#OC19 YouLead Notes with @fbealer, @birk51, @vinceparker, and @jessicabealer



Get Everyone To Pay Attention with Frank Bealer @fbealer

We are going to turn up the dial on “It’s Personal” and this might feel overwhelming at times. It might feel like another thing to do but it’s more than that.  

Who’s going to come alongside you to be the filter to make sure you are doing the right principles. 

How many of you hand out resources to parents?
Social media channels for your church?

How do I convince leaders and parents to pay attention to what matters? We must turn up the dials on Pay Attention and What Matters

“Every time we get a leader or parents attention, we either build or erode trust.” 

It’s that one time at the right time that matter most. 

Attention + Trust = Impact (x repeat)

When we build trust we get influence and we get the opportunity to impact their future. But were are not done there, we must repeat the cycle. It’s a constant cycle for us to not take for granted that we have people’s trust.

Advertisements retarget and follow you. Now when you go to their webpage you are retargeted and followed. The advertisements start popping up everywhere. You can’t keep getting louder and demanding to get people’s attention. 

How do we convince people to pay attention? Error in the question. They are not willing to PAY but they will TRADE attention. Everyone is aware of this cost. 

If your volunteer training doesn’t help them win at home then you’re missing the point. They are looking for something that trades their attention. Something that’s helpful today AND in their future. Word things in a way that helps them see the benefit tomorrow not in the future. 

What if instead of focusing on saving $20 today it was “Hey parents, we have a limited number of spots today and we are going to be focusing on entitlement. We want to let you know this will be a big focus for us this year and we just wanted to come alongside you to help with this issue. We heard you and we want to help you win. (Also helps parents know they are not in this alone or the only one going through it.)

Families are very attentive to making bad trades. How do we know it’s worth our exchange.  Add value to parent’s lives. 

Attention is so extremely valuable, but we didn’t steward it well.

Most are deciding Sunday morning if they are going to attend church or not. They aren’t thinking about hitting snooze but deciding between two good options. We must communicate that we want something for them and not something from them. It’s not about celebrating the numbers there. We want you there because this is what it will create for your family tomorrow. Help them navigate issues for tomorrow. 

We communicate hype in youth ministry. First of all, we can’t fulfill our own hype. “It’s going to be one of the best weeks of…this month.” Instead communicate, “I’m glad you’re here, who’s your small group leader? They are going to be so glad to see you and we are so glad that you are here!” Students are looking for relationships. They are looking for someone who will notice when they are not there. We need to communicate this from the very beginning. It’s not the name of the ministry that is looking for you or the “we” but it’s the person who has a name. Use real-life names and real-life relationships. 

The biggest challenge with a handout is not the handout but the teenagers passing them out. We need someone communicating the value of what we hand them. “We trade efficiency sometimes for effectiveness.” 

We give away some of the best moments we have. Parent pickup. Be intentional and engage parents at this moment. 

“Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem.” Be empathetic. Come alongside them. Help them. We are just here to serve you. 

Text service where families can ask for prayer for the school year. 26 families signed up. “I didn’t use it but I just love to know my church is in my corner.” 

We say it’s mandatory and so important BUT most of us don’t send an email to those who didn’t show up. This communicates that they should have been there and it shows them it was really worth their time. 

Many of us in this room when we start in ministry we get really excited about the relational side of things, and then you figure out how messy and hard it is to get personal. Our response is to start making changes to our content and programming. We edit more and print more because it makes us feel busy. The reality is it’s personal and it’s going to be messy. We need to actually have relationships with people and followup and care for them. 


Building Your Team For The Future – Jon Birkmire @jon.birkmire


Treat volunteers like staff. Build a leadership team. 

Doing this helps you do what you do better and gives you more time to do the things that only you can do. 

What can we do when our ministry needs more than WE can give? 

3 Traditional Options: 
Don’t do it
Do it and accept the consequence
Hire more people

We have limited bandwidth. Time is the great equalizer. 

Smart-water Illustration: 

“I’m about to save the world…I need 12 people.” 

Introduce some more water into your life. I’m going to hand you this and this and this. The two of us are going to make this thing work. You can do this and the truth is you need to do this. The average youth pastor burns out in 3 years. Add voices to your team. 

We need to re-think your organizational structure to add new voices. Not just more voices…But the right kind of voices. Add voices that replace yourself. 

Recruit the right voices


Build and organizational leadership chart

Start with you

Think transferable models and common language

Create job descriptions. 

Develop an on-boarding 

What am I doing now that I can train and delete to someone else? Where is my water going into what cups that someone else can be filling? 

What language do you use to describe the roles? What are the win statements? 

Coaches, Producers, Directors

Volunteer Coach

Training, evaluating, leadership and care of SGL’s
5-8 hours a week (includes Sunday)
Owns volunteer coordination and on-boarding, caring for leaders mid-week and Sundays.
Leads small group leaders on Sunday
Extend your pastoral influence to someone else who cares for the team on a regular basis. 

Volunteer Producer

Training, evaluation, care, Sunday production efforts.
5-8 hours a week
Owns volunteer coordination and onboarding, caring for leaders mid-week and Sundays.
Lead production leaders on Sunday. 

Volunteer Director

Lead entire team, vision casting, and organizational efforts
8-15 hours a week
Owns the entire ministry responsibility, leads vision casting, evaluation and implementation of ministry model.
Directly leads coaches and producers.
Invite these people into the budget process, the planning of all ministry, the conferences, everything for ministry.
This is about appreciation over compensation. 

Exercise: On the Org Chart – Anything you don’t have someone’s name in, your name is in that box. You might not have this role yet, but you’re doing it. You’re pouring into that cup. 

Exercise: What roles are you currently fulfilling other than your own. Some of you need 40 different name tags because you are currently fulfilling 40 different roles. 

“When you hand over ministry to someone else, people fall in love with ministry.” 

Recruiting the right voices

You have to make friends before you need friends. 

Stop the cattle call at your church. There’s a difference between strategic service push and “we need volunteers”

Methods for recruiting: Observation, Hot List

Look for the people who fit what you are looking for in the positions you need. 

The hot list can be accessed by the team so everyone knows the needs. Constantly updated and reduced. 

Later you create a Warm List and Cold List. Is that a hard no or a warm no? 

Exercise: Recruit!
Write down the names of high capacity people you know in your church. 

On-Boarding New Leaders

You need a clean plan that sets up your leaders to win. 

If you constantly have leaders quitting, that’s not a them thing, that’s a you thing. 


Ask- clarify the role
Download – resource the role
Apprentice – Coach the role
Prepare – Setup the teams
Turn them loose – release the role

SOP – Standard Operating Procedure. 


I do, you watch. We talk
I do, you help. We talk
You do, I help we talk
You do, I watch we talk
You do someone else watches.

People will never innovate if they don’t think they can. Get out of the way. Don’t fix everything for them. 

Exercise: On-boarding

What is missing from your onboarding process?
Job descriptions

Standard operating procedure

Role-specific resources and development

A culture of evaluation

Ministry core documents

Shadowing/apprenticeship system

Release Your Leaders to Lead

Get out of the way

Value who they are over what they do. 

Direct report and evaluation regularly

Resource regularly

Ask: How are you REALLY doing?

Bi-weekly meet with your staff. Staff meeting with direct reports at least once a month. 

When expectations are missed we talk about it. When you don’t talk about it you’ve set a new lower expectation. If volunteers don’t show up, you have to talk about it. 

Repeat the Process

Train your leaders to replace themselves

Practice open handedness

Evaluate yourself regularly (and ask for evaluation) 

Renew your personal vision

Celebrate life change

The way you pay people best is by celebrating wins and life change. Money in their relational bank. Their investment is paying out. 

You can do this. Your family needs you to do this. Your first ministry on this planet is to them. You need this. Some of you are tired. The solution is adding people to your team. 


Create A One Year Ministry Plan – Vince Parker @vincelparker 

Where do you begin? What outcomes do you want to see?

Without a vision the people perish.

How will you measure it?

Where performance is measured, performance improves. 

All great chilis but 5 different ingredients. How you make the worlds best chili you need to measure the ingredients and evaluate. 

Measuring outcomes matters…

Data should have a seat at the table. 

Evaluate your current situation. 

Where is your starting point?

What do you need to start doing?
What do you need to stop doing?

Write it down so you don’t forget. 


Who needs to be involved in the plan?
Who do we need to tell about the plan?
Who are you ministering to?


What should the space look like?
Does the place support or hinder the plan?

There is a difference between a Starbucks, a home, and an arena. What does this look like?


How will you get your message out?

What you want to see happen, you need to program in. If we are wanting people in small groups, we need to program it in for people to do and see. 

What do you want them to feel and do? Feelings move to action. Give them every step so they can execute the plan. At the moment, they can text in or sign up to make it happen. 


How does it all work together?

Do your systems help you better love people?
Is it sustainable? 

What happens when a student gives their life to Jesus?


Time to execute.

Lead with the why

Let them know why we can’t stay where we are at. 

When you lead with the why, people can’t help but join the vision.

Keep it simple

Stay committed. 


Evaluate again!

Data has a seat t the table. 

What adjustments/tweaks need to be made?
Did you achieve the SMART goals? What milestones did you achieve?

Celebrate the wins. Not take the next day off to recover but to stop and thank God for what He did. 


What does God say?

Talk with God the whole way. Stay connected to the vine. 

Talk with God during each and every one of these steps. Seek wisdom and hear from Him every step of the way. 

Data may have a seat but God has the biggest seat at the table. 

What do you measure? Rock software.
Who are the leaders who attend?
How many students give life to Christ?
Student attendance and how many times in the moth? 2.3x in a month.


Develop An Effective Coaching System – Frank and Jessica Bealer @fbealer @jessicabealer

Training vs. Coaching

Training is systems, standard boundaries. It’s operational.

Coaching is mission, vision and understanding. It’s purposeful.

Information without intention feels insignificant. 

