We constantly make theological decisions. How we spend money, deal with suffering, all our decisions. Remind yourself of who God is.
Jeremiah 9:23 boasts in knowing God.
Fix your feet on the rock.
Rest in the character of God.
2 the word of God.
It’s not your opinion about the text, it’s the text that matters. Not everyone doing what’s right in their own eyes. God’s authority and His word remain the same.
Fix your eyes on the rock.
“What does the Bible say about that?”
Basic Worldview Questions:
Who are we?
What’s gone wrong?
What’s the solution?
Where are we heading?
3 the mission of God.
Rome fell, products come and go, companies fail, blockbuster, Enron, floppy discs, countries.
To make His glory know through all creation.
The Bible is one story of the mission of God.
1 Cor 2:1-5
Don’t Stop Giving Feedback.
John McGee & Caitlin Van Wagoner
Are you open to some feedback?
Feedback is a means of God’s grace.
Healthy churches view feedback like Eph 4:15 as an act of love.
How to give feedback like a pro:
Ask permission. Are you open to receiving feedback and is now a good time? This levels the playing field. Timing matters.
Fight frustration. Prov 15:2.
The emotional state should act as a barometer.
It could mean you need to look at your motive.
Be specific. Not helpful to generalize.
Pinpoint specific examples.
If you can’t define the problem it’s not fair to ask them to work on it.
Make it actionable.
Paint a picture of success.
What if next time you considered “x”
Frame your feedback as an act of love and service. Help connect the dots for them. Wounds from a friend proverb.
How to receive it like a pro.
Consistently ask for it. “Do you have any feedback for me?” How can it be better?
Choose to see and receive it as an act of love. This person loves me and is for me. They believe in me or wouldn’t say these things. Fight or flight. If always defensive then you stop getting feedback.
Ask questions. What do I not see?
Try it on.
Think of it as a shirt.
You don’t have to own it all. Ask your wife and community. Explain it and see if it’s true and what you need to do. If hearing the same feedback repetitively listen up.
Move towards them.
Thank them. I believe you’re for me and I appreciate that. Here’s my next step and why I’m owning it.
Ask, what would you do if you were me?
Say thank you and let them know the next steps.
This is biblical. Eph 4:15. 1 Thes 5:14
Sharpen one another.
If your church gets this right you start to produce healthy leaders and then your church is healthier.
Feedback is a skill you can learn to grow.
Give feedback because it’s a way we understand our gifts. No personal manual on yourself. Instead, He chose to give us the body of Christ.
Give 10 positives to every corrective feedback.
It’s hard but worth it.
David Marvin – Young Adults.
Identity becomes wrapped up in ministry. You become the ministry and this is dangerous. Your identity should be in Christ alone not your responsibility to keep the ministry going. Identity is a constant battle involving 2 things.
Self-esteem and self-acceptance and self-worth are different.
Self-esteem is a roller coaster of performance.
You can walk in self-acceptance because of your identity in Jesus.
You are completely accepted in Christ. Am I enough, yes? Jesus already answered these questions. Rom 8:1-4.
Everyone asks, “Was that okay?” There is only 1 person to who you should be asking that question. God is the only one who has the right to answer that question.
Your value or self-worth is unchanging because it’s not dependent on circumstances. Your worth comes from being made in the image of God. Gen 1:26-27. Moses delivered this truth to slaves under Egyptian rule. Your worth has nothing to do with what you do.
Penny Illustration – some are old, some are shiny, some have been in the trash, what they have in common is value because of who’s image is on them. Regardless of your success, you have value because you matter to God. Jesus paid the highest value to God. God was willing to pay for everything for you. You have value.
Callie Nixon – director of women’s ministry teams.
Thank you Jesus for your love and for my story!
Truth is being canceled and the church is losing her voice. We have to learn how to lead with a limp. Hidden and unconfessed sin.
3 ways I almost canceled myself:
I almost never confessed. You feel your sin disqualifies you.
I almost kept my confession to one room. What if by sharing your story you start to become free? When you share people get set free. Obedience takes the next right step. A healthy body sharing weakness brings joy, not judgment. Remember God is kind and prepares the way. God is asking you to believe and obey.
I almost let ungodly responses stop me.
Remember Ps 34:18
John 14:15 if you love me keep my commandments.
You might get canceled. Don’t send people out of the church bring them in.
When the church is in a season of grief it’s hard but be bold and obediently follow. Don’t be sidelined by your sin.
Lead from weakness in Christ rather than strength in yourself.
“It’s not about becoming a smarter sinner but to fall in love with Jesus.” – JD Rogers watermark institute.
What is it like to work at Watermark? David Penley
Culture- the way a group of people behaves. What is allowed and what is encouraged. Teams can even have a culture. Peter Drucker says culture eats strategy for breakfast. Culture endures.
How you can build a culture?
Clarify your culture. What is the set of behaviors that define our culture? Define it as a team.
Excellence. Honors God and inspires men.
Ownership. Pick up the trash. Stop and arrange the chairs.
Relationships. We are a team serving on a mission but also the body of Christ.
Trust. The trinity of trust. Professional,…
The watermark staff owner’s manual. A small book that outlines what is expected, tolerates and corrected.
Celebrate your culture. When you see excellence, celebrate publicly. Correct privately. Preserve it to build it.
It takes effort to be excellent.
Why is fun part of our church culture?
Farkling. We celebrate losers. If one person loses and they pay a consequence 99 people celebrate.
CBS sports March madness. Losers go to magic school and perform for staff voted and picked a loser. Comedy school. Hot Fudge Sunday. Take the SAT at a high school. Cinderella-themed dance. Hire a choreographer. Have to do it at CLC. Loser makes a trick shot and lives there until.
We need laughter.
Ecc 3:4. Ministry is full of times to cry. Prov 17:22.
We need humility.
Level playing field. Phil 2:3.
We need unity
Shared experience is team building. Break from normal life. Have fun. Farkle
Wheel of consequences.
Take Fun Seriously
Don’t defend or excuse yourself.
To affirm and encourage people.
Community Shepherd Showcase
Simple 2 Cor 11:3
Stillness ps 46:10
Solitude mark 1:35
Surrender John 15:5
2 Cor 1:8-11
Where is our strength?
It has to be from God from beginning to end.
Strength in weakness because it brings about dependence on God. Follow Him. The weakness we feel is a blessing. We don’t have to feel strong to be strong
What is our next step?
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalms 46:10 NLT
There may be a question I need to ask but it all starts with being still and knowing God. I am a vessel filled by God and that’s most important.
What’s our hope?
2 Cor 4:8-9
What is our confidence?
“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT
Removing the word just from the “just” pray.
Our prayers reveal our deepest convictions about God. What do we believe about God and the Gospel?
Abide in the Lord.
Walk humbly with our God.
If not, it’s a red flag and you need to slow down.
Pray until you pray.
Stopping to pray for someone is one of the most loving things you can do for them. Before someone leaves my office, pray.
*writing letters to the church. Biblical example. Write handwritten letters to encourage the church. Strength and build them up. Remind them of the God who saves.
-write first and last name and we will address, stamp, and mail them on your behalf.
Shifting a Culture. Pastor JP
Some of you have been spinning your wheels and the harder you try it feels like the more stuck you get.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Culture is a strategy applied and lived out.
Ask, why do we do that? Respectfully ask the question why don’t we do it this way. Senior leadership defines the culture.
5 things to do in an effort to shift the culture.
S.H.I.F.T. Don’t forget the fun or else it’s really crappy.
Start with the mission statement. Actual or inspirational? This is what we are doing and we will base success on this. We will spend money on this. We will do this. We exist to … and then every decision made is run through the mission. If it doesn’t fit don’t do it.
Core values are what you want to be about.
Check-in and measure yourself on these values. Who is living out Christ in me? Who is living out what love does? Who is living out we are family? If you aren’t living it out stop everything and do it!
Honor the history.
Esteem those who went before you. Know the history.
We benefit from their hard work.
Honor but don’t enable.
Invest in the individuals
You can cast vision widely but it comes from the individual to see if there is buy-in.
Groupthink matters. The minds of individuals.
The Lord has called us all here.
If you don’t choose this church here then I will personally help you find a place where you make more money.
If you had to love God more before the sunset today, what would you do? Meeting adjourned, you have to go do it right now.
If there is broken trust in your staff you need to deal with it. If you’ve been hurt by someone in this room, you need to deal with it. If you haven’t, do it now. If you haven’t told them, stop now and address it. The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy. Don’t give him the opportunity.
When you’re stuck and spinning your wheels, invite God into the problem. Scoot over out of the driver’s seat. If wheels are spinning maybe these aren’t the changes God is wanting you to take.
