Book Review & 2 Book Giveaway- Caught In Between by Dan Scott

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Are your preteens getting lost in the transition from childhood to adolescence? What if you could stop losing kids and instead engage them through a preteen environment intentionally designed to help them own their faith? What if your environment offered preteens the tools they need to move forward with their faith into adulthood? 

In Caught In Between: Engage Your Preteens Before They Check Out, Dan Scott shows readers how preteens think. Their brains are changing, they face school stress, extracurriculars are demanding their time, and all the while they are being bombarded by digital media. In the midst of this chaos, the church can be either a place that feels irrelevant or a place that adapts to fit their needs. 

This book is a practical resource to help you rethink preteen ministry. In our teaching, Dan challenges us to think, “How does what we share impact the rest of their week?” He shows us, “Our job is to move preteens from learning facts about the Bible to finding themselves in the Bible.” And he explains, “Our goal is to emphasize how the Bible relates to today while honoring why the passage was written in the first place. 

After giving us insight into the world of a preteen, Dan shows readers how to plan, prepare, and launch a preteen ministry and then he offers worksheets and checklists to keep you on track. Caught in Between is a resource for pastors and volunteers who desire to build a strong preteen ministry in their church. 

To buy your copy, just click the link: Caught In Between: Engage Your Preteens Before They Check Out.

To be entered to win a copy, just share this blog post and tag me (@coreyrayjones) and I’ll be mailing out two copies within the next 10 days. 

Does Your Team Have Momentum? #OT18

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Is your team all working towards the same goal? What would happen if everyone began moving together in one direction? At this year’s Orange Tour you can bring your team and begin seeing what would happen if you began speaking with One Voice. 

Parents and small group leaders are working toward common goals . . .

Staff and volunteers are compelled by a common vision . . .

Those who have influence are speaking a common language . . .

The church and the home are connected by a common strategy . . .

An entire community is inspired to champion common values . . .

#OT18 will be an opportunity to re-imagine the potential you can have as One Voice. 

Check out this video and then go sign your team up!

 

#OC18 Session Notes for Dr. John Townsend, Sam Collier, Lee Jenkins, Reggie Joiner, Carlos Whittaker, Virginia Ward, Louie Giglio

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Dr. John Townsend – @drjohntownsend

4 Common Blindspots for Leaders
Having it all together
Tasks before relationships
Conflict avoidance
Harsh (internal) judge

Gather somewhere between 3 and 10 of the right people and say:
‘If you see me doing anything that would drive my life, my family, or my leadership off a cliff, can I trust you to tell me way ahead of time.’

What’s the abbreviation for Blind Spots? 

Sam Collier – @SamCollier 

The best way for us to find our voice is to help someone else find their voice.”

“A mentor shows up in critical moments to speak timely truths in a relevant way in a critical moment with relational capital so they can receive it.”

“Preachers inform, mentors transform”

“Mentors transform. sponsors platform.” 

Lee Jenkins – @LeeJenkinsGroup 

If we don’t confront something, then we can never cure it.

Like winning the Olympics with an asterisk by your name…The asterisk on America is how we have dealt with the issue of race. 

Step across your racial comfort zones. 

The church should model racial unity to the world.

Be humble enough to be wrong. 

We can do more together when we act like their problems are our problems. 

Carlos Whittaker
Virginia Ward
Sam Collier
Lee Jenkins

We can’t be every tribe, nation, and tongue in heaven if we are not here on Earth. @vawardwow

Challenge everyone who is watching, to go home and have the conversation. @loswhit

One of the biggest disconnects we have going on is a lot of my white friends don’t see there is a problem. @SamCollier

When you accept us as a friend or person you must accept our pain too. @LeeJenkinsGroup 

We have to start acting like we are invited to the party and we need you to know we want to be there. 

This can’t be won on social media, it will be won through relationships. – @reggiejoiner

There are so many of us in this room, and a lot of us feel this way, we are sorry. And in that position we want to say, tell us what to do. – @reggiejoiner

Read John 4 about how Jesus went to her, stepped into her world, valued her, asked for a drink of water to put his Jewish lips on her Samaritan cup. For a person in power to say I need something that I can get from you. 

Listen and believe what we are saying. 

Believe us. We really aren’t crazy.  

Befriend us. Establish a relationship.

Gain compassion. 

Stand up for us. Stand up for righteousness and God’s standard. 

Internally build relationships with people that look different, sound different and think different. 

Intentionally demonstrate to others what this means. 

Louie Giglio – @louiegiglio

If there’s anything that unites us, it’s the song of worship that we sing.

This is leadership 101: ‘Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You.’

If we all collectively set our gaze on Jesus, it draws us together.

Salvation always results in worship. Salvation’s end is worship. Our destiny is worship where every tribe, every nation, every language, every people are in one gathering by the power of the Lamb and the finished work of the cross.”

It’s always about God, it’s always been about God, and it always will be about Him.

Sin makes us dead, but Christ makes us alive.

“God brought us from death to life. Not from bad to good. But death to life!”

It’s in the spirit of following Christ Jesus that there is the possibility of unity.

Worship is a weapon because it gets our gaze back on the God of heaven.

You’re not David in the story of David and Goliath.

God is inviting us to wake up and to look up and realize there’s another hero in the story and it’s not me and it’s not you.

Depression is big, but Jesus is bigger.

I want to invite us as a church to speak the name of Jesus more.

#OC18 Session Notes for Josh Shipp, Kristen Ivy, Tom Shefchunas, Ryan Leak, Dr. Deborah Tillman, Jon Acuff, Jen Hatmaker, Kara Powell, and Reggie Joiner

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Josh Shipp – @JoshShipp

We can do more together when we create a safe place for kids over time. 

The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans: http://a.co/8VNNDBh 

What kids will not talk out, they will act out. 

I never thought there would be at least one adult I could turn to.

Being a safe place is both about protecting a kid from circumstances out of control and simultaneously giving the gift of helping them feel the things that are under their control. 

90% of adult drug addicts begin experimenting with drugs before the age of 18. 

Every kid is one choice away from becoming a statistic.

Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.

Kids spell trust T-I-M-E

When kids are going through something difficult, they don’t turn to an organization…they turn to someone.

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Kristen Ivy – @Kristen_Ivy

We can do more together when we create a safe place for kids who are different.

The point of our small groups isn’t just to make kids belong, but to give all of us and our wild, eccentric differences a place to belong.

When you get close to someone who is different than you, you see yourself differently.

If you want to discover yourself, you have to get close to people who are different than you.

In the church, we get truth perspective. 

Truth is real, but perspective is different.

So often in the church, we forget that there is a difference between truth and perspective.

We, as a finite people, cannot tell the story of an infinite God alone.

When you get close to someone who is different than you, you show the world what love is. 

Our differences are an opportunity…a platform to show what unconditional love looks like.

“Our differences are what make the world such a vibrant place.”

What you do for kids and teenagers matters. But what you do only matters because of what someone else in this room that’s wired

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Tom Shefchunas – @Coachshef 

We can do more together when we create a safe place for kids who are hurting. 

Where there is no strategy if there is no sacrifice.

Sometimes we have to sacrifice our felt need to say everything so that what is most important can clearly be heard.

Read the gospels over the next 90 days and ask yourself 3 questions: 

What did Jesus choose to say and not to say? 

How did He choose to say it?

When did he choose to say it? 

Jesus and the woman at the well.

When: After had built a relational bridge strong enough to support truth. 

How safe do we want to be? 

Wanting to be a safe place and being a safe place are two different things. 

If we treat mental health issues like a sin issue, not a medical issue, then kids are NOT going to talk about it. 

What makes an adult safe? Her eyes when she listened to me. 

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Ryan Leak – @ryanleak 

We can do more together when we create a safe place for each other. 

UnOffendable: https://www.ryanleak.com/new-products/unoffendable-no-offense-none-taken 

Have you recently sat with someone who made the journey from lost to found? 

Taking someone from an outsider to an insider. 

Friends are like elevators, they can take you up, or they can take you down.

Lost and found people…have marriage problems. Unchurched people and church people…both have money problems. The outsider and the insider…often struggle with depression. 