Familiarity vs safety. It communicates safety when you check the tags. You know them and it matters that you communicate this but it communicates the message that safety comes first and foremost. The new family or the divorce family needs to see safety each and every Sunday. 

Empowerment starts with clarity of vision.

Define the win. 

Most of our team huddles are logistics. Our mission is not to get through the crafts. The win for the day is for you to build relationships. In these VIP meetings, define the win. 

Implementing a coaching model

1. Identify coaches by assessing top leaders in each ministry area. 

They need to be really good at what they are doing. Are they good at communicating with adults? Are they at ease with conflict? Can they have hard conversations? Could you see them firing a volunteer if that was needed? 

2. Remove coaches from your church organizational charts.

Take coaches out of the rotation one step at a time. Don’t start by pulling all of your top leader volunteers. Start with small group coaches and the check-in coaches because these volunteers directly work with students. Don’t set yourself up for failure. 

3. Outline a coach’s responsibilities, timeline, and steps with each new or existing volunteer they are advising. 

Coaches need to fully understand their role. It’s not their responsibility to tell someone they are doing things wrong. It’s support, not critique. Create a role that a coach can not say more than one critique in a week. You should never have a clipboard as a coach. It’s observing and offering feedback at what works. Coaches aren’t going to fix a small group or small group leader in one week. The goal is tiny steps in the right direction. Love and support around one small critique. 

4. Encourage coaches to document the process. 

They need to make notes for you and for themselves. They need to see how far someone grows. If someone is still struggling 3 months later, then you might need to step in. Systemize with something like a google doc. Name, date, comments. Inspect what you expect. Make sure your coaches are doing what you are asking them to do. 

Systematize Care: On Sunday write a card before they leave. Write down what the expectations are for them each week. 

Every coach needs a full roster of who they are coaching. Contact information, Favorites Form, a system for making purchases, budget plan for empowerment. $15/week pre-approved. Give spending permission to volunteers.  

Retention should go up with a coaching model. A greater span of care. Implement a support structure. 

5. Schedule quarterly gatherings with coaches and other insiders. 

When your coaches are in the know they feel more equipped and prepared for what’s coming. Ask what are you seeing? What do we need to do a little different? Help them feel like the insider group that helps the ministry win. 

Go further, faster, and steward well the ministry. Make room for more people to do the ministry. It’s impossible for you to develop everyone on your team. If you worked on developing your coaches, they can develop the team. Lean into and on your coaches. 

Presentation and Family Ministry Coaching Documents: generis.com/orange-jess-bealer-coaching 

Next Conference Notes 2019



Who are my people that I can ask, “What about…?” And “What if…?”

Be ruthless about your strategy.

Introverted gift giving ensures that at least a few people like you.

Why does what you do matter?

Keep everyone imagining a better future! A different and better version of their faith. We can not afford to lose the faith of the next generation. When you stop imagining a better world, you stop becoming a better leader. You are the one who is responsible to capture the imagination of what could be.

You can’t manage what you can’t imagine.
A strategy is what the end in mind might be.
If you’re not clear where you are going it’s easy to get stuck managing what you do. Leaders lead somewhere. A better vision of where you are going. If you don’t know where you are going then chances are you are not leading anywhere.

Traffic cone: The programs in your church. Your ministry components. Your curriculum. They can either direct traffic or create chaos. Guide hundreds of two-ton automobiles down a path to a destination. Doing less is more. What is it you want people to do or to be? Evaluate by asking is it leading people to that end.

Important Questions for a team once you established an end:
The orchestra conductor is the only person not making a sound but linked to everyone playing the instruments.
How can I help you win at…doing what you do?

5 questions to constantly be asking our teams and leaders. Why I do what I do. The right questions help you measure success. It’s not how can I make you do what I want but how can I help you win.

Mission and strategy. You aren’t going to be successful because of your mission. Great missions organizations close every day. It’s your strategy that helps us find success.

Align Leaders:

How can I help you win at… growing in your personal leadership so you improve your teams and strategies?
Success is linked to your leadership.
Young life clubs that were thriving and growing vs those who are stagnant. Not money, not staff but key variable was number of volunteers that the clubs had. The number of those volunteers and how well those volunteers are trained. You can have an incredible curriculum and bad leaders and fail.
-Help leaders become self-aware and see their blind spots. RightPath or enneagram common language.
-Move from yearly evaluation to quarterly. And address issues regularly.
-Listen to volunteers. Anonymous survey.
-Give team leaders your meeting instead of going into their meeting.
-Challenge the team to be learning. Get them to teach something they have recently learned.
-Put it on the calendar. Who do I need to meet with weekly, monthly, annually and schedule it?
-Not assuming what they know.
The more common language the more moving towards one goal. Can’t get on the same page without getting in the same room. Has to be intentional about alignment.

Refine the Message:

How can I help you win at…creating a compelling message strategy for your weekly environments and online platforms?
What are the big rocks that you need to put in first? What content do you want them to understand and know? Teach less for more. There’s a difference between believing all scripture is inspired and applicable.
-Know who your audience is not just what’s comfortable for you. Know if your illustrations connect. Your target with parents might be the single mom or grandparent. Refer to guardians and people in different situations.
-Spend time talking with students. Be in their schools. Hear their conversations. If we don’t know their world we don’t know what matters to them. If it doesn’t matter to us it won’t matter to them. Empathy. Feel their pain. (Dear Evan Hansen The Musical)
-Protect your children. Stand up to the culture so they have a safe place to open up. Refine the message and don’t just do it one way. Help them feel safe and able to respond.

Engage Parents:

How can I help you win at…engaging parents to be more connected in community and more intentional at home?
Two big buckets for a win. We win when they become more connected to a community of faith or more international at home. Those who are disengaged to engage or those who are already engaged, engaged more. There is a cycle. If they win more at home they engage more in the church.
-Batch based on core values. Based on a topic ask what can we do better. How can we serve you better?
-At Confirmation where parents go through the process with their kids. Parents share their faith journey. Have a list of questions to help parents share. A parent-child small group experience. Unpack salvation for children where parents unwrap the Gospel for their children. Invite them.

Elevate Community:

How can I help you win at…developing volunteers who champion the kind of authentic community that solidifies a kid’s personal faith?
A consistent leader over time is the best chance at helping children. Teaching truth vs discipleship. Teaching them that they weren’t designed to do faith on their own. It’s easier to recruit people to teach than to champion community and be a small group leader. Get a different result.
-Don’t give up. Share the vision of moving up with their kids. Encourage this.
-Love and invest in kids was less intimidating than teaching. Share those stories. Help people see the impact they can make. Give parents an opportunity to share stories. When I talk with adults they actually act like they care what I’m saying. Every middle schooler will gravitate to the adult that takes them the most seriously. People feel disqualified.
-Invite old small group leaders to the milestones.
-Teach leaders when your with kids and parents show up, hear their parents story. Invest in their parents. When looking at the phases from preschool all the way through it gets increasingly difficult to find the leaders. The heavy lifters on the senior high level. A seven-year-old will share to any adult. A middle school or high schooler needs the relational credit.
-Not bodies in positions but the right people with the right heart. Consider the pre-existing volunteer relationship. Never going to get to 100% but work toward the goal of consistent adults.

Influence Service

How can I help you win at…influencing kids and teenagers to keep pursuing a love for God that moves to love and serve others?
If they can’t step in and experience it, you are sabotaging them in their faith journey.
-Let the 5th graders lead large group. Help them stay engaged and live it. Add missions work to conferences and gatherings.
-Seventh graders to be preschool leaders. Lead small groups and allow them to pray for the kids during their transitions. At promotion a seventh grader praying for the preschooler in transition.
-Junior Leaders. Train people along with parents to lead ministries in other areas. Help position them to lead after transitions.
-Instead of going to a Sunday morning service, we want you to be the church and to serve. Use the students as examples of what it means to serve every week.
-Push them to serve outside of the walls of the church. A small group time where they come up with a place where they can go and serve.
-James, Peter, John mentality. Take the inner circle students with you to go do ministry. Also, know your 12 and lean into them to do ministry. Model how we serve. Do more for a few.
-Raise up student leaders. Hang out with them. Call them up to leadership for them to step up to.
Regardless of size and denomination increase the consistency of their service. Turn up the volume of service. Call them to more. If I gave you seven 9th grade kids, what would you do? Do ministry with them while I taught them. Changing the culture in your church from how they see the teenagers. The teen working beside them is as important as the 4th graders you are leading.

How do you measure if you are winning?
What are the indicators?

Student pastors measure success by how many teenagers show up at an event. A better measurement is how many are showing up to serving? In the NextGen role, you need to champion how success is measured. Typically we measure it by these numbers but can we also measure success by this.

Parking cone
Change the color of carrots. It’s okay to change how we package the message.
Jack planters. Family oriented and families coming together. Families crave a shared experience.
Basketball. Build a team and help them win.
Power cord. Plug teenagers into serving.


Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining

At the end of the day recruiting volunteers to pull this off is one of the hardest things you will have to do.

The precursor to strategy. Whether a strategy will stick. The secret sauce of volunteers ministry. What makes them stick? Mindset.

Mindset is an established set of attitudes. How we think and feel. Most of us in this room have a great mindset for volunteers but not everyone on our team shares that same mindset. Create an established and agreed upon goal of developing coach level leaders.

What happens when someone says “recruit”? Stress, fear, and others have an excited mindset. What do we do if they don’t have a healthy mindset? Stories of life change help develop a healthy mindset. Not what I want from them but for them.

Come alongside the people who are serving and love them well. Invite them on this journey.

Go back to our first love. Ask our team what their story is. Ask how volunteering has impacted their stories. Share those stories.

When our volunteers are loved and cared for well they will invite others to join them. Give them the language they need. Write their script for them.

Every volunteer is a gift. We are accountable for how we steward the gifts God has given us. Volunteerism is discipleship. I’m not recruiting leaders because I need help but because I’m discipling adults.

