Tag: Leaders

Budgeting for meals with volunteers

If that’s not a sexy blog title, I don’t know what is.

Yesterday I wrote asking what your church policy is concerning meals with volunteers and leaders. For a holiday week and for inadvertently having comments turned off on my blog, it seemed like a question others were curious about. I’ll probably sum up this conversation next week, but I thought I’d give you an update on some of the information I’ve gathered so far. I have a “go-to” team of people who I often send emails to when I have questions like this. Depending on the questions, I mix up who I ask.

So here is some of the feedback I got:

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Lunch with a leader?

Okay, I’ve got a quick question for you. Being that we’re two days away from Thanksgiving, it fits well with a food theme.

One of the best ways to connect with a leader, a new volunteer or a parent is over a coffee, breakfast or lunch. At least that’s what I found. I and my staff frequently meet together over a meal or coffee and we do the same with others. This seems normal, right?

Well, a few months ago we began looking at our budget from a church leadership team perspective to see what policies we have around meals. What is appropriate? What is expected? What guidelines need to be in place to make sure that we’re wise with funds. I knew that over the past few years, we’ve worked with a set number that we’ve just increased year to year… but we never looked at the lump sum specifically and defined exactly how we’re spending it.

So, I sat with my staff and started asking the questions.

How many lunches do you need to have with your staff a month? Coffees?
How many lunches does your staff need to have with leaders/volunteers a month? Coffees?
How many other lunches & coffees do you and your team need to have with others?
I complied the numbers and our Children’s Ministry number alone ballooned to $25,000. Granted, we’re leading a volunteer force of 300 people with 5-6 staff… but that seemed a little excessive.

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Adventures in Student Ministry: Part 2

So I’m continuing this series about my Student Ministry journey this last year. Before you make any judgements or get upset, you can read my disclaimer here. I’m just a Kidmin guy who is leading an entire NextGen ministry and making observations.

Yesterday I wrote how I believe that if more Student Pastors led like Children’s Pastors, they’d be more successful. They’d be able to grow their ministries larger as they’ll be leading more effectively through a team of both staff and volunteers leaders as opposed to just one or a handful of people doing all the heavy lifting. Again, I’m not meaning to stereotype and please don’t think I’m painting broad strokes. I do know many Student Pastors how are very successful leaders. However, many of those same Student Pastors hace assured me that the stereotype is true.

I’m not sure if this is a trend or not, but I do know of a handful of large churches (more than 5000) who searched for a Student Pastor and gave up or put the search on hold because they were discouraged that the leader they were looking for didn’t exist.

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Adventures in Student Ministry: Part 1

Yesterday I posted about my journey of hiring a student pastor. I’ll say right now that I’m incredibly grateful to have someone coming in to take the reigns. I’m not sure I was built for Student Ministry. Ha! It’s a different animal all together for sure. However, I did want to write a little about what I experienced this last year. Children’s Ministry and Student Ministry seem to be worlds apart most of the time and I think it’s incredibly important that they become a little more in sync. So I hope to write about some of the things I’ve learned for everyone’s benefit.

Disclaimer: I’m sure that this post and some of the following posts will frustrate or make some people angry. If that is you, I think you’re reading into my posts. Understand the context please, I do love student ministry. However, my viewpoint is going to be fresh eyes from an outside perspective looking in. Also, please don’t think that I believe that we have everything together in kidmin, because that’s not the case either. Also, I understand that there are stereotypes and I’m certainly not making sweeping judgements about the entire industry. So, if you’ve got a bone to pick with me about anything I write, send me a message through my contact form and I promise, I’ll make it right. 🙂

Well, only about 2 months into my role in leading the student ministry here at Gateway, I learned that Student Ministry is far more like Kidmin than I thought. Sure, there are significant differences in the way that ministry is carried out in the lives of teenagers, but at the core of the ministry, the structure and strategy, the two can be nearly identical. However, I think that this is where things fall apart.

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Leaders are readers

I’m pretty sure it’s Jim Wideman who I heard this quote from, but I’ve learned over the years that Leaders are Readers. There’s just not a lot of getting around that. We can learn a lot on our own, but...

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