The found person has an anchor for their soul. Following Jesus doesn’t mean you won’t have any storms, following Jesus means you have an anchor for your soul.

Lost people can actually admit they have problems. 

The message was “Come just as you are.” But then the message became, “Get your act together.” 

What if we created weekend experiences for people that were in pain. Wouldn’t we find ourselves reaching outsiders and insiders who were just hurt.

Can you admit when you are blowing it?

Is your church a safe place for church people to talk about their junk?

Pretending will never do anything for your soul and it won’t do anything else for anyone else either.

To be a safe person:
Vulnerability: Humble yourself long enough to just sit with people. 

Can you imagine if we humbled ourselves long enough to sit with people?

Compassion is knowing your darkness well enough to sit in the darkness with others. -Brene Brown
Authenticity: 

When we really get authentic, we become allergic to short responses. I’m going to become a person that doesn’t allow people to sweep things under the rug.

We need to remember that WE need Jesus just as much as the people we are trying to reach and serve.

Confidence

Can you be trusted with others confidence? 

Grace

Don’t judge them, help them.

I don’t care about the brand (of our church), I care about the person. 

There’s a whole lot you can do to be a safe place for someone.

If she has the courage to tell us, we must have the courage to help her.

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Dr. Deborah Tillman – @DeborahLTillman

We can do more together when we give every preschooler a better foundation. 

What caught your heart and imagination to work with preschoolers? 

We have to think of young children as little human being. We really need to instill everything. We have to look at the child as a whole being. The more we sow into a child as a full being, the more they will reach that full potential.

We’ve got to care about early childhood because what we do today matters.

Why does community matter? Because preschool teachers feel alone. 

Everybody in this room as the power to leave a legacy. What will matter is that you spent time with a child. 

“The true character of society is revealed in how it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela 

We all can treat children better. 

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Jon Acuff – @JonAcuff

We can do more together when we help parents be more intentional at home. 

Parenting is hard because sometimes it’s hard to be honest with people. 

Empathy: Understanding what a someone needs and acting on it. 

If you understand what a parent needs and do not do anything about it, you lose them forever. 

When a kid tells you a secret, the first things we need to say is “thank you for telling me”

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Jen Hatmaker – @JenHatmaker

We can do more together when we help parents be more internal at home. 

The Family Road Trip Continuum:
Patient optimism
Irritated intervention
Terrifying cereal killer
Quite acceptance

Barna tells us that by the time kids in our ministries are 29 years old 80% of them will be gone from the church. 

Kids are struggling to connect with a mostly modern church. 

Students need to be able to wrestle with truth without being shamed or we will lose them. 

If we want to reach and minister to parents on the margins of faith, we need to reach their kids. This is the front door to redeeming the culture for Christ. 

The top 4 things students long for: Community, social justice, depth, and mentorship. 

Your students crave healthy mentorship. 

A nanny can offer temporary care…but a parent is charged with raising their kids in Christ.

You are spiritual fathers and mothers to kids. 

For today’s kid, the very best way to lead it is to live it.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

If kids are just coming to church to be entertained, they will almost certainly leave at 18. If we don’t give them a foundation of JESUS then we are not giving them anything. 

For today’s kid, the best way to lead is to live it. Well done trumps well said! 

Nothing is more important than reaching the next generation, nothing.  

The church is only as strong as the buy-in from the next generation.

May our legacy be that we raised up a generation of kids that loved God passionately.

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Kara Powell – @KPowellFYI

Growing Young: http://a.co/eDYwdqF 

We can do more together when we help parents Bre more intentional at home. 

Does your church help parents win? Or does your church help parents help your church win?

We want to change the way we view and relate to parents. We want the church to be the first place parents go when they need help. If you want to change how parents see the church, maybe we need to change how we see parents.

You don’t have to like every parent for every parent to have more influence than you.

Parents we can’t out-teach what you teach at home. We’re not that good. 

When parents win, kids win. When we help parents thrive, kids are going to thrive. 

Parents will have more influence than you because…
They will have more time than you will ever have.
They will be in your kids future when you are not. 

Text Family to 66866 for free resources that help parents win. 

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Reggie Joiner – @reggiejoiner

We can do more together when we communicate a clear plan to parents.

If I were to ask the average family in your church to explain your strategy, what would they say? 

If you can’t explain your strategy, parents aren’t applying your strategy. 

One change they made to the brochure. A map and a schedule for the brochure. This one change moved the response from 3% to 30%. What is the map and schedule for you and parents? 

We want to help every parent become more intentional at home and more connected to a community of faith. 

What does it look like in your organization to become “more?”

What does that look like? How do you help them win? 

Your church is more strategically positioned to help a parent win than any other organization. 

What is your elevator presentation, “this is what we help you do?” Or what is your lunch presentation to partner with parents? What is your Sunday presentation? And what is your building presentation? When they walk into your building what triggers them to win as a parent. 

MAP IT

Meet people

Add experiences

Prioritize time

Identify needs

Talk together 

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#OC18 Breakout Notes

 

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Leading Your Team to Go Further Faster – Nina Schmidgall

Challenges to overcome at any size:

Under 250: 

Volunteer driven, few paid staff

Limited budget

Challenging facility

25-1000

Teams of volunteers led by staff

Communication challenges around how decisions are made

Changing leadership structure 

1000-2000

Leadership by policy and procedures

Ministry silos

More vision than time or budget to accomplish

At this size, you MUST rethink policies and procedures. No longer work on a case by case basis. 

2000+

Multiple leaders/stakeholders involved in decisions

Everything must scale across multiple environments

The pace that leads easily to burnout/turnover.

How do we lead faster and further? How do we steward what God is doing? And how do we put things in place to help us scale? 

Growth = move from doing ministry to overseeing ministry to advising ministry. 

Resource Recommendation – Empowering Leadership Michael Fletcher http://a.co/5Ngt7es 

With each transition in growth, elders move from doing ministry to overseeing ministry to advising ministry. Likewise, pastors must change from what Fletcher calls the “shepherd model,” in which he or she is the go-to person, to the “rancher model,” in which the pastor must “embrace the idea of sharing ministry and leadership with others.”

1. Invest in your team

How do you care for and challenge your teams? How are you making the team better for God’s purposes? 

Resource Recommendation

Radical Candor: Kim Scott http://a.co/2eVzfpZ 

Care about them personally. 

Challenge them directly. 

Don’t complain, it’s called management and it’s your job. More of your job becomes management as your church grows. 

“We undervalue the ‘emotional labor’ of being the boss.” – Kim Scott

Have your team go through the Strengths Finder. Help position them in a way to maximize their teams. 

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron http://a.co/eUc18OO 

You are going to be able to move further faster if you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your teams. 

Value time spent together, include spouses and kids. Annual play and pray retreat with spouses and kids. Sunday-Tuesday. Go away to retreat together. Kids becoming best friends. High investment but natural and authentic relationship. 

Spring get together. Christmas parties. Team and their families spending time together. 

2. Define the Win

Bigger than just pulling off Sunday. 

Your team should have compelling answers to these questions:

What is your target?

How will we know when we hit it?

How does this fit into the bigger vision of the church? 

Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.” 

TED talk link: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action 

Define the Win: 

Maximize your investment in kids
Make Sundays Excellent
Partner with Parents
Develop meaningful relationship
Encourage missional hearts

To encourage and support families to share an authentic faith with the next generation. 

3. Cast the Vision

Keeping everyone moving in the same direction is harder and more complex the larger you grow. The tyranny of the urgent will trump vision unless you are intentional. 

Over-calendaring and over programming will derail what you are about.  

There are activities vital to your vision that you can ignore and not feel immediate consequences.” Henry Cloud – The One Life Solution

Focus on why the vision matters

Why cue can’t keep doing it the way we’ve always done it 

Why we can’t stay where we are

Why change will be worth the effort

Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision by Andy Stanley http://a.co/58l7G7A 

4. Execute the Plan

Have people on the team who will create the vision and people on the team who will make it happen. Balance the team. 

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy http://a.co/do8iZva 

“Execution is the missing link between aspiration and results.” 