You might have to kill what is working to be able to work on what is working better.

*Reread 7 Practices of Effective Leaders

Serve spotlight. Interview a volunteer. Share their story and then point people to the place to get more information.

Best recruitment is a one on one conversation with someone and a personal invitation.

Our responsibility is to make the ask. We aren’t responsible for their response. Have you ever had a server fall on the ground crying when you denied their question for ketchup?

You don’t get the leaders you need by announcements but by personal invitation. When you do your job of asking with vision few leaders will say no.

When your volunteers invite a friend, it’s sticky.


If we are going to disciple a generation we need to make it personal.

The goal when students walk out is that they Own their own faith and never do faith alone.

To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young, gifted and black,
Open your heart to what I mean

Having adults that speak life into you as a wild child makes it personal. I was that kid.

The big room: adult service
The main room: kids service

How do we get churches who aren’t thinking about the faith of kids? Make it personal.

Are we in the program mode or the people mode? Are we doing ministry on them or for them? The program exists because you know the people. Every program is a step towards relationships. How is it helping the dynamic of a small group? If you close the lesson with a bow instead of a question mark you shut down the small group leader.

A reminder to go into your community. To go out into the schools and be personal with them without them having to come to us first.

How to be known in a way where they feel like they belong and have a place. What if every kid in the ministry had an adult who knew the answers to these questions?

Do you know my name? Names speak of character. It’s more then how are you doing my friend? If you don’t know the name it says you don’t care. Especially with a generation struggling with identity. A generation that needs to know their known. Jesus called out Zaccheus.

Do you know where I live? You can see their community. Physically. Emotionally. Do you know family dynamics? Jesus with Mary and Martha.

Do you know what I have done? There is a story attached to you and me. Do you have empathy towards my story? You can’t feel loved by someone unless they really know you. Do you know the dark corners? We want honesty between each other to be known. When you know what someone has done and still love them that’s the Gospel lived out. The church has a card that no other organizations have, the forgiveness card. Kids can restart with forgiveness. The turning point. Jesus and the woman at the well.

Do you know what matters to me? From their pets and video games to their jokes. Jesus met the disciples where they were. Called them to be fishers of men because He knew this mattered to them. 55% of young people say there is an adult that supports them in their spark. They might not say it but they care about their parents and what they think of them. Do you know their dreams?

Do you know what I can do? Do you know what students are capable of? (Way way back movie). Don’t start with this question. Build the progression to getting personal. This is what I other adults do in our achievement culture but not us. This is the culture of ministry we want to put in place. Get personal first. Systemically there are parts of culture where people are stuck and no one is leaning in to help people see their next step. Bring hope. Help young people see things bigger. Get people who are walking around looking down to look up. Dream further.

Do you know how to help me get there? How can I help you win?

Do you have a few people in your life that you are personally doing this for? You need to do this for at least a few or you become removed from what it looks like to do this. Who do you know at this level? I hope it’s someone who is not like you so that it challenges you and helps you grow. Have you moved beyond the surface? If we are going to rescue a generation we can’t just stop at the do you know my name conversations.

A line of distinction between personal and private. The safer I feel with you the more open and honest I’ll be with you. Jesus started with an invitation. Signal before you turn. Build trust over time.

Phase Family Center


How to enhance young families. How significant this can be. What this could look like. How to meet them in their community. Connecting with millennial families. Phase Family Center. Meet them where they are at. Connect with them with things that matter to them most. They engage with the church less and less. Giving is also going down in the churches.

“Don’t hug the anchor. It’s not going to get better.”

We are driven by a belief that the figure church has to imagine new ways to intersect.

Instead of building a church, what if…

Phase family center is a unique for-profit organization that is anchored by a preschool and after school program which is connected to spaces that are used for work, gatherings and special events.

Alpharetta, first of many!

Millennial families. Two priorities. What they feed their kid or what people perceive about what they feed their kid. And preschool. How their kids are being developed and set up for the future. Raise the bar in how we develop teachers and the kids. Lift the bar for parents. Have an impact on the community.

Co-working space. Starbucks with structure. I working with on-site childcare.

At some point, we need to do things differently to get different results. Do we really want to do what’s effective and efficient?


Engage Parents:
How can I help you win at…engaging parents to be more connected in community and more intentional at home?

Just A Phase Book
To explain why we do the way we do things.
An exercise in empathy to dive into each phase.
A generalist and a specialist. We need to teach our specialist to appreciate what’s coming before and after them.
Our time doesn’t work the same way it works for kids.
If you can get a parent to go through this journal to understand each phase you are re-engaging them at each phase along the way.

Parents see kids in a way you never will. You get to see a side of kids that parents don’t get to see. It takes both perspectives to get to know their child.

One of the most impactful things for your community is when your church and the churches in your community become for the families. How do you help parenting in the community? Parent Gathering. We want to talk with you about what we are talking with your kids about.

Every parent wants to win. Every parent wants their kids to win. Help move the needle a small percentage. The goal isn’t to get every parent to be a spiritual champion but the goal is to help them take a small step.

We need to learn from the experts. Not everything you need to know is found in the Bible.

Huffington Post Blog
Bullying 90% is psychological and starts online. 1 in 4 already have a plan of how they would end their life.
Sex consent and gender.
Number one way 12-year-old boys learn about sex is pornography.
Money and social responsibility. Parents care about how their kids handle money.
Difference. Everything from special needs to race and just differences in general. How do you respect and honor people who are different?
Help kids have the confidence to go into the world in their own skin.

We get caught up in trying to get parents to be perfect but parents don’t care about that. They want to be honest. They want to be authentic. How do we help them be more real with their children?

Anytime you stand up in front of them say it’s not about the pictures of perfect kids but about their story with Christ. It’s about the relationship with Christ you are helping them with.

You have to champion this with parents and the community because if not you, who? We have the potential to change the dial and help families to see the church in a new light. Don’t let the fire move or go down. Don’t let your church stop championing parents.


Next was created with the intention of creating community.
Compassion – a journey of how they do ministry. Senior pastors come back with a heart for generosity and family ministry locally and internationally.

Long term study on the effectiveness of compassion. Want to look at siblings but can’t with compassion because of the impact on the whole family.

“Instagram Parent Fails”
All these pictures are from when the kids are younger. When they grow up we tend to keep these fail moments private.

Parents of teenagers are dealing with specific struggles.
Struggle #1: Your child isn’t who you thought they would be.
Drifting and Directionless
Hooking up and Happy
Depression and Anxiety

Struggle #2: Your relationship with your child isn’t what you thought it would be.
They don’t text back
My house feels empty (often marriage feels empty without the glue and life from their kids)
They don’t choose me (holidays and generally the minimum time with them)

So personal
So painful
So Private

Cultural and parent support over time. Goes up to 13, then drops at 18 and plummets at 21.

“Being seen is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are the same.”

What if we became a new inflection point as a church? That at age 13 it continues to increase. They are currently driving past the church to where they feel seen and understood.
For all the stories and pictures that families don’t post…the church is there.

Growing up —-> Growing apart.
What if instead of growing apart the family began to grow with each other.

Growing With: a mutual journey of intentional growth for both parents and our children that trusts God to transform us all.

3 bug buckets of time.
Learners 13-18. Physical, emotional, relational and spiritual growth.
Explorers 18-23. Leave home or home routines, excited for the workforce, but when honest unsure about themselves and overwhelmed with possibilities.
Focuses 23-29. Some people feel very ahead or very behind and struggle with this.

Help parents appreciate the child they have not the child they wish they had.

When a child is a learner a parent needs to be a teacher. Train self-reflection skills, self-disciple, collaboration. We need to train how to teach your kids.

When a child is an explorer we need to become a guide. Where empathy becomes all the more important. When does my child need help and I step in or when do I step back?

When a child is a focuser we need to become a resourcer. Figuring out how to support even when you disagree.

Growing With NEXT


Hard Conversations

Real Parenting. Parent network.
At church do you really want to talk about the real conversations that happen in the home?

Brett Trapp – “When a child shares hard news with a parent there are two victims in the room and victims are terrible at empathizing.” I have not talked to a parent of a gay Christian yet that did not regret that first conversation.

How as a parent do I prepare for hard conversations? Emotions are way up and logic is turned down.

Parent-teacher conference. Rarely goes well.

How do you avoid being a victim in a parenting emergency? You prepare.

Sean McDowell
My dad thought through every possible scenario so he could handle it. He thought, what if Sean comes to me with ___. Addiction, identity issues, doubt.

How as the church do we help parents and SGL’s prepare?

Steps for Preparation
Imagine what could happen
Identify what we want to happen if it does.
We practice. Drills, simulations, etc.

This is going to be super weird, but let’s simulate what would happen when a student comes to you and says…

1 in 5 kids has been abused.
Identity issues.
Addicted to porn. 70% admit to addiction.
Quit sports or faith
Don’t want to go to college.

What are the goals, what do we want to make sure we say.
I love you no matter what
Doesn’t change your value
We will figure it out together
God loves you
The church can help us
Can I check back with you? And make sure the next conversation is not about that but that we are still good.

How do we help families create and maintain homes that are safe for the big issues while taking such strong stances on many of the big issues? (This starts in preschool) This is a tension to be managed.

What support systems do we have in place for the infinite scenarios that our families will face? Not a program but a relationship.

Download the free printable from orange.
How do you prepare for conversations you weren’t expecting.
Worksheet: what to do when you discover what you weren’t expecting.



Will Hutcherson study on depression and suicide. An invisible enemy that is literally killing our children. Not just depression or anxiety but despair. Hopelessness. The dark night of the soul. When you don’t rise out of the hopeless moment.
Suffering minus meaning. If there’s no meaning then what’s the point?

How do we heal despair?
Keys that bring wholeness. Conversation, eye contact, affirmation, appropriate physical touch. Yes, the answer is Jesus but it’s also the human connection.
Raises the bar on consistent adults in the lives of kids.
This is part of God’s design. Relationships are on the top shelf of priority. The God of Moses, the God of Joshua. Connecting faith to the people who cared for and knew them.

