of massive mining of data. NSA? Facebook?
Who do they trust?

Diversity and Commonality
A generation that has grown up with ethnic and gender diversity as bot normal and desirable
With the emphasis on diversity…what do they see as having in common?
What does a community church mean to an emerging adult?
How do they connect?

Political Polarity
This generation for who police polarity has always been normal.
These students were born six years after the Cold War and during the super ascent of Cable TV narrowcasting.
How do they dialogue?
How do we seek to understand each other?

Sexual Assault
This generation will enter college during a time when concern about sexual assault is at an all-time rise.
Rising female empowerment, opportunity, and role models.
How do they perceive roles and relationship?
How do I treat my neighbor?

“When I was your age…”
(never say this phrase ever again) We say this to try to connect but the moment we say that they are thinking it was a different world.
This shuts down the sensitivity that we need to say to emerging adults. We need to seek to understand.

What they Feel:
Emotional

Smith 2009. Lost in Transition
Emerging Adult Psyche
Optimistic and lonely
Overwhelmed
Disconnected on their own
Anxious and worries

Pause for a moment and ask if any of this is going on. A perpetual feeling of always being behind.

Emerging Adult Hurtles:
Poor moral reasoning
Damaging sexual experiences
Mass consumer materials
Civic, communal, and political disconnection.

Activism is more on the twitter feed than actually doing something. Not joining massive movements but local grassroots organizations. How many causes come across your social media feed on a given day?

“Tell Me More…”
A place for conversation. A place away from technology. A place away from distractions.
Pause long enough to engage.
How did you navigate that?
What do you think you are going to do next?

How do they relate to one another:
Relationally

Emerging adults’ relationships with parents changes
A lot of parenting books are strategies of how to get your kid to do something without any skin in the game for the adults.
Learner: 14-18 Adolescent stage. How to take responsibility. How to do things on their own.
Explorer: 18-24 Education stage. Choose their own adventure.
Focuser: 24-30 Decisions stage. Discovering what is most important to them and where they want to go.

Relationally, who are we to become as our kids move through these phases?
Learner: Saw parents as Teachers. Give agency to help them grow and learn.
Explorer: Move from being a teacher to being a Guide. Come alongside. Moral support. Times we take the lead, times we walk alongside.
Focuser: Parents become the Resource. Exercise patience and keep our mouths shut for when they come to us.

What is your role in this situation? What should you be doing as a parent?

“I’m here…”
For you. This is not a static statement, it’s dynamic. It’s moving and repositioning around the emerging adult.

Parenting those leaving high school
College or no college? Future success and future debt. Does the training go to a job that exists in the future?
Christian College or Public College? It depends. A college is an option but not the only option. Online options, community college options, no college options.
Preparation (not gap) year? Maybe. Preparation year or find yourself year. Focus year. Most people are up for it but parents are rarely.
We put undue pressure on ourselves that colleges push.
Give each other grace and young people grace.
Key to preparation year: It needs to have a goal and process. What’s the end result?
Help the students envision why this college or why this place.
Think long and hard about the debt young people are collecting and the pressure this will add to their life.
College is a good investment if you use it in the right way.
Taking out debt without finishing a degree is hurting. On top of that, when they marry they add on even more debt.

Parenting and Pastering those ages 18-23
Communicate good news to those, where they are at.
Year 1: Daily Life Management
Year 2-3: Existential questions (work, love, belief)
Year 4: What’s next…

Emerging Adults and Faith

Faith:
Faith -> faith-ing – a verb life quality. We Faith. Dynamic, changing, and looks different tomorrow. Doubt is a friend of faith, rather than an enemy of faith. Embracing faith for their own. When or if they walk away, it’s not the end, it’s a gut-wrenching step in their story.
Intellectual
Emotional
Relational

Questions:
Intellectual question can lead to relational fallout
Meaning making, not rebellion
Ask: “What do you believe that you don’t think I believe?”
New questions need new resources.

Doubts: We shut them down, not so that they feel better but so that I feel better.
We communicate, why did you leave us.

Contagiousness:
The anxiety we feel is about our own faith.
We must address our own faith journeys, not fix theirs.
Their journeys will not be ours (and our journey will not be theirs)

“Parenting is an improvisational and courageous act.” Steve Argue
Article: Connecting with college students over break: they’re bringing home more than their laundry.

