Leadership as Discipleship – #D62017 Breakout Notes

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How many of your churches have a discipleship plan?

How many of your churches have an intentional leadership development plan?

If we are to “go and make disciples” then our ministry will only go to the depth of our discipleship so increasing discipleship focus ought to be one of our highest priories. If everything rises and falls on leadership then our ministry will only rise to the level of our leadership so increasing leadership focus ought to be one of our highest priorities. Both of these are important, we need leaders in our churches. But have we focused on developing leaders at the expense of discipleship?

The Church is divinely designed to develop leaders through the discipleship process. Leaders ought to be developed through our discipleship process. What if leadership development took place within the context of our discipleship process?

Possible differences between Leadership development vs. discipleship.
Discipleship: I learn to live like Jesus
Leadership: I learn to lead like Jesus
Discipleship: Primarily about character
Leadership: Primarily about competencies
Discipleship: Leading self
Leadership: Leading others
Discipleship: Cultivating intimacy with God
Leadership: Cultivating influence with people.

Ephesians 4:12 “…to equip the saints for the work of ministry…”

What does an equipped saint look like?
Loves God/loves others
Exhibit Godly character
Doctrinally sound
Kingdom builder
= Influencer 

An equipped saint becomes an influencer. Leadership is influence.
We are developing others to become influencers.

Cultivating a Leadership as Discipleship Ministry:
1.  Model true discipleship.
2. Commit to leading a disciple making ministry.
3. Create a discipleship pathway.
4. Equip the Saints for ministry.
5. Cultivate leaders being discipled.

Seven questions to determine if you have a disciplemaking culture:

1. Are the few doing the ministry for the many? Or are the few equipping the many for the ministry?
2. Do we spend the majority of our time equipping, training and developing leaders?
3. Is it apparent that every member is to be a full-time minister in your church?
4. Do new believers get called and sent into the mission upon conversion?
5. Do you celebrate those who leave to start new works?
6. Is there shared leadership within the local body?
7. Do you intentionally create vacuums for other leaders to fill?

The Disciple Making Pathway
Needs to be simple.
Needs to be systematic
Needs to be sustainable

Congregation (Worship Gathering) – A disciple should gather together with the corporate church body for weekly worship. During this time, believers are equipped and edified for the work of the ministry through expository preaching of the Word.

Community (Life Groups/Small Groups) – This mixed-gender group of 10-20 people is the starting point for relationships, spiritual growth, and service both inside and outside the church. Friendships are formed in this context for future D-Groups (Discipleship Groups).

Core (D-Groups) – These are gender-exclusive groups of 3-5 people who meet for 12-18 months. The maturity of these groups is measured by the M.A.R.C.S. of a healthy D-Group.

Crowd (Engage the World) – Through divine appointments and relational evangelism, a disciple engages non-believers with the Gospel by forming intentional relationships in their workplace, neighborhood, and community.

Resource- Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development by Eric Geiger

@GregJBaird #D62017

How to Recruit Lifetime Small Group Leaders

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Volunteer recruitment is most likely one of the hardest and most time-consuming aspects of your job. You never have enough helpers to get it all done, and when you are finally getting to that place of calm, someone asks if you have time to talk. What if you could walk over to the wide open back door and leave it only partially cracked? Imagine what it would be like to have a team of committed small group leaders instead of a mismatched group of babysitters. Sounds great, doesn’t it? What if most of your small group leaders actually served for years and years? What if they even considered themselves as lifetime volunteers? Let’s talk about how to recruit those kinds of volunteers. Here are a few basic principles to follow:

ENLIST TO A CALLING

Your job description can be found in Ephesians 4:12, “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Your goal is to prepare your small group leaders to minister to the kids and their parents so the church will grow in wisdom and holiness. As you are building your teams, your goal is to intentionally join them together, so that they resemble the body of Christ, not Mr. Potato Head. When someone is willing to serve wherever needed and they are a gifted teacher, avoid the temptation of filling your worship leader vacant spot, and actually place them in a teaching role. Find their best fit. Get to know your team through a strong on-boarding process and solicit feedback during placement to verify they can see themselves serving in this capacity long term.