Nina Schmidgall releasing a book on marriage.
Preparing for marriages. Healthy marriages are the building blocks of marriage. Praying circles around marriage. Invite bold prayer into the marriages.

Dave Adamson on social media.

Interact with people who connect with us digitally. 900k download. 150k watch on demand. Million followers on social.

We can talk all day about social media without actually saying anything. Use social media like a telephone, not a megaphone. 1 hour vs 168 hrs. Connect with the church before connecting with your church.

And when these statements down work we go to stats.
91% of 13-17-year-olds use YouTube daily.
True stats but they don’t help you in the day-to-day.

Increase social engagements to and improve relationships in social media. If you don’t have time money or resources to throw at social media it’s still important.

Focus on Instagram and YouTube.
Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook
Instagram is growing 5 times faster than any other social media platform.
Average person spends 56 minutes per day.

Instagram. Stop the scroll.
Pull a quote from your pastor.
iPad and pencil. Circle, underline, etc. on phone too small to read so you zoom in to read. Requiring followers to zoom in. 361% increase.

Long form content of the message. Most churches post this.
Create both short and long form content.
Repurpose on purpose.

Short 4-8 minutes video distributed to Facebook YouTube and IGTV.

Microcontent. 60 seconds

Take quotes and repurpose to images.

16 pieces of content to 8 platforms
10-11:30 message chopped and made.

Application – if the goal is to build a platform you can’t keep up. If the goal is to keep messaging engaging for families, this is possible. Presence in the community to capture the imagination and make connections. Stay connected with them all week.

IGTV great traction early on but dropped off. What we often step away from the next generation steps onto.
Authenticity and realness wins.

VR church. Oculus devise.
Imagine a student and their parents putting on VR and hear your message standing where Jesus stood.


Jim Burns

It’s important we get this down because it’s a key issue for the church.

3 reasons the church needs to engage with parents.

1 Kids are making sexual decisions based on mixed messages and misinformation.

If we didn’t have it modeled to us we are less likely to do this with our own kids. Most kids go to the Internet for this information.

Decisions based on peer pressure and the pressure to perform.

Decisions based on emotional involvement that exceeds their maturity level.

Decisions based on a lack of information. Kids who receive sex information from their parents are less promiscuous and less confused. One talk doesn’t work. It’s dialogue with kids over time. The new first base is sexting because they don’t know what’s appropriate or not.

Mixed Messages:
Parents generally go silent. Or just say don’t do it and walk away. Or just a crisis.

Church generally say it’s dirty rotten and horrible unless you’re married. It might just be the perception of the church.

Secular World generally cared deeply for sexuality and are willing to talk about it. The difference is throwing birth control or a condom at the issue. 25% of girls are depressed and most are depressed 3 months before having sex or 3 months after.

Because parents are silent other voices are filling in. Who will they come to? SGL’s.

2. The church can mentor parents to help their kids. Give them resources. A seminar is less effective than groups and discussions.

Provide good sex education for kids.

Orange has a new curriculum coming out called MADE. Phases appropriate education. Partnership with parents. Not replace parents but come alongside them. Honor parents.

The Theology of healthy sexuality. God created this and it was very good. There are boundaries. Flea from sexual immorality not flee from sex.

How do we respect each other? What is sexual integrity? Honor God with the body. Renew mind. Turn the eyes from worthless things. Guard your heart.

Become a resource junky. Parent kid dialog. 3-5-year-olds God made your body and God made boys and girls.
6-9 how God makes babies
10 sexual integrity. Help with puberty talk.
14 anything and everything.

The church needs to address hard issues

Pornography. 12-17 big issues.
Sexual abuse. 1:3 woman by 18 and 1:5 men.
Gender identity and confusion. 10% will experience gender confusion. Students are way more concerned about gender than baptism.

How do we as a church help? We don’t have to agree with parents on everything but we do need to help parents have these conversations.

Dropped the word purity and added the word integrity. Purity is a one and done vs integrity being a mindset. Let’s talk about this every year at every phase.

Sometimes we just need to realize what it would be like if our son or daughter came to us and said they were struggling. Act like a loving father unconditionally. It would be a different world if we acted like these were our sons or daughters.

These are personal issues and framing conversations appropriately is so important. You are talking about someone’s mom. Set parents up to win even if they are living in a way that you don’t agree with.

What about parents who just won’t go there? How do we as a church function in this space?
How do we train our volunteers to handle these conversations?

There’s a generation that will base their opinions on the church by how you treat their parents and there is a generation of parents who will base their opinion on the church based on how you treat their kids.


Don’t Quit Gina McClain
Life long leaders in a world where leaders quit.

Too many leaders stepping out of the game too early. What skill sets could help them stay in the game long term? Why are we tempted to quit? How many leaders come and say they want to quit?

Make it personal. The most important person you lead is you. Leading yourself often feels more like chutes and ladders than the game of life.

Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

Helping your team develop grit is very important. An important element of leading our teams.

Angela Duckworth TED talk.

How do we build grit?
Recognize the story you are telling yourself. Arrest the narrative in your head that may or may not be true.

Identify the story you want to tell. I can see this through and can grow through this.

Invite objective perspectives. Who speaks truth into your life? Who helps you see your situation objectively? Not sympathizers

Understand the cycle. Know the journey you are in.
Unconsciously incompetent. Don’t know what you don’t know.
Consciously incompetent. Someone speaks the truth and you are aware of it. Where you are most likely to quit.
Unconsciously competent.
Consciously competent.

Challenges you face as a leader are not faced all in one area. You are in different areas in different parts of your life. You begin to become more graceful with yourself. More grace for yourself, in the game longer.

Don’t Quit Jessica Bealer.
You need the grit as well as the support.
Decide now that you are in it for the long haul. And find leaders who will help you stay in the game. Develop leaders to stay in the game.

The bigger your organization gets the higher level of the org chart gets developed. Vision leaks. The low layers of the organization chart are lacking in development. This creates a leadership vacuum. Develop people who can develop people.

Not only are we responsible for raising leaders, but we are responsible for raising leaders that raise leaders.

A formula you can take back to your leaders to develop others. Layers of leadership.

5 characteristics of those developers.

Responsive. Do you return calls and messages sighing 48 hours? Do I hold onto information or share it immediately? Do I have a system to get feedback on a weekly basis?

Approachable. Select leaders who you like. Do you want to spend time with the people? Am I social and friendly? Do I smile? Do I ask questions and offer compliments freely?

Invested. How much time do you spend with your leaders each week? Do I consistently speak vision? Do I teach people how I think not just what to do? Do I offer constructive feedback? Do I offer accountability?

Supportive. Do I know them on a personal level? When we actually like people and want to spend time with them we can develop them? Do I navigate life with them? Do I celebrate their wins in life and ministry?

Empowering. Granting the authority to make key decisions at critical moments. Leaders innovate. Leaders are creative. Leaders create momentum and advance the ministry. Do I authorize leaders? Do I micromanage or encourage leadership? Do I want perfection or vocalize trust?

Invite people to the table and have conversations.

Lee Jenkins – Why as a lead pastor you think what we do matters. It will impact generations. The people you talk to will impacts the people they talk to. We are salt and light to the earth. Salt was a preservative and meat would deteriorate without it. We are preparing CEO’s and possibly presidents through our ministries.

De-tensionize with a biblical perspective.

Leadership tip as you navigate culture and teams. You are a coach and your team is the players. The job of the coach is to get the best out of the players and most players don’t know what they have inside them. This needs to be called out, developed and pushed out of them. A great coach pulls people up.

Constantly cast vision. Always. Where we could be as an organization. You don’t always win. Even when 0-10 cast vision for what could be.

Show your people that you love them and care for them. You can’t push them without loving them. Find ways to compliment.

As a dad, what would you say to us? Don’t let your kids hate church. Do they just see you as the dad? Don’t use the church as an excuse and don’t blame the church when you miss out. Don’t treat the church like a mistress. Your relationship with God is the priority but not your career as a pastor.

The reason you might want your kids to behave is because of your reputation as a minister. You need to grow up as a parent. Apologize and deal with it. Their future is more important than your ministry.

Virginia Ward and Kara Powell
To elevate our conversations and discussions to a higher standard. Have a scripture lens. We can be a solution that politics can’t resolve. Show them what it means to love your neighbor when your neighbors are different.

What tips for leading this next generation? Listen. Listening to someone is the highest form of respect. Really listen. You know people are listening when they ask questions.

You can not cure what you can not confront. We are not further along with racism because we haven’t been willing to confront it.

Raise your cultural relevance beyond food and music. Know the world of people who are different than you. Be friends and build safe conversations with people who are different than you.

Why continue to bring up race issues? We still have a long way to go. We need to be relevant. Gender identity, race, and mental health are three issues we need to talk about. Every college is talking about these issues but churches are not.

How do we confront the evil? Most people don’t have the guts to call it what it is. When the leader does something wrong we need to call it wrong. There is a way to have reasonable conversations for the sake of a generation.

We have said things will be better in the next generation and they won’t have to deal with it but this isn’t the truth. If you don’t confront racism it gets worse. Lead the right way or else you are part of the problem.

How can we get over the fear mountain and instead just ask what is the first step we can take? Move from the space because things need to change.

Entering the conversation changed the way you think and care about people. When you are the majority and have the majority of the power you usually don’t handle that well. When you have the power you can use it for good or bad. Jesus could have used his power but instead was a servant. If anyone had the potential to leverage their authority or position it was Jesus. He put it aside for the sake of others. See everyone as made in the image of God. Jesus even saw Judas as made in Gods image.

We expect the minorities to assimilate into our majority culture. Instead, we need to remember that all people are made in the image of God and lean into the value of those minority’s differences. Have I built a bridge back towards those who are different than me? Black people don’t think white people want to come to the party and white people don’t think they are invited. Invite yourself. Who are you building bridges back to?