Emerging Adults + Churches and Parents’ Voices

The million dollar question – What are you doing with EA’s? 
EA’s who stay and go
Transition(s)
Formation forward and backward
Defining the relationship (yes, DTR) – Who are you and who am I?
Once defined, we know how to move forward. KidMin, defined very well. YouthMin, decently clear. Post HS has no definition. So what do we do? Create another program because it makes me feel good although the relationship hasn’t changed. This is formation backward not formation forwards. We are so worried about our young people being in the church that we pressure the church because we don’t know what to do. Short-term fixes to a long-term problem. We see you as a contributing member, you have a voice and a talent that is worth investing in, your ideas are often better than ours, we will fund you and hold you accountable because we believe in you and your perspective. Who is going to believe in them? They have the ideas. We have the capital. As a church, we need to recognize the fact that sometimes they leave the church as an act of faithfulness. Not that our church is bad or drifting off to nothingness but that sometimes we have other needs and can’t meet theirs. Maybe we send them to the people or organization that can help them where they are at. If the goal is to keep them in our seats we missed the point. Give them tools to go to their next step. It’s not that they are leaving the church for the wrong reasons or that if we keep them that we are right. We might be doing them a disservice if we keep them when we should send them.

If you ask an emerging adult what they want they will describe youth group.
When we give them what they want, we are not giving them what they need.
We are putting off the inevitable which is inviting them to be become fully invested members of our faith community.

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Valuable Life Lessons from Mom: Yes Be Yes

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Did your mom say short repeatable statements that have stuck with you through the years? Maybe they were just silly little phrases like, “Someday your face will freeze like that,” or  “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Growing up my mom quoted either the Bible or Benjamin Franklin. She would quote Franklin saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” “A place for everything, everything in its place,” “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And she would quote the Bible saying, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” These were simple phrases, but over time they shaped my character.

James 5:12 says, “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” This verse teaches the value of our words and from it, we can draw a few life-changing principles.

When you say you are going to do something, do it. 

Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” If we want to resemble our Father, we must keep our word.

As a Christ follower, we are called to honor our commitments so never make a promise you can’t keep. If you forgot about an important meeting, don’t promise to remember in the future because your memory will let you down and mistakes will happen. Instead, repent and determine steps you can take and systems you can put in place to plan better for your next meeting.

When you give your word, keep it. 

James 1:26, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” Keeping your word matters in both the big things as well as the small. If you commit to selling a phone online for one hundred dollars but then someone offers to pay more, do you fulfill your commitment to the first buyer or do you try to make a little extra cash? Your integrity and honesty matter more than any amount of money.

To be a high-level leader you must be trusted. And to be trusted, you must have integrity. When you say “yes” to something, this will most likely mean “no” to something else down the road. Be ready to keep your word even if it might cost you something later.

When you speak, speak truth.

Proverbs 12:22 says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.” When you are telling the truth or making a promise, avoid the extra jargon and simply let your words be true. When you are a person of integrity, you don’t need to swear by anything or make an oath, you just give a straightforward answer. James 5:12 says, “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.”

My mom was wise to teach me to “let my ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and my ‘No,’ ‘No’” because it set me on the path of integrity. Is there a verse you are repeating over and over to your kids to set them down the right path? If not, consider adding James 5:12 to challenge them in their honesty and integrity.

Book Review & 2 Book Giveaway: Don’t Quit by Jessica Bealer & Gina McClain

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Hey ministry leaders! Have you checked out this brand new book—Don’t Quit: The Best Things in Ministry Come Over Time. This is the latest leadership book from Orange and I want you to check it out.

Share this post on social media and I’ll send two lucky winners a copy of the new book! 

Here are some of my favorite quotes to give you a taste of the great content:

“At times, you will question your calling, but don’t sacrifice your mission for the security of the easily maintained. Take a risk and watch God move.”

“Every action you take, every event you host, and every procedure you have in place is your strategy in action. If your strategy is not moving you closer to your goal, then the strategy is not working.”

“God has big plans for His church and He’s willing to use anyone to accomplish them. The only requirement is obedience.”

“Limitations don’t have to be negative. Many times, they can be catalysts for creativity.”

“Unrealistic expectations paired with a fear of failure make for a disastrous combination, a dumpster fire waiting to happen.”