EXPLAIN WHY THEIR ROLE MATTERS

When you pressure small group leaders to serve out of guilt, your temporary motivation will only take them so far. Show them how the role of a small group leader is carrying out the great commission found in Mathew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Point to specific examples and show small group leaders how they are building the church and expanding the kingdom each and every week. Most people serving in the church can point back to a leader who showed up and influenced their spiritual journey. You have a group of influencers who are making a difference in the next generation, so take the time to remind them of this impact.

FOSTER A FAMILY CULTURE

Sundays can be challenging. It comes with the territory. After a long and difficult morning at church, it might be tempting for a volunteer to quit (who hasn’t been tempted to quit?). It’s easy to quit a position but it’s hard to leave a family. When you work to connect your team, the members of the team begin to work together and belong to one another. Romans 12:4-5 explains it like this, “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.” Placing the right people in the right positions in an organization built around groups can help nourish this family culture.

MAKE FREQUENT AND INTENTIONAL INVESTMENTS

The secret recipe for keeping your long time volunteers around is to continue to show love to them by making deposits into their lives. Hebrews 10:25 challenges us saying, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Investment is not about giving your small group leader a five dollar coffee gift card, but sitting down with them around the coffee table. No longer is it about the small group leader simply showing up and doing okay but it’s increasing their abilities and equipping them to become engaging disciple makers. When you see small group leaders have a gifting beyond their current position, show them future next steps. And whenever you see a small group leader who needs a break, give them time off with an intentional plan to bring them back on the team.

In the last paragraph, of the last page of Jim Wideman’s book, Tweetable Leadership, he says, “Be a lover of God’s people. The ministry is all about relationships. People matter! I believe the time we spend empowering and encouraging people is never wasted.” For you to recruit lifetime small group leaders, you must enlist them to a calling that fits their gifting, connect them with one another, and continue to love them through intentional deposits in their lives.

(Originally posted to Children’s Ministry Online at http://childrensministryonline.com/how-to-recruit-lifetime-small-group-leaders/)

17 Leadership Lessons and Questions From TSF

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The Solomon Foundation was created with you in mind—whether you are an investor looking for a fixed rate investment opportunity, or you are just starting to save money with our low-minimum investment. Perhaps you are the pastor looking for a partner in ministry, or the church planter needing funding for a facility where your ministry can grow. The Solomon Foundation serves churches through many facets and recently I had the opportunity to attend their executive pastor and financial manager conference called “What’s Next.” After spending two days in beautiful Colorado, here are 15 leadership lesson and questions that I am pondering on my flight home.

1. “Jesus is always better.”

2. Do you currently belong to something meaningful in God’s kingdom? I want to always be a part of His work. This must become my prayer.

3. I need to be praying for Spirit movement and for God to draw people into His church.

4. Does your staff understand the role of the different teams? Do your teams stay within their team roles? Do your team members respect each other’s roles? “You can have a good strategy in place, but if you don’t have the culture and the enabling systems that allow you to successfully implement that strategy, the culture of the organization will defeat the strategy.” Richard Clark.

5. What is your church’s culture? Does the culture of the church match the culture you speak about? Who gets to set the culture? Who is the consumer of your culture? Do you know if your culture is successfully leaking into your community?

6. Is your worship attendance declining? How does this month’s average worship attendance compare to the same month of the last few years?

7. Does your church produce evangelistic fruit? As a general rule, a healthy church will reach at least one non-Christian for every 20 in worship attendance.

8. Are unrealistic expectations of pastoral care a growth barrier to your church? Healthy churches view pastors as equippers for the members to do the ministry. Who gets called for a hospital visit?

9. Is your church fun? Jesus made it possible for us to radically enjoy a relationship with Him and to enjoy His creation. Do you like going to your church? Do you staff members like worshipping there?

