Author: Kenny Conley

Don’t Skip the Checklist

If you’re going to use a checklist, commit to the checklist. Choosing not to use it can undo all the efforts you’ve worked so hard to establish. Not using the established checklist can sometimes be the result of having the best of intentions. However, deviating from an established process, regardless your intentions, could be putting your work or even your organization at risk. This exact situation happened a few years ago in regard to her visit at a emergency medical center. A failure to follow a checklist put her life in jeopardy.  My wife, Sara has several food allergies....

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One Checklist Could Change Everything

If you’re a parent, you’re thankful for Virginia Apgar, a woman you never met. Virginia Apgar was a doctor from the 1950’s who very name has saved the lives of thousands (maybe millions) of infants over the past 6 or 7 decades. When we think of legacy and making the kind of impact that long outlives us, there are few greater examples than Dr. Apgar. And what is this legacy that she provided that has so impacted humanity? I’m so glad you asked. Dr. Apgar created a simple checklist when no one thought one was needed. This simple, five...

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Preparation First – Delegation Second

I remember something really embarrassing. I got an email from a parent who offered to come in and help in the office during the week. Her kids were in school and she wanted to serve by giving some of her time during the week. I was elated. There was far too much work for me to do on my own and the extra help would be greatly appreciated! However, as time went on, I started to panic. I didn’t know what to give her to do. As I looked through my lists of tasks, there weren’t very many things...

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Checklists > Job Descriptions

If you’re really serious about recruiting volunteers, you have probably created job descriptions for available volunteer positions. Specificity always trumps generalities. We can recruit people to work in the children’s ministry, but people tend to use their own imagination of what that might look like and opt out of what they sense to be a coming disaster. We’ll always be more successful when we recruit to a specific role. People want to feel good about making a difference, but what the really want to know is what it is they will be doing… specifically. This is where job descriptions...

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Facing Extinction

Here’s something to think about. Progress usually leads to innovation. Innovation then leads to complexity. With complexity then comes a revision of systems. Inevitably, the revision of systems leads to the elimination of things that are no longer necessary or helpful. Therefore, innovation leads to extinction. I remember the first time I flew out of the airport of my hometown of Valdosta, GA. The ticketing agent warmly greeted me with his thick southern draw as he transferred my suitcase to a bin behind him. Twenty minutes later, I looked out the window and actually saw the same man driving...

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Human Error: Ineptitude

Human error is a reality we face in nearly every segment of life. Our drive through order is wrong. The pants we bought are the right size, but they don’t fit. The cashier gives us the wrong amount of change. The email doesn’t go out when it is supposed to. We forget about the meeting we scheduled two weeks ago. Human error happens to us and human error happens because of us. Human error can be broken down to two primary causes: ignorance and ineptitude. Ineptitude happens when when we have the correct knowledge or skills, we just apply it...

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It’s Not Complicated

Sometimes we tend to over-complicate things. We over-think solutions. When something doesn’t work, we are tempted to make sweeping changes and re-think everything. Sometimes, the solution is really simple. So simple it is often overlooked. The difference between overwhelming success and glorious failure could depend on a slight modification. In October 1935, the US Army Air Corps had aircraft manufacturers compete to build the “next-generation long-range bomber.” Boeing’s design had the lead; everyone thought the flight trials would be just a formality. But, minutes after its smooth takeoff, the giant four-engine Model 299 stalled and “crashed in a fiery...

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The Checklist

About four years ago, I had my first traffic accident. The accident wasn’t even my fault. I was rear-ended coming out of a Walgreens. As I pulled into a parking lot, my mind was scrambling. No one was hurt. Check. Wait, what was it that I was supposed to do next? Get name, phone number and address Get license plate and make/model and color of the car Get insurance information Take picture of damage The person didn’t have her drivers license, but I got to take a picture of her military ID. When I called the insurance company later, it...

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I Wish I Had Known: Kenny Conley

I’ve been doing this a for a while now. While I got my degree in Christian Education, there were so many things I simply wasn’t learning that would help me in the day to day experiences of leading a children’s ministry. The best teachers for me have been through experiences and mentors who were further down the road than I was. When I think of the things I had wish I had know, two things immediately come to mind. Two things I’ve learned through years of experience, things that my friend and mentor Jim Wideman taught me about. Both...

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You’re Not Looking for a Curriculum

Curriculum can be a significant ministry challenge. Many kidmin leaders insist on writing their own curriculum. These people often believe that no one knows their kids like they know their kids, so writing their own curriculum is the best option. Others don’t feel it’s necessary to write their own curriculum, but they end up scouring the web for resources and piecemeal something together that addresses their specific needs. Some leaders bounce around from curriculum to curriculum. There are a lot of really great options out there with new options coming out every year. These leaders are eager to try...

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