“Creating a common language that both conveys your values and unites your team is deceivingly hard. To be memorable, it has to be clear, easy to say, founded in vision, purposeful, and have a touch of cleverness.”

“God never intends to leave you where you are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s time to start looking for another job. What I mean is that you should be consistently growing in wisdom, discernment, knowledge, and capacity. A great leader is never content with the status quo.”

“You’ve got to own your development, set your pace, get accountability, and invite inspiration.”

“Awareness of growth opportunities means you will be prepared to respond when God is moving in the heart of your volunteer. Knowing when a leader is ready for more is great. Knowing where you can give them more is strategic.”

“We don’t lead in a bubble. When we decide to stick our heads in the sand and pretend we don’t need to grow, everyone around us suffers. But when we choose to remain on the wall—to face what needs to be faced, open ourselves up, and become ridiculously teachable—those we lead are inspired to do the same. Grit is contagious.”

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Why Your Team Needs to Break Away From the Daily Grind

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With so many pressures all weighing in on you at the same time, how could it be even possible to break away? It might seem like taking a few days away from the office would cause everything to crash down, but maybe this time is exactly what you need for your team to reach the next level. When you understand the benefits of time away with your team, it will be easy to see why you need to make this a priority.

When you get away, you connect with each other.

Deeper relationships are formed through extended connections and shared experiences. The moment you and your team break away from the office you begin a shared experience. The travel along the destination can lead you to new discoveries about your team. You will see how your team reacts during detours or when you are deciding what to eat for dinner. Something as simple as seeing who drives the van and how that decision is made can provide insight into your team. As you sit around the dinner table, your conversations can move past the superficial to gain a better understanding of what motivates each member of your team. These connections will transition into the office, break down silos, and propel your team forward.

When you get away, you connect ideas. 

In the office, most members of the team are doing their own work. Breaking away brings people together who each have different points of view and life experiences. As you work through topics or as you sit through a teaching session, each member of your team will hear things from their own unique perspective. When you begin to brainstorm or talk through takeaways, your team can connect ideas in a way that works best for your organization. As you dream through possible futures your unique backgrounds can connect ideas that would have otherwise never fallen in line. Time away can really put legs on a dream and take your team to the next level.

When you get away, you connect with God.

Maybe you’re like me, and for some reason, you see God in a new perspective when you are in a new environment. Maybe your team gets away to the mountains and you gain a deeper appreciation for the magnitude and majesty of our Creator. Maybe your team gets away to the lake and you see how God is peaceful and His burden is light. Or maybe your team gets away to the city and you see how God is at work in so many different lives and that He has a big plan. You might also be like me and enjoy the change of pace where time away seems to bring about a revival in your soul. Simply being in a new environment with your team may allow you to hear from God in a new way. Maybe a speaker at a conference says something that captures your heart, or maybe just sitting on the porch swing with your team helps you see that the pace of your life needs to change. Time away might just be what your team needs to get away from the busy and hear from God.

Without intentionality, breaking away with your team will never just happen. Look at your calendar, sit down with a budget, and begin to make a plan. Maybe your team will attend a conference like the D6 Conference for family ministry, or maybe your team will just drive down the road to a coffee shop. Either way, begin making a plan today so that you can connect with each other, connect ideas, and connect with your Lord.

(Originally shared to the D6 Family Blog at https://d6family.com/team-needs-break-away-daily-grind/

Breakout Notes from #D62017 with Michael Bayne and Brian Haynes

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Pacing Change – Michael Bayne – @michael_bayne

If people get left behind, are we really leading? Are we just a loud voice or are we actually helping people take steps?

Change is a must in any family ministry setting. We are all leading change…
Spiritual Growth: People have to change
Parent Partnership: Our ministry has to change.
Empowering the home to be a place of discipleship: The home has to change.

The right pace leads to lasting change. You don’t just want your dreams to last today. 

The wrong pace leads to 2 extremes…lack of momentum or confusion. When you don’t move fast enough you create a place where your leaders don’t see progress and get bored. They question if you have a vision. When you don’t move slow enough you create a place where people disengage.

Pacing change really hinges on our ability to be patient.

