What is next for you?

Posted on 15. Feb, 2015 by .

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For the last year or two, we’ve made a shift in our ministry to constantly thinking about what is next. We’ve really adopted the small group values found in Lead Small and one of the values is to “Move them out” which can be expressed in the idea of moving our few to what is next. We’re constantly looking at how we’re keeping an eye on what is next for our kids and students. What is next for them programmatically, what is next for them relationally and what is next for them spiritually. This intentional thinking has brought us many wins this year.

However, this idea was presented to me a few months ago in a way I wasn’t expecting. In a staff life group, it was my week to tell my story. After 15-20 minutes of telling the highs and lows of life’s experiences, it was time for me to answer questions about my story. The first one out of the bag was, “where do you see yourself in 10 years.”

Hmmm… good question. … Read the rest

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Manage appointments without any assistance (Part 2)

Posted on 12. Feb, 2015 by .

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Yesterday I wrote about my new favorite resource, appointlet.com. I’ve used it for two very specific scheduling events and it has proven itself to be an indispensable tool for my ministry tool belt. The practical example I provided yesterday is not how I use appointlet, at least not yet. Where I’ve been sold on this application is using it to schedule a large number of people on a single day or two and it has worked like a charm. Here’s how appointlet made a stressful and tedious task simple.

Earlier this week, I wrote about our baptism process. One of the best things we now do with kids and students for baptism is require on video baptism interviews that we can show right before we baptize them. There’s no better way to set up a baptism and there’s no better gift to give to a family than a beautiful video of their child/student expressing their faith in a personal and sincere way.

However, making baptism interviews happen is no easy task. … Read the rest

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Manage appointments without any assistance (Part 1)

Posted on 11. Feb, 2015 by .

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Sometimes I wonder how much time is wasted simply setting up appointments. Here’s what a conversation thread can often look like:

Me – “Hey, I’d really like to connect with you tomorrow! I have time at 2:00 and 3:30. Which time best works for you?

Them – “I can do 2:00.”

Me – “So sorry. I didn’t hear back from you in time and someone else snatch that time. Can you do 3:30?”

Them – “No, I have to be at work at 4:00. Do you have anytime tomorrow?”

Me – “I’m off tomorrow, sorry. However, I do have time on Monday. I’m open most of the morning except for an appointment at 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM. Do you have time on Monday morning?”

You know how this goes, right? This conversation takes place over a period of two days and you’re tentatively holding a space open for someone even though you’re not entirely sure they’re going to be able to make it.

How much time do we waste scheduling meetings. Not everyone has an assistant. Even if you do have an assistant, it’s likely they don’t have the time to manage your schedule like this either.

It’s a good thing there are some great tools that take the pain out of scheduling.… Read the rest

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Baptism: When you connect the dots

Posted on 10. Feb, 2015 by .

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Yesterday, my team conducted 26 baptism interviews. Twenty Six! AMAZING!

Over the next two weeks, these interviews will be edited to 25-30 second videos and shown right before all these kids/students are baptized. I think this will be the largest NextGen baptism we’ve done since I’ve been at Gateway. However, to really celebrate, you have to see how this all started.

A few years ago we made a lot of changes in the way we do baptisms. … Read the rest

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Live to Serve: Invest in your Volunteers!

Posted on 05. Feb, 2015 by .

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I’m a huge believer in local/regional events. Especially ones geared to volunteers.

One of the best events I’ve ever been a part of is the Live to Serve event happening in four locations this February and March. It’s a specialized, one day training for kidmin volunteers. I had a little to do with starting the conference and it’s morphed into something far better than I first imagined. However, I will tell you this. Nothing has had as big of an impact on my volunteers as this event. It’s why I helped start it so many years ago. I’d take 50, 70 or even 80 of my volunteers (because it was that affordable) and in just a few hours, my entire volutneer team would come away refreshed, encouraged and most importantly – hear this – ALIGNED! You can’t put a price tag on this.