10. Is your church reproducing leaders at every level? Do your staff members have a growing apprentice? Can your staff and your key leaders write down the mission, vision, and share next steps on a napkin?

11. What is your average attendance to staff ratio? Tony Morgan from the unstuck group recommends an 86:1 FTE ratio and most others say somewhere between 75:1 to 90:1 depending on your church.

12. What is your average staffing costs as a percentage of the total budget? On average churches fall between 45%-50% of the budget and benefits comprise of 8-10% of the total.

13. Do you have an established hiring process? How are you making sure your candidate has the ideal character, competence, chemistry, and calling for your church? Does your candidate pass the lunch test? Have you checked the references they didn’t list? Is there a group in this decision making process?

14. We are living in a time of five living generations and we are starting to see the 4th generation taking on the leadership of the church. Millennial worship is a very different expression than generation X. How do we get there? What steps do you need to take to become more relevant to the generation you are trying to lead.

15. The Dot: The age group of people that your church is most effective with.

The Sweet Spot: The five-year gap on either side of your Dot that is the sweet spot that connects with your audience. Every church is on a continuum and we need to apply pressure to the left side of the dot to stay relevant. How are you pushing young people to the front of the line and how are older people raising up the younger leaders? Be smart on how much pressure you apply. Know how much you can lead the group and bend them without breaking them. Can you expand the Sweet Spot to maybe 7 years on either side? “Leadership is making people uncomfortable at a rate they can tolerate.”

16. Secondary adulthood is where they retire at 65 but live so much longer. How is the church using the treasure trove of people who don’t need your money but still want a job? Those in second adulthood are self-starters, dreamers, and get things done.

17. Maybe prayer isn’t what we think? Could it be that prayer is just being with God? Could it be that prayer is trust in God?

Hopefully, these lessons and questions get you thinking about the church you are either leading or a part of. Which of these questions stirred something inside you?

Escape From The Mundane Team Building Activity

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Sometimes team building can seem like a daunting task. The truth is building a strong team takes work. But what if you could get together with your team to accomplish a task which could act as a catalyst and propel you forward? What if there was an activity that your team looked forward to? Something you could use to teach leadership lessons and apply to your ministry?

Well, there is. It’s called “Escape Games.”

Escape Games, or “Escape Rooms”, as they’re sometimes called, are designed as a giant sequence of interactive puzzles housed in an enclosed space where those inside must solve the clues in order to get out. Typically the participants have sixty minutes to work together and solve the puzzles to complete the mission. Escape Games are usually themed and incorporate those themes within the clues. For participants, the thrill begins upon being locked in the room. That’s when everyone must either do their part to get out—or fail in their escape.

Taking your team through an Escape Game will be an adrenaline-filled hour that can change their and your leadership forever. To date, I have participated in 3 Escape Games and continue to apply what I learned. Here’s what to expect when taking your team through this activity, as well as some practical ways to apply these principles to ministry.

…3-2-1…Go! (You have 1 hour to escape) 

As your team arrives on site, they will be greeted and given the paperwork to get started. The host will explain the basics of an escape game, lay down a few ground rules, and give important information related to your specific mission.  There will be some people in your crew who need fewer instructions and are eager to start. Others will be wishing the host would explain far more details concerning what is expected and about to take place.

You will need to be conscientious of the important information and rules you are sharing, especially the way “unspoken” details increase as you are adding new people to your ministry team. Some new teammates will have no idea what to expect and might feel uncomfortable or anxious. Some new teammates will have no idea what to expect and might feel uncomfortable or anxious. This may contrast with other, who are more familiar with the church or ministry or who have a “Let’s do this!” attitude. They might feel excited and eager to start. Pairing a rookie kidmin worker with a veteran who can come alongside them to help them get started helps acclimate them to the team.

