Treat Yo Self

Fall means several things to me. cooler weather… apple cider & hot chocolate colorful leaves camping with the family and of course… the Orange Tour! For nearly a decade, I’ve attended the Orange Tour. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of regional training. Not every ministry can afford to take their teams to the big national conferences, but taking a handful of staff and volunteers to a local event is something almost every ministry can afford. I’ve attended a lot of regional trainings. I’ve even started my own regional training events. But of all I’ve attended, the...

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Goals & Ministry Evaluation (Part 2)

Ever struggle with goals (collectively, everyone raises their hands)? Have the staff you lead ever struggled with goals (collectively, everyone raises both of their hands)? We believe in goals and understand their importance, but why is it that they so often fall flat early in the process. Rarely do our ministries see significant improvement and growth but somehow seem to stay the same year after year. It’s possible that our approach to goals is similar to everyone’s approach to New Year Resolutions – and we all know how well those go. I truly believe that there is a better...

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Goals & Ministry Evaluation (Part 1)

As we move into the second part of the year our ministry team will begin our evaluation process. It is important to look back in order to look forward and create goals and objectives for the coming year. Our first step: The SWOT Evaluation meeting. SWOT is an acronym that stands for: Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats It’s imperative that all of our key leaders are in the room for this crucial first step meeting in the evaluation process. This might not be just staff. In the past, I have invited invested volunteers. The goal is to take an honest and realistic look at the ministry...

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When it is Time to Go

Leaving is easy. It’s what people do, right? When things get difficult, it’s easier to go than it is to stay. It’s why the divorce rate is as high as it is. It’s why so many kids are growing up without one of their parents. It’s also why so many leave ministry far too early. As a pastor or ministry director, usually the best thing you can do for yourself and your church is to stay. So many good things can come of hard and honest conversations. Influence and impact is multiplied by the number of years one invests in...

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Stop. Before You Hire Again

We have all been there. For one reason or another we have an employee that randomly quits, transitions to another department or we decide to move them on to greener fields. No matter the immediate reason, it leaves a pestering void. By default, many of us do what we did before. We network, use online postings and pray that the Lord fills that spot with your next ministry savior. This is not a bad method, but I would challenge that it is not the only method or the best one. Pause. Consider. Change the status quo. Don’t hire that guy. At least not right...

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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: 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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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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