Submit to black leaders, to let them lead, and to follow them. Lean in and ask for me to be taught. Learn before you can fix anything. Learn before you lead. There’s nothing worse than an ignorant leader. When speaking without understanding the culture you will offend. Grow in cultural intelligence.

Protest and march. A disruption of the status quo was the history of change. Get to know somebody and develop the relationship. Get in the posture of a learner to better understand why someone things are the way they think.

Jesus in John 17 made it crystal clear that the world will know Him by our love.


Geoff and Sherry Surratt A guide for couples in ministry.
Read the Together Book with my wife.

If you haven’t hit a hard time yet, you’re probably going to. Resentment can build a huge wedge in your marriage.

Ministry is a great adventure but a lousy identity. Your achievements in ministry can become allow who you are.

You have to discover your passion as a couple and as yourself. Discover your identity. Couples who stay together laugh together. Discover who you are.

Build a wall or your marriage will fall. When ministry is job, hobby, and life you need to build boundaries. Begin celebrating sabbath and protect it. No email, phone, text. Carve out time away from ministry and defuse emergencies. Has this just come up today or has it been ongoing? If the threat is suicide you would drop things but if it’s ongoing it can usually wait.

Build a no church zone. When you step foot somewhere you can’t talk about work (or maybe kids). In this space, we will live our lives apart from ministry. Boundaries stop the bleeding.

We all need a little help from our friends. Surround yourself with couples who are not expecting anything from you. We need friends who are challengers and will ask us the hard questions as well as cheerleaders who just love us and are on our side. We need friends who aren’t in our ministry or who even don’t care about our ministry.

You need to get professional help. Regardless of where you are, you need some help.

We know…
It will get better.
It’s almost always to early to give up.

Sarah on the Enneagram

3 basic questions humans are asking.
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Why do I behave the way I do?

Enneagram measures what is causing the behavior.

9 ways of viewing the world.

The path back to your true self.
Health and unhealthy examples to gain self-awareness.

Type 1. Reformer, perfectionist, achiever. Need to be perfect and fear of being flawed. Healthy make the world a better place unhealthy critical.

Type 2. Helpers, givers. Need to be needed. Fear of being unwanted. Unhealthy become codependent or burdened.

Type 3. Achievers, performers, succeeders. A desire for success and when unhealthy walk away from people.

Type 4. Artist, tragic romantic, individualist. A desire to be seen. Healthy want to be understood. When unhealthy they push people away.

Type 5. Investigator, thinker, observer. Want physical and emotional space. Hard for 5 in relationships to have downtime. When healthy independent and when unhealthy they trying to figure things out in their own head.

Type 6. Trooper, devil’s advocate, guardian, loyalist. Majority of people. Politics and media play into their fears. Need to be certain or secure. Worst case scenario people. Need reassurance. Healthy connected common goal. Unhealthy fearful and suspicious.

Type 7. Enthusiasts, epicure, dreamer. Run from relationship problems and routine. Healthy 7 life to the full. When unhealthy sevens are not present.

Type 8. Challenger, leader, boss, confronters. Need to be against something. Expect forthrightly and speak mind. Healthy lead others to do the best. Fight injustice. Unhealthy demanding.

Type 9. Peacekeepers, mediators, preservationist. Fear of misunderstanding. Don’t show emotions to avoid conflict. Healthy help relationships. Unhealthy they avoid all conflict.

The road back to you. Was on Donald Miller podcast a few weeks ago.

The sacred enneagram.

The wisdom of the Enneagram.

Personality types: using the Enneagram for self-discovery.

Jesus baptism and right then temptation. First thing was this is who Jesus is and this is who He belongs to. The first temperature was who He was and who He belonged to.

“There can be no self-correction without self-observation.” We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt but see others subjectively.




If you made this one change it could change so many other things in your ministry. Sometimes your decision to make a change in the ministry for one reason creates many challenges in other areas of the ministry.

Align Leaders
Refine The Message
Engage Parents
Elevate Community
Influence Service

If you were to measure how you are doing in these five strategies, how do you measure if you are winning?
You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

How do you measure leadership?
What did you make the changes?
Started with relational equity. Work from my house and then I’ll take you to lunch.

What would be a tip or two you would say to the woman who are leading?

Code Switching – the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation.
It’s the subliminal things that happen in the day-to-day.
“I remember everyone is telling me that Jesus loves me but no one is stopping to listen.” Tivo

God is not allowing you to go through something that he cannot use to redeem it to share His story.
We are leading people who have stories and we forget that they have stories. Before we begin trying to develop leaders, maybe we need to first hear their stories.
My dad would have been a better father if he had a better boss. When you lead your team and the people who work for you, you have the potential to help them in their family to be better or worse.
If you were to evaluate my leadership what are the flaws? Reggie, I don’t fire people and the few who I fired think they quit. And the second flaw would be that he’s not great at developing people. If I’m not going to do this, how is it going to happen? If I can’t mentor, who will I bring in to make this happen or what will that process be?
What is one thing you would use to develop the people you are leading?
Relational Equity. Time to play together. Time to be together. You need to know them and they need to know you outside of the church setting.
Check your ego at the door. Make sure the people on your team are leading in their way, they are not you.
Having a mentor is not optional. Be comfortable with saying, I know just the right person for you and be okay with it not being you.
When you check your ego at the door you are teaching your staff to check their ego at the door. You are showing them that they are not the smartest person in the room.

Creating a common language for your team. When you’re going around in circles, stop, and redirect the meeting using your common language.

Care for their career development plan. Find their sweet spot and even if you need them in a specific spot, know that it might not be the best for them. Help them get to where they want to go.

Know which hat you are wearing and tell them which hat you are wearing: Friend Hat, Pastor Hat, Boss Hat

People need to see you serving. Serve and be transparent.

Your team needs to become the experts and sometimes the hat you need to wear is the hat of a Coach. This is centered on your team getting the accomplishments and outcomes. Help them own these outcomes.

Be consistent in having intentional and systemized conversations. Something that shoots for their best and the organizations best.
The lead pastor will set 3-5 goals for the church. 5-7 goals for the teams and then individuals 90 days goals where we sit down to talk if we are accomplishing the goals. Then my role is to make sure I am resourcing these people and the ministry to accomplish the goals. A conversation all throughout the year.

4-5 questions to ask your direct reports to develop leadership.

Frank’s digital assistant. Forces you to look at the calendar and put something in writing. One on ones always get rescheduled they never get canceled. If one on one’s area really important you might need some flexibility but you never really cancel because that becomes a task meeting instead of a development meeting.

Core leadership principle, the top-down system isn’t working. Power with people instead of power over people. Empower those around you to lead. Find their strength and empower them in their gifting and passion.

The art of listening to everyone. Everyone has something to offer and I need to give a vision where people own it with you.

Slowing down and inviting people into my world can help. Engaging parents through Facebook groups. Tasks can wait for the sake of a person.

What can we learn from those younger than us: Relevance, changes in culture. The changes that need to be made for the church of the next generation will be made by those closest to that generation.

What is one thing you wish someone told you as a parent, earlier?

You’re doing better than you think.
Prioritize the relationship no matter what.
If you don’t fight for your kids no one will.
Adolescences to adulthood is the hardest stage emotionally.
Strong relationships happen when I fight me for us. (Fight my own selfishness or pride first) There’s a line, when I’m no this side and you are on that side, we are against each other. When we get on the same side we are against the enemy together.
The finish line is not when they are 18.
The next one doesn’t need what the last one needed. They are all uniquely different.
Stop listening to the so-called experts and listen to what God has told you to do.
You know what the experts don’t know, you know your kids.
To be humble enough to say you are sorry to your kids. Apologize.
I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me. Practice saying these words.
Parent from faith rather than fear and deal with your own path.
Be present in the moment with your children.
My mom goes deep with everyone else except me, she wants this.
Your kids care more about what you think then they think you do.
Show pride in your kids because of their character more than their competence.
Our relationship is more important than anything that you ever done.
Ask What do they need, not what do you think they need.
You might not achieve balance but you might achieve integration.
Don’t fight over the things that don’t really matter. Chose your battles.
Be proactive in your parenting not just reactive. Look at character traits you want to address.
Parenting never ends.
We have to love who God created them to be and who God said they are not what they are doing in the moment.
Don’t stunt your own spiritual growth because of the season your kids are in.
Being a parent teaches you your greatest strengths and your greatest weaknesses.
Remember one of the most powerful gifts you give kids is how you love your spouse.
Don’t poop in your own nest. Your words matter.
Always find ways to play with your kids, it will open their eyes to you and your eyes to them.



On A Mission

A lot of us were trained in theology but not in leadership.
Who have lead and built great things outside of the church that we can learn from?

Dana Spinola – Love what you do.
According to Forbes, one of the top entrepreneurs you have never heard of.

High style with Heart. And for me the heart is Jesus.
Your core values and how you treat people is how you lead.

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” – lots of people but mostly my dad.

People need you to keep the fire alive. Fuel your purpose. Know your core values

Dream. Hustle. Inspire. Wow. Heart.
Dream big, Hustle hard, Stay inspired, Wow everyone, Lead with heart.

Dream Big
Question: What did the little version of you want to be when you grew up?
My Story: Kitchen table dreaming.
Challenge: Build time in your schedule to dream.

Hustle Hard
Question: What are you willing to sacrifice?
My Story: Deloitte, posh, planning nights
Challenge: Take something off your calendar to put the right on.

Stay Inspired
Question: What refuses your soul?
My Story: Finding my mentor
Challenge: Podcast drives and 1 bold coffee a month

Wow Everyone
Question: How do you get people to say, “Wow”
My Story: my birthday, babysit, LM humbly, recovery wow, distressed jeans
Challenge: 1 handwritten note a day for 30 days.

Lead with Heart
Question: What makes your heart beat? (Passion) What breaks your heart? (Purpose)
My Story: High style with heart.
Challenge: Answer and write them down.