“One thing people in my Infuse mentoring and coaching program always tell me, it blows them away how patient I am with change. It’s because I realize that anything of value takes more time to build. The difference between a five-story building and a little lean-to is the value, and it is going to take a lot longer to build that five-story building.” – Jim Wideman

In Joshua 2, you can see the best leaders in scripture were able to look ahead and strategically said, this is a big deal, let’s get as much information and plan this out. Our problem isn’t faith, as ministry leaders, we haven’t thought through the strategy for the best environment where God can move fully. Joshua picked carefully, the right people, the right volunteers. Joshua paced forward. He looked ahead to figure out his next steps.

“Pacing change matters because we are leading people to a spiritual place full of promise and full of resistance.”

When planting the church. Spend hours, and hours and hours working through all of the next steps.

Before your Start…

Create a Map – What are the challenges coming up? Where are you starting from and where are you going? Your strategy ultimately determines the success of your ministry.

“Human nature is to need a map. If you’re brave enough to draw one, people will follow.” Seth Godin

“Your strategy impacts your success almost more than your heart does. Sometimes we forget this in ministry.” – Carey Nieuwhof

Vision and energy are not enough. Vision is the spark but the plan protects the vision.

Before you Start…

Gather the right team. Not just doing ministry aimed at people but doing ministry with people. Good strategies for change are focused on the right people at the right moments. Think through your staff and volunteers, who do you have on your team?

“Good strategies for change are about focusing on the right people in the right moments.” – Carey Nieuwhof

Surround yourself with the right people to enact change or the change will fail. Who to put on your team: People with passion, people who are servants, and people who you trust. Who to avoid on your team: People who complain, big talkers who are little investors, and the inconsistent.

Pacing the Change…

Limit the Scope of Change
For your to lead effective change you have to choose what not to change. Change leads to progress but it also causes stress. Too much stress will cause people to disengage and doubt to the point where they walk away.

Launch Change at the Right Time
Success and Timing are powerfully linked! You need to make sure you time your changes to have the maximum success and maximum engagement with the target audience.

“Don’t think. Act. We can always revise and revisit once we’ve acted. But we can accomplish nothing until we act.” Steven Pressfield

Make Sure Change Does Not Detract from Weekly Excellence
People are attracted to excellence and will endure change one some things when most other things are stable and thriving. What are you good at? Leverage what you are good at to have an opportunity to lead change in another area.

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. Luke 16:10

Keep Your Leadership Informed
When you keep your senior leaders informed then you give them info and vision to share with opposition when they go above your head. People opposed to your change will go above your head because it’s easier. Your opponents don’t want to hurt you but they love things to stay the same. Your team can be in sync and can answer the questions being asked of them. Don’t allow your pastor to be caught off guard.

Connect With Complainers and Lovingly Cast Vision
(embrace how we should respond not how we want to respond)
We have to make sure that we don’t take opposition personally. A change will bring friction and goal is to address the friction in a way that is kind, clear, and patient.

“Loud does not equal large and volume does not equal velocity the loudest people affected by a proposed change are those who are most opposed. The more opposed people are, the louder they tend to become.” Carey Nieuwhof.

Celebrate Intentionally
You look ahead at your plan and plot out a few places where you will celebrate with your team. Celebrate intentionally and with purpose. We want to be purposeful partiers! Celebration keeps the team on a mission. People want to be part of a winning change.

Adjust and Learn Along the Change Process
Don’t wait to make changes when you are leading through change. Make adjustments to your lessons learned as you advance the mission. People rally around leaders who are committed to solving problems.

“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Push Through Resistance
Lasting time demands patient effort and encouragement if the change has a chance to merge into the culture.

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Building Teams – Seven Questions to Answer Before You Hire a New Staff Member –  Brian Haynes – @brian_haynes

Question 1: “What are we doing really?”

If you asked your leadership team this question, would you get 5 different answers? The work that you have to do is slow. You need to gain alignment with mission, vision, values, and strategy before you go into the hiring process.

What is your goal? Understand how everyone’s job contributes to the mission.

Vision is where we are going. The more you can spell out what you are doing, the better you can onboard people into your leadership team as well as volunteers at every level.

Values answer the question, “Who are we?” What are we all about?

Strategy answers the question, “How are we going to do this?” The lead pastor holds this piece. When you answer this question it frees everyone up in the downstream.

Question 2: “How do we staff to do it fruitfully?”

Hire to shared values. Don’t hire to strategy because strategy changes. Values also play into longevity. Has this person already done what we are doing before? Does this person value the same things we value?