Making Your Church Staff An Awesome Place for Female Leaders
John McGee & Caitlin Van Wagoner
The Church should be the best place for women to lead and use their gifts. Hear how we think about women in leadership and get practical takeaways for how both men and women can contribute to further cultivating a healthy, God-glorifying environment for female leaders.
It shouldn’t be weird, it should be normative with brothers and sisters in Christ working together.
Why Talk About This? And why now?
The math issue. Generally, senior leaders are men, and support roles are occupied by women.
Women are working longer in the workforce. Thinking different about career trajectory.
Society is telling us there is no difference between men & women. Younger women are trying to apply God’s truth inside the church structure.
We take 1 Timothy 3 / Titus 3 seriously.
Two roles are designated for men inside the church: Pastor and elder.
Outside of those two roles, we expertise freedom and wisdom’
We have several instances of men report to women professionally.
Whose job is it to make sure your church staff is awesome? It’s yours. It’s both of our jobs.
What’s at stake:
If you get it right, all people feel like they can flourish, lead, and deploy their gifts.
If you get it wrong, women, especially young women, feel demoralized.
3 Barriers to making your church staff awesome for women:
Analogy: If scripture draws the boundary at the 20-yard line women are at the 50-yard line tiptoeing around the issue.
The vicious cycle of assumed ceilings:
Leaders don’t clarify where true biblical ceilings exist and where there is freedom.
This leads to confusion, women self-limit and then don’t aspire to roles.
Then leaders assume they know the career trajectory of the women they lead.
A role becomes available and a woman is not considered because a woman hasn’t expressed an aspiration to the role.
Women don’t feel freedom or safety to clarity their desire for the role.
Often not malicious.
Clarity ceilings with humility, prayer, and using scripture as your guide.
Men – it is unkind to not clarify the filing. Have regular conversations about career trajectories.
Women – if you’re unclear, seek clarity with humility and courage. Initiate career trajectory conversations. Embrace your gift.
Express your desires and aspirations in the annual performance reviews.
Let’s do some math. Most senior leaders in the church are men.
+ most support roles are women
+ natural tendency for older men to develop younger men
= fewer development opportunities to be developed professionally in leadership roles.
When John walks out of the office to grab lunch he will naturally grab a younger man. Understand this disparity.
Initiate development conversations
Women – ask for feedback regularly. Own your development. Ask for access.
You are your own “Chief Development Officer” it’s not a sin to be assertive but it’s a sin to be prideful.
Men – Prioritize the development of everyone on the team. Give regular feedback. Same shots. Lean into the encouragement of calling out gifting in your staff. Debrief after significant meetings. Did you see this? Did you pick up on that? Here’s some context for the meeting. Or as we walk into the meeting here’s some info you need to know about. In God’s economy, use your power to serve.
Unhealthy Boundaries – A unique dynamic of being on a church staff.
Men Diagram of Personal, Spiritual, and Professional. In a church, there is a lot of overlap.
An image of the church is that of a family. There will be a closeness in the family of God.
When you add the spiritual component it also becomes very personal.
We need wisdom to balance this dynamic.
How we think about…
Men report to women – not just professional advancement but the spiritual part. Typically someone in the same department where there is the same gender to talk with about issues that arise in the personal and spiritual side of things. At the root of professional issues is often a spiritual or personal issue. Professionally some men report to women.
Married/single/male/female dynamics – Personal Guardrails that are helpful. Do not text married men one on one about purely personal things. No asking how was your weekend. Do not call or text specifically married men at night out of respect for their wives and families. Pursue the wife of the men you work with. It would be a loss for you to not develop a relationship with the spouse of those you oversee. Clarify these guardrails with those you lead on day one.
Guardrails are important but don’t treat women like sexual predators who are seeking to destroy your marriage. Billy Graham didn’t have an affair and finished strong. The posture for both of us matters. It’s not a trust issue but respecting your sisters and brothers in Christ. Clarity is kindness. Feeling like your work with your brothers can feel awesome.
Meaningful Healthy Boundaries:
Affirming women publicly. Praise publicly and correct privately. In staff, meetings call out the good of what you are seeing.
If someone says they are just a secretary, correct and reframe the ministry they are doing.
Communicate this is a valuable person on our team and here are the huge things they do for the body.
Eph 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Visionaries and Integrators: The Due Turning Ideas into Action
John McGee & Eric Hassfurther
Book Recommendation: Rocket Fuel
If you were to go back and start the relationship how would you get there? Move from nothing to something.
What is a visionary?
Creates/keeps vision – Thinks big
“What if?” More than “Why not?”
Bogged down by details
What is an Integrator? (By far minority)
Laser-focused on execution and priorities. Bring clarity to chaos.
If Visionaries ask “why?”, Integrators ask “How?” “When”
Moves the entire team or organization towards synchronized action
Help the team row in the same direction at the same cadence towards the same goal.
Take many points down to two options and once having direction move forward in steps.
1 plow horse 800 lbs, 2 pull 2400 lbs. You can do more together.
Keys. To Success: Visionaries
1. Define the new dynamic for your team.
When bringing in a new integrator: Let them know what’s coming and what this will mean practically. Show the new org chart. When you go to the integrator vs going to the visionary. Not in name or title only.
2. Empower the Integrator
An admin will knock off your to-do list, the integrator is a lead with type person. Value gifts, empower them. I can get a yes or no from the integrator. Allow them to make decisions and put things in motion. Visionaries want to know when things are moving and need to trust the integrator to move. At times you may have to stand down and trust the thinking of the integrator. You don’t have to cast the tie-breaking vote. Give up control. You can have growth or control but you can’t have both. Circle back and give updates on the things you know the visionary cares about.
3. Give integrator access to visionary’s time.
Not always right back immediately but the priority is at the top. The Integrator is solving problems and getting things unstuck so don’t make him wait. Open the door for your integrator.
4. Communicate and clarify the vision.
Everyone knows a yes from the integrator is a yes from the visionary. No need to circle back. Clarify the vision for the integrator. A visionary may say in broad generalities and the integrator will be asking questions about it. They have the right to ask as many questions as they need to move forward with the vision.
One of the hardest parts: Check some of your ego at the door. The hardest part was once it got going people stopped going to the visionaries office. Redeploy your energies towards something else that fits the visionaries life.
Keys to Success: integrator
1. Force clarity for the Visionary’s priorities.
Sticky notes that represent time. This priority here, who is working on it. Quickly you run out of sticky notes. Hire a ton more people or focus and prioritize what you are spending your time on. What are all the ideas in the visionaries head and prioritize resources towards those objectives? Manage the tension there. “You can have everything you want in the world, just three at a time.” Mutual respect working in unison with opposite and complementary gifts.
2. Execute. Execute. Execute.
“Ideation without execution is nothing more than delusion.” Ultimate responsibility for execution falls on the integrator. The integrator’s job is to put the team in the place where they can succeed at reaching the visionaries goals. The chief servant of the team. Have what they need, when they need it. Clear responsibilities. A clear understanding of success. Clear boundaries. Chief Unstuck Officer.
3. Communicate well with both the Visionary and team
The team comes to you and you also need to know the visionaries heart. Weekly check-ins and often daily. Radar for what the visionary cares about. What can I just go and do without the visionary speaking into so that the team can move forward? Communicate clearly with the team. How their piece fits together with all the other pieces in the puzzle. Clarity is kindness.
4. Stiffen your spine
Visionaries are passionate about their ideas and the integrator needs to be able to debate that idea healthily. Is this the right time, do we have the resources, how does it fit. What is our next best yes? Visionaries have the end in mind and the middle is mush. For the team the middle matters. Help the visionary see what the costs are in the middle of the vision push. Try not to say no to the visionary because it frustrates. Say yes we can but here is the cost or we can but what shifts in the priories. Tier 1 priority. Tier 2 priority. Tier 3 priority is you can work on it but not a priority.
1. Born out of a relationship.
Someone you would want to hang out with.
2. Functions like a marriage.
Different roles but must have mutual respect.
3. Tension is to be expected but not confused with a lack of respect.
4. What if we aren’t big enough for a full-time integrator?
There’s someone in the church where they already have competency in this. The COO Type executive can serve in this role. Or a group of COO’s can serve that way. Cook up a meal, invite the group over, explain where you’re going and ask for help. Do a post mortem of an event and you’ll see where gifting falls.
5. Recommended Reaching: Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business
What is the most difficult thing to work with a visionary?
Getting the wrap of the “no guy” is difficult. You are the deliverer of the bad news or the hard questions often to the visionary. That is part of the role. There is a part of the job where not all the work is fun. You are serving the team and the church at that moment.
What is the most difficult thing to work with an integrator?
