Author: Kenny Conley

Staffing Outside the Box

“I NEED MORE STAFF!” We’ve all thought it. Most of us have said it. Maybe you’ve said, “I wish I had staff!” Regardless, this is a struggle for most in kidmin. Most of the time, there seems to be more work than hours to get it done. The reality is that you’ll never have the staff you want (or maybe need). I’m not sure I’ve met anyone who said, “I’m perfectly content with the staff I’ve been given.” So, if you’re going to get this done, you’re gonna have to think outside the box. Last month at Orange, I co-taught...

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Wins are Better than Goals

I’m as goal-driven as they come. I have goals around just about every area of my life. I have financial goals, reading goals, spiritual goals, heath goals and work goals. Goals are important. Goals are critical. But wins are better. Without wins, you’ll never achieve your goals. For instance, let’s say the sports team you play for has a goal of winning the national championship. What is necessary to achieve this goal? Winning every game. It’s multiple, incremental wins that lead to achieving goals. Without wins, goals don’t happen. Goals are important, but wins are better. One of the...

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Why Arizona?

A little over a year ago, a co-worker asked me the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?” The question stumped me. The problem wasn’t necessarily that I didn’t have an answer, but the fact that it’s the first time in 20 years that I didn’t have an answer to that question. It began a year long journey to discover what was next for the Conley family. Last summer, I began working with a life coach to help me figure out this dilemma. The process my coach took me through was to reconnect with my values, the...

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We’re moving to Arizona!

I figured I’d get straight to the point. This summer, the Conley family is moving to Gilbert, AZ to begin a new adventure! Pretty cool, right? was just a year old when I became the first NextGen Pastor at Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. Eight years at Gateway inspired nearly two thousand articles on this site as I wrote about the things I was learning, doing and working through. What a blessing it’s been to have a place to record inspiration and a community to learn and grow with here.  Eight years is the longest I’ve served in any one role....

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Promotion Sunday: Timing Your Promotion Right

There’s a big about when you should promote. I’m convinced that there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Every church is different and needs to pick the right time for their unique situation. However, we recently changed when we promote and I believe that it’s made a really big difference. I have the gift of “pervasive persuasion” and I’ll try to convince people why promoting when we promote is the best time ever. So here is what we’re going to do. I’m going to state the reasons why a church might want to promote in the fall or the...

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Promotion Sunday: Don’t Miss This

The Sunday where kids promote to the next grade is a BIG deal. Of course it is. Isn’t that obvious? Why would I even make such a statement? Because every year I see too many churches that botch this critical transition. Every. Single. Year. Think about how significant this is. For many kids, we have invested years and years into them. Through events, small groups, camps and activities – they’re finally ready to move to what’s next. Maybe we underestimate how nervous they are about the change. Maybe we fail to clarify what’s at stake for their parents. Maybe we...

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Investing What I Have Left

The last 9-12 months have been interesting for me. A little over a year ago, a co-worker asked me a pretty simple question. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I’ve been asked that question a lot in my life and I’ve always had a well-prepared and well-thought-out answer. However, when I was asked that question last year… I hesitated. It was strange because when I had been asked that question in the past, my answers contained dreams of doing things that I’ve mostly accomplished. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the relationships I’ve built. However, it’s...

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VBS: Three Questions

I have memories going to VBS when I was a kid. My church never did VBS, so I only remember going to VBS at other churches. What I do remember was the giant Ice Cream Sunday my team won for bringing in the biggest offering. It was literally a 10 foot gutter filled with ice cream and topping for 20 or 30 boys to enjoy. As a Kid’s Pastor, I organized and executed VBS at three different churches for seven years. I have to say that it was one of my favorite ministry events to pull off. I have fond...

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Longevity in Ministry

This week marks my 8th year of serving as the NextGen Pastor at Gateway Church in Austin, TX. Eight years! It feels like such a long time. When I look over the past eight years, I’m amazed at all that has happened. Honestly, I’m amazed at all that has happened in just the past three years (the past three years is where I’ve seen the most ministry transformation). I can’t say enough hour grateful I am at the opportunity I’ve had to serve for eight years at Gateway Church. Studies say that that average tenure of a children’s/student pastor...

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2016 State of Children’s Ministry

My friends at Aspen Grove are conducting a survey that is pretty significant to the world of Children’s Ministry. Most statistics/survey results we see are often organizationally biased. They’re not bad, but the data comes specifically from the users of one curriculum or organization which isn’t inclusive of the diversified whole. Aspen Grove recently launched a survey called “The 2016 State of Children’s Ministry.” It’s a survey that will only take 10-12 minutes (I took it in under 10) and will give all of us a better understanding of what challenges we are facing now. Many ask, “what the...

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