The way you find this is to look at the fruit of their lives. Find ways that you have expressed this value over time. If he is inwardly focused he will tell you what he has done within the church. If he is externally focused he will tell you what he has done in his personal life. Is this person a love your neighbor guy or a love your church guy?

Question 3: “Who am I looking for exactly?”

Now we are looking into specific skill sets. What do they do? What is their competency? What is their education? What is their culture fit?

Don’t just ask this question in your own head. Ask key people you are working with already. Latch onto the themes being communicated from your team.

Question 4: “How do I search properly?”

First search in-house. You’ve seen these people grow, develop, and change.

Next look outside of the church. Start with your network and if you need to look through a search committee. Share the load of the work. You can also use a search firm but they often cost a lot of money.

Question 5: “How do I onboard a new team member effectively?”

As they come in, they need clearly written documents for salary, benefits, and team structure. Create clear job descriptions. Money doesn’t have to be the last thing that you talk about. If this number is a deal breaker for you, just let me know, I want to be upfront. When you are onboarding, everything needs to be in writing.

What are the expectations? In year one, here is what I’m expecting in your role. Help your family transition well, build community, join a group, cultivate 15 new leaders, etc. Put this in writing and come alongside the hire every 2-3 weeks in a casual way to ask questions.

Is the space set up and ready for him? If they have an office, is it set up and do they have the tools ready to start the first day? Computer? Email? Business Cards?

Question 6: “What staffing mistakes do ministry leaders/churches make notoriously?”

Sometimes we hire a professional instead of a discipler. In a company, you hire a pro to create a product. In a church you onboard a discipler.

We hire to strategy instead of values. The strategy can change and values stay the same.

Neglecting to hire champions to church and home to the highest level. Don’t compartmentalize this area because ministry is both church and home not just at a building. We miss it if we hire a great preacher but he can’t connect the church and the home. It comes from the top.

Neglecting to develop leaders from within intentionally. Not just swapping sheep from one church to another.

Avoiding necessary endings. When you have someone on your staff who is pulling the other direction or becoming toxic you need to cause a necessary ending. *Henry Cloud Necessary Endings Book. Help them find a different way of living out their calling. Give clarity and love. “I love you, and I know what I’m about to say is going to hurt.” Sometimes you need to say these 3 things need to change and next month we are going to see if you are making progress. You might also need to say, “You have 30 days to change your negative vibe, and here are the 3 things that you need to change.”Make it uncomfortable and hard because if they want to work through it they will be so much better on the other side and if not then they will move on. Trust your gut but test it with clear conversation.

Question 7: “What should I do when I hire erroneously?”

We ran out of time for this question.

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Developing a Winning Family Ministry Team – Michael Bayne – @michael_bayne

Change that lasts is not only owned by you. You have to stop leading like a mega phone in isolation shouting where you are going. Link arms with other people on your team and empower them to be what God called them to be.

Equipping the saints means actually letting them lead and giving away leadership

“Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12 NLT

Your ministry will grow to the level of your leadership ability. Yo have to figure out what your leadership level is and continue to develop yourself as a leader. You aren’t done. You haven’t arrived.

Stop Leading Alone! You Need A Team!

One of the ways you can be abetter leader is to stop leading alone. You need a team. The easiest way to improve your leadership ability is to gather people around you who can fill your leadership gaps.

“Your ministry will grow to the level of your leadership ability. It will center on your strengths and will buckle under your weaknesses.”

Why do I need a leadership team?
Because I will hold back the ministry I am called to lead)

If I’m going to be a part of your thing, then I want to do something. I want to be challenged.

If you only attract loyal followers they will let you run yourself off a cliff. Leaders will see things that need to be changed. They will loyally run the ministry into the ground. The group leader might not be the best communicator but on the long run they’ll catch up.

What does a leadership team look like?

“A leadership team is a small group of people who are collectively responsible for achieving a common objective for their organization.” – Patrick Lencioni

Not everyone can be on your leadership team. A team can be too big. When the team grows beyond 6 it gets difficult. Every team has a head coach. A team without a leader is not a team.

Jesus built a team and empowered the team.

“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.” Mark 1:16-20 (ESV)

Jesus get’s two people who are out doing the work and calls them to follow Him. He then goes to those who are fixing the nets and not out doing the work to follow Him. He calls people from different perspectives to join His team.

Jesus was immediately thinking beyond himself when he launched his ministry. You need to think about who will carry on when you are done leading in your current role. Lead for the future through a team!