A systematic process of defining how and what and follow through. 

5. Guard the DNA

When you are new to a team, step back and look for those who are guarding the DNA. 

Vision Leaks

Think of it like cold spring water in a pale. Slow drip but eventually you are left standing with an empty pale. 

What is your process for onboarding new staff members and volunteers? 

Hold the line on serving once a month because of how much you need to guard the DNA. That time commitment represents meaningful relationships. 

How do you guard the DNA? No one likes meetings but if you don’t have your people in the same room from time to time then vision will leak. Get the right people in the right room. 

Sometimes you need to just stick with the same plan and find a better way of executing it. 

Guard the DNA

Implement it.
Repeat it.
Refine it.
Repeat it.
Evaluate it.
Repeat it.

6. Involve the Team

It really will be better if we are all in it together. How do we involve our team? 

Jesus final instructions from Matthew 28:19 were not step by step instructions. He stated the end goal and gave room for the people to be involved. 

Leaders need guidelines. 

Paint a goal and direction for people. 

Transfer control vs. transferring ownership. 

“People will support a world they helped create.” Dale Carnegie  

The main job of every leader is to:
Identify
Develop
Deploy
other leaders

Call everyone staff. They are just either paid or unpaid staff. 

Set a culture of shoulder tapping where they know who they will invite who they will be developing and inviting. 

Author and leadership consultant Michael Fletcher says these types of leaders can’t simply be “bought” nor can they be hired off of someone else’s “assembly line.” These types of leaders have to be built through a leadership pipeline.

The answer for more leaders is ALWAYS a culture of leadership development. 

7. Celebrate the Victories

Look for the stories and share them.

Small personal encouragement and thanks. 

Large and critical feedback when above and beyond. 

How can experiment and become more intentional?  How can we do facebook live or help share stories? How can we elevate the work our volunteers are doing to win? 

As your team becomes bigger and more spread out the stories can help share the vision of your ministry. A Win Celebration. 

Celebrate Victories: Personally, Privately, Publicly. 

“Find ways your leaders are winning. Nothing motivates a leader like knowing their hard work is recognized and appreciated.” 

God, scale your church so that your glory can be made known. 

@ninaschmidgall #OC18

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When Parents Win—practical Ideas For Nextgen Leaders – Kara Powell

How many of you are parents in this room?
How many are parents of teenagers?
Why is it important to help parents win? 

1. When Parents win…kids faith wins.

1 in 2 drift. They graduate from great youth groups and drift from God and the church. 

4 out of 5 of those who drift, intended to cross well. 

When it comes to kids’ faith, parents get what they are.” Christian Smith

From one of the vastest studies.

“We can’t out-teach what you teach at home. We’re not that good.” Davide France

Never too early. Never too late. 

2. When parents win…your church wins. 

No major Christian tradition is growing in the U.S. today. Some are growing steadily and some outside of the US are growing but not inside the US. 

Growing Young: Churches that aren’t shrinking and aging, but are growing in involving and retaining young people (ages 15-29). 

6 more commitments that these growing young churches have in common.

Keychain Leadership
Empathy Today
Jesus Message
Warm Relationship
Prioritize Everywhere
Best Neighbors
Jesus-Centered Communities. 

What prevents us from helping parents win? 

One reason is parents attitudes. Parents view the church a lot like a dry cleaner. Bring their spiritually dirty kids to church, check them in, and then come back 70 minutes later and check them back out spiritually clean. 

We allowed them to believe this lie. 

We have toxic attitudes about parents and what it means to partner with parents. 

This is a toxic thought: “My idea of partnering with parents is getting them to help with our ministry.”

Define the win to help parents win. 

THE WIN = Help parents be more connected to the faith community so they are more intentional at home. 

How are we supposed to do this? 

Paradigm: Every parent can do something more. Take a baby step forward. 

Think of parents on a continuum. 

1. Searching – The goal is to help them rethink church
2. Participating – The goal is to help them get more integrated into the church.
3. Applying – The goal is to help them to be ever more equipped at church.
4. Leading – The goal is to help them be involved in developing others. 

Determine where parents are in this paradigm and help them take just one step forward. 

Imagine your family or a family you know won a trip to Disney Land. Now, it’s too much to see in one day so you have to plan. Just like a Disney land, you need to “map it”

MAP IT

Meet: Which characters do you want to meet. Who do you want to get pictures with and connect with? We at church need to help families meet and build relationships with transformative people. Family is a team sport so help them have the right kind of team. 

The 5:1 Ratio. Have a team of adults surrounding them. Out of 13 youth group participation variables, #1 was integration relationships. Not one leader for 5 kids but 5 adults for each young person. Not 5 small group leaders, just 5 adults that surround a young person on their team. What if your church became known as a place that helps families meet and develop these kinds of relationships? 

The shortest distance between your church and a parent is a small group leader. Help parents start with who they know. Look at the relationships your family already has and turn up the dial to make it more intentional. There’s one group of adults with an untapped potential; senior adults. How do you foster this relationship so that parents win? 

Special connection for parents of special needs kids. Face to face as well as with technology. 

What about single parents and blended families? 

Add: How do you add experiences, the right rides and the right shows. Add the important experience that makes up the day at Disney. Family life is just a bunch of little moments with the possibility to build warmth into a family. 

Moments build warmth. Warm is the new cool. Whose thermostat matters more – the parent or the child? Far more about what the kid perceives. 

Your church equips parents to ADD. In the view of the big family calendar, how do you carve out moments of warmth? Shared family experiences at church. This is a big labor commitment. 

The power of serving together. Very few institutions create opportunities for families to serve together. There’s nothing more powerful than helping families serve together. Look at where you are already asking families to serve and make a special invitation for the families to serve together. Maybe even just the first Sunday of the month. FYI List – Free tools at FYI Booth

Prioritize: Prioritize your time. The right amount of rides, snacks, downtime, rest. Help families prioritize their time. Is it more important for quantity time or quality time? 

“It’s the quantity of the quality time.” Reggie and Carrey  

Your church cues parents to prioritize. Tangible handholds. Spell things out to help them win. Parent Cue App. Help parents prioritize “car time.” 

Some parents prioritize “bedtime.” Figure out the rhythms that work for your family. 

What rituals do you do? 

Mealtime

What if my child doesn’t want to spend time with me? Unpack this question one at a time with a family. 

Identify: What are the kids into? Do they like car rides? Fast rides? Help parents really understand what’s going on with their kids in the phase they are in. 

Your church reactive parents to identify what is important to their child. 

Sparks: Every young person is created in God’s image. Help parents understand their child’s spark and fan those flames and create more divine embers so their flame grows. 

But there is a warning we need to give parents. A lot of parents lose because they have an easier time connecting with one of their kids spark more than another. When children perceive favoritism the child will distance themselves from the parent in everything important to the parent, including faith. 

Talk: Talking about the rides during and afterward. As we talk about it, we cement the experience for days, weeks, and months to come. The same is true when it comes to faith. We need to help families have good conversations even with topics they are hesitant to bring up. Like doubt. 

Doubts Happen. 70% of kids (admit) in your youth group have significant doubts about their faith. It’s not doubt that’s toxic to faith. It’s silence. Help parents have good conversations. These questions start in elementary school, often 3rd grade. Your church resources you to talk. 

If I could fully explain God, then God wouldn’t be God. Teach your parents and help them know the phrase, “I don’t know, but…”
I don’t know, but…how about we get together and talk more about this later.
I don’t know, but…let’s study this together.
I don’t know, but…here’s what I do know about God. 

Give parents discussion questions. Give them questions to start before Sunday. 

Share your spatial journey. Invite parents to share their faith walk. Share YOUR faith journey. 

MAP IT is not a secret!!!

What we do in ministry is too hard to do without parents, and what parents do at home is too hard to do without the church.

@kpowellfyi #OC18

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Creating Culture: Building A Thriving Nextgen Team

Nextgen can be lonely. You’re the boss and in the middle of the structure or organization. Find a sounding board or tribe. 

