Tag: Family Ministry

Introducing #iamnextgen

This week is my sixth Orange Conference. I look forward to this event every year for many reasons and it seems like the reasons change every year. In past years it been because of strategy I was hoping to learn. In other years it was the community I was looking to experience. Last year it was the answers to two or three critical questions. This year it’s a totally new reason.

This year I’m filled with excitement about the NextGen/Family Ministry networking that will be taking place. Last year Orange took a step toward connecting this group of people through a breakout track. This year Orange is taking a giant leap into NextGen networking. There will be ample opportunities to NextGen/Family Ministry leaders to connect, learn and grow from one another. There are very specific breakouts, networking parties, conversation opportunities and more. There are even more opportunities in the works for this community after Orange… very cool. Six years ago when I attended Orange for the first time, I was just starting my role at Gateway as the NextGen Pastor. I only knew of 3-4 people who were in a similar role. Now there are hundreds and I know there is so much we’re going to be able to learn from one another.

Since the NextGen Pastor doesn’t really have a place to connect, this week I’m launching a place for the conversation to live. This week you’ll see the birth of #iamnextgen. If you want to connect to others in this role and take part in the ongoing conversation about all things NextGen/Family Ministry, tweet and follow the hashtag #iamnextgen.

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Winter Camp: A NextGen Project

Yesterday I posted about how we made a strategic move from Summer Camp to Winter Camp. Well, that’s not the only risk we took on. For a variety of reasons, we put all our eggs in one basket and we’re hosting this Winter Camp for both kids and students at the same place on the same weekend. That means we’ll have 3rd grade through 12th grade all together on this weekend. I’m very excited about this effort that has been in the works for the past 18 months.

I’ll be brutally honest from the start. I’m not 100% convinced that this is a great idea. There are aspects that are right on, but there are also aspects that take away from the experience because we’re doing it all together. Let me first share with you the reasons why we’re doing a NextGen camp.

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Your ministry title is confusing to me

Some people get really creative with their job titles.

Director of Smiles
Ministry Ninja
Director of Amazement
These are hilarious and I’m sure they make having the title fun and energizing. However, for everyone outside the organization, it’s hard to know what you actually do. I think this is worth considering.

I’ve run into this dilema lately. I’m a NextGen Pastor, essentially I oversee all ministry to kids and students (or the Next Generation). This role is similar to a Family Pastor or Director of Family Ministry as this is very similar to the NextGen role. However, there’s some room for confusion here. The term Family Ministry is subjective.

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Task list vs. wish list

I’m in the middle of writing an article about family ministry and it made me think of a specific frustration that I and my team experience so many times when it comes to family ministry. I thought I’d post my thoughts here as it isn’t likely this aspect will be covered in the article.

I and my staff team have all sipped the family ministry kool-aid. We’re all believers and have great vision for what family ministry could look like at our church. However, there’s one massive barrier. We’re all so busy doing what it takes to make the weekend experiences successful that there’s not really any time to do some of the things we’ve dreamed of doing.

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