Author: Kenny Conley

Rethink Staff: Creative Staffing Solutions

If you read yesterday’s post about generalists vs. specialists, you might have gotten discouraged. I get it, money doesn’t grow on trees. Most ministries are lucky to have one or two staff members, not teams of specialists that have the luxury of focusing on just one thing. Even at Gateway, I didn’t have teams of specialists. I really only had one. I had a Operations Director who oversaw all systems, processes, purchasing and facility/curriculum prep (I have the job description posted here). A few years later, I got a second specialist, but only by accident. We were making staff...

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Rethink Staff: Do Ages Matter?

Do ages really matter? Yes, but not the way you’re thinking. There was a time when everything I led was age specific. I had a student ministry who recruited their own small group leader, and elementary ministry who created their own small group leaders and a preschool ministry that did the same. Each ministry leader who have sworn that their leaders were different from the same leaders in other age groups. As an outsider (they guy who oversaw all of it), I saw far more similarities that differences. Whether you’re thinking of building a more integrated NextGen ministry (infants...

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Rethink Staff: Generalist VS Specialists

To be a Children’s Ministry Leader is to be a generalist. There are very few things that those of us in kidmin won’t do or haven’t already done. Leading in kidmin isn’t much different from leading a church. Where most church departments focus on one aspect of ministry, the “children’s department” typically encompasses what every individual department does for adults, but just for kids. A good kidmin leader is flexible and willing to take on almost anything. Need a postcard designed? Check! Need to put together a set for the preschool environment? Check! Need to gather leaders and cast...

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Rethink Staff: What’s Your Bucket?

A few years ago, I started thinking outside the box when it comes to staff. No, it’s not because I’m a creative genius. I read a book that prompted a different way of thinking. At the same time, I connected with two different churches that were experimenting with their staffing models. After several months of research and discover, this is what I found. Nearly everything you do in ministry fits in one of three buckets: Bucket One: Administration Bucket Two: Production Bucket Three: Volunteer Relations Administation: Background checks, volunteer applications, reimbursements, supplies, curriculum, purchasing and scheduling. Regardless of the...

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Kidmin in VR (Virtual Reality)

This summer I was able to experience something I hadn’t expected. On my cross-country travels, we spent a few days with my wife’s sister’s family in Atlanta. We have kids close to the same age, so that’s a hit. Sara is obviously close to her sister and my brother-in-law, well, he’s seriously into tech. I had just arrived from a day of travel. I was sitting on the couch and he asked me, do you want to check out my new VR headset? I did a double take. Did you just say VR headset? I’d heard a little about...

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The Perfect Child Dedication Gift

So, I’m at a new church and I’m leading a child dedication in just a few weeks. Doing things for the first time at a new place always inspires me to rethink what I’ve been doing. I spent nearly a dozen hours revamping the material I teach in the prep for child dedication class, which was a long time coming. However, I’m rethinking what we give to parents who dedicate their children and I thought I’d ask what others are giving away? When I first came to Gateway (8 years ago), they were giving away a child’s gift Bible...

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You are the Average of those Around You

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said: “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” It doesn’t take much thought to see the truth in this statement. If you want to run faster, run with people who are faster than you. If you want to have a healthier marriage, hang out with people who have healthier marriages. If you want to become a stronger leader, hang out with more gifted leaders than yourself. This is the very reason we’ll adamantly encourage our kids against missionary dating. We’re far too easily influenced by those around us. This...

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Volunteer Heroes

I’m afraid that most of us in kidmin have amazingly little vision for volunteers. When I began, I led kids 4 years through 5th grade at the little church a few miles form where I went to college. For nearly four years, I ran every Sunday with three volunteers (students I recruited from my dorm). My first full-time gig required hundreds of volunteers that I had scheduled on a once a month rotation, other than the Sunday School teachers who had been teaching for 20 years or more. My third church is where I began casting vision for every...

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Safety, Security and Risk Management

I think it’s important to clear up a few things about safety, security and risk management. I’m going to make a couple of stereotypes, but only to illustrate a point. Put your parent hat on and take a look at two ministries that seem to come at safety from two completely different perspectives. Walk into your typical (see, I’m being stereotypical here) student ministry environment and you might see some things to give you caution. Is that game they’re playing on stage really safe? What if someone gets sick drinking that disgusting concoction? Did anyone even check to see...

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Irreducible Minimums

No one ever agrees on everything. Everyone has an opinion. I’ve heard it said that opinions are like armpits. Everyone has a couple and most of them stink. I’ve found the we can exert a significant amount of time arguing and fighting over details that matter less than we think. Sometimes we come into a situation with an idea and we’re met with immediate push-back. Someone doesn’t like the idea. Maybe someone doesn’t understand how your idea helps with the desired outcome. Whatever the case, you’re getting nowhere. Sometimes the best course of action is to stop. Take a...

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