Kenny Conley: Mission Church
Cindy Fiala: Impact for 1000 Generations
EJ Swanson: Woodside Bible
John Huber: Westside Family Church
Nina Schmidgall: National Community Church
Gina McClain: Faith Promise Church
Kevin Monahan: 12Stone Church

Text 512-914-0922 to join the nextgen tribe text.

It doesn’t matter what your strategy is if you can’t get your culture right because your wheels will just be spinning. 

Culture: The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization a corporate culture focused on the bottom line

What does a unhealthy culture look like?

Cindy: Lack of vision. Different goals between ministries where you have different departments going towards different goals. 

EJ: When teams don’t work together. When there is a disinterest between the student ministry team and the kid’s ministry team. We are going to own the line between the phases. When big kids or student events they go and work together. Kidmin leaders have a sense of how to keep kids protected and student ministry leaders need this. 

Gina: When creativity and ideation are at a minimum. When conversations are taking place about the problem but not with the people who can fix the problem. 

John: Unhealthy culture can be revealed when there is a personal agenda that goes against the team agenda. How is the chemistry? How will you fit into this team? 

What is a really healthy culture? What does this look like when culture is thriving? 

Kevin: It’s fun. Ministry and life are too short to do it with people you don’t like. If you aren’t laughing with your team while you are working then there is something wrong. There is a time to be serious but we underestimate the value of fun. 

Cindy: When it is safe to laugh at yourself. We can’t take ourselves that seriously. A healthy culture respects everybody and we fight for our relationships. Fight for each other and not against each other. Triangulation and gossip are toxic. Pass it up but not sideways. 

Nina: Be for each other. Build a culture where we are setting each other up to win. Do you serve a God of abundance or scarcity? Learn about their personalities and maximize them. 

How do you define culture? 

Gina: Craig Groeschel defines it as what you expect and what you allow. It’s in the allowances that degrade our culture over time. If culture is falling apart then trace it back and you will find there is something that you allowed to happen. When problems are taking place but is being talked about with people who are not there to fix the problem. When you allow that to take place, you need to move closer to it, investigate, learn how it could have played out differently, and have very specific questions about how it should have gone because that’s not how we are to function as a team. The phrase, “That’s not who we are” is powerful when leading your team. 

John: Help new staff members understand our values. We live on the side of the solution, so when you have a problem you have better thought out what possible solutions are for the team. If you have a problem with someone else, you need to go to them before you come to us. Gather the team to talk through our vision and values as a team. Set it at the beginning. 

When you hear your team talk about one another, where do you draw the line between venting and gossip? 

Cindy: 6 Organizational values. Fight for our relationships. Push complaints and frustrations up instead of sideways or down. Whether paid staff or unpaid staff, you will need to know the organizational values and sign a covenant. You can vent in my office, but not outside. 

Kevin: When someone comes to him he flips it on them. Why do you think they are so comfortable coming to you with the gossip? The exciting part of this is to shut down the passing of poison. Sometimes there are things that need to be processed and it’s not gossip so a conversation in place might need to take place. Have you talked to the other person about it and have you prayed about more than you’ve talked about it.

EJ: If you pretend to be half as concerned about the task as the problem then you can accomplish double. With gossip, you have to just go right after it. The further you are apart from the easier it is to gossip. Work together and accomplish twice as much. 

What are some of the things you expect? What have you lead or seen other churches do really well to create a healthy culture? 

Kevin: The Monahan Ten. 10 expectations Kevin has as a leader. Give an instruction book about what and how to communicate respect and care. Make the problem the problem not the person. Document everything. Don’t bring me a problem that you can solve. You need to help the team to understand you without having to guess what you prefer. Create a culture of approachable. 

Gina: Church values or staff values that clearly define the culture. Answer the question what does right look like? What is the test of this? How do you measure that staff value? What does right look like on a high level or low level? Equipped to have more strategic conversations. Clarify the actions you want to see lived out. 

Nina: This can also give you permissions. With the value, everything is an experiment, you create room to innovate or fail. Create pathways to innovation. 

John: It starts with us. Unity is a big thing if you want to go somewhere stronger and faster. Live out the vision. You are not above picking up trash or cleaning a toilet, model servanthood. 

Culture is often set by what we allow. What have you allowed or seen allowed that create an unhealthy culture? 

Gina: Productivity over teamwork. When you allow someone to be toxic because of how productive they are. 

Cindy: Freakout creates unhealthy expectations. Recognize the leaders who freak out when things go off center. Our job as leaders is to be the calm leader always. Don’t allow freakout with addressing it. 

Kevin: Allowing your own weaknesses to go unchecked. Not allowing feedback. “The wounds of a friend can be trusted.” Proverbs 27:6. The aspect of staying somewhere too long. When someone is there for a paycheck or for another reason and we allow them. When the horse is dead, dismount. Not walking in and firing them but having a difficult conversation. 

John: If you don’t deal with it, it ultimately comes back to you as a leader. 

EJ: When we allow the wrong person to manage our risk. The leadership above us believes we are managing risks for our organization. Know, is this the right missions trip, the right thing to say, the right time to change a policy. We have to manage this. Currently in our culture, what situations are we putting our leaders in? Are they in a car with a young person? Don’t allow leaders to manage this risk, that buck stops with us.

How do you recreate culture after you allowed something?

Gina: When you have a worship leader who can’t sing. The way she engages in worship is good but when you don’t want to have that hard conversation. When you mute her microphone. Everyone in the room knows she can’t sing and we are just waiting for you to have the conversation. The rebuild begins when you admit you allowed the issue, change, and make a plan. Sooner is better than later, and but is better than vague.”  

Culture creation. We all inherit culture, how do we get proactive in creating healthy culture? 

EJ: Will Hutcheson said, “Let’s blue sky this…dream as far into the sky as we can.”  

Kevin: Communicate it. Half of the job is going into a room and repeating yourself. Correct when there is drift. Celebrate it. Unmet expectations are cause for disaster. If people are guessing your culture then your culture is unknown. Good Birds. When staff turns in things that they see staff doing. Win prizes or cash. Celebrate those in different departments. Dirty Bird: Mock you for. When someone says something on social media, too bluntly or makes a mistake that you want to celebrate the mistake. 

EJ: We budgeted without the opportunity to create a new culture. A zero-based budget that is set the same. This means if you want to change a piece of who you were, you can’t change mid-year. 3 years ago setting aside 10% of the budget. Craig Groeschel “We ask our people to do unreasonable things so we see unreasonable results.” Creative and creating new things building culture. Don’t allow the repetitive boring ministry. 

Nina: Finding out who you really are. Show me your calendar and your checkbook. This is a true reflection of what you really value. Do your budget and calendar replicate the culture you are trying to create. Do you budget for a relationship with your staff? “Playing it safe is risky” if you believe that then do you have room in your budget and calendar to innovate and try new things? A win celebration culture where you celebrate the wins of the previous weekend. Stay invested and celebrate what God is doing. 

John: Get creative quarterly. Pair up the different ministry areas so they get to know each other. Not for business but for a relationship. When all hands on deck weekend or week, over-communicate the expectation. 

What do you do when you want to create a culture on your team but the church culture is lacking? (Or when there is an unhealthy culture in another team?)

Kevin: Lead by example. Create something simple that starts with you and your team. Create a healthy culture within your team and others will want to be a part of it. Warning: Don’t go against the culture of your senior leadership. And sometimes you can’t go along with the culture and you’ll have to move. 

EJ: Summer local middle school and high school missions trip. The missions department doesn’t support underwriting local missions but they serve their dream centers. No money spent on this but needed them too because of the growth. Figured out the win for the missions department, to increase short-term missions trip for the adults. So they challenged the parents of this group to go on a missions trip. When you figure out the win for them, you can get them on board with your team.  

Nina: In relationships, we can’t control others but we can control ourselves. Under promise and over deliver. Don’t tell another department no but rather we can’t do that but what we can do is. Do what you wish they would be doing. 

Any advice on being on staff with your spouse? 

Nina: Sherry and Geoff S book. Hard when you want to push or advocate for your spouse but on the other hand be very careful about the perception of some sort of in or leverage in a different place. The staff has to feel we are equally for them. Doing ministry together blesses the church. Be careful to create roles for your marriage. No ministry on date nights or “upstairs.” 