How do you ensure the best idea wins vs. the biggest personality. If you have to ask your wife to submit you probably have something wrong. You need to work through things and maybe sit on them or bring more people in. We can violate a little no but not a big no. Not my preference and I believe you heard me so we will move forward. This isn’t a hill I’m willing to die on. You can knock me off this idea but you’ll have to pack a lunch and get ready to work through it if you want to move in a different direction.
An integrator working in the flesh has a writing of a micromanager at times. Constantly be aware of this in your wiring. Where I can give clear expectations and lanes of responsibilities. Where clarity is there, I feel less need to micromanage. Submit to the Spirit. If the visionary senses this going on then step in to speak.
Ask what’s going on? How can I help you? How can I serve you?
If 3, expect a 3 headed monster and practice all the one another’s of scripture. Talk about expectations and frustrations along the way.
When looking for an integrator: see how they think, operate, handle problems. Do they figure out a puzzle? Do they distill it down? Give them a test project. Personality tests with strength finder-type projects.
When live processing, try to poke holes. If enough holes in the boat and it still floats then you have a great idea. I’m not trying to squash the idea, I’m just trying to make sure it floats. Position questions in a way that you are trying to make sure the great idea stands.
What has maximum impact on the church? What is urgent and important. Ask what is easy to implement and have a huge return. Don’t start with the most difficult but the easy and big impact. Parable of the talents. Steward well. Think in percentages. Ask what the Lord has given us to steward.
Study experiencing God by Blackaby
Creating a culture of authenticity
Nate and Brett
What does it mean to be “terminally unique”?
The idea you are different in a bad way and can’t relate. The idea that no one understands you or can’t handle what you dealt with. Remember you are unique like everybody else.
The idea hurts the body of Christ. Our nature is to move away from Christ but He reaches out to grab us.
Why churches struggle with authenticity
It’s human nature to hide and blame.
Porn is an idol issue, not a porn issue.
Summer 1999: Watermarks nine core values.
Full devotion to Christ
Grounded in grace
Passionate about prayer
Authentic in our walk
Committed to community
Committed to the uncommitted
Relevant and innovative
Focused on ministry and service
2000 community groups involved in pastoral care
2001 first public testimony of a known leader.
2002 celebrate recovery – everything but Jesus is a coping mechanism.
2002 confidentiality and anonymity
2002 watermark news stories.
2003 hurts habits, hang-ups, and hopes series. 4 live testimonies. Struggled to find them.
2009 Christmas Eve cardboard testimonies. All 90 stories filled up in 30 minutes. The leader knew 80 of them because they are the leader of the leaders.
Bottom-up will affect culture/top-down will change a culture.
Be patient, change is hard, prepare for resistance.
Keys to changing culture.
Start with you. Lead with your own story in every forum. Avoid us vs them thinking talking and attitudes.
1 Cor 11:1
Call others to tell. Exhort others to fulfill the great commission through life stories of life change. Top 10 lists.
1 John 1:3-4
Help others see. A changed life is a treasure for the church. Illustration of service. Invite all to heart testimonies. Invite pastors to share authentically in ministries.
Help others tell. Review, practice, and hone testimony. Capture them in print and video. Allow them to share outside of the church. Make sure stories have been fully baked.
Don’t shoot the wounded but also don’t lead them to the front line.
The confession of sin makes the most sense to those they have the most influence over.
What older leaders and younger leaders need to know to build up the body.
You can make fun of their fashion but don’t mock their passion.
Champion them. They aren’t on probation. Be their biggest fan. I have your back.
Empower them. Give them opportunities in all facets. Don’t be the old guy holding onto the reigns.
Develop them. Give helpful feedback. Be a coach, not an umpire just calling balls and strikes.
Generational Territorials will make people just go do their own thing. It’s not just they are the future of the church, help them make space for this today. Call them to hire and make a space for them to step into.
Young leaders need to be asking for feedback and remember to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. You need people that call out gifting as well as calling out sin. It’s not you, it’s God’s gift you are stewarding.
Be family. Be an extension of the community.
The lessons that stick are the lessons that are painful. At a young age get your arms around where you are gifted. What are you not good at?
A lot of people start well but few finish well. If you’re going to get in a ditch know what the top 3 reasons are you will get there and deal with those issues. When ministry is hard it will get you unless you’re dealing with it.
Social media. The enemy can use it in a dark and twisted way. The Lord uses it to draw people to Him in a mighty way. Don’t fear and push away what you don’t understand. It can be a tool to seek to understand why.
Social media profiles are not who they are. Sit down with them to get to know them. Don’t make assumptions. Your social media does say something about you though so know how your posts represent you.
It is God who humbles. That’s not your job. You are to encourage one another.
Take the time to get to know one another. We need to be about developing the next generation not keeping them behaved. Help them take over your job in a God-honoring way.
Don’t tap out, lean in. Disciple the next generation.
Creativity not just on social media but use those in the 9-5. Find the wisest person in the room and learn from them. In pride, you think you have it all together.
Gen Z needs a gospel that is clear and uncompromised. Fight for this generation that needs Jesus.
Ever Given blocking of the Suez Canal
101 miles long. 50 ships a day pass through.
Shipping across the world. Blockage estimate would reduce global trade by 10B a week. One ship impacts world trade. What a metaphor of what happens when one believer or one church doesn’t live in accordance with the Gospel. When we run astray the blockage for the community.
2 Cor 12 ambassadors for Christ.
Impacts view of God and credibility of Gospel.
Always strive to keep consciousness clear.
Church, can I give you feedback? Character grate blocking our witness for Christ today. A quarrelsome spirit is killing us and hindering our witness
2 Tim 2:23-26
“Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” 2 Timothy 2:23-26 NLT
When should I argue?
Paul warns us against engagement in foolish arguments because it brings quarrels. What do you naturally run from? Snakes. Sushi. Avoid folkish arguments. Foolish in Greek is “moron”. Don’t be a moron. Ignorant or unlearned controversy like speculation without basis in truth. Simple to understand and hard to do, don’t take the bait.
We should engage people with the truth. Acts 17:17. Fight for truth. Acts 18:4. Avoid foolish and unproductive arguing. 1 Tim 4:7. 2 Tim 2:14-17. Titus 3:9. Bottom line, some things are not worth arguing over but far too many of us like to argue. Look no further than social media. We live in an outrage culture expressing itself to hear their voice. A mask represents many things. A political statement to some people. Biden Badge. Conspiracy. Test in faith. Way to stay healthy. A way to serve and protect others. Do you not trust God? Do you not love others? You aren’t protecting someone or simultaneously you can’t see a smile. Is your social media clear in your stance on God or politics? Is your church know more about what they are for or against. Are people drawn to Christ by you or are you arguing?
When must I speak? Center of the bullseye essential to the Gospel. You must speak on the essentials. Take your stand and be loud.
When should I speak? Moving out from the bullseye. What are your convictions? Membership matters for a healthy church and other churches might not hold that conviction.
When could I speak? The outer part of the target. Opinion. Sports. Major on the majors and minor on the minors. A ten-dollar water bottle with a sip taken out. If water bottles rise to the level of essential, you have a problem and you won’t be a blessing in your home. Your community will be repelled and confused.
How should I argue?
Promote kindness, patience, gentleness to everyone and not just those who agree with us. Skillful in our teaching means clear communication. Patient NLT says patient with difficult people. Correct with gentleness. What you argue and how you argue are equally important. We have lost the ability to respectfully disagree. Eph 4:29. Col 4:5. James 3. Instead, we attack people’s character and fail to address the issues at hand so instead, we chase the logical fallacies. What does the Bible have to say and have you done your homework? You are never USF responding to an argument you are responding to a person. God has providential put you in front of that person to lovingly talk with them. Extend them grace.
What are Christians like? Anti and against
What is Jesus like? Loving. Compassionate.
How do we explain the contradiction?
Wisdom offers a better way.
Prov 18:2. Seek first to understand.
Prov 29:11 Check your emotions.
Prov 15:1 measure your words.
Prov 10:19 Limit your words.
Prov 17:14 Shut up.
Barna research. Look for to talk to about faith are looking for someone who listens without judgment.
Book: the rise and triumph of the modern self
Book: Secret thoughts of the unlikely convert.
How did you arrive at your interpretation?
What biases do you think contribute to your conclusion?
The kindest letter of opposition. After a week I called and it began a friendship when someone reached out to engage a person.
What if we trained out people in arguing?
Why should I argue?
2 Tim 2:22
Satan is our true enemy, not those who are arguing with us. Satan is the father of lies who blinds the eyes of unbelievers. John 8:44. We are to pray for people 2 Cor 4:4. Come to their senses means a return to soberness. Escape the snare and captive devil. The goal is not to win an argument but to win a brother. Don’t interrupt. Don’t yell. Don’t take the bait. Watch your emotions. Don’t dig in your heels. Don’t miss the opportunity to love.
