Three by Threes

Posted on 24. Feb, 2015 by .


Several months ago I wrote about leading meetings and even provided a template of the meeting agenda I used. I’ve been surprised by how many people have asked me what our “3×3’s” are. I’ve responded to several people via email, but I finally realized that I should probably just write about it.

Several years ago, some of Gateway’s key staff attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit and Bill Hybles talked about a concept he had developed for moving projects along called a 6×6. He describes flying home from abroad feeling some stress around the things he had to complete. He had six weeks left until the end of the year and he wrote out six things that really needed to be completed. After writing these things down, he felt calm knowing that if he did these things, everything would be great. This developed a system for him and his staff that helped their organization move forward. Here’s the video of Bill Hybles explaining the 6×6.

We took the concept and edited it. … Read the rest

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Awesome worship resources for Kidmin

Posted on 23. Feb, 2015 by .


So, last night my Elementary Large Group Director sent me an email. She asked if we could get some new songs for elementary. I won’t tell you which songs have been “over played” but she did say that if she has to listen to some of these songs any more, she might get sick. She suggested some songs that our elementary kids were introduced to a few weeks ago at our Winter Camp, “Oceans” and “Alive.” A quick google search results page made me very happy. … Read the rest

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Six ways to avoid ministry self-destruction

Posted on 23. Feb, 2015 by .


This is by no means an exhaustive list. Ministry is overwhelming and can affect every area of a person in a unhealthy way: physically, spiritually, emotionally and relationally. I’ve seen too many people implode. I’ve been in unhealthy places more times than I’d like to admit. However, sometimes staying healthy is about watching the gauges and keeping an eye on the critical areas of your life. Last year was an incredibly difficult year for me and even in the hardship, I was able to stay in a fairly healthy place. It wasn’t an easy season, but I look back over that season and I don’t have any regrets. So, here’s some ideas around keeping healthy so you can lead for the long haul.

Disclaimer: I don’t want to misrepresent myself. I’m by no means an expert at any of these things. Sometimes I’m doing great at a handful of these things and not so great at other things. Regardless, I’ve found these things to be true:Read the rest

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Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .


It’s Thursday. I’m tired. I’m lacking on the creativity side of things… hence the above title. However, the thought of the Orange Conference only being a few months away puts a little pep in my step. This year will be my 8th Orange Conference. Holy Cow – Eight! That’s crazy!

I love this conference for a lot of reasons:… Read the rest

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7 reasons why my volunteers serve every week

Posted on 18. Feb, 2015 by .


I don’t want to mislead you. This is a post why I’ve created a ministry environment where volunteers serve every week. The title isn’t 100% honest. 92.3% of my volunteers serve every week. I have a few legacy volunteers (less than ten wh0 have been serving for more than 4-5 years who have not transitioned to a weekly role). As persuasive as I am, I just haven’t been able to convice them… yet. I also have a handful of of volunteers who work on some Sunday’s like police officers, fire fighters and nurses. Those are the 7.6% of my volunteers who don’t do what I’m going to tell you about.

Okay, if we’re being 100% honest, I have a few others who technically don’t work every week either. My production volunteers don’t either. They work once a month, but they come in at 7:30 AM and serve all three services and don’t leave until after 1:00 PM. I’ve taken the liberty in saying that their 5.5 hours on one Sunday a month is pretty much equivalent to every Sunday volunteering. If you don’t agree with me, then the honest truth is that 75.7% of my volunteers (not including the few who can’t/won’t and my production volunteers) serve every single week.

Moving toward weekly volunteers was probably the best thing I’ve EVER done in ministry. … Read the rest

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How many volunteers do you need?

Posted on 17. Feb, 2015 by .


I need 112.

10 in check-in/hospitality, 33 in early childhood, 46 in elementary and 23 in students… give or take a few.

No really, do you know how many you need?

I remember sitting with my staff a few years ago and asking this very same question. Everyone was frustrated. They needed more volunteers. I wanted to help, so I simply asked, “how many volunteers do you need?” I didn’t like the answer they gave me.… Read the rest

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Volunteer ideas… anyone?

Posted on 16. Feb, 2015 by .


This week the Austin Kidmin Network is gathering and we’re sharing all kinds of ideas about volunteers. Specifically, we’re talking about ideas around recruiting, training and retaining volunteers. Its essentially going to be a giant “idea” session. We’re trying to seed the conversation with as many ideas as possible. Would you mind contributing? Fill out the below form and give us some of your best ideas. After the gathering this Thursday, I’ll post all our findings and best ideas here, but I’ll email anyone who submits an idea before I post.

Thanks for your input!

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What is next for you?

Posted on 15. Feb, 2015 by .


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 .


Yesterday I wrote about my new favorite resource, 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 .


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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