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What’s A Reasonable Budget – Jim Wideman

You can always be a better steward. 

Remember, God is your source, not your church. 

Want Jim’s Notes? Text: kidmin to 66866

Definitions change. Big and busy change when from week to week. 

Everyone does ministry better when they are on the same page. Align your thinking when it comes to a reasonable budget with leadership. 

How much is enough? 

How many of you are in charge of fundraising? 

How many work at churches where fundraising is of the devil and you are not even allowed to do it?

Not all budgets are created equal. 

3 Kinds of Budgets

1. Spending guide (estimate)
2. Allocated or Fixed
3. Capital Expenditures (if we can)

Budgeting Myth #1
Just because you raised more than budgeted or people designate to a particular ministry or project doesn’t mean you get to spend it. 

So, what’s a reasonable and effective budget? How do you build, grow, and maintain a budget? 

Tony Morgan says 10% is a healthy student population but I know very few student ministry pastors who get 10% of the budget. 

What is your cost per child per week (%)? 

Planning always has to go before action! 

Two ways at the start of the budget to start. Look at the church you have or believe God for the church you want to have. 

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:28 ESV

Start with your calendar! How can you start the cost of the year before you start the planning process. 

Do you have student activities and kid activities coming out of the same pay period for parents? Can you stagger these events so they don’t have to choose which child can go? 

Get the book: Beat the Clock –  http://jimwideman.com/product/beat-the-clock-successful-strategies-for-time-management/ 

Add Essentials First

1. Curriculum for weekly programming (under $.50 per child per week)
2. Music from Amber Sky (under $.05 per child per week)
3. Props, extra visuals for Large Group (under $.50 per child per week)
a. Early Childhood $0.50 per week
b. Elementary $0.50 per week
c. Students $1.00 per week 

Special Event Curriculum & Other Programing

1. Christmas Jingle Jam $169 or 3.38 per person = $06.5 week
2. VBS $25 per child or $.50 per week
3. Weekly Subscription $239.88 or $1.20 per person per year or $0.3 per week
4. Other programs
5. Totals so far
a. Early Childhood $1.57 per week
b. Elementary $1.66 per week
c. Students $1.38 per week

“It’s all about kids getting the Word of God.”

Supplies (25% of curriculum cost)
(if you want to build a pad double) 

1. Arts crafts (EC $0.27, Elem $0.29)
2. Snacks EC $0.27, Elem $0.29)
3. Students suppliers $0.35
4. Students Food $3.00
5. Totals so far
a. Early Childhood $2.088 per week
b. Elementary $2.21 per week
c. Students $4.70 per week 

“I’ve had to lock up the goldfish so the youth pastor wouldn’t eat our preschool supplies.”

Go negotiate the year supply of pizza or CFA so you have a set price for the whole church. Get a price per pizza or sandwich so if you are getting 10 or 1000, you get the same price all year. 

Believe God for the finances of your ministry. 

D. Workers
1. Background checkS $35 X20 =$700 $.014 per child per week
2. Worker Shirts $25 X 25 = $625 $0.12 per child per week
3. Appreciation, snacks, etc 12 X $216 = $0.50 per child per week
4. Orange Tour $99 X 12 = $.023 per child per week
5. Meeting Costs $1300 = $0.25 per child per week
6. Training Cost $$1300 = $0.25 per child per week 

Ask someone, “Are you looking for a tax write-off and have advertising money? Pay for my VBS and I’ll add your company name to the back of the VBS shirt.” 

“Look for people whose spiritual gift is giving.” 

Can you handle volunteer growth? 

Jim has learned that woman are often cold at church. Offer a long sleeve worker shirt or hoodie. 

In many churches, we want workers but we don’t celebrate the accomplishments of workers. Don’t go onto the next event, hand out donuts and make a big deal of them. 

7. Totals so far ($1.49)
a. Early Childhood $3.57 per week ($15.47 per month)
b. Elementary $3.70 per week ($16 per month)
c. Students $6.18 per week ($27 per month) 8. Per year 

8. Per year

9. Let’s compare 

Nearly two out of 10 families are spending more than $1,000 per month on elite youth sports according to the USA Today. https://www.gannett-cdn.com/media/2017/08/23/USATODAY/USATODAY/636391023373229973-082417-Youth-Sports-ONLINE.011.png 

Administration

1. Date Base
2. Follow-up
3. Printing
4. Mailing
5. Software
6. Subscriptions
7. Paper
8. Cards/ post cards 

Jim tries to get the church to cover subscriptions under the overall church budget. 

Following up with people is vital. Use check in systems to identify pastoral care. When someone is out 2-3 weeks call them and say, we notice you have been out and we just want to see how you’re doing and see if we can pray for you. 

Postcards are effective and inexpensive. Send at least two a year so that you can at least keep your mailing list updated. 

F. Professional Development
1. Conferences
2. Coaching Cohorts – YouLead
3. Consulting, Individual coaching 

G. Special Events (Transportation, Guests)
1. Camps
2. Big Days
3. Activities
4. I believe in Guests and the momentum they bring. 

H. Capital Expenses (Over and above regular budget)
1. Office equipment
2. Environments
3. Furnishings
4. AV Equipment 

You can live on planet earth, not be a millionaire, and still, have fun. 

If you don’t eat at nice restaurants on your own budget, then why would you do this on your churches budget?

If you have a TV that has a bulge in the back…you need to get rid of it. 

Church is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. In the building of your budget look long term. If you are faithful in the small things, God will make your ruler over much. 

What’s next? 

A. Be content ( Philippians 4:11)
B. Remember it takes time to implement change
C. Be frugal, be a good manager and steward
D. Believe God (Phillippians 4:19)
E. Thanks so much for coming, let’s pray 

God is your source, not your budget. 

The bigger the boat the more water it takes to turn it around. 

Treat God’s money like it was yours. Are you tighter with the churches money then you are your own?

God gets money to you when you know the right way it goes through you and you steward it well. 

@jimwideman 

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Notes from #OC18 Main Stage 1 & 2: Jon Acuff, Gerald Fadayomi, Danielle Strickland, Reggie Joiner, Doug Fields, Andy Stanley

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We Can Do More Together

Jon Acuff

“It’s easier to say something than to do something.”

How do you beat shame? Relationships. 

We can do more sounds like an order. Together, changes this. 

You can be “we” without being together. 

“Together means putting aside our small stories for a bigger story.” 

What happens when you tap into the potential of what kids are really like? 

@JonAcuff #OC18

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Gerald Fadayomi

If you could only pray for one thing for the next generation, what would it be?

We can do more together…When we treat each other like the next generation is watching. 

“We look at children and know they can do more. We believe in the next generation.” 

Jesus prayed for Unity. John 17, that we would be one. 

Jesus could have prayed for anything for the future church. He prayed for unity.

Jesus knew that a fractured church could not united a divided nation. 

Our unity affects His credibility. 

37M churches 2.2B Christians. 

Can you imagine what could happen if we started moving in the same direction? 

A united church is a culture-shaping church. 

Unity is not uniformity. It’s setting our differences aside to make a difference. Finding a common ground for the common good. The realization that we can do more together. 

@GeraldFadayomi #OC18

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Danielle Strickland

“The thing to do is to grab the kingdom of God and start living that future now.”

“Wake up! Jesus is knocking. We’re better together if we live the future now.” Danielle Strickland

@djstrickland #OC18

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Reggie Joiner

We can do more together when we keep doing what seems impossible. 

It’s not what you build that matters. It’s what happens in you. It’s what happens to you. 

How we work together will change how a generation sees God. 

When we look around in our communities…name what is broken. 

“If we as leaders don’t do something about what is broken in our community we forfeit the right to have influence in our community.”

“If we as leaders don’t do something about what’s broken in our communities, we forfeit our credibility.” 

We are responsible regardless of our position. 

How can you leverage what you have? 

“Leverage whatever status, influence, resource, privilege we have for those around us.”

Proximity changes perspective. 