Remind yourself the goal is love. 1 Tim 1:15. Humility should mark me but I put on the best plate of pride.
Prov 18:19 It is hard to win back those we have offended.
Pray we would begin to think again about when we should argue, how to argue, and what’s motivating my argument. Are the blessing of God flowing through my speech? Through our staff meetings?
Ps90:12 teach us to number our days so we can gain a heart of wisdom.
Ecc 1:11. No one remembers the former generation.
You will die soon and be forgotten. Be on mission and sold out today. So much freedom on remembering you are a minor player in God’s story. Colossians 1. The goal is to bring GOD glory.
You don’t have what it takes. God’s response was simply I’ll be with you.
1 Cor 11:23-29
Thomas saw the wounds of the Savior.
The resurrection power of a mortal wound. We were dead in our sins in trespasses. God being rich in mercy made us alive. Romans 3:23.
How your wounds in order to share the savior that saved you from the dead. Everyone has a mortal wound and dead in sin but not everyone has a savior. Show your wounds, share your savior.
Share your common ground because everyone has them. Put your hand on my sin. That mans dead and gone because I have a savior.
Thomas put his hand into Jesus wound. That’s intimate.
We put our worst food forward as a bridge.
People argue about the Bible. Show them your wounds. Are they going to argue about that? What are they going to do, argue your life?
Recovering Pharisee who thought they were good enough for God. God have mercy one me.
Undone raw opened wound. My faith is secure and know God is never done. Although the wound is open, I know He is in the process of healing me.
I’m not a good person and need a good savior. Never forget your wound.
Mary Magadaline is not the one who funded the ministry but Mary the one who had 7 demons .
Paul writing the letters remembered I am writing with large letters. My eyes were affected.
Gariseen Demoniac – we don’t even know his name. Jesus says what is your name. Legion for we are many. Crazy weird exchange. Demons bargain with Jesus about going into the pigs. Says yes to demons and they die in the pigs. Then the man is clothed and in front of Jesus. The man begs let me go with you. Jesus usually says leave that and follow me but here Jesus says no. Says yes to the demon and no to the man. Go back to where you are from. Mark 5:19. Go home to your friends and tell them how much God has done for you. Some day later they caught up. Mark 5:30. Everyone marveled. They were amazed. When they saw the demoniac they were amazed. They saw his scars and were amazed. He showed his wounds so he can share his savior.
Show your wound to share your savior.
He saved you to send you. Go back and show your wounds to share your risen savior.
I’ll be updating this post along the way!Come back and check out my notes after each breakout and session at this year’s D6 Family Ministry Conference.
Volunteer Retention 101 with Rachel Price
Vision – The why
Why are we here? What is the vision? How does serving on this team contribute to the vision? Opportunity vs. obligation.
*Survey the team, know what attracts them and keeps them.
Organization – Not optional
Put them in a position to win.
Make it easy to serve.
Communicate their time is valuable.
Communicates you care.
Personally – lead them personally before you leverage them organizationally. Keep a pulse on your team.
Be there for them more than they are there for you. Actually care for them.
Spiritually – Invest in their spatial growth.
Organizationally – Jesus leadership model: 1, 3, 12, 72. Your team is a reflection of your leadership.
Useful vs Used
No one wants to be a seat warmer.
Are they there because they have a pulse or because they have a purpose? Do they know their purpose?
Be a delegator not a dumper.
Authority develops our leaders.
Don’t be afraid to say no, for yourself or for your team.
Taking rest is key to avoiding burnout.
Even God rested at creation. If God needed rest, how much more do we need it?
Schedule on your calendar time to do nothing. This keeps your priority.
Match the task to the talent
Right people in the right seat on the bus
Identify high-capacity leaders and challenge them.
Staff your weaknesses – let others’ talents shine where you are lacking. Moses and Aaron.
Identify your high capacity leaders, put their talents to good use in higher positions.
Empower and equip your team
Make decisions at the most efficient level.
Empower them to lead within parameter.
With empowerment comes accountability.
Make the decisions that only you can make. Train them to think the way you want them to think.
Thank you in person every time they serve. Sincere and intentional, not just drive by.
Card in the mail.
Candy bar. Empowering team members to give out gifts.
Reminder: You are making a difference.
Relationship with your team, with the kids, and with the families.
As You Go…
Talk to your team
What’s working? What’s not working? What can we do differently? Do an exit interview when someone steps down. Ask why.
General Session 1
Becoming Life-Giving Educators for Generation Z Book: Generation Z Unfiltered
High Empowerment vs. High Entitlement These teens are pictures of the spectrum of Generation Z
“Affluenza” is a social condition that arises from the desire to be more wealthy or successful. It can also be defined as the inability for an individual to understand the consequences of their actions because of their social status and/or financial privilege.
Greatest Question for today’s students. Will they win or lose the battle for mental health? Average teenager today experiences the same drama as students in the 60’s in a mental ward. Will the pandemic produce distress or growth 82% of GenZ have experienced at least one traumatizing experience. What narrative will they carry with them?
Who, are these new kids on the block?
Five generations coming of age: Builders, Boomers, Busters, Millennials, Homelanders
Coping and Hoping
1 Chronicles 12:32a – “From Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
What are the shifts going on as the millennials give way to Gen Z?
Confidence is morphing into cation.
Spending money is morphing into saving money.
Attacking an education is morphing into hacking one.
Idealism is morphing into pragmatism.
Consuming media is morphing into creating media.
Viral posts are morphing into vanishing posts.
Feeling special is morphing into feeling savvy.
Text messages are morphing into iconic messages.
Anticipation is morphing into anxiety.
In the fall of 2020, the CDC reported that 1 in 4 young adults contemplated suicide in the last month. Lead with empathy!
Can we be thankful we got through a hard time? The narrative has changed for students.
Helping Gen Z PROVE They Can Learn Problem: Start with a problem not a curriculum. They learn just in time, not just in case. the Bible is the answer but let’s create the dilemma the Bible can solve. Give them a problem that engages them. Relationships: They are craving real relationships. Primary looking to the older generations not institutions. Earn the right to be heard. Ownership: Prescriptive not descriptive. Let your kids own the problem. Project based learning where you said, “What do you think?” What goal do you want to reach? Visuals: Do a series that is all image based. Jesus was parable based. Story images that teach a lesson. Experiences: They aren’t looking for a sage on the stage with a sermon, they are looking for a guide on the side with an experience.
SWe have an expectations problem.
66% of today’s adults report a negative rather than a positive emotion when they think about the future of Gen Z. How do you think these feelings impact them? How about believing in them? 65% of today’s adits believe that Generation Z will not be ready for adulthood when they reach it.
Habitude Quarterbacks and Referees. Referees enforce rules, call fouls and watch boundaries. Quarterbacks provide direction, inspire and deploy their team. Fight the impulse to slip into a referee mindset. Be quarterbacks.
On the scandals on college admissions: Worst part of the whole experience, when I stood in my kitchen and my high school daughter looked at her and asked, “Why didn’t you believe in me.” May that never be asked of me or you again.
Dr. @TimElmore #D62021
Think about your mom for a minute. Mom-ism’s Walk, don’t __ Look both ways before you cross the __. Color inside the __.
Mothers were abundantly protective of us.
Protection says get in the back seat and fasten your seatbelt. Preparation says, get behind the wheel and learn to drive because you’re going to need that for your life. Drowning is a risk, so get in the pool with me and learn to swim.
In one year… Opioid deaths are up by 21% Screen addiction has risen dramatically. Anxiety disorders have tippled. Depression has quadrupled.
Go through the grid of preparation not precaution. It’s time to raise up the greatest and most resilient generation regardless of what life throws at them. Who were trained to face hardship. A generation like we’ve never seen before.
It’s not about fun programing and beautiful decorations but having a relationship with God for life.
The world is more needy today than it’s ever been. Many people are damaged by this last year.
When you are hurt, when you are damaged, when you are afraid, going golfing is not going to the solve the problem…there is a natural gravitation to things of God and people of God.”
We have an opportunity now, like we have never had before, to raise up the greatest generation of disciples. We are in a battle for the souls of children and I believe we can win!
Resilience: A quality describing the spatial elasticity of a child or adult, the resistant strength to bend and flex, but not break against the weight of the culture.
Resilience is possible to learn. And even better news, it’s a spiritual quality.
Resilience is the muscle discipleship builds.
Discipleship is the muscle that builds resilience.
1 factor can mitigate the problems children are facing. Belonging – the power of a loving caring adult.
Spread faith everywhere you go, especially with children.
Believing – The power of the Bible.
Moralistic therapeutic diesem. *google what this is teaching
What do I say when things are hard, “God is for me.”