When you build a team you can stay healthy and your ministry can get healthy.

If you want to grow bigger, you need to structure bigger. – Carey Nieuwhof

If you want to get healthy, you need a healthy structure – Michael Bayne

Chasing big leads you to think short term. Chasing healthy leads to processing growth and long term sustainability. You also need a team that will come along side you and remind you that you aren’t as big as you think you are. You need people that come beside you and let you know they have your back.

When you build a team you add influence, gifting, and encouragement to your ministry.

Not finance. Not Strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both became it is so powerful and so rare. Patrick Lencioni.

Look for people outside your current volunteers that are good at what they do outside the church and invite them to leverage their ability in the church. Look for people who you are afraid to ask and go for it. Look for people who have strengths you don’t have. Look for people who you enjoy being with. Look for people with servant hearts. When you build a team invest in them first so they can invest in others.

“The key lesson: humanity and connection are trumping the desire for corporate scale.” – Seth Godin, We Are All Weird

People need to know they are not being used. Burnout and disillusionment follow manipulation.

Your team gets your first thank you. Your team gets all the credit.

Your team gets to celebrate first. Your team gets to have access. When you have big news, always make sure your team knows this first. Let them come into the next meeting celebrating. You can’t give everyone complete access but you must give a few people complete access.

When you build a team you give away real authority and influence. Don’t ask people to come and be a part of things if you aren’t going to allow them do do something. Let them make decisions for you. If they decide to use blue cups instead of red, who cares. Let them lead. Say things like, “ don’t know if that’s going to work but let’s try.”

“Responsibility without authority only brings frustration and never leaves fruit that remains. You must dare to trust people to represent you well.” – Jim Wideman

You must allow your leaders to make mistakes.
You must allow your leaders to care for and lead people.
You must allow your team to have real input into ministry direction.
You must invite your team into regular evaluation.
Leading the team to win.

Winning teams are characterized by…
Progress
Communication
Trust
Evaluation
Celebration

“Great teams make clear and timely decisions and move forward with complete buy-in from every member of the team, even those who voted against the decision. Patrick Lencioni

Do you have people fighting agains the winning team characterizations above? When these things are not happening you may have the wrong team or inherited the wrong team. Time does not heal disfunction. Have the hard conversation. Have the courage to empower the right people with authority and move people pulling against you into roles with less influence or onto another team. Get the right people in the right seats on the bus.

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How To Align Church and Home For Effective Generational Discipleship –  Brian Haynes – @brian_haynes

Simplicity matters. The guy working and living a busy life needs to know just a couple of things. Where to go. What to say when there. And resourced to make it happen. Behind the scenes it can be complex with systems running but in the front it needs to be clean and clear.

Total alignment requires clarity.

Doctrinal Clarity – there is a thread from the beginning to the end that aligns the home and faith community.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7
Proverbs 22:6
Matthew 28:19-20
Ephesians 6:4

Discipleship is a two-sided coin: Church and the Family. If the church and family are to work together to equip the generations, we must have a common path on which to walk. We call this the path of Legacy Milestones and it is our desire to focus everything that we do to help people mature along this path.

Philosophical Clarity – Without clarity you pull in opposing directions. How you do things is forged in doctrine. The church comes alongside the family.

Missional Clarity – What are we doing? Our mission is making disciples who make disciples.

Values Clarity – Who are we? Share values cause us to move in the same direction. Christ in me. We are family. Love does.

Vision Clarity – What direction are we going? How are we going to do that at the end of the day?  City Station

How do we do it as a staff?

Shared Strategy: http://legacymilestones.com

Milestone 1: Parent/Child Dedication.
Milestone 2: Salvation & Baptism
Milestone 3: Preparing for Adolescence
Milestone 4: Purity for Life
Milestone 5: Rite of Passage
Milestone 6: High School Graduation
Milestone 7: Life in Christ

Celebrate Milestone: Milestones can best be described as “an event, preceded by a period of instruction from parents, which celebrates a spiritual development point in a child’s life.” We believe that these Milestones are critical markers in the life of every individual and these Milestones help to provide a clear path for Spiritual development throughout all of our ministries.