“If you want to be the leader that you need to be in this generation, you’ll have to go see for yourself sometimes.”

“If you’re not getting close enough, you’re not going to be the caring and empathetic leader that you need to be.”

“Everybody Nehemiah needed to rebuild was already in the town.”

“Nehemiah put parents in the gaps in the walls to fight for their families.”

“When you see moms and dads standing the gap fighting for their sons and daughters, it’s a different kind of battle.” 

Nehemiah made the parent the champion. Think about how the kids will remember this. 

“Don’t stop doing the work you’re doing together. It matters.” 

“You keep doing what seems impossible, and you’ll do more than you’ve ever done. Then expect to see God, but not the God you expected.“

@reggiejoiner #OC18

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Doug Fields

We can do more together when we recognize we can’t get there on our own. 

When I go to dark and lonely places I forget this principle, we is greater than I. 

“Healthy discipleship requires leaders to play together.” 

When we work closer together, there is a greater chance of discipleship, a greater chance of faith development. 

“What makes you a team is when you rely on one another.” 

“If you want to transform your church culture, rely on one another, believe that we is greater than I.” 

@DougFields #OC18

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Reggie Joiner

We can do more together when we speak up for those who are marginalized. 

“If traffickers can target vulnerable girls for trafficking, why can’t the church target vulnerable girls for redemption?” @djstrickland 

“One of the first ways you participate in injustice is to choose not to see it.”

Want to know how to help empower vulnerable girls? Start here: braveglobal.org

“There’s nothing that forges unity more than mission.” #OC18  @djstrickland

@reggiejoiner #OC18

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Andy Stanley

We can do more together when we lead the church to stay focused on what matters. 

What’s the faith of the next generation worth? Everything!

You don’t have to go to church to hear preaching…it’s on demand. 

“When you lead as a team with one voice…what matters most matters more.” @reggiejoiner #OC18

Once upon a time, one won. 

One: Jesus modeled it. Everyone was welcomed. People who were nothing like Jesus, liked Jesus. 

“The one thing we all have in common is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

“Of all the things that Jesus could pray for, He prayed for our oneness.”

“Unity is mission critical and more important than theological correctness. We are defined by the way we love one another.”

The One Another List:

Forgive one another.

Accept one another.

Care for one another.

Encourage one another.

Submit to one another.

Restore one another.

Carry one another’s burdens

Bear with one another.

We are to one another, one another 

“Imagine a world where people were skeptical of what we believed but envious of how well we treated one another.”

“God does not show favoritism.” 

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” – Acts 15:19

Let’s not make it unnecessarily difficult to believe in Jesus.

“Concessions are legitimate for the sake of peace.” 

Are you more concerned about who’s in office than who’s in heaven?

“Will we prioritize oneness over our politics?” 

ONE is an invitation to embrace the one thing we all have in common. 

“If your theology separates you from sinners like you, you may have some work to do.”

@AndyStanley #OC18an173-efeb3e88-0967-4ffa-ac9f-7c2a1a06b77f-v2

You Lead Lab Notes from The Orange Conference #OC18

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Building A Comprehensive Plan From Birth To College by Cindy Fiala

 “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.” Deuteronomy 7:9

A thousand generations just because someone said yes. What you do matters! 

Watch out for ADOP: Attention deficit ohhh pretty 

Perspective: Sometimes don’t appear as they really are. From the outside things can look great but it’s all about perspective. 

Forced Perspective: a technique which employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. 

Forced perspective in our ministries or life only creates an illusion of what’s real, true, and reliable. 

With a few steps, we can create a desired destination that everyone and every system can lead kids and students to a unified common end in mind. 

Blameless Autopsy: By creating clarity and common vision you eliminate the vision vacuum of forced perspective. 

Take a step back and take a hard look at every part of our ministry. Without emotion, defense, blame. A scientific standpoint. 

Clarity and unity trumps everything. 

Church Unique: “The answer is having a vision that oozes, that is original, organic, zeroed in, and extravagant. When leaders start thinking clearly, engaging locally, focusing redemptively, and risking boldly, their church becomes an unstoppable force and an irresistible influence.” Will Mancini http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/Z5269X.pdf  

What are we looking for in a Blameless Autopsy: 

Do we have one common end in mind in the totality of family ministry? 

Do you have a strategy or plan to get kids and students on a discipleship pathway? 

Are your teams aligned? 

Do you have consistent small groups?

Are you successfully partnering with parents?

Do you have good age grade transitions?

Are you celebrating milestones?

Are you mobilize students to serve inside and outside?

Are we being strategic to equip parents?

“Does your family ministry strategy align with your church strategy, vision, and mission?” 

Do you have silos? 

Have you set down and decided your values? Values are how people behave. 

Values will create your culture. 

Do you fight for the relationship?
Do parents know their roles? 

Are you in the weekly weeds of programming?
If you have a strategy, how well are you executing it? 

OC18CindyStrategy: The Five Essentials

Aligned Leaders

Engage Parents

Elevate Community

Refine the Message

Influence Service 

The Method of BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

Do you have a consistent NextGen meeting EVERY week:

30-minute meeting:

Win and story from this week? 

What are you working on?

Where are you stuck? (Connect offline)

5 minutes per person on the team to share.

Longer form meetings:

Work on the business, not in the business. 

Is someone on the NextGen team on the leadership team? 

One Voice: Church vision and strategy + Nextgen vision and strategy = Integrated strategy for 1000 generations. 

Life transformation happens in circles. A place where we can be authentic. 

What is regular attendance? Frederick Colorado is .8x a month. 

Everything we teach in early childhood they will ask questions about in middle school and high school. We must build a foundation. 

Help them learn how to interpret the word. Help the truth connect to their heart. 

Are we creating consistent opportunities for kids to serve both inside and outside of the church? 

Book Recommendation: Comprehensive guide to family ministry by Diana Garland http://a.co/gTc3Cet 

If a kid has multiple voices speaking in their live year after year and if that same student is serving alongside adults 98% will stick. But we don’t start this their senior year. 

Last Step: Put it all together. More than just our nextgen team. From the parking lot to the main platform, everyone in the church needs to know what your goal is for every student in your ministry. Know what the win is. 

What is the goal? A High School student will graduate living life on mission with a heart that belongs, a mind that responds, and a life that reflects Jesus Christ long after they launch. 

This goal informs our message, it informs how we speak to volunteers and everything we do or choose not to do. Allows us to have quick yes’s and gracious no’s. 

Jim Collins: The Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept is developed in the book Good to Great. A simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of three circles: 1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine. Transformations from good to great come about by a series of good decisions made consistently with a Hedgehog Concept, supremely well executed, accumulating one upon another, over a long period of time. https://www.jimcollins.com/concepts/the-hedgehog-concept.html 

You can’t over-communicate vision!

Verbally, every time you meet. 

Through our actions and decisions

Printed materials

Social media

Automated messaging in your environments

EntreLeadership Podcast

#229: Dina Dwyer-Owens—Why Values Matter – https://www.entreleadership.com/blog/podcasts/dina-dwyer-owens-why-values-matter 

In every conversation you have you need to lead with your vision and lead with your values. Lead with your why.

Think of family ministry as a vehicle. All moving in the same direction. If a tire comes off the car is done. If a tire is flat we all feel it. We all have to be rolling together and in sync together. 

Free Resource: Creating Environments that help parents and kids fell welcomed! Text 1000GEN to 444999

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Discovering What Volunteers Really Want by Darren Kizer

Maybe I’m the problem? Maybe I need help to help volunteers to join the team? 

Leverage the opportunity to invite others onto the team. 

Always be answering the question: Is it worth it? Until we are consistently answering this question, we will never have enough volunteers. 

What a volunteer needs in preschool is different than what they need when working with Junior Highers. 

What do volunteers really want? And the bigger question is what do I need to do in order to give what they need? 

1. Owner vs. Renter

Volunteers want to follow a great leader. 

Think through a rental car. A whole attitude and mindset change. Your volunteers will sense your attitude and know if this is a rental gig for you or if you have fully bought in. Is it for the long haul? Are you working on something significant? 