Become – The Power of Identity – This takes believing and belonging and turns it into real life. Making choices based on your allegiance to scripture and that God is who He said He is.
God is for me!
General Session 2
Arlene Pellicane @ArlenePellicane
Phones as a new baby analogy.
All screen time is not created equal. Digital Vegetables vs. Digital Candy. A little candy is okay, but if you’re diet is built on candy you have a declining health that affects your brains.
There are no stopping cues today with technology. TV shows just continue forever without a stopping point. Netflix’s competition is sleep.
How do you know if your kids are in trouble. Casual, at risk, addicted. Causal kids play for 30 minutes of enjoyment and then can put it down. At risk kids know they are only supposed to play on the weekends but want to play all the time. Addicted kids skip out on family dinner to play.
Self control comes from the prefrontal cortex. That muscle needs to be flexed to give it resilient power.
To be normal in today’s day and age is not a good thing.
Script the critical move. What’s the one thing that if you did in your family would make a big difference. No phones at the dinner table. No phone in the bedroom at night. Help your kids regulate.
Impress the word of God on your kids heart.
Digital candy is no way to build a life.
Ron Hunter Jr., Ph.D. After 12 years, 270 speakers!
The Grand Canyon National Park
A picture is not the same as an experience.
How long should you visit the Grand Canyon.
We want our church to be a place not where people come and see but where they go and be.
Four Major Family Ministry Models
D6 Model – a philosophy not a program. Church and home working together. Curriculum is a tactic that supports the philosophy.
We did it too cool. When seniors graduated school they graduated from the church. Siloing each ministry kingdom creates individual kingdoms. D6 movement needs to be generational caring about the current and next generation. Being intentional with “as you go” moments. What do you do with silos? We bring them into the perimeter of the church. Remove them with overlap not integration. Higher accountability and deeper study.
Integrated Model – Recognizes the silos as a problem. Brings them into the church. Removes them with integration and see parents as the primary discipler of church and home. We need to borrow more integration especially in worship and missions trips. When God is doing something awesome they come home and show the parents but image what would happen if mom and dad when on the missions trip with them. We need intentionality but also need age specific teaching.
Integrated Model – Recognizes the silos as a problem. Brings them into the church. Removes them with integration and see parents as the primary discipler of church and home. We need to borrow more integration especially in worship and missions trips. When God is doing something awesome they come home and show the parents but image what would happen if mom and dad when on the missions trip with them. We need intentionality but also need age specific teaching.
Adoptive Model – Not about celebrating the event itself. It’s about prepping both parents and their children. It’s not about the purity event but getting parents to model and teach this with their kids leading up to the event. This speaks far more than the event itself.
Milestones Model – peer to peer, a more mature teenager works with a less mature teenager. Older generation to younger generation. Possibly a season ahead teaching a season behind helping them navigate their next steps.
Overlap the family ministry models. Milestone models – events over life (emphasis on birth-24) Adoptive model – behaviors for a life practiced weekly. D6 model – Church preps all ages for week ahead – practiced daily. Integrated model – church preps for week ahead – practiced daily aged integrated with family first priority.
At Home – Unforgettable moments We are doing this well at church but failing to help parents at home with these unforgettable moments.
Dr. Richard Ross – PVC Pipe and Ministry in Thirds.
What transfers faith to the next generation. Longitudinal study. The warmth of a father’s heart.
It’s easier to do church at church than to teach parents how to do church at home. We need to be park rangers teaching parents how to do church at home every day. Give them tools, encourage them, show them. The ranger reminds people what’s important. Measure engagement more than we measure performance. Not attendance and offering but Bible engagements and faith talks.
You are here to teach people not just how to walk into church but how to carry out their faith outside of church.
General Session 3
Don’t just remember the why behind the what, but the who behind the what.
One of the greatest tools the enemy uses is discouragement.
Remember the One who is with you. God is working in the lives of His people.
Exodus 3 and 4. Moses and the burning bush.
It’s often in the mundane that miracles happen.
Excuse #1 – I’m not good enough. God was not concerned with Moses’ inabilities but his availability.
Instead of saying, “I’m not good enough” remember WHO is with you.
Excuse #2 – I don’t have all the answers. Remember “I AM” has sent me.
Excuse #3 – They won’t take me seriously. Ask yourself, “What has God placed in my hand?”
Don’t over think it. Don’t make it complicated. Don’t compare it with others. Trust God.
Excuse #4 – I’m not a good public speaker.
God is looking for someone who is humble, relying on Him, and trusting His word.
Callings are confirmed by what God does with sub-par equipment.
Excuse #5 – I’m desperate. You’re not alone, remember God is with you.
God seldom works when or how we expect Him to.
Sometimes God pushes us to the edge of our limit.
You’ve got this. Trust in God and depend on His word.
All God expects us to be is available.”
Remember HE is the “I Am”
General Session 4
The first job of a leader is to always define reality.
Fewer young adults are connected to church and that trend is growing.
If life is a cafeteria, young adults are choosing something other than our churches for their spirituality.
The young adult challenge: Our church methodology has not helped.
2nd Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Young adults need spiritual mentors. Paul saw Timothy as a true son in the faith. Do you now how much it would mean for you to speak to a young adult as Paul spoke to Timothy? Do you know how empty their tanks are? Cultivate a disciple making culture in your church. Welcome them to our tables and our lives.
Young adults need a spiritual root system. 2 Tim 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Tim 3:14-15 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Young adults need to feed the fire of their spiritual gifts. 2 Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. Timothy was not like Paul. Call out the gifts in the younger generation.
Young adults need to share in Gospel ministry. 2 Timothy 1:8-14 What millennials are looking for is contributing to something that matters. 2 Tim 2:2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
We all need a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.
Holy Spirt, bring to mind a Timothy for all of us. Someone we can invest in like Paul invested in Timothy. Look for people who are fat. Faithful, Available, Teachable.
Grace Filled Sex – Dr. Tim Kimmel
We shouldn’t be ashamed to discuss what God wasn’t ashamed to create.
“If I take out the shepherd getting the sheep to go astray will be easy.” Satan
When you get married you blend your assets with your liabilities.
The key to building a resilient marriage and writing a lifelong Loe story as a couple requires a commitment to maintaining heart connection with your spouse.
The ME lens. Phil 2:3-4
The Love It Lens Ps 103:10
The Pious Lens It’s hard to convince someone of their self righteousness. James 1:22
All 3 of these lenses are rooted in selfishness. James 4:6b
The GRACE lease We tend to exclude grace to salvation. Grace is for everyday. 1 Peter 4:10 Grace AND truth We must be guided by His truth and tempered by His grace.
Treat your spouse the way God treats you. If marriage is the ultimate outlet for love and grace is its most needed ingredient, then sexual intimacy within that marriage is the ultimate test kitchen for God’s applied and active grace.
Personally honor and bless your spouse.
A grace-filled marriage gives us the power to overcome the standard ways sex is often mishandled in a marriage.
Emotional Intimacy and Physical Connection
If you want your spouse to be more interested in Emotional Intimacy you need to be more interested in Physical Connection. If you want your spouse to be more interested in Physical Connection you need to be more interested in Emotional Intimacy.
How do you react when your spouse is different than you? Respecting the differences will enhance the sexual relationship. Instead of allowing the differences to drive you crazy, respect them.
A grace-filled marriage helps us have a kinder and more understanding view of our spouse’s wiring when it comes to sex.
Sexually intimacy is one of the main ways men connect emotionally with their wife.
A grace-filled marriage gives our marriage enormous protection and security in the midst of a sexually contaminated culture. 1 Cor 7:5
Fight sexual temptation as a team. Help each other.
Addicts are takers not givers. They are controllers.
Be available to each other.
When it comes to everyone else, stay pure. Have a RED light glowing. Not a green light or a yellow light.
1 Cor 7:3-4
God’s grace empowers us to keep our marriage focused and dependent on Him rather than each other. Matthew 27:37-39
It’s not my love for God I pour over my wife, it’s God’s love for me that I pour over my wife. His love is infinite.
The secret to maintaining heart connection is to make a daily commitment to pursue your spouses heart. Make that commitment until one of you takes your last breathe.
The key to loving each other, and enjoying the sexual intimacy that comes with that is loving God most.
You have a choice to go around wounded or broken.
It is well…with my phone? Arlene Pellicane
It is well…with my phone? Ask yourself this question. Ask your kids and spouse this question.
Your soul health and phone health are connected. 50% of 18-24 year olds report feeling depression.
The pandemic doubled screen time reports. Post pandemic, what are we going to do with the new habits we formed with technology?
Not all technology is bad, digital vegetables and digital candy.