Faith talk: At least one time a week. Faith Talks are intentional times set aside at least once each week for conversation around the Scripture with your family. We see this as a priority because we are convinced that spiritual training takes place one step at a time in the context of everyday life. While leading Faith Talks, relationship is your priority, the Bible is your handbook, and life is your classroom. For parents with young children, Faith Talks are the primary vehicle for leading your children along the path between each milestone.

God Moments/Stories: God moments are opportunities to teach our children spiritual truths informally as God moves in their lives.  These moments can appear at any time, such as a good question from an inquisitive child or an unexpected blessing of family provision.  We must be careful to capture these God Moments for the sake of discipleship.  Our families need to see that God is working in the world and by capturing these moments we provide clear evidence of this reality.

How do parents self disciple?
How to have faith talks?
How to have God Moments?

The secret to Milestones is #7. Real life begins and grows in relationship with Jesus Christ.  From that relationship, a Christ-follower grows in each Core Competency throughout the journey.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

How do we build bridges to the home?

Equipping – An annual event called parent summit. One Saturday, 9-3pm, Speakers and then seminars on each milestone.

Resources – It doesn’t have to be a huge book store. You need to be pointing parents in the right direction to self disciple.

Easy Wins – If you’ve never had a faith talk with your kid and all of a sudden feel like you need to be leading, the first ones are so hard. Give them easy on ramps that are mostly successful.

Technology – Apps, Social Media, etc.

Secret Sauce of Effectiveness

Lead Pastor has vision for generational discipleship.
The conversation is alive in every small group. How celebrated a milestone this week? Who had the best or worst faith talk this week? Any God moments you’d like to share?
The conversation flows out of worship services.
Every group leader carries the DNA of generational discipleship.
Modeled by ministry leaders at home.

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88 Leadership Quotes and Questions from #D62017

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Greg Baird – @GregJBaird

“The Church is divinely designed to develop leaders through the discipleship process.”

Ephesians 4:12 “…to equip the saints for the work of ministry…” What does an equipped saint look like?

Are the few doing the ministry for the many? Or are the few equipping the many for the ministry?

Do new believers get called and sent into the mission upon conversion?

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Ron Hunter – @ronhunter

“Disciples is not an event, it’s a way of life.”

“Isn’t it interesting what God can do with an hour if it is given unto him.”

Do my conversations connect influentially with my kids?

If our kids dressed in the armor of God the same way we do as parents, will they be protected?

“Our roles as ministry leaders is to help parents connect with their children.”

“Face to face is confrontational but shoulder to shoulder allows an atmosphere for tough topics.”

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Christina Embree – @EmbreeChristina

“Discipleship at home was not about doing more but inviting Christ into what we were already doing.”

“Brushing your teeth can become discipleship. Parking far away can be discipleship. Hearing sirens can be discipleship.”

“The most ordinary thing becomes the sacred thing when Christ is in it.”

“Christ can take the most ordinary, mundane thing and make it sacred through His Holy Spirit.”

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The Skit Guys – @skitguys

“The truth about the little ones we get, it’s God idea, and our responsibility.”

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Dr. Gary Chapman – @DrGaryChapman

“As the family goes, so goes the nation.”

“The time to prepare for marriage is not after you get engaged, the time is now.”

Does this rule keep the kid from danger? Does it teach positive character trait? Does it protect property? Does it teach the child responsibility? Does it teach good manners?

“The question is not do you love your children. The question is do your children feel loved?”

What if my children turned out to be like me? What if they handle anger the way I handle anger? Love spouse how I love? Drive a car the way I drive? Work with the same ethic? Talk to others? Handle conflicts? Respond to drugs or alcohol? Same quality relationship with God? Handle money? Treat in-laws? Treat their children?

“Children are far more influenced by our model than our words.”

“You won’t have any problem with your children forgiving you if you’re willing to apologize.”

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 4

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Dr. La Verne Tolbert – @drltolbert

Who is your most memorable teacher?

As we look to teach like Jesus, how do we exemplify the Christian character?

Do we have a relationship with those we are leading? Do we pay attention to their needs?

How well do we use the baptism and communion and the church calendar as teachable moments?

“Jesus was sensitive to time. Jesus had a scope and sequence to His teaching.”

Why is it that we only teach auditory?

“In John 3-4 Jesus ministers to Nicodemus and the woman at the well. The uttermost to the guttermost.”

“We must not be too busy that we cannot pray.”

“A church without children is a dying church.”

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Dr. Richard Ross – @richardaross

1/2 of kids leave the church, but what about the 1/2 that stay. Why?