Is this worth it? If it’s worth your all then it will be worth their extra. If your full-time gig ain’t worth your full time then how in the world will you get them to make an extra part-time thing become worth it? 

2. Right place vs. A place.

They want to serve in a place that fits. 

Honest and brave enough to not place them in a bad fit. 

You have a limited number of volunteers. If you get them wrong they will do their time and then leave. Every time you use a guilt card you will get volunteers but they will do the minimum and then they are gone. They will feel like they did their time and have checked it off. 

It takes extra work but will create the culture for future success. Renter vs owner is the difference between fixing a pipe vs putting duct-tape on the leak. Volunteers will either tell their friends to join or warn their friends to avoid your ministry. Make sure they are in the right place, even if it’s in a different department. The win is they stayed in your church, not in your area. It’s going to hurt you now but in the long run, it will pay off big. 

Elevate the culture of trading volunteers to find the right fit for the individual, not the ministry. Lead the way in making them win. 

3. Meaningful training vs. meaningless training

If they are skipping date night, missing a recital, or leaving the house, then you need to make it worth it, every time. 

It’s easier for me to demand a meeting then for me to figure out what they need in the comfort of their own home. It takes more work as the leader to communicate the same things to them without dragging them out of their homes. 

When you gather them together with your volunteers better be better spouses, parents, and employees. Because they attend your training they should be getting promotions at work. 

Leverage your connections to give them the best training. Who are the HR experts? Who can you bring in for 15 minutes to better navigate their role both in and outside the church? Invite them to your next training. 

Training for broken systems does not work. Don’t train them how to use the broken copier, fix it. 

4. They want authentic community. 

Make sure every volunteer has a friend. 

With your teams, help them schedule their time and frequency so that when volunteers are showing up they are calm and present to build relationships. 

Are you creating a culture where tasks are more important than relationships? Model authentic community. 

But, what’s the question for NextGen Leaders?

As a NextGen pastor, your “volunteers” are often your team. Would they volunteer for you? Do they feel “It is so worth it?”

We as nextgen leaders can make a terrible mistake and believe that recruiting volunteers is somebody else’s role. We have to model to our team and staff how to lead with care, concern, and love. Would your staff members volunteer for you if they were not an under an employment contract? Would they want to hang out with you? Is your relationship bridge strong enough? Would they follow your vision? 

If you default to the boss and employee relationship with your staff then your staff will default to boss and volunteer with their team. My job is to make sure you have the tools to reach the mission. 

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Actions Steps for nextgen pastors on a day to day basis. 

Ask: Is it worth it?

Architect an irresistible volunteer culture. 

Go volunteer in the community and see how it makes you feel as a volunteer. Find out what is in it for you as the volunteer. Discover how to teach this in your volunteer culture. 

Protect the culture with ruthless love. 

Budget. In the decisions that get made, make sure the volunteer culture is protected. If you lose your volunteers, this place is done. We are 100% dependent on the volunteers and making this change will cause them to feel like volunteer isn’t worth it. A bad experience sticks with volunteers, protect them with ruthless love.

Fight your way up the ladder. Sometimes you need to give another option or scenario where the church can win. Sometimes you need to draw the line and come up with a solution. Fighting to protect the culture in the long term is greater than the weekend event. Don’t sacrifice. 

Model Ito your staff (and friends). If you want your staff to be building relationships then model it to them by hanging out with them without an agenda. Make sure they have what they need to get the work done. It’s not okay to show up and figure it out while the volunteers are standing around, troubleshoot beforehand. 

Reinforce that small groups must win. ALL volunteers are important and have value. Small groups must win. The small group leader is not the most important but the small group experience is. You are not winning if small groups are not winning. All pieces work together to make small groups win. The further they are away from the small group experience the more energy you will need to help them win. Share small group stories with the parkers so they know how they are winning in the big picture. 

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Creating A Volunteer Strategy For Getting It All Done by Mike Park

As a NextGen leader, you’ve been entrusted with creating an environment where great ministry can happen. 

You’ve been really good at making cookies, but now you need to make a cookie business. 

The secret of NextGen ministry: We Need People. 

Exodus 18:17, “Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good.”

Gather leaders and give responsibility.

How do we as nextgen leaders create great environments for our people? 

Great nextgen leaders ask great questions. Great questions lead to greater clarity, better strategy, and clearer vision. 

How do we communicate when we delegate? 

Small Tasks vs. Big Asks

Small tasks are the what, the how, the can you just go give juice to the preschoolers. We think if we give small tasks it will be easy and we will get more help. When we do a big ask we are talking about caring for and hydrating the next generation. Pouring this juice may help change the world for Jesus. When you pour juice you get to do it alongside a middle school and will have a great conversation. You can become a significant voice in the life of that middle schooler. Are we letting them know they are a part of something bigger. The smaller the task, the bigger the ask has to feel because the smaller the task the smaller the more insignificant they will feel. 

What you do is important. If you don’t do the sound right then the student does not get to hear the message that will change their lives forever. Paint a great vision of what the job looks like and more so what that job means. 

What can you invite people to be a part of? Maybe your leaders aren’t committed because you haven’t 

Is your Organization Chart helping or hurting your ministry? 

Leading it All vs. Leading in layers

Layered Leadership:
Accountability through shared responsibility.
Clear roles and responsibilities.
Better care and accountability
Increase two-way communication.
Systematic feedback and evaluation. 

When you layer leadership it creates space. People will imitate what you as the leader will celebrate. If you want to promote a welcoming hospitality celebrate it. Don’t just let it be the student pastor that oversees the volunteers, maybe you need a coach for middle school and another coach for the middle school. Create a structure where volunteers can flourish.

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How are we developing those we lead? 

What if instead of training we created a coaching program? What if someone was in the life of the volunteer, speaking into them on a regular basis? Help them process what went right and what went wrong. Help them know what a win is and if they are doing a good job. 

Instead of creating more training meetings create more training relationships. Take the seasoned people in your ministry and help point their attention to the new leaders. On a weekly basis, walk with them and coach them on how to lead a group. 

A Coaching Model:

Assigns ministry mentors
Offers regular support and praise
Conveys expectations
Sets milestones
Track growth. 

What’s our plan for advancement? 

When leaders come into your ministry, excited to serve and they see the vision under a great coach, what’s next for them? 

Who is the young person you are pouring into, and investing in for the next generation? 

Empowerment: The authority to make key decisions at critical moments. 

Retaining Volunteers vs. Empowering Leaders

Do we need to just get it all done while running on a hamster wheel? Did any of us go into ministry because we are excited about filling in spreadsheets? 

Everyone is in this room because someone empowered us to lead. Someone gave us the authority to make key decisions at key moments, probably even when we were not ready to make that decision. Who can you, as the nextgen leader, can you empower? Write down three names of people in your church that you want to empower. 

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Keys to Empowering Leaders

Keep your Focus on the Big Picture
Sort your Priorities and Let Go of the Trivial
Let Go of Perfection and Redefine Failure

You are tasked to create excellence across the board, but what if you look at excellence differently? What if excellence was empowering your team? 

There is a line that goes from birth through college and NextGen leaders own the line. How can we help our high school pastor own the line just as much as the preschool pastor? 

What are the things that only you can do? What are you doing that you could empower someone else to do? Maybe only you are able to sit with a family through a significant loss. If that’s you, do that well. 

Let’s say things are going well but your team is burnt out or their families are falling apart. Yeah, you hit your marks, but are you winning? Failure is when you create an environment that burns people out, where they don’t make time for God, where the people aren’t cared for. In the end, we need to love our people. John 13, love one another as I have loved you. 

“The task of the church is to serve as the best example of what God can do with human community.” Stanley Hauerwas 

What if our volunteers believed they were a part of this best example of what God can do with human community? 

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Volunteer Innovation Lab For NextGen Leaders by Nina Schmidgall

When we are talking about volunteer strategy for getting it all done, and managing a lot of teams, 

Every six months 40-50% turnover in volunteers because of the transient population of D.C. Assimilation of volunteers quickly becomes very important. 

Your ministry will never be perfect and neither will the people who lead it. 

We go through seasons, keep this in mind. 