We are reaching the devices instead of the divine. God, not google. When my child has a fever, start with God, not google. Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?” Kids are playing games, but it’s much harder for them to pray. In 2020, 2.7B gamers in the world. 1 in 3 people. 45% are woman. Guys disappear while girls play in little short spurts as they go. What if during all the little times, you were still to know God? Reading a book? Talking? 18-35 year olds is largest population who game. Those years they are forming life decisions on calling. Think about David – 1 Samuel 17:33-37 “But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Position your kids so when they leave your homes they aren’t addicted to games. This starts when they’re young. 2 Sam 5:4 – David was King at 30. What could your child do at 30 without distraction and Digital junk food and an idol iPhone. This idol worship is a gradual drift where you become so attached to something other than God. When holding a phone, you’re competing for attention and heart affections.
1950’s experiment with kittens in the dark for the beginning of their life. Later out in the light for 1 hour a day in a little cylinder. Then take them out into the world. They would run into objects, you can touch their nose without them pulling back, and they didn’t chase anything. Later they didn’t change. Those early weeks of development changed them forever. Kids in the cocoon of digital world. Then later so hard to look face to face and be a friend, have an interview, or fall in love.
Nomophobia – fear of being without your smart phone. Iowa state university study. 58% of men and 47% of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off. 55% of those surveyed cited keeping in touch with friends or family as the main reason that they got anxious when they could not use their mobile phones. Feeling of dread without your device. Uncomfortable, annoyed, anxious, feeling weird because you don’t know what to do.
These devices are not neutral. Watch the Social Dilemma on Netflix
We must put people before devices. Do you think your spouse is more interesting than your phone? If there was a hidden camera that watched you all day, would someone else conclude this? Do you actually put people before tech? Do your eyes show this? Does a notification show this?
Still face experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0 Connection is easily repaired. What if this talk was given while the speaker was holding a phone in their hand. Eye contact makes a huge difference. When you are still faced and phone in hand, you are communicating you are not as important to me as my device. Do the Pivot. When people come into your airspace, put you phone down. Eye contact communicates a world of difference. Courtesy of people must come before devices.
It takes 10,000 hours to become an experts Today with their devices kids are becoming experts in Amusement, Entertainment, Immoral Thinking and Jokes Do your kids know how to receive love and fill their love bucket? The deceive always gives you what you want. It never asks you to do hard things or to do chores. It creates self absorbed idol worshippers.
Strengthen your attention muscle through reading.
No phones at mealtime. No devices overnight in rooms Digital sabbath Delay devices Time limits
Take courage to stand up. Don’t go with the flow…where the flow is going, is not very good. Do this in a confidence and relaxed way. Be fun at home. Don’t make it all about what kids can’t do.
Millennial Parents of Faith in a Post-2020 World
Thank you for enduring, thank you for not giving up.
Every generation matters, every generation is unique. Generations are a construct we created to help us understand one another better.
Goals: Discover and Consider Implications for our ministry.
Establish who we are talking about. Share results rom our survey.
A lot can happen in 15 years. Research defines Millennials span to be rom 1981-1996. Implications for how we move through life together. What’s common behaviors we need to be aware of?
Who are they? Parents are boomers, most diverse generation, largest living, highly educated, digital natives, majority of current workforce.
Older cohort and younger cohort changes.
The oldest Millennials are turning 40 this year.
What is shaping them? The Context. The Narrative.
Clinton Scandal, OJ Simpson, 911, Princes Diana, Columbine Shooting, Housing Bust, Recessions, War, Y2K – shaping economics.
For the church – rise of media and years of abuse coming to light. Witness to many cracks in the church. Many were victims of the abuse.
The millennial parents of faith research study by INCM – insights for how this group is navigating and processing things like parenting, faith, culture, the church, discipleship.
Sample Data: Majority USA/Canadian Sample. 94% married. 2-3 children average per home. Children’s ages: Primarily early childhood- elementary. Majority working FT or PT, 80% working, 20% working from home or seeking. Majority birth year: 1980-1989.
The Millennial Generation has been splitting in two. Jason Dorsey research.
1981-1989 , 1990-1996 The birth of the internet changed and created a split here.
Majority of the people taking the survey were in the older group.
71% grew up in a home that valued faith and God.
89% described their relationship with God as a devoted follower of Jesus.
How they view the church? What do they want with their child’s relationship with the church?
Nomads, Prodigals, Exiles: Barna Group Research
Nomads, most common group of millennials, Christian background but walked away from the local church, identity as Christians
Prodigals: Lost faith but claim no Christian belief.
Exiles have a tough time feeling at home in a church setting but chose to remain in the institutional church context.
91% say my faith is important to me and influences how I parent
93% say they want their kids to grow up to know, love, and serve Jesus. The desire is absolutely there.
23% say I make reading my bible a regular part of my day. Highly Agree.
36% say I make reading my bible a regular part of my day. Agree.
22 % highly agree they are in a discipling relationship.
37% agree they are in a discipling relationship.
The degree they are experiencing relational discipleship is the same as they are reading their bible.
58% say church is big support to them as a parent
90% say they attend church regularly as in 2-3 times a month.
But HOW are they engaging church? Right now, 68% are in person. 20% online if open. 7% if not open. 5% not attending at all.
Anecdotal feedback did show an appreciation for the online experience if someone is sick, baby is having a hard morning…they appreciate the online option.
Strong response for in person is the prevailing preference for HOW they want to gather.
Throughout the pandemic, did you regularly engage the virtual children’s ministry programming made available to you from your church?
Yes 56%, No 36%, 9% not offered.
“While online church exists for us, it doesn’t work for us. In person, or not at all.”
Church for millennials is community, it’s what they want for their children, not to put them in front of another screen. Online church is not the same.
Children were too young to engage. Attention span did not hold up, tired of screens, zoom fatigue, it’s not the same.
What do we currently feel comfortable with?
Spring 202171% would love to be in person. 21% online. 8% are in the category of watching covid numbers to determine decisions.
Summer VBS 67% in person, 15% virtual/at home.
Lots of chatter to “get ready for September” but don’t miss the summer to get ready for the fall. We should be moving.
Fall 81% in person 9% online.
Parents are paying attention to the schools. If the school is closed, why are you open and vice versa.
They are also paying attention (the more cautious group), are all your ministries following the same policies. Do the student ministry leaders follow what the kids ministry? Because youth ministry wasn’t following the same protocol they didn’t want to bring even their kids to the church. They were all coming home to the same home and this really mattered to parents in the survey.
When it comes to decision making for commitment to your church home.
They will endure preaching and worship IF their child is thriving in the kids ministry.
What do they value most? Being Known – people who know their children’s names and show an interest in them.
Relationships – having people in our kids lives who disciple and mentor them.
Communication – having good communication about what our kids are learning about. *Millennial fathers are the most engaged fathers in a long time. Affirm those fathers who are showing up!
Leadership – I value knowing the children’s ministry director or pastor.
Safety and Security
Expectation of Millennial parents when rising a church with their kids.
Safety and Security are non-negotiable.
They should know your policy and see you are following them.
Ethos: Hospitality and inclusion. Longing for community. If they can’t get it, then their kids are are going to get it.
They are testing out how you feel.
#1 concern of Millennial parents when visit a church with their kids.
If a child keeps showing up with bad behavior, do you get to know why and help?
What are the biggest questions they are wrestling with?
Child’s behavior 27%
Child’s relationships 21%
Child’s spirituality 26%
Wholistic development and behavior. The affect of screen time on kids. Screen Reliant Kids.
The next part of the survey was heavy. Develop compassion and mercy and sight for what parents are navigating.
Their children’s Biblical worldview, “I’m afraid culture will impact our kids by confusing them about what they’ve been raised to believe but the world is saying the opposite.”
Concern for the confusion their kids are facing.
LGBTQ+ and Sexuality #1 Concern
“The emphasis on gender rights now and LGBTQ+ topics..I don’t believe the church is providing guidance to address this with their children.
Social Media #2 Concern
I don’t want my kids to get caught up. I want to protect them from the harm and anxiety it is causing.
Kids are still being bullied through google docs chat feature. It’s so hard to protect them.
Cancel Cutlure #3
This is a different form of bullying and they are concerned for the implications on their kids.
Values and theology
They are afraid was the prevailing thought. This should cause us to have compassion.
Culture is polarizing and kids will have to navigate this with a Biblical worldview.
What are they hopeful for right now? Socially they are hopeful for what it looks like to be with people in an actual community.
Hopeful for a greater empath.
A desire for revival. Want or believe it to happen.
Longing for greater community and connection.
A commitment to healthier paces and better priorities. Honor this and help them set healthy rhythms.
What does this all mean?
Last question we asked them? What does it mean to be a parent?
Millennial parents of faith love their kids and feel deep responsibility for their role as a parent. The vast majority recognize they are entrust by God to steward their kids.