“If we pay attention to those who stayed, it might cause us to change the perspective of why we do what we do.”

“Spiritually lethargic parents create spiritually lethargic kids. Spiritually alive parents produce spiritually alive kids.”

“Teenagers who leave High School with little love for the bride will eventually wander away from the Groom.”

“The goal of family ministry is families who love God, love people, and make dimples of all nations.”

We tried replacing parents with the professionals for 60 years. So how’s that going?

“Those kids who stay [in church] come out of homes with moms and dads who are spiritually alive.”

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Dr. Vern Bengtson –

“Data showed parents having substantial influence on their millennial children’s faith formation.”

“There are more years of shared lives between grandparents and grandchildren than any time before. Grandparents are influential.”

Should there be a singles group for 65 year olds? Widow support group? Session on facing death?

“Don’t forget the seniors. Most churches do.”

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Candace Payne – @candacepayne

“Joy is a byproduct of a deeper work, hope.”

“May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace that you may abound in all hope.

Jesus is our hope. It’s found in a person.”

“Stop doing ministry without God!

Stop working for God, without God.”

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

“There is a beauty in only depending on what the spirit can do.”

“We’ve got places to be, and the first one is in His presence.”

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Michael Bayne – @michael_bayne

“Why do pastors spend so much time day-dreaming about the future church and not focusing on their present church?”

“If your dreams for your future church are hijacking the passion for your current church, there might be a problem.”

“What God has entrusted you with is critically important.”

“You get no credit for the time you spend coveting another church.”

Have you ever seen God’s people not complain or the complain free church?

“Lead like you’ll be there forever because you are responsible forever.“

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Dr. Eddie Moody – @EdwardEMoodyJr

“We need to prepare our kids for bad things, for the storms of life.”

Psalm 46 “When the mountains are moved into the heart of the sea.” “If God says He will be there in this time than we should expect this time to come.”

“In the U.S. 5% of kids will have one parent die before the age of 16.”

“Acting like pain and suffering doesn’t happen doesn’t serve our children well. Equip them. They can handle it.”

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Dr. Timothy Paul Jones – @DrTimothyPJones

“If all you get is the kids, you won’t have the parents and then eventually you won’t have the kids either.”

“Provide every child a family in faith.”

“Make a phone call to say; thank you, can we pray for you, how can we pray for your child, and thank you!”

“You aren’t doing it for results, you are doing it because it’s right. Your goal is faithfulness. The results belong to God.”

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Joshua Straub – @joshuastraub

“I made a conscious decision that the pattern of divorce in my family would stop with me.”

“I didn’t need to be the pastor of a megachurch to reach thousands of people. I just needed to be a parent.”

“Prayer doesn’t just change the generations that go after us. Prayer changes the generations that go before us.”

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Michael Covington – @m_covington

Are you too comfortable in your church?

Are you lacking the results you desire from your message because the way you deliver it is too comfortable?

“Any ministry or organization that lacks a clear focus of message…may need to bring themselves back to that time when they were brand new.” Do you remember that time?

“The right tone at the right time is a grace delivery method.”

How can your words be gracious if they don’t have the right tone?

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Kristie Christie – @kristievos

Why do we believe that happiness comes when we get more?

“College students today are about 40% lower in empathy than their counterparts of 20 or 30 years ago, as measured by standard tests of this personality trait.”

How do we teach kids empathy? “Talk to your kids about life being hard.”

“People matter more than things. Our entitlement is not setting us free.”

Why does it matter what you choose? “Allow kids to feel the consequences of their actions as we walk beside them. They can make a big difference and they can make a big hurt.”

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Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell – @josh_mcdowell @Sean_McDowell

“When I started doing this…the dead sea was only sick.”

“God can use all of us regardless of our backgrounds.”

“If you really seek after truth, I believe you’ll find Jesus, ’cause he is truth”

“Don’t reject something because it’s the faith of your father. Reject something because it’s not true.”

“Pornography is the number one barrier to apologetics today.”

“The number one thing that causes a child to stay pure from sexual immorality was deep religious beliefs.”

“Rules without relationship leads to rejection.”

“Truth without relationships results in rejection.”

“Lord, never again, do I want to put my family before my ministry. My family is my first ministry.”

Why re-write this new book? “Truth never changes, but its critics do.”

 

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