Failure is doing everything yourself because you have a fear of others disappointing you. This fails to develop leaders and fails to create long-term ministry. 

Don’t Quit Book: A healthy team is one that has a clear direction.

The reason people start volunteering in ministry is usually different than the reason they continue serving. 

Make volunteers feel a part of something. At Nina’s church, all volunteers wear a branded t-shirt. If you lead a team you get a fancy zip up. 

The fifth Sunday of every month is Sunday Funday and they suspend curriculum and play. Moments together with the small group leader and inviting their friends. Hats for Sunday Funday to feel a part of something and celebrated. 

The Volunteer Project: Stop Recruiting Start Retaining by Darren Kizer: http://a.co/fcLZlTd

Single location vs multi-site location differences. 

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Start: What’s one thing you must start doing? 

Stop: What’s one thing you must stop doing?

Improve: What’s one thing you must improve?

What is the most difficult volunteer role for you to fill?

What is your biggest barrier to improving the volunteer culture or experience in your ministry? an173-efeb3e88-0967-4ffa-ac9f-7c2a1a06b77f-v2

3 Easy Tips to Prepare for #OC18 like an Expert

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Are you ready for The Orange Conference? I’m not just asking if you’ve purchased your ticket. I’m checking to see if you are really ready for all this conference has to offer. Do some work today so you are prepared to leave, learn, and return with all that God has in store for you. 

Prepare to Take Off: Make a List 

Open up your phone or pull out a notepad and begin your Orange Conference list. Write down everything you need to do to be away. Items might include:

  • select breakouts
  • download the OC18 app
  • read the welcome pack
  • follow speakers and bloggers on social media
  • create your shopping list for the Orange Store. 

These are great items to prepare for the conference, but also add items to the list that help you prepare to be away. Include things like:

  • schedule a date with your spouse before leaving town
  • prepare all materials and volunteers for the following Sunday
  • book hotel
  • turn on an autoresponder for your email
  • find someone to feed the cat 

You could also add fun items to your Orange Conference list such as:

  • purchase orange shoes
  • schedule some networking meetings
  • select restaurants nearby
  • create specific questions you could ask to see what’s working for other leaders across the world.  

Prepare to Take In: Write Notes 

We have all been there before where we hear a great idea but two seconds later the idea is lost forever. Don’t allow this to happen to you by figuring out today how you will write notes at the conference. Maybe you buy a new Moleskin, bring your laptop, or swing by CFA and grab a handful of napkins. Take notes that fit your style and can be referred to after you get home. Write down quotes that impact your thinking. Take pictures to help you remember. Follow #OC18 and see what those around you are writing. Consider sharing your notes online to help others hear what you are learning. And if you write down a next step for you then make sure you circle it, highlight it, or email it to yourself for later. 

Prepare to Take Home: Schedule Time 

If you want to prepare for The Orange Conference like a true expert, you need to schedule a time to digest the materials once you arrive home. Look at your calendar and schedule a few blocks of time where you can review your notes and determine the areas where God is speaking to you. Also, mark a few calendar appointments to actually read the books you purchased while visiting the Orange Store.

There are many amazing ideas shared at the conference and you will need time and discernment to listen for your next steps. After you have decided what your top priorities are and what ideas you will shelf for later, bring these ideas to your team and create a strategy to move forward. You could even schedule this team meeting now to take place in the weeks following the conference. 

Make sure you plan ahead to get the most out of this year’s conference. What would you add? How do you prepare? 

(Originally posted to Orange Leaders at: http://orangeblogs.org/orangeleaders/2018/03/08/3-easy-tips-prepare-orange-conference-like-expert)

How the Orange Conference Changes My Perspective Every Year

 

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Did you walk away from your last conference changed? Every year, the Orange Conference has a theme where speakers look at the same topic from different angles to help attendees gain a changed perspective. Over the years we have been taught to “Say yes to the next generation,” “It’s just a phase, don’t miss it,” “Monday is coming,” and “To be for our neighbors.” These themes have radically impacted my life and ministry.

In addition to these themes, each year God has spoken a word to my heart that shifts my outlook.

an173-9b2456b8-47b0-41a1-bddb-a952c92327f3-v2In 2014, I walked away knowing that I needed to work on myself. In order for me to say yes to the next generation, I needed to be a better example and leader.

“The biggest leadership challenge I have is me.” – Jeff Henderson

“Every book you read is worth 2 years of life experience.” – Mark Batterson

“Competency isn’t the issue. Character is.” – Carey Nieuwhof

“Leaders, ask yourself, ‘What is it like to be on the other side of me?’ ‘How are you to work for?’” – Jeff Henderson

“You replace yourself by developing others, not by replicating yourself.” – Jeff Henderson

“It’s ok to not be ok, but it’s not ok to stay that way.” Parry Noble

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In 2015, I was challenged to know and act like every week matters. It’s just a phase, don’t miss it, helped me see not only the development of each of the kids but that I was missing opportunities to make an impact with each Sunday.

“100 years from now, the only thing that will matter is a kid’s relationship with God.” – Reggie Joiner

“If you’re the parent of a 9th grader, you only have about 200 weeks left before graduation. Make it count.” – Reggie Joiner

“Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” – Josh Shipp

“Children’s leaders, you aren’t keeping kids so that adults can go to church. You’re discipling children who will be the Church.” – Reggie Joiner

“Small Group Leaders, there is great power that comes with showing up every week.” – Reggie Joiner

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In 2016, I realized that I was so worried about filling the kids with the head knowledge that I missed what mattered most. Monday is coming helped me see that I was teaching in a way that kids forgot the moment they left the room. I must connect Sunday to Monday.

“It’s not a question of: Will Sunday impact Monday? It already does. The question is: Will we be part of that conversation?“—Jon Acuff

“It’s not: How to we get them to come to us on Sunday? It’s: How do we go to them on Monday?“—Jon Acuff

“On Sunday, grace is expected. On Monday, grace is a surprise.”—Jon Acuff

“Following Jesus will make your life better and will make you better at life.”—Andy Stanley

“When it comes to my personal connection to the local church, it’s simple: the Church saved my life.”—Andy Stanley

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And last year, 2017, I walked away realizing that I allowed busyness to get in the way of loving my neighbor. I must be like Jesus and invest my time in those who are different than me.

“Instead of seeing busyness as a badge of honor, maybe we should see it as a brokenness.” — Doug Fields.

“Some of your neighbors feel like you don’t love them because you act like you don’t like them.” —Reggie Joiner

“If there’s any entity that should lead the way in treating everyone like they’re invited to the party, it should be the church.” —Reggie Joiner

“Young people can download thoughtful preaching but they can’t download thoughtful mentoring.” —Kara Powell

“You can’t dismiss people and be in love with God.” — Andy Stanley

“Your love for God is demonstrated and authenticated by how we treat those around us.” — Andy Stanley

“We’ve got to stop acting like discipleship is about information, and realize discipleship is about relationship.” —Reggie Joiner

“Busy is the enemy of neighborly.” — Doug Fields

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Now is the time to register for the next Orange Conference. I really hope to see you there!

Sign up and begin praying today to not only be move through the theme but also open yourself up for God to speak to your soul. REGISTER BY FEBRUARY 15 TO SAVE $50!

Register Now for #OC18 – We Can Do More Together

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“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa

Momentum is never an accident. It happens when everyone on the team is moving together in ONE direction. If you want momentum you have to stay focused, clear, and synchronized about what matters most.

When you lead as a team with ONE VOICE…What matters most matters more.

When you lead as a team with ONE VOICE…Parent and volunteers move in the same direction.

When you lead as a team with ONE VOICE…Your core message becomes clearer and louder.

When you lead as a team with ONE VOICE…What you do every week makes a greater impact.

When you lead as a team with ONE VOICE…The next generation wins!

There is a unique kind of momentum that happens when everyone in a church leads together as ONE VOICE. OC18 will be an opportunity to re-imagine the potential you can have as ONE VOICE

“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” Romans 12:4-5 (NLT)

Register today to join me at this year’s Orange Conference in Atlanta, April 25-27. 

 

 

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