They also expressed this feels like a lot!
Something happened. W
What we might be working towards…
When Millennials were growing up in the church christian education had seen a rise of programs for ministry. Biblically illiterate. Learn how to walk with Jesus on a Tuesday. Show them.
Reading the Bible is like eating a mango. It’s messy, something weird in the middle, it might hurt you. It’s confusing unless you DO know how to open a mango. Your fruit world is changed forever.
Teach parents HOW to open the Bible. They can open it but they’ll face questions about the thing in the middle. Give them someone who they can talk with and show them.
We are partners in the discipleship of kids. Parents and Home. This works when parents know what it looks like to follow Jesus on a Tuesday. Millennial parents of faith have a gap. They need spiritual mothers and fathers to come alongside them to help disciple them. You might invite someone once and they say no, they are testing you with a question mark. Ask 12 times for them to come over. Do you really care about me? They need the pursuit. The Jesus level pursuit. Jesus went all the way to the tax collectors home and sick girl. Few people saw it. It wasn’t for scalability. It was for that person to have a transformative experience with him. Instead of programs and events, maybe it looks more like dinner.
They need to experience discipleship relationships right alongside their children. They aren’t equipped to do what we are asking them to do. Knowledge does not equal relationships.
Invest in their children and you will experience their trust.
Invite them over for dinner. Get involved in their everyday life. Pass the baton of making disciples. Help the elderly in the church to help families. They aren’t coasting, mobilize them.
*Note: I was asked to share my notes from this breakout. Sorry they aren’t fully spelled out. If it interests you to hear the whole thing reach out to D6family.com to learn about a digital download.
Begin with the end in mind.
Job description found in Bible
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
We Belong to One Another
Romans 12:4-5 “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
Mr Potato Head
Right Person…in the right Place…at the right Time…for the right reasons.
Example: Tonya vs. Laurie – Small group leader to coach promotion.
Job description and check list
What is their career?
What have they done in the past?
What do they want to do?
Romans 12:6-8 “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10, NLT).
Right Place: Ian Nygren Example
Have you ever tried to put someone on stage who wasn’t built for it? I remember asking one of my sold out volunteers if he wanted to give announcements a try. Standing six and a half feet tall, he towers over the kids as he held a sheet of paper and took a deep breath. The man who could easily pass for Goliath, trembled as he began to speak. Before the first word came out of his mouth, I knew, even the kids knew, this was going to be painful. After what seemed like the longest two minutes of a church service anywhere, I thanked him and reassured him he would not have to step out of his small group leader role again. I was incredibly thankful for his willingness to serve, but we both knew this was not where God had blessed him.
Next Steps, next RIGHT steps.
Onboarding New Volunteers Process – D6 Podcast Ep62
How long does it take you to bring someone onto the team?
Do they know what you want them to do and how to do it?
Have you been praying for the people you want to promote?
Do they know the next steps?
How long to promote them?
Right Time: season of life, commitment level
Are people serving in the wrong ministry? Are they serving in too many ministries?
Tucker example. Started with a band problem that revealed a potential future threat.
Monday Night Re-engage, Tuesday night young adults, Wednesday Night 2 youth services, Thursday night church and then Thursday night late night college ministry, Friday and Saturday events, and then Sunday multiple services. So if you could play guitar…or run tech…busy!
Getting the right person, in the right place, at the right time requires coaching and modeling. Train:
– I do, you watch
– I do, you help
– You do, I help
– You do, I watch
– You do, you and I train someone else
1st string, 2nd string, 3rd string. Modeling. Let them lead. Jeremy Pullen example and Tyler’s help. Assistants. Person on stage. Second person to hand prizes. Eventually give them a microphone. Eventually let them lead part. Give feedback all along the way. Love them by sharing feedback. Candor. Correct in love.
What’s the gap between where someone is and where you want them to be?
How to close the gap?
For the Right Reason: Colton example.
Wanting stage time vs. gift of preaching.
Fruit, not open to feedback. Not prepared. Irritated when not scheduled.
Contrasting this with Alec.
Practiced, on time, asked questions mid week, came in knowing his part.
Afterward requesting feedback and feedback from the kids. Learning, growing.
Excited to bring more people on the team.
Producing fruit that lasts.
AND for the right reason, FROM YOU!
Not to build your kingdom. Not to have big numbers.
Wanting more for people than from people.
Are your volunteers serving Jesus or serving you?!?!
When they show up late do you communicate they missed out on some awesome relationship time with the kids or that you were in a pinch.
When a teacher isn’t prepared do you communicate the missed opportunity to share Christ or how it makes your ministry look bad?
A good way to see if you want more for your people than from your people would be to look at your training. Like, if you do a preservice VIP.
To discuss how to make churches stronger by making homes stronger.
Always thinking: church, home, job
Lead Small 5 Principles. Be Present.
Show Up Constantly – Make sure they know you’re going to be there.
In small group constantly, at home you’re showing up mentally by putting down your phone, at work you are present in your meetings and leaving email at the door.
Show up Randomly: Small group leader showing up to a ball game. A parent writing a note and sneaking it into their kids back pack. A worker noticing another employee struggling and asking if you can help.
Right Pieces/Person…in the right Place…at the right Time…for the right Reasons.
Any area – Today I serve my church through the role of Executive Pastor.
Serve 81 staff members
27k Robin (housing) right people
290k Bill (ppp) right place
80k Steven (sign) right time
14k Andy (roof) right reason
Your role is probably different, therefore your Right Person…in the right Place…at the right Time…for the right Reasons will be different.
Your right person might be a 16 year old girl, many are overlooking but you see their gift and know they can do big things for the kingdom.
“You can make excuses or you can make progress but you can’t make both.” Craig Groeschel
Don’t allow excuses to creep in, let’s work through a couple of questions and during this time only think about your progress, what can you control?
Would my team say I cared more for them as a person than I do for them in the role they fulfill?
Volunteer Development is all about relationships.
Recruit, release, retain – ALL Relationships
Do I know the people on my team better today than I did last week?
Do your people know what to do and how to do it?
Do your leaders feel trained?
Training Events like Global KidMin Day
Do your leaders know their next step?
Do they fit not just with what you have today but what is coming in the future.
For example a host holding a script.
Books or book studies
Jim Wideman – Stretch
Do your leaders know your heart?
Communicate. When you’re tired of saying it they are beginning to hear it.
Are you building a culture intentionally?
Ex: Going the extra mile.
Are you writing hand written note?
Are you bringing them soup when they call out sick? Are you reaching out if they don’t show up. FIRST STEP IN LONG LINE.
Do your leaders have the authority to make decisions?
Give permission for your team to be proactive and solve problems.
Train them by asking what do you think we can do.
Give responsibility and help them assume responsibility to own it.
So what is your next step?
What can you do to start intentionally developing your volunteers?
Don’t make excuses, AND don’t worry.
Worry wastes time and takes you away from your mission.
Jesus said in His sermon “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:26-27
Eat the frog first
D6 Talk and Podcast
15-20 minutes. The day and time of your podcast is: Thursday—3:00 pm. If for some reason you have a conflict with this time, please let me know immediately.
“You are here to discuss how to make churches stronger by making homes stronger.”
1. How/When did you feel called into ministry?
5th Grade gave life to Christ – gave my life to Christ. Asking what He wants for me.
2. In your years of ministry, how have you seen the culture of the church change? How have you been a part of that change at your church?
Globally – church attendance, and acceleration from covid.
Locally – community center
3. For churches that may be “stuck in a rut” or just doing “business as usual,” what encouragement/advice do you have for their leadership team? In what ways can they assess their strategies?
Jim Wideman “A rut is just a grave with the ends blown out.” If you’re feeling stuck remember Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
If God’s not done with you, ask Him what’s next. Take time to step away from the hustle, be still, and listen. Ask for wisdom and discernment.
We felt this as a staff as we entered 2021. Took a day to be still.
Listen for one thing.
Accountability for one thing.
And to carry the weight of that one thing or whatever God is calling you to.
There are things in the church that are mine to carry? God’s to carry? And other people to carry? I feel the most anxious or most like I’m spinning my wheels when I carry what God hasn’t placed in my hands.
4. How has the past year’s pandemic opened your eyes to even newer ways the church can minister to both regular attenders and those in the community?
The small faithful ways to serve the church.
Picking up the phone. Visiting someone’s house. Taking a meal.
Gotten so used to the big programs of ministry and neglected the simple ways to show the truth by our actions.
When you visit a restaurant, do you check their social media before walking through the door? Families in your area are searching for your ministry. Are they enticed by what they see?