You might need to make a sacrifice for a time. You might need to give up something for a time.
To stay inspired is your job not the job of your leader.
When finding a mentor it requires you to be bold and to go make the ask.
Little black books. Everything is an opportunity for a $3 gift to wow people. This is a KPI – (key performance indicator) for her company. They measure wow moments. How do you just do it better for someone? Expo marker written notes on their desk. Who is just doing something cool that I just want to show?

“They call us the dreams but we are the ones who never sleep.”
It’s tiring and you need to stop to refuel. Don’t allow yourself to get into the place where you don’t know why you are doing what you do.

How I Refueled.
Breathe. The basics.
Declutter. Clean out your closet.
Explore. Find your happy place.
Rebuild. Put it back together.

“You can be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.”

We have to own inspiring ourselves.
Take inventory first. Am I good where I am? My Instagram looked great so people told me I was good but maybe I was just ungrateful.
Can I bring it to the surface? Is there a safe place that I can openly share because people need me to be good? Get honest.
Are you okay? Get honest about this.

What could you have done? What safeguards do you need to avoid the pit?
Realize we are all dealing with things.
Delete the things that we have said yes to that are not a priority. Remove things and add the big things that matter first.
Admit it and realize it’s not just life.
Figure out what inspires you.
Very Draining People. VDP
Very Important People. VIP
Very Resourceful People. VRP
Decide not just the what but The Who. Who inspires you?
I need people who just know me and care for me.
Make your list: Text those people. Ask for accountability.

I love what I do. Sometimes I love what I do so much that the people that I love, get lost.
You have to be intentional. It won’t just pop in your schedule to spend time with the people you love.
Take one day off a month as a couple to just be with your spouse. No phones.

It’s not really about the profession of what you wanted to do when you grew up but the why.
If you wanted to be a stop sign, there is a reason.
Talk through why you wanted to be what you wanted to be.

How do you protect and navigate your culture? 
The biggest challenge. Bigger than profitability.
How does your team feel loved? They are leaving their family and making sacrifices, you need to know their why.
How many direct reports do you currently have? None and everyone. 3 from a work standpoint. But everyone because you need to know the customer.
6-7 direct reports seem to be the line of direct reports otherwise it becomes very complicated.
How do you invest in your direct reports to keep them inspired?
Get to know their family and know when you need to make a change for the sake of the greater organization. Respect both.

Experience Report Card. You can’t smell Amazon. You can’t replace some experiences.
Set the stage before they ever even touch a piece of clothing.
Smell, temperature, etc.
Serve coffee, have the right candle. Most people don’t want the coffee but appreciate the offer.
The experience checklist. Everyone knows the common language and you need consistently.

It’s so great to see you again. Make the assumption they have been here before. If they haven’t been there before, they will let you know and you just say that you’re glad they are here. They need to be seen. If you are good to their kids then they are way more likely to come back.

Wow Online. Add a pair of earrings that look good with the outfit.
You can get convenience on Amazon but you can’t get community. 
They want me in their home. Convince yourself that they do want you there.
Creating a family experience on the campuses has helped people continue to come to church. These experiences for kids and students cannot happen online because of the difference between in person and online.

Are you okay? You get judged by a different standard. Trust someone in this room enough to open up and be honest.

Don’t do this alone. You aren’t designed to do it alone. If you’re going to lead a generation and tell them to not do it alone, then you don’t do it alone. We need each other.


New Year. New Me. And This Time, It’s Personal

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You can see the difference in a leader who is just showing up and a caring leader who shows up predictably to create a safe community. There’s an obvious difference between someone reading off a script and someone who has crafted an engaging, relevant, and memorable experience. And you can feel the climate change in a ministry when the leader goes from checking off another Sunday to aligning a team with a common language and strategy. The difference comes, and things begin to change, when you make it personal.

In the early church, when the believers form a community, the writer of Acts says: “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer,” (Acts 2:42, NLT). This year, make it personal by deepening your devotion. Leave behind excuses, take off the masks, and get real with your community. Steward well the gift you were given in being a part of the local church. Don’t just tell people to join a volunteer team or life group but model what it means to make community personal.

Paul challenges us to make our work personal when he writes: “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15, NLT). This year, make it personal by working for the Lord. If you work only to find the approval of your pastor you might be tempted to cut corners when not being supervised. Work on both the big projects and the minor details with a heart full of worship.

Paul also offers some encouragement when he says: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up,” (Galatians 6:9, NLT). We all know how long most New Year’s resolutions last, but most people don’t make their commitment personal. As leaders in the church, we realize the impact we have in this next generation. Let’s make the mission personal and not get tired of caring for people.

This year can be a time of both personal and professional growth but it begins with you! Will you take on Orange Conference 2019’s theme and make it personal?

(Originally shared to the Orange Blog at: http://orangeblogs.org/orangeleaders/2018/12/20/new-year-new-time-personal/)

One Christmas Gift from Orange You Need Now


Every year the Orange Conference is a huge gift to ministries around the world. The work they put into creating a strategy and plan shapes churches and helps us all do ministry with excellence. The Phase Project is one gift that I wish every ministry leader would lean into and learn from.

Orange defines a phase as, “A timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future.” If we want to influence the next generation we need to understand their development and study their culture. To leverage the time we have with a student we need this research-driven project to impact our thinking.
Do you know when attention span increases up to 45 minutes, and the average girl begins puberty? Do you know the phase when “unfiltered words make you laugh, homework makes you cry, and life becomes a stage where you kid shouts, ‘Look at me.’” Are you trying to disciple students in the phase when “friendships shift, grades count, and interests change so often your teenager has to explain, ‘This is me now.’”

The Phase Project helps us understand how to make disciples on their level. In the elementary phase, kids are thinking like scientists and they rely on what they can observe. To help these kids mature in their relationship with God we need to tell one story, use real illustrations, and make it fun!

You have probably heard, you get about 40 hours in a year to tell that middle schooler everything they need to know about God, Jesus, faith, forgiveness, grace, love, life, and eternity. So what’s the plan?

“How are you going to influence the spiritual direction of the average child or teenager when you only have a few minutes every other week? You could increase your time with each kid if you…build a Christian school, show up for dinner at their house once a week, start a 6 a.m. Bible study before school, bring back lock-ins, crusade against competitive sports on Sunday, force every parent to sign a 52-week contract, or add mid-week programming. Or you could rethink your strategy to make the most of the limited time you will have at every phase.”

Take time today to take advantage of the Phase Project gift Orange has made available to you by checking out the Phase Webpage. And if you haven’t signed up yet, make sure you get your ticket now for Orange Conference 2019 because I’m sure this year’s conference will be a huge gift to you and your ministry!

The Orange Conference – It’s Personal #OC19


What is your all-time favorite movie scene? Is there a scene that instantly comes to your mind that includes both inspiration and a man on a horse? 

One of my favorite scenes is found in the classic movie Braveheart. Specifically the scene with William Wallace’s speech to his army right before he leads the Scottish countrymen to fight. The Scotland men, coming from all sorts of backgrounds are united under the one voice of William Wallace. William makes this battle personal for Scotland fighting against their enemy England. There is a spur of action, passion, strategy, and precision. 

If you have ever been to Orange Conference, you have felt this exact same emotion. With energetic worship, passionate speakers, dynamic breakouts, and Seriously Night you will be ready to go to battle for your students, church, preteen, or junior higher. 

Orange Conference is the speech before the fight that William Wallace (Reggie Joiner) gives to the Scottish (attendees) and that is the amazing thing about Orange Conference. This gathering of 7,000+ people makes the fight personal. The Orange Conference is not the fight for Scotland (the church) this is our pep rally before the fight. Let’s make it personal. (Insert William Wallace voice here) Jesus made a difference because Jesus made it personal! Let’s do the same!

Registration opens on October 18th! Don’t miss this gathering. Don’t stay on the fence. Instead, come and find the inspiration you need to fight the good fight and finish the race.

It’s Here: Orange Tour 2018 Session Notes

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We Can Do More Together – Joseph Sojourner – @iAmSojourner

“We can do more together.” As you look at those words see more. 

We – plural. We weren’t made to go through life by ourselves. 

Can – positivity. Mindset and perspective where I won’t let my hope be robbed. I have all I need in Christ who strengthens me. 

Do – practical. We need action steps. We need a plan and a strategy. Let’s set that plan into action. 

More – potential. What we see all around us when we look into the eyes of a student. Use your voice. You can do so much more then you see. 

Together – partnership. You don’t have to look like me or believe what I believe but we can still build something together to make the world better. 

Look what we can do when we are holding each other accountable. Will you fight for the people that God placed in your life? In a cruel world that wants to isolate us and make us take sides, know that we found love and can do more together. Maybe you can do more together. 


We can do more together when we act like the future is now – Danielle Strickland – @djstrickland

Out of the chaos of creation, God begins to speak. Lean into the chaos. Jesus wants to speak in this spot, in this mess of a world that we live in, to bring beauty. 

Marching through blood ally to string quartet music. We’re getting married, want to come? There’s a wedding and we’re invited.

Talking with the guy in the dumpster and wanting him to know a couple of things.
1. This is real. It was really happening.
2. He was still invited. The reception wasn’t done. 

You know who is never invited to the wedding, that guy. It wasn’t too late and he was an invited guest to the wedding. 

When the church started there were no longer these great divides but doing life together and it was a sign or wonder for the people. From every tribe, every tongue, and every language. God has a plan for this world that will unite the world where we will realize we are better together. It’s for real, and you’re invited. 

Jesus is knocking on your dumpster and saying this is real. What God’s plan is for the world…is real. The question is, “How are you going to get out of the dumpster?”

If we really believed that Jesus was Lord and His Kingdom will come then we don’t have to reach into the past, we can reach into the future. We can pull that future into the present. We can live that dream right now in real life. If the future, our future with Jesus looks like every tribe, tongue, and gender. What would happen if we lived it now? What would happen if we were the people who climbed out of the dumpster of fear, comfort, and apathy? 


