Last year I was on the most wonderful family winter vacation at the turn of the new year. Being a pretty goal-driven individual, I don’t put a lot of effort into “New Year Resolutions.” I’m always tracking several goals, but I did have one thought last year, that 2013 would be my absolute best year at Gateway.

I came home from vacation with some big decisions to make concerning how I use my extra time that at times take my attention away from my role at Gateway. Secondly, I sat down with my manager and the leadership team at Gateway and let them know about the decisions I had made. I can say that without a doubt, 2013 has been one of the most productive and focused years at my church.

Interestingly, I lost 2.5 full time staff members and we’re deep in the process of searching for and hiring 3 full time positions and 4 part time positions. Currently, the Children’s Ministry is being run by just me and a another full time operations leader who divides her time between kids and students. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it’s actually been very exciting (I didn’t say easy) as we’re laying a foundation for exciting new stuff.

Here’s some of the great things that were accomplished this year:

  • Amazing family experience for Good Friday (the kind of experience where parents and kids share something spiritual and encourages great conversations)
  • With open staff positions, we restructured the positions to put a higher emphasis on creating irresistible environments (especially for the elementary kids and up) and put key staff leaders that will champion a lead small culture both early childhood and elementary environments
  • Took almost 50 kids and leaders on a 5 day serving trip here in Austin where we served the refugee community and others
  • Completed a total remodel of one of our elementary spaces to create dynamic large group space that kids will love to attend
  • Built a core staff leadership team (it’s about all I’ve got right now) that is fully integrated, works well together and loves being together
  • The Gateway leadership team re-identified our target market (which has changed fairly significantly since the church began 15 years ago) as young families (I need to write more about this later) and further set three key priorities for the next 3 to 5 years – one of them as a focus on families and the next generation
  • Created a better system for volunteer recruitment where we’ve significantly increased the number of volunteers we’ve recruited and trained with a goals set to hit specific marks by the end of the summer
  • Began restructuring volunteer leadership positions that place a higher emphasis on relationships as opposed to tasks

Based on the great year at 2013 was, 2014 is looking to be absolutely amazing. To celebrate the year that we had, I had an infographic made that we have displayed all around the church and had on the big screen when I did the welcome in the auditorium a over a week ago.