The best feedback I ever got from other churches who attended this event were comments about how volunteers who were sitting on the fence or just not as dependable became the most loyal and committed volunteers after this event.

I believe, with all my heart, that the biggest investment you can possibly make into your volunteer team is to send them to Live to Serve. … Read the rest

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Are you up on your social media?

Posted on 04. Feb, 2015 by .

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Congratulations, you’re finally on facebook. Unfortunately, now that you’re settled, it’s time to move on to what’s next. Okay, I’m just kidding… sorta.

Just repeat after me:

I will not be that guy/girl
who’s still talking about myspace
when the rest of the planet is using facebook

 Don’t be that guy, right? Here’s what you need to know. … Read the rest

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Worlds of Wow: CT Kids Renovation

Posted on 02. Feb, 2015 by .

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I love a good church tour. Usually when going to a conference or something, I set aside a little time to visit a local church I’ve heard about either to meet with leaders or see the facility. Last November I was in the DFW area for the Orange Tour and I was super excited to visit Cross Timber’s brand new Kids space. This tour was a little more meaningful for me as I was on staff at this campus of Cross Timbers for for nearly two years. I remember pouring over drawings and dreaming with staff about what could be done. The kids space was less than inviting. At times I might have even used the word, dumpy. I was so pleased to hear that they had plans for a significant remodel and to know that my friends at Worlds of Wow had been hired to create the transformation, how exciting!

My good friends Jenn Day (Global Kid’s Pastor) and Miguel Tovar (Kid’s Pastor at the Denton Campus), who both used to be on my team, took me on the tour. All I can say is WOW! What a transformation. If anyone tells you that environment doesn’t matter, they haven’t truly seen a facility transformation. There were multiple times where I’d ask, “Okay, I forgot what was here. Was it that ugly hallways? Was it that weird office space?” They literally gutted the building and upon entering, you’d never know that the building had a different layout before.

Here are the features I loved the most:… Read the rest

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Our kidmin branding exception to the rule

Posted on 30. Jan, 2015 by .

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The last couple of weeks I’ve been talking about branding. I explained how we’ve created a brand around NextGen so that our parents and volunteers connected to our strategy. Secondly, I wrote about our plans to brand each age division under our NextGen brand. The branding around our age divisions is what kids will most identify with. It’s what they’ll get excited about. However, I ended my last post saying that there was an exception. Here’s where we’re intentionally ignoring the NextGen and specific age group brands.… Read the rest

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When Sunday’s suck

Posted on 28. Jan, 2015 by .

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My wife tells me I shouldn’t say that word. I’m smart and I should expand my vocabulary, but sometimes you can only describe a really hard and bad day by how much it sucked. I’m not discounting the power and excitement of doing what we get to do. In kidmin circles, we talk about how Sunday should be the best day of every kids week. We know that Sunday is the super bowl and every day of the week leads to what happens on Sunday. How disappointing it must be when Sunday is anything but that.

Maybe I’m being naive, but I don’t often hear about how awful Sunday’s can sometimes be. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a Sunday #kidmin tweet saying, “well, today was a horrible disaster of a day.” I see lots of tweets about how amazing the day was. Are we editing?… Read the rest

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NEXT: An unparalleled gathering

Posted on 27. Jan, 2015 by .

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A couple of years ago, the people at Orange asked me to help them rally and champion people who do NextGen/Family ministry. It’s the role I was hired for almost 7 years ago at Gateway. When I took the role, there were only a handful of us around the country, but it seems to be one of the fastest growing roles right now. Right now I have over 300 NextGen/Family pastors on my contact lists and it grows every month.

We’re defining the NextGen Pastor as the one person responsible for all age group ministries at a church (at least infants through high school). Every church has one. It could be the senior pastor or a discipleship pastor and more and more, it’s people with the specific NextGen role.

We’ve found that there aren’t any resources for those in this unique role. … Read the rest

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