Archive for May, 2009

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-31

Posted on 31. May, 2009 by .

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  • CMO: #kidmin Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-24 http://tinyurl.com/ob42k7 #
  • just finished watching that Bejamin Button movie. Had no idea it was so long. Dang! And, it wasn’t a fast paced movie at all. #
  • RT: Sara Conley: My favorite sight in the world even at 1:30 am – Titus, thumb in mouth and blankie in hand, cuddled asleep in Kenny’s arms. #
  • Titus gave us a little gift this morning… the gift of sleeping in until 8:30. Isn’t he great. #
  • Titus and I just ran over to @cathyharwick house to get some keys. While there Titus had an extreme diaper blowout… Seepage through pants. #
  • Worst part, no spare diapers. Gonna have to wash the carseat #
  • @CoffeeWithChris I sense the sarcasm. in reply to CoffeeWithChris #
  • now that is a memorial day spread! #
  • oops… heres all the memorial day meet! http://twitpic.com/5yeyh #
  • The crowd is gone. The house is clean… kinda. Now time to relax a little before my super long day tomorrow. #
  • Why is everyone talking about John and Kate? Who are they and should I care? #
  • @jimwideman Gotcha! My wife caught my tweet and caught me up in the mean time. I’m on it now! :) in reply to jimwideman #
  • @jimwideman Ha! Yes sir! :) in reply to jimwideman #
  • RT @ardentvox: Holidays need to be followed by stay-in-bed til’ noon days. / No kidding! #
  • Conley Update Blog: My errand partner in crime http://tinyurl.com/ocrpqz #
  • CMO: #kidmin Is your ministry in beta? http://tinyurl.com/qepvem #
  • CMO: #kidmin What was your defining moment? http://tinyurl.com/qsjvvt #
  • CMO: #kidmin Gateway music http://tinyurl.com/q5jgbn #
  • Good morning. It’s my work from home morning where I have really productive time to get stuff done. Got an early start this morning. W00t! #
  • @locustfist Hey man.
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Special interview with ministry leaders, John Maxwell

Posted on 27. May, 2009 by .

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Wow, John says some surprising things in this interview! I love this, so funny!

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Survey Sunday

Posted on 27. May, 2009 by .

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Two Sunday’s ago was Gateway’s Survey Sunday. I remember seeing the results of our survey last year and there was some good information there. I thought some of you may be interested in what we ask our church once a year.

2009-survey-final-revised

We’re always gathering information and stories, but this is one way we receive some concrete data and stories.

One question in particular that I’m interested in is the one highlighted in yellow in this section:

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Results from this question will give us a better idea of what we’re dealing with in relation to parenting and spiritual training.… Read the rest

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Gateway music

Posted on 26. May, 2009 by .

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Last month Gateway did a series called “Why Austin Doesn’t Believe.”

It was a great series, specifically for people struggling with doubts about the Bible, the idea that God really exists or other intellectual/religious struggles.

Here’s the special music for message entitled: Coexist. The girl singing is our receptionist. The quality of music as well as selection of music is one of those things I love about this church.

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What was your defining moment?

Posted on 26. May, 2009 by .

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We all have them. A moment of enlightenment. An epiphany. Something happens and you’ll never see the world again the same.

What was your defining moment for ministry?

I’ve had two big ones. One of them has a lot to do with Orange and in some ways, I feel like I’m still experiencing that defining moment. The first one though happened in 2003. My pastor had just resigned and a new one was being interviewed. This new pastor sat with me one day and asked me a really simple question that stumped me. He asked, “What’s your process for minisry?” I didn’t even know what the question meant much less how to answer it. I spent several weeks thinking about this question. I took it to mean, “how are my programs working together to achieve a desired outcome?” I bought the book “The Purpose Driven Church” a few week later. I’d never read it and I thought it might help me with his “process” thing. Turns out it did. A few months later I was soaking up everything Craig Jutila had to say about purpose driven children’s ministries. I don’t lead a purpose driven ministry today, but this idea of being direction by vision, mission and values to help kids achieve a desired end is central to my heart. It all changed after this defining moment.

What is yours?… Read the rest

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Is your ministry in beta?

Posted on 26. May, 2009 by .

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google_logos_combined_jpg

I came across this interesting article last week. I’m a big fan of Google. I like the way they think. Interestingly, Sara and I had long discussion (we’ve agreed to disagree) on the whether Google is really an evil company or not in how they run their AdSense program. That’s another post.

So, Chrome came out of beta but Gmail remains beta-licious for who knows how long.

So, why is Chrome out of beta and Gmail not? Chrome is a downloadable application and Google wants market share. So far Chrome has a respectable user base that has mainly come as a result of word-of-mouth and advertising. However, Google want’s more users. Google wants Chrome to come pre-installed on machines along with internet explorer or firefox. In order to get this, they had to get out of beta. Enterprise markets need to trust that Chrome is going to work and with “beta” attached to the name, they’re not going to feel comfortable. This is why Chrome has dropped the beta tag.

So then, why is Gmail still beta? This video clearly explains the difference:

Gmail is server-side software that is still being developed. Improvements are added on a regular basis. The “beta” communicates to us that they’re not done creating.

So whether you believe this or not, Google has two standards of beta. On one side they dropped beta to communicate that their software (Chrome in this case) is dependable and secure. On the other side they’re keeping beta to communicate that they’re still being creative. If you like what you’ve seen so far, hang on and see what we cook up next.

So, let’s shift to our ministry.

What are we doing that that needs to come out of beta? Is it our policies and procedures? Is it the way we train volunteers?… Read the rest

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-24

Posted on 24. May, 2009 by .

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Tribes, fans and mini-movements

Posted on 22. May, 2009 by .

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I just finished reading Tribes by Seth Godin. Great book. I need to go back through it an pull out all the nuggets of goodness that I can apply to life and ministry. One thing that really intrigued me was the idea of creating movements and raging fans. I found an example of this today right here!

Behold the Three Wolf Moon Shirt.

wolf

Dumb, isn’t it?

I guess it started as a joke. Someone gave this thing a ridiculously positive review outlining it’s mystical powers. Other people have caught on and now it has almost 500 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars. Even the negative reviews are funny. Seriously funny. I’ve included some of the reviews at the bottom of this post.

The not so funny part is that the shirt has increased sales by almost 2000%.

Weather organized or not, these people created a movement around a stupid T-Shirt. How do we in ministry create this kind of fan base around aspects of our ministry or the ministry as a whole? It could be a service that everyone wants to work at, a program everyone wants to serve in or even a ministry t-shirt that everyone can’t live without. I know that’s the kind of energy I’d like to see among my team.

What do you think?

Reviews:

Review One: This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that’s when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to ‘howl at the moon’ from time to time (if you catch my drift!).

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Constantly refining

Posted on 21. May, 2009 by .

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You will never arrive. It will never be perfect.

Our programs and systems constantly need refining and tweaking. We did a major overhaul on our Child Dedication here at Gateway. What we’re doing now is amazing! This is special thanks to conversations I’ve had with fellow children’s pastors here on the blogosphere (most notably Gina McClain). On Saturday we’re doing another Child Dedication service. We’re going with what was already successful and we’ve made some minor changes.

On of the changes is that we’re increasing the ratio of pastors/leaders to families. I had families go up for prayer in five separate groups. This was too much time waiting for some families. This time I have only two groups. So at the longest, a family will have to wait ten minutes for their turn (unlike the 25-30 minutes last time). I’m also dismissing our families after they are prayed for. This means they don’t have to wait around. They’ll head out to the lobby, grab their Bible and certificate and be done. Last of all, I have a photographer this time. She’ll be taking pictures and putting the photos on our SmugMug site like we did for Easter. This will be a big win!

Oh, one other thing I tweaked. I’ve already made assignments. This morning I sent the list of kids being dedicated to the pastors/leaders who will be praying. They can start praying for these families by name even now. I’ve given them email and phone numbers as well just in case they want to call and introduce themselves. I’ve also let the parents know who will be praying for them so they are “more in the know.” I also tried something new. I gave my pastors/leader the meaning of the child’s name who is being dedicated along with a verse that represents the meaning.… Read the rest

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Promoting volunteers

Posted on 21. May, 2009 by .

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I’ve always been intrigued by this idea. At the end of every year we promote kids to their next grade. Why don’t we promote the leaders too? Sure, some do but why isn’t it the norm or expectation?

I was talking to my good friend (and permanent intern) Josh Kornberg about this last night. He’s an elementary major in college and he said that this is a newer strategy in education. It’s called looping. I have a lot of friends who are teachers and they often complain about the start of a new year as they have to begin again with a new class and start from page one.

The real beauty is when early childhood leaders promote to elementary to follow their group of kids or even when elementary leaders promote to middle school. We’re trying to create this culture here at Gateway. We may see a few leaders make the jump this year, but I anticipate this becoming normal for next year.

I was having a conversation with a friend in ministry and talking about this very thing. He explained that he really didn’t like middle school, so he’d probably move back down to first grade or something when his group moved to middles chool. I challenged his thinking? “What is it you don’t like about middle school? What if the same kids you’ve been leading for three years moved up into middle school. You’d still like them, wouldn’t you?” He replied, “I didn’t see it that way.”

Some people really aren’t geared for some age groups. There are some middle school and high school leaders that wouldn’t belong in early childhood. Likewise, there are plenty of early childhood leaders that don’t belong in highschool. However, when the established relationship is prioritized, everything changes.… Read the rest

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