When the game begins and the clock starts ticking, it quickly becomes clear that while your team is working on different tasks, everyone understands the ultimate goal and together everyone is working towards the goal. The goal is Systematic, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Timely (SMART), and you have 60 minutes to escape.

This phase of the teamwork has a practical application to your team’s approach to the Sunday responsibilities. Do they understand how their individual tasks on Sunday morning work toward accomplishing the ultimate goal? It also calls Proverbs 29:18 into play: “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” When it comes to your ministry, do the leaders on your team know when they are winning?

As your group solves their first clue there will be an eruption of celebration. These celebrations will build momentum and excitement for the task at hand. Celebrating wins is equally important in building momentum in your kid’s ministry. How do you celebrate when a first-time guest returns the following week with a friend? When a child is lead to Christ, how does your team celebrate this victory?

Communicate! (Your escape depends on it) 

While the pressure builds, it is vital to keep the communication flowing steadily. Too little communication means others might not see the clues that you are seeing. You may hold the missing piece to the puzzle they are trying to solve. On the other hand, too much communication means your team may get locked up in information overload and become frustrated. You might find you have too many moving pieces and need to designate a mediator to keep all of the individual puzzles moving in the right direction.

Communication can make or break your escape. Therefore, your plan needs to include how and what you are communicating to your ministry team. To handle growth and the added complexity it adds, you will need to create a system that includes middle managers who can communicate and care for those on their team.

While trying to escape, your team may simply get stuck. That happens in the heat of the game, and your group might need to step back or re-evaluate or change the task to gain a fresh perspective. You might need to ask the host for a clue.

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If your team gets stuck, you’ll need a leader who is willing to take charge and make something happen. You’ll need to identify someone who’s willing to take a risk not knowing the outcome. For you, as the team leader, this could be one of the best learning experiences you receive from the game. It will show you how your teammates react under pressure, who rises to the occasion, how they lead disciple the difficult situation, how they lead despite the difficult situation, how the leader communicates, and if the leader gets the group’s buy-in before making a move. Then, hopefully with a new perspective or the needed clue, your team will continue working towards the goal.

Sometimes in an Escape Game, just when you think you are finally getting somewhere you discover instead that you’re only getting started. You may solve all the clues in the room only to discover there is a second room! The same happens in ministry.  Your team will discover that definitions change. Words like “big” and “busy” have shifting definitions that you will need to clearly articulate.

The Heat is On! (will you escape…?)

As the clock winds down, your team will face the reality that they either are going to escape to victory or face defeat. Both winning and losing should be met with evaluation and reflection. When your team gives their full effort towards accomplishing the mission, winning or losing become an emotionally charged, shared experience. As your team members begin to calm down, you can start to digest the past hour and reflecting on things you could have done differently.

Similarly, evaluation and reflection can propel your ministry team to their next level. When you share with them the things they did great as well as the things they can improve, you’re helping them sharpen their skills for future ministry.

When you escape from the mundane team-building activity you will find both immediate and long-term benefits. People appreciate being a part of the great adventure, and a shared experience like this builds relationships. They experience both quality time and quantity time as they solve the clues to escape. Long-term, you will learn about your team members’ personalities and gifts, and the relationships that were built will bond your team together.

Want to do this with your own team? Simply search “Escape Room” online and find a game in your area!

(Originally posted in the Kidzmatter Magazine July/Aug/Sept 2017 edition)

Orange Tour Session Notes with Stuart Hall

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Orange Tour Session Notes with Stuart Hall
@IAmStuartHall

“We can rebuild your home. We cannot rebuilt your life.” -Florida Governor Rick Scott about the hurricane.

Why are you having to tell people that you must get away from this? It only makes sense that people are getting out. We run the risk of getting distracted about what matters most.

It’s easy for any leader or parent to get distracted about what matters most when it comes to raising a generation. Who is my neighbor? The Good Samaritan. A priest comes by. A Rabi comes by. Then a Samaritan helps him and goes the second mile to give him money out of his pocket and clothes off his back just so the man can be well.

There are a couple of things that scream at us when we look at the story of the good Samaritan and ask these questions:

Who taught the good samaritan to be good?

When Jesus said that the Samaritan was good, the people who have asked, how in the world could this Samaritan have been good?

How and why did the rabbi and priest grow up and miss it?

What was happening in their discipleship process that they walked by a dying man and turned the other way? How were they so theologically sound but missed it so much relationally?

What would happen if we decided to make it a priority as leaders to raise kids to do what Jesus said matters most? Maybe what this pushes at, is that we have gotten distracted about what matters most.

Maybe what matters most is not that they are always theologically right but that they love Jesus.
What if our calling is simple to raise kids that love God in such a way they act like good samaritans? The Gospel pushes us to be good Samaritans. How are you personally doing at raising good Samaritans? Any style of ministry that minimizes what Jesus maximized sets up a generation become disillusioned with the church.

What is going on now is because of the church of the last 20 years, not because what is going on now. We are reaping the consequences of minimizing what Jesus maximizes. The idea of kids loving their neighbor as themselves matters. Most of us are much better at teaching kids what to believe than we are at coaching kids how to serve. My role is not to simply teach kids about serving others but to coach them how to serve others. Make it come to life. What if you and I decided that how students treat other people is a reflection of Jesus in their life. What if we started acting like what a kid does can actually affect what a kid believes? James the brother of Jesus said, “don’t just be a hearer of the Word, do what it says.”

How to climb mountains teaching example. Not watch a movie, read a book, and look at this checklist…Go climb the mountain.

Kids and students understand more about God when they do what God created them to do.

It stretches their faith, not replaces their faith. Why is it that there is pushback in your spirit or mind?

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Why don’t we coach kids to serve? 

It’s easier to teach students what to believe than it is to coach them how to serve.

It’s not how we measure success. We measure seats in butts not by the number of students we have mobilized to serve and love their neighbor as themselves.

It takes more time to serve. If everything is clean and organized then it’s probably not relational. Relationships are messy. Maybe start rethinking and simplify what we do so that we have more time.

It’s not on the calendar. What’s next? What do I have to do? Decide, this is what we are going to do next. Maybe you need to kill sacred cows.

It’s messy and risky. You might actually get students involved in serving that never come to your discipling event. Most evangelistic think you can do for teenagers is give them an opportunity to serve. It gives you the opportunity to share Jesus with them.

It’s not a priority in our own personal life. Professional Christians. Haven’t you spent all week long serving at the church but then didn’t show up on the weekend to help someone move? We love God and we love people but it’s exhausting and time-consuming. It becomes an obligation instead of an opportunity.

Advice on creating a culture of service:

Convince every adult that service is discipleship. The International church does not mean that kids sit with their parents but that they serve alongside their parents who are serving.

Give every kid at every phase something significant to do. Preschoolers can consider others before themselves. This week, you get the opportunity to serve us all. Middle school students can be coupled with adults and serve and lead other elementary and preschool kids. We want them to love Jesus more than knowing everything. Give them something significant to do.

Make service a priority on the calendar. Is there anything stunting your ability to do weekly service? What are the reasons that I give?

Create practical entry points and easy wins. How are we going to help them serve?

High School Exchange. Learning about the love of God while serving other people.

Develop a training model. Do you have anything that helps students understand the habits and values of a servant leader? What is the integrity and character of a servant leader? What has God put me on the planet to do?

Model service everywhere. If you are an adult, how do you treat other adults? How do you treat, love, and respect other staff members? One of the best things our kids can see is black and white leaders loving each other. Modeling the good samaritan everywhere.

Leverage groups to champion service. What are your kid’s groups and student groups about? Is they’re a fundamental component of service? Are you raising a generation of small group leaders?

The reason why this is important is that we live in modern day Samaria. We want our students to look, think, and act like Jesus even when all hell breaks loose in their life and serving others makes all the difference.

Instead about making it all about the bad that they do, call them to serve and become the good samaritan. In the process of serving they can fall in love with Jesus.

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Give Every Kid a Consistent Leader Breakout Notes from Frank Bealer

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Frank Bealer: Give Every Kid A Consistent Leader

@fbealer

If we are going to give every student a consistent leader it takes structure.

Structure: How you arrange or manage various parts so they can support something important.

If we say giving a kid a consistent leader is what we do, is that how we are built? The way we operate in ministry. Your programming can cause students to not come back to your ministry. Your programming does not keep them, they come back because of relationship. We evaluate the large group experiences but if we aren’t careful we spend so much time on programming and forget to see if we actually have leaders showing up consistently for every kid.

We can do big epic events but if they don’t connect kids to a consistent leader, does it really matter? Does it really change a life? Camp can leverage the time of weeks and months worth of small group or you can miss it.

The quality of your relationships is linked to the quality of your structure.

Reinforce and redirect the relationships.

Habit 1 – Organize to Be Organic

Someone has to own it. We say we are about small groups but is it in anyone’s job description? What if we said small groups were so important we took some of our best leaders and said that small group was what we wanted them to focus on? Making coaches of small group leaders. How many of us need more volunteers? 2700 kidmin volunteers at Elevation when Frank left and they still needed more. Inconvenient to pull the best small group leaders out to become coaches but better for the overall growth process. Kids need a lot of structure but as they get older it begins to shift and the roles change. Everyone needs a good seat. Evaluate if you are giving kids a consistent leader with the ratio.

Needs / Haves Document: Needs. How many do you need to keep a good healthy ratio? How many do you actually have? Not how many do you make it work with but actually have. 8-10 and maybe 12 with inconsistency. We cheat the number and try to make it work. Hold ourselves accountable to know how we are doing really. When it grows beyond the capacity some of the kids get squeezed out.

Find ways to pull in the new kids. How do we recognize who is new?

Habit 2: Think Steps Not Programs

We are moving kids closer to small groups, away from small groups, or they are not moving anywhere. Sometimes you have to stop doing something that works if you want something more important to work better.

When students have the opportunity for a shared experience with the small group leader it begins the relationship.

Parents dropping the kids off at the small group leaders house opens the door for a relationship. Stories often don’t make it back to parents. Small group leaders can share these stories with parents that they wouldn’t have heard otherwise. How was camp? Good. What did you do? Stuff.

Don’t teach everything in the large group environment, create the tension and hand it off to the small group leaders to do something with it.

When you things steps, not programs…Events solidify small groups. 
When you things steps, not programs…Volunteers reinforce small groups. 
When you things steps, not programs…Resources support small groups. 

Challenge the kids to know their leader. Do you know your small group leader’s name? Structure small group for relationships.

Habit 3: Move to the rhythm: The more people in a kids life who are moving to the same rhythm, the greater the impact. What are the students wrestling with in this season? On a holiday, maybe give the leaders a break or do something to leverage those times and seasons. The calendar has a rhythm. The community has a rhythm. Your ministry has a rhythm.

Students need someone else, in addition to their dad, to help them navigate the world. They need someone in their corner to point them in the right direction who is keeping them in check. Parents need someone to come alongside their child consistently to be for their kids.

When parents see you are fighting for the relationship, it changes things in their family. Find mentors and leaders. It’s easier to find one person to lead from the stage than an army of people who will disciple the students.

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Orange Tour Session Notes with Latasha Morrison and Reggie Joiner

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Tasha Morrison – We Build a Bridge

@LatashaMorrison

Most of our society and churches are racially segregated. If the church won’t be the answer, who will be the answer? If we don’t address it, who will? We say that Jesus is the answer. Kids need discipleship and part of that discipleship is racial reconciliation.

“My journey took me to a Garth Brooks concert. I never want to do that again.”

When you step out of your comfort zone it’s a little awkward and messy.

80% of what kids learn is from their parents. 20% is from outside sources such as your church leaders. Where our friendships begin, and when we have proximity in relationships, that’s where assumptions and stereotypes die. Maybe as a youth leader, you can address what the pastor might not be able to address.

Look at your social media. How can I be better? How am I learning from people who are different than me? How can I begin to live outside of my racially segregated box?

The way you start, what to think about, is beginning with the first step. Invite someone new to the table. Find someone culturally different than you. Do something you have never done before. When you come to the table together you can learn about my story, perspective, and experiences. God created us differently. This is about unity and oneness, not sameness.

Diversity makes us richly blessed.

BeABridgeBuilder.com

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Reggie Joiner – We Do Something We Don’t Have To Do

Party- Any effort to CELEBRATE, SERVE, or ENJOY each other in ways that adds value to life.

If starting over with a group of 9th graders the first thing Reggie would do would be to start enlisting kids to do something and to serve. Collecting the names of 9th and 10th graders who are leading. Invite them to a big party. I want to invite you to be the student leadership team in this town. You represent 20 different churches in different schools. I believe if this town is going to change it will begin with you. The day before mother’s day. Gave buckets of roses. Sending them out to make a difference. Serving changes the way that someone else sees you. When you do something you don’t have to do, it takes your faith to another place. The dilemma, student leadership team meeting 4th Sunday of every month but what am I going to tell them?

Here are the 7 things I want you to have and start with.

Do something you don’t have to do. Attached to something you see at a party. Food

Invite someone new to the table. Chair. New, not someone you don’t know but someone who is not like you. We Dine Together. Invited to the same table, and transformed the school by spending time with people who are new. We are called to be in the world but not of the world but many of us forget that first part. Learn the difference between racial prejudice vs. racism. “We know you aren’t a racist, we just want to know if you are anti-racist.” Racism is not your fault but it’s your problem; it’s our problem. We have to join side by side and declare war against anything that goes against what Jesus taught us. In the story of the good Samaritan it wasn’t hate that was the bad example, it was indifference.

Fast Forward someone else’s dream. Gift. Give the gift of generosity. We are created in the image of a generous God. Don’t look out for your own interests. When you invest your treasure your heart follows.

Inspire every kid you meet. Balloon. Stop and pause to look into the eyes of a child. Jesus said to His disciples to allow the children to come to Him. “When you welcome one of these children, you welcome Me.” -Jesus. Something happens to a culture and community when children matter. Teach them to serve children. The church would collapse without them. Changing the teenager more than the kid when you invite them to serve.

Create beautiful spaces. Flower. What we do when we care about the spaces around us is almost a way for us to say to the people around us that there is hope. God is the God of restoration. When you put makeup on, cut the grass, restore spaces, you are doing the work of a heavenly Father who created a beautiful world. Can we say we care about people when we don’t care about the places they live in? Help the next generation restore something that is broken.

Speak up for someone else. Flag Banner. We raise the flag when we use our voice. If you have a voice you have influence. If you have influenced you have a responsibility. Raise your voice to be passionate about what Jesus was passionate about. The marginalized and poor. When someone was being abused. When power was being abused. We should be bothered because we represent a God who said to love our neighbors.

Discover life together. Coffee Cup. Sharing a drink of coffee. When we are in a community together, transformation happens. Every kid needs a consistent leader in their life. Their chance of a mobilized faith is a consistent leader who points them to Jesus. Here’s how I want the church to win. Put a consistent leader in the life of every kid. When you do this the town wins. Community does something that therapy, presentations, and a sermon can never do. Community get’s to the core of who we are and what we do. Think about the preventive work that you are doing because you are putting kids and teenagers into a relational community. When they hit a wall, they have someone to run to. The role of the church is to give kids safe places, to give resources so that leaders can be better in creating a community for kids. You can never do faith alone and win.

When I do these 7 things, God becomes alive to me. Instead of just coming together and learning, this sets them up for experiencing authentic faith.

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