Consider the analogy of your house when you think about social media. The average person in your town has no idea about your house, but maybe if they were looking for the perfect color of red, your front door might catch their eye. From the road, your house can stand out, and likewise, from a simple search on the web, your ministry can catch someone’s eye.
Take a minute and google your ministry. Do you like what you see? Would someone who has never been, be compelled to visit? You can change that. Take a minute to take ownership of your Google listing. Update pictures, give accurate information, and make sure your service times are up to date.
Google is where most people start but maybe you go the extra mile to create a Facebook page. A Facebook page is like a yellow pages article or a place people can stop in when they are looking for information for your ministry. Continuing with the house analogy, updating your Facebook page is like cutting your shrubs or raking your leaves, it sure makes your house more inviting.
And, why stop at a Facebook page? Instagram can be a goldmine for your ministry if you take some time to post some quality pictures with a local hashtag. This is like cutting your grass with a fancy grid pattern, you’ll turn heads.
But these are all for someone driving by your house looking at it from the road. Once someone accepts your invitation it’s like they begin walking down your driveway. These are the people who like what they see randomly, so they begin to search deeper.
Once someone finds your church on google and heads over to your website do they like what they see? Do they stop to read the words you have written on your site or have you written an overwhelming amount? If you don’t read the words on your site, I guarantee you a visitor isn’t going to take the time to read it. Maybe instead of words, you make a one-minute video clip to create a visual experience?
Or if updating a website isn’t your thing, consider updating the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube. YouTube is where many people go to learn more about your ministry. Do they like what they see? If you’re looking for an example, search for “Mosaic Kids” on YouTube.
After someone feels comfortable walking down your driveway, perhaps they might feel comfortable hanging out in your backyard? Facebook Groups, are the backyard of social media. Facebook groups naturally establish community. For those who are looking at sticking around a while, send them an invitation to your ministries Facebook group. Remember though, no one likes the guy at the backyard party who only talks about himself, so treat the group like you are hanging out around a grill. Ask questions, get to know people, and maybe even play a game or two.
The backyard is also where people have deeper connections. It wouldn’t be weird to send out some regular emails to people letting them know of the next barbecue. Email isn’t the traditional form of social media people think about, but it is a great tool in your toolbox. At your next big event, find a way to strategically gather the email address of those in attendance.
And finally, once someone feels very comfortable and like part of the family, they may even make their way into the house. Inside the house is where the most personal communication can take place. Inside the house is where you can consider using specific email lists, Instagram close friends, or even the largest social network in the world. Do you know what network I’m talking about? I’ll give you a clue. My username is 404.788.9487. Yes, text messaging! One of the most underutilized social networks is text messaging but be careful as it is also the most intimate.
Take some time today to evaluate how you are doing to digitally welcome people and move them from the road to your driveway, to your backyard, and finally into your home. Are there things you can do to improve this process? Write down some next steps on your calendar and let’s use social media as a tool to build the kingdom!
Originally Published in KidzMatter Magazine Winter 2020 – Issue 71
Have you ever started a book and loved it so much you bought it for all your friends before you even finished it? Well, if you work with preteens you need to check out the new book, “Let Go and Run Beside” by Sean Sweet!
In this book, Sean will give you the ten essentials of Intentional Preteen Ministry. 1. Let Go 2. Run Beside 3. Invite Preteens to Take Risks in a Safe Environment 4. Give Choices and Share Power 5. Implement Active Learning Strategies 6. Facilitate Reflection and Response 7. Disciple Through Questions 8. Build a Foundation for Identity Formation 9. Persevere and Overcome Obstacles 10. Take Your Next Step
Some of my favorite quotes so far:
“As difficult as you may find it to be around preteens, it’s often more difficult to be a preteen.”
Here’s an equation that I found useful when observing preteen behavior: LACK OF EXPERIENCE + DESIRE TO TRY NEW ABILITIES + DISCONCERTING FEELINGS ASSOCIATED WITH CHANGE + THE EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER OF HORMONES = Preteen Behavior
“Likewise, preteens are ready for us to ‘let go of the bike.’ They have new mental abilities that they’ve never had before, abilities which will allow them to connect with Jesus in new and meaningful ways, but we must make room for them to do this.”
“He’s ready developmentally, but not experientially.”
“They have a new desire for independence and autonomy. Are we going to stifle that or make room for it?”
If you are looking for ways to encourage, pastor, and love preteens during this critical phase of their life, go pick up the book for you and a couple of your preteen leaders. All the information can be found at: https://fourfivesix.lpages.co/let-go-book/
When you visit a restaurant, do you check their social media before walking through the door? Families in your area are searching for your kids ministry. Are they enticed by what they see? Let’s work together to make you kidmin social media stand out!
The average person in your town has no idea about your house. But if they drive by maybe you can catch their eye.
The most public – Just the top view
Google – Southern Hills, the Church at City Station – Have you taken ownership of your listing so you have up to date information? Columbus Day, COVID? Are your services times accurate? Are your pictures new? Is it inviting?
Facebook Groups – Are you establishing a community? Think I Love Kidmin. www.ilovekidmin.com Resources and community, NOT all day every day advertisements.
Email List Broad – Will you gather people’s information at your fall family event? Can you use this to invite to the next event or Easter?
Text Group –
Instagram Close Friends –
Email List Specific –
Hacks – You can’t cheat it
But you can be smart: Times of day. Quality ENGAGING content.
Kids – Don’t unintentionally encourage kids to break the law.
COPPA Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites. Facebook or Insta 13.
Don’t put yourself against parents.
Volunteers – Jim Wideman: The Three Dog Night Rule – One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
Google Drive – Give full access to materials.
Multi use the same materials – fb/insta – different audience
Sharing posts to story at a later date. (Some people only watch stories)
Be where your people are.
Ex: Twitter – For us waste of time. FB page vs FB group. Kids vs Main Church accounts.
Do your kids know where to find you? I mean, are you on YouTube.
Use pictures – pictures of people. Schedule someone at least quarterly to just give you a fresh library.
Volunteer On-Boarding: A Step By Step Guide (Volunteer Track)
What if you could seamlessly move someone through the process of joining your team? What if you brought someone in so smoothly, they were set up from the beginning to be retained for years to come? Come learn how to develop a strategy to onboard your volunteers.
Matthew 9:35-38 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
The future of your kids ministry may feel uncertain. But we can figure it out together. To help your ministry this year, Orange is putting on the Kids Ministry Exchange!
In this two-day, online event they are bringing together counselors, researchers, pastors, teachers, experts, and thought leaders, so you can discover the practical information you need to help you bring hope to your community.
4 main sessions with national thought leaders
20+ breakouts and live Q&As with ministry experts
4 opportunities for virtual roundtable discussion
1 Digital Exhibit Hall with the best ministry exchange
Any idea on how you can get buy-in from leadership?
One of the biggest challenges you face as a NextGen leader is gaining the buy-in from leadership without necessarily having the position of influence in your church. For those of you who have a plan and vision that exceeds your authority, here are four courageous challenges and Scripture to help you lead up in NextGen ministries.
Be Faithful in the Little Things
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Matthew 25:23, NLT) In Jesus’ parable of the three servants, He shows us what it means to faithfully steward whatever has been entrusted to us. Whether you are given leadership over a single budget line item or an entire department’s spending, the best way to influence the future decisions of the budget is to faithfully steward what you’ve been given. When you control your spending, keep track of every receipt, and can show how you used the church’s money to do amazing ministry, you show how you can set the direction for future spending.
Be Loyal to the Team
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:4, NLT) Are you leading for the benefit of others or yourself? In “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge” Clay Scroggins asks, “Are you the type of leader that makes others better?” Being a leader worth following means you lead out of your influence with others not your position with others. When your actions inspire everyone around you to imagine more and to become more, you naturally begin to lead up. In contrast, when you look out for yourself and your position, you push people away and extinguish joy in your workplace.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15, NLT) Your leader is not perfect, your team is not perfect, and you are not perfect. Choose today to accept those around you, flaws and all. Nothing stands out more in this broken world, like someone who chooses love.
Be Dedicated to the Mission
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NLT) Scroggins defines ambition as “that strong desire we have to make something or to achieve something, even when it takes great effort, focus, and determination.” To lead up, you must not give up. Focus on what you can control and make it great. Don’t allow unimportant things to wear you down and get in the way of what God has called you to accomplish. Consider even visually posting the mission where you and your team will daily see what you are aiming towards.
Above All, Guard Your Heart
“This is a trustworthy saying: ‘If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.’ So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:1-5, NLT). Nothing will make you lose influence or discredit your leadership faster than sin. You might not be in charge of the whole organization, but you are in charge of yourself. What thoughts do you need to take captive to obey Christ? Where have you allowed yourself to drift and need to get yourself back on track? Repent and choose right now to walk in obedience.