I had a recent conversation with a leader who confessed to ummmm, well dabbling. This leader shