Plug ‘n’ Play Ministry

Last week we took 140 kids to summer camp. It was an amazing five days and my highlight was what happened on night three. Something amazing happened in the hearts of dozens of kids – but it almost didn’t happen. Our group made up half of the kids attending this camp in Northern Arizona. The camp provided the band, the activities, the speaker and the curriculum. It’s an amazing experience to have no other responsibility than just be with your kids, letting the camp take care of everything else. However, after the first day – we noticed a small problem....

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How to Camp: A Case Study

In the How to Camp series, I wrote about how to streamline the camp preparation process. I talked about budgeting, registration forms, and incentivized registration. For the past three years, I honed this process at my church in Austin, TX and saw significant success. The marker for success was this: 50-60% of registrations submitted on opening day (4 months before camp) 14% of registrations submitted in the final month of registration Registration closed SIX weeks before camp began Camp came in UNDER budget The big question I had was, “Will this work somewhere else?” The immediate response I get...

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Multiple Google/Gmail Accounts? Try Shift!

I have four email accounts. All four are google/Gmail accounts and I utilize all four on a daily basis. I have managed to only use one calendar (I import all my calendars to my work google account). I do utilize google docs for each of the accounts as well. This means that at any given time, I have 5-10 tabs open dedicated to my google/Gmail accounts (four email tabs, one or two drive tabs, one calendar tab and usually several open docs. For someone who always has a lot of tabs open, this doesn’t help. That’s why SHIFT has been...

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Leadership Podcast with Jim Wideman

I’m happy to say that I’ve had Jim Wideman as a mentor and friend in my life for nearly ten years. He’s been a hero of mine for much longer than a decade, so it’s really fun to have access to him like I do now. Last month, he and I were in Atlanta together for NEXT, an informal gathering of NextGen and Family Ministry Pastors that I help organize. While at NEXT, Jim had me on his podcast. First of all, I have to say the the recording environment might have been my favorite. The last time I was...

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How to Camp: Budget Simplification

Sometimes the expenses associated with camp can be absolutely overwhelming. You’ve got money going in and money going out and it’s not so easy keeping track. What makes matters worse is that most churches have a line item in their budget for camp. A lump sum of money. But that’s it. The problem is that your line item for camp isn’t enough. Camp needs it’s own budget so you know if you’re over, under or right on track. I hope to simplify this for you a little. First of all, you need to decide if camp is designated as...

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