We can do more together when we act like the next generation is watching – Reggie Joiner – @reggiejoiner

There is a generation watching you. There best chance to determine if this is really real is how you live this out.  How we work together will change how a generation sees God.

In the story of Nehemiah, the people lived in those conditions so long that they didn’t see the conditions they were living in anymore. They lived in those conditions so long that they could not imagine how anything would ever change. 

We don’t want a generation sitting in the ruins of your community. Nehemiah was bothered by the generation not taking it seriously and becoming so disillusioned. 

If God is so amazing then why don’t we stop talking about it and do something?  

A great place to start is to simply name what’s broken. If we can’t name the problem, we can’t fix the problem. 

Nehemiah called out the security and vulnerability of the city. Don’t be in denial mode. About the public schools, the worst part of the community.

You don’t have influence when you’re right about what you believe. You have influence when you care about people. When any church ignores what’s broken in their community, they foreign their right to have influence with their community. 

Nehemiah prayed and admitted the problems and said please help me God because here I go. 

Decide to do something.
“I was cupbearer to the King.”
He was admiring what he was not. He was not a priest or spiritual leader of Jerusalem but just to make the king happy. 

You aren’t responsible for a generation’s view of God because you are a pastor but because you are God’s people. You don’t have influence because you are right. You have influence because you care. Volunteers, this isn’t your job, you’re just a cupbearer. Leverage what you have so a generation can know God. 

Go see for yourself!

Nehemiah leveraged what he had and put it at risk and then he did something. If you’re going to understand the situation you’ve got to go see it for yourself. Drive around town and see what the problem is. When you go see for yourself, it changes everything. Get up close and personal with the situation. 

Build the church by pushing other people into the spotlight and not on a personality. When the “personality” leaves the student ministry unravels. If I don’t get up close and personal, if I don’t show up, then I won’t be the right kind of leader. If I go there, I will have a better understanding and people will follow me. Where are you going to see for yourself? 

“Proximity always changes your perspective. The closer you get, the better you can see.” – Reggie Joiner

If enough churches get close enough, to the marginalized it would change the way we do what we do. If we get close enough we get bothered enough. If you get close enough, this won’t be babysitting. There will be a relationship and you will care when they aren’t there. Everything changes when you get close enough. Invite a generation of leaders who have been sitting on the sidelines to begin doing something about the problem. Don’t measure success by how many people show up but by how many people are engaged on the frontlines. 

Give every kid an adult who will show them who Jesus is. 

If we can get a consistent leader in the lives of the kids in this town, it will change this town. If we try we will reach a greater impact on the communities. 

“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Nehemiah 2:17 NIV 

Do something you don’t know how to do.

If you’re going to work together you are going to be asked to do things you don’t know how to do. 

How we work together will send a message to a generation that is watching. We are living in a very unique time and sometimes we need to recognize that in this story all that was required was for people to roll up their selves and accomplish something. 

No spiritual assessment test. They just did what needed to be done because that was the calling. Because of the risk of not doing the world. What you do, when you get on the front lines with kids and teenagers, is the most important job on the planet. 

Everyone that Nehemiah needed to do the work that needed to be done were already in the town. They just needed clarity, vision and a reminder as to what was at stake. Maybe there are people around you who with a little clarity will show up. 


Stop Recruiting Start Retaining – Darren Kizer – @darrenkizer 

The vision for ministry has often outpaced the staffing. Maybe the issue isn’t the teams but that I don’t know what I’m doing. Begin to dream and ask, “What if you didn’t have to recruit?” 

In every organization there is a pocket that has more volunteers then they need. There is a culture where their volunteers are recruiting their volunteers. Focus on making sure they get what they need to make it happen. 

There’s something better than just trying to survive Sunday and then there’s something better than the Saturday night texts. 

4 Stages Of A Makeover

Stage 1 Makeover: Foundation of Four Before

Excellence – Excellence in how you interact with people. The resources there for them. Without excellence, you will always struggle to have volunteers. You have to say, “I”m going to ensure that their experience will be one of excellence.” Do the absolute best with what you have. If you said you would do something then you did it. Their role is what you said it would be. 

Mission – We have the most important mission, changing lives for eternity. The further they are from the conversation, the more you have to remind them of the mission. If in the parking lot they need more reminders. If they come on Tuesday afternoon, they will have a hard time connecting. Link the mission to what they did. 

Appreciation – People don’t necessarily want appreciation events and stuff but to be appreciated. With volunteer appreciation Did you love them or do a tactic to keep them. 

Invitation – If you expect volunteers to volunteer you will be disappointed. It’s not their job to sign up. They should be servant leaders but we can’t just put that on them. It’s not, “how come they’re not” it’s our job to show what needs to be done. From the pulpit, they will do their time but then feel like they don’t have to. Don’t play the guilt card. 

Stage 2 Makeover: Stop Recruiting…Start Retaining – Darren Kizer – @darrenkizer

What we need is a shift in our focus. Don’t forget about the crew. If it depends on me to do this, then we will be limited. Make sure the culture of volunteerism is something they are running towards and want to be a part of it. 

Restaurant – If you have a great experience, you might invite someone to it. If a bad experience then they will tell people not to go there. Inside your organization, there is a conversation going on about volunteering. We have to get our culture to a place where volunteers love it and want to bring a friend. You are the best volunteers I know and you probably have some awesome friends. Who can I help you talk to about coming with you and getting on board? I’m having a great time and the two of us doing this together would make it even more amazing. 

Celebrate their Significance – What they do matters. Give up a possible volunteer for the individual and the church if it’s a better fit. 

Provide First-Class Support – The resources are there to do the job you asked for them to do. Their small group materials, their place to meet, and their communication pieces. Sending materials out the day of is not giving the resources early enough. Professionals will leave because they would treat others better. Equipment should work. Supplies should be there. 

Fuel Meaningful Connections – Biggest bump the quickest and cheapest. An unspoken social contract that when I volunteer for you, I will get a new friend. Meet people, they will be kind, and I’ll get a new relationship. If after 2-3 experiences they didn’t get a new friend then you didn’t keep your word. Lean into this. Volunteers gather in a clump and talk because they want a relationship (or they’re scared). Tweak how you are doing things so they are meeting people and having a relationship. 

Empower Their Passions – Help people grow and move. Not serving in one spot for ten years but what’s the felt need in their life that their volunteerism can help. When volunteering for you they will win at home and win at work. Equip them with tools and techniques to win. 

Stage 3 Makeover: The Volunteer Question – “Is it worth it?”

If it doesn’t feel worth it, they will do their time but then they are gone. As a leader, help them answer that question, “yes.” The event that you want them to be at better be worth it. They said no to something else to say yes to you. In saying yes to you they will later be asking the question, is it worth it? Be ready to share stories. Understand the win. How it connects to the whole. Let them know that what they gave up for this is so worth it. 

Stage 4 Makeover: Lead So Small Groups Win

Evaluate and prioritize things so small groups win. Yes, we need someone in the parking lot, but it’s so that small groups win. Small group leaders aren’t more important but the small group winning is more important. Move resources and vision cast with this end in mind. What do they need? What is keeping them from winning? When the small group wins, communicate it through all the layers so that they know how they helped the small group win. 


We can do more together – Jeff Henderson – @JeffHenderson 

Volunteerism is everything. How do we raise the bar? 

If you don’t have thriving volunteers, you really don’t have a thriving church. 

“Digical” – marrying the digital and physical world together to help volunteers win. 


We saw you winning and we want to show you that you are winning. 

We didn’t sign up for easy, we signed up for worthwhile.


We Can Do More Together When We Help Parents Win – Kara Powell – @KPowellFYI

Does your church help parents win or does it help parents help your church win?

When we look at parents do we see them as Checkbooks, Chauffeur, Chaperones?

If we looked at your phone to see the last 3 times that you messaged a parent was it for something you needed or something you thought they needed? 

You don’t have to like every parent for every parent to have more influence than you. Guardians, step-parents, foster parents, incarcerated parents, divorced parents, non-tithing parents, Pinterest perfect and Pinterest failing parents. Every parent. 

Parents, we can’t out teach what you teach at home, we’re not that good. The best way to see kids win is to help parents win. When parents win, kids win. So let’s help parents win. 

I have such a great hope for what God can do through God’s people. The typical church in the US is shrinking or aging. Growing young church prioritize young people and families. 

When parents win, the church wins. 

Would you like a free resource that you can have access to right now for parent ministry: Text “Talk” to 66866

Parents will have more influence than you because…
Parents will know more than you’ll ever know.
Parents will have more time than you’ll ever have.
Parents will be in their kids’ futures when you’re not.


If you want to help parents win, you have to care about what parents care about. Kristen Ivey – @Kristen_Ivy

Sometimes if you’re not in the world of parenting, it’s easy to get focused on your ministry and forget the everyday reality that parents are living in. 

The Top 10 Issues Parents Care About:
1. Bullying/cyberbullying (61%)
2. Not enough exercise (60%)

3. Unhealthy eating (57%)
4. Drug abuse (56%)
5. Internet safety (55%)
6. Child abuse and neglect (53%)
7. Suicide (45%)
8. Depression (44%)
9. Teen pregnancy (43%)
10. Stress (43%)

All of these concerns really have one thing in common: Their kids future. Every parent cares about a kid’s future. 

Parents care about education. The right school, the right teacher, and the right learning. 

Parents care about activities. Not wanting something else to do on Sunday but because they understand their kids will learn something in sports that they will not learn anywhere else. Perseverance, discipline, teamwork, develop a passion. 

Parents care about relationships. That they have a friend and are not alone. That they will have good relationships. 

Parents care about finances. That their kids will know how to deal with money and will get a good future job. 

It’s not that parents are apathetic and don’t care about their kids, it’s that they are focused on other things. It’s not that they don’t value church it’s that they don’t see how the church will contribute to their kids future. Is church as important as the pastor says it is? 

Church leaders care about a kids faith. They are focused on what matters most, the gospel and will unintentionally send a message that we are about the gospel and you guys take care of everything else. We care about their faith and one book and you get everything else. We take what’s spiritual and separate it from every other day of the week in a kids life. 

When we separate what happens in the church from what happens at home…we minimize the potential of what the church and home can do together. 

When we separate what happens in the church from what happens at home…we undermine the potential of faith to intersect a kid’s everyday life. 

It’s our job as a church to begin caring about what parents care about. Take what is spiritual and help it to connect with everything else. 

You have to leverage a parent’s concern about their children’s future, to position them as champions for their kid’s faith.


Leverage the family to become the champion. – Reggie Joiner – @reggiejoiner

In Nehemiah, the people began to get tired and now they hear the rumors that there is going to be an attack and all the work they are doing is at risk. How do we get going in the right direction? 

Nehemiah 4:13 “Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.”

Leverage the family to become the champion. The vision became personal. 

When you make parents the champion…it increases the odds for the child.

No one has the potential to be a champion for a child’s faith, like the parent who cares about that child’s future. Nehemiah believed in the parents enough, he wanted them to be the champion of the story. The enemy decided not to attach. Why? Because they saw moms and dads standing in the gaps for their sons and daughters. 

When you make parents the champion…it builds trust with the parents. 

When you make parents the champion…it improved relationships in the home. 

If parents can’t explain your strategy, then parents aren’t doing it.

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

Meet People

Add Experiences 

Prioritize Time

Identify Needs

Talk Together

The parents who did show up where the parents who didn’t even need it. We program to engage those who are already engaged. Make the disengaged parent the champion. 

Doing programs for parents who already come is not enough. Figuring out how to engage the disengaged parents is where we need to focus. Make parents the champion and change the story. 


Growing Your Church Through Family Ministry – Jeff Henderson – @JeffHenderson  

What has changed in the church was that before family ministry was secondary to adult ministry. This is one of the best times to be in family ministry. 

Plant a thriving growing healthy community. One of the best ways to grow the church is through family ministry. 

Elementary kids can’t drive themselves to kids. When kids get parents excited about waking up for the church, this is a game changer for the church and the family. You create wonderful environments for children. 

2 questions for your team to wrestle with.

1. What do we want to be known for?
This is our vision. When people in the community talk about us, this is what they say. It can’t be two or three sentences long. 

Coming Soon Gwinnett Church. Jeff didn’t want the sign to immediately make people feel like they didn’t belong. He wanted something broad enough to let people know what they were for and that they could be a part of it. They decided on #ForGwinnett

2. What are you known for?
When these two questions line up you begin to grow. You create a sales force for free. You get positive word of mouth advertising. Word of mouth is still the most effective and powerful form of marketing. People are experiencing your vision and when you deliver on that vision people talk about it and it grows. 

When there is a gap between what you want to be known for and what you are known for you feel a tension. Not talking about perfection, just trying to shrink the gap. 

Not just ministry globally but ministry specifically. 

Middle school ministry example: We want to be known for giving students an opportunity to have a faith of their own. Are middle school students experiencing that? 

For High School: We want to be known as the best night of the week. 

What do we want to be known for with “the parents” “the elementary kids” “the community.” 

Eat More Chicken. You have no idea how long it took CFA to come up with these 3 little words. This is hard work. Carve out time to think through this. 

Be for the customer. How do you define the customer? The student, the volunteer, the parent? Be focused on what the customer wants. 

On most businesses and social media, the past 10 posts are most likely about what is happening inside the walls of the business. For Gwinnett church, they always post about the customer and the community as well as the church. If a business was a person, most businesses would be considered a narcissist. Customers are far to savvy for that. We’re better than them and we are only concerned about ourselves. Our vision should be that we are for you, we can help you. When was the last time you liked a volunteers Instagram post? When did you comment on their stuff? Not monologue but a dialogue. Be more engaged with them than talking about yourself. 

In UpStreet they are talking about self-control. Not just talking about what the pastor is talking about, but talk about what is happening in the children’s ministry. Most emails strategies for the church are terrible or non-existent. One of the best things you can do to grow the church is to grow the email list by adding value to your email subscribers. Lean more into email than social media. Just a couple weeks ago Facebook changed their algorithms. When you hit post you think it’s going to everyone but now it’s going to very few people. Facebook and Instagram can’t change your email algorithm. 

Church email is not to inform, inform, inform.
What is your current open rate?
What is the click rate?
If you grow your email open rates you will grow your church attendance, especially if you talk about family ministry. 

Starting next week, emailing UpStreet. Parents, if you want your kids to have more self-control this week, try this….. and in October we will be talking about this in UpStreet. (And for more on self-control join us at Gwinnett church. Send emails with value, send an email with value, send an email with value and then a request. Will you forward this email to someone who this would be helpful too? 

Most family ministries are underfunded. Most churches only have one person who wakes up in the morning thinking about the church’s finances and that’s the lead pastor. What can I, the kid’s pastor, do to come alongside you to help fund this vision?  The kid’s pastor can give stories. 

Most offering moments are a huge opportunity to leverage stories of ministry. 

My responsibility in fundraising is to make the ask. Their responsibility is to make the answer. 

For the community, we need to have an outward focus. Try Facebook advertising experiment. A few weeks ahead, target families in your community. Give families helpful resources. We want to be known for helpful content that encourages their kids and helps them be a champion. Do this for people in your community, whether you do this or not. Highlight and feature people in the community who are making a difference even if they don’t attend your church. This is adding value. 

One of the most important things you can do for you is to stay inspired. Remain inspired. How rested are you? Are you maintaining a sustainable pace? How are your relationships? Do you have someone who has the type of relationship where they could call your spouse to see how you’re really doing? How are you letting the Gospel be for you first? It’s okay to be tired, it’s not okay to be exhausted and burned out. 

Sam and Lee

We can do more together with Lee Jenkins, Sam Collier, and Reggie Joiner – @LeeAllenJenkins – @SamCollier – @reggiejoiner

Racial Issues were always at the forefront of everyday life. It’s always been there, just now we have social media. Been more discouraged about racial unity in the past 3-4 years then he has ever been. At the time of discouragement, God brought people into his life so he knew he didn’t have to do this alone. 

We are called to bear each others burdens. 

The systemic issue today. Still followed around in a beauty supply store or a proximately white restaurant. 

The perspective changes everything. Proximity changes everything. Made to feel like family immediately. A radar for social justice issues. 

What can the white church learn from the black church? 

Our theology is deeply connected to our sociology.
Not just about heaven and sound good but connected to everyday life because historically everyday life has been difficult. Jesus is a deliverer. A burden bearer. Not just salvation but need Jesus every day of our life. Collectively this is in a different way for the black church. 

It seems like every message comes back to hope. That we are a light for the generation. That Jesus should be a part of the solution to the problems you are facing. You will hear about life’s issues. The way the gospel is preached is different. 

Social justice is a Gospel Issue.
Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” 

Jesus stepped on this planet and cared for people in a social way. If you ever get accused of caring about the community in a way that you are compromising your belief, that’s a compliment. That looks like Jesus. Jesus stood up for women, the poor, the marginalized. 

Most important is: Love the Lord and love your neighbor as yourself.  

The white church has an issue with combining social justice and Biblical values. “Never Would Have Made It” social justice issues impact. The Gospel has to inform. 

We have extraordinary churches and leaders that you can learn from. A lot of black people are coming into white spaces but not a lot of white people are coming into black spaces. They won’t come to our conferences and our churches. Black, Mexican, and Asian folks coming into the white environment but we need to see this go both ways. Not just minorities coming into a white environment but white people come into a black environment and appreciate the differences. 

Check your phone, if you don’t have people that are different than you, you’re probably not growing as much as you need to and you aren’t understanding what God is calling you to. 

When you are the majority culture you can stay within your comfort zone. You can live out your whole life without dealing with minorities. But as a ministry, you have to learn how to deal with the majority to be successful. You are missing out on humanity. You are missing out on what God created when you don’t have cross cultural and cross racial relationships. Not just on your platform but in your relationships. We really can make a difference together. 

Nehemiah 6:3 NIV – “So I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”

Keep working together, regardless. 

This isn’t your fault but it is your problem. We don’t think your racist, we just want to know if you’re anti-racist. 

Treat each other with the right kind of respect. 

Expect to see God. But not necessarily the God you expect. 

The way you work together with other church and each other matters. What if the generation changes how they see God because they see how you treat each other. 

It changed what those outside the walls believed about God. 

Nehemiah 8:17 NIV – “The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.”

It changed how an entire generation listened to God. 

Nehemiah 8:3 NIV – “He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

Don’t get the order wrong. When this group of people worked together then people paid attention to what God said. After they started acting like the people of God then they listened up. 

If you want this generation to listen, invite them to do something significant. 

The Orange Tour Is Now A Huge Gift to Parents


You probably heard about the Orange Tour, but do you know about Parent Cue Live and Lead Small Night? Orange Tour is a one-day event in 17 cities across the country and the night before, parents and small group leaders have the opportunity to engage in practical and fun training.

Parent Cue Live is a two-hour experience where Orange will help parents become more connected to your community of faith and more intentional at home. Every parent desires to better understand their kids, engage with them more intentionally, and learn how to dialogue with them about critical issues.

For less than the cost of dinner and a movie, Parent Cue Live will help you…
REDISCOVER what your kids need most in every phase
REPRIORITIZE how you engage with your kids every week
REIMAGINE how to dialogue with your kids about critical issues
RETHINK ways to partner with a church to impact your kid’s future

At Lead Small Night, we’ll talk leader-to-leader about practical ways to impact the lives of kids and students at every phase. Small Group Leaders will rally around a common language that helps them win in leading the next generation.

Your Orange Tour ticket includes registration to not only this event but also to the night before! Make sure to mark your calendar to attend either Parent Cue Live or Lead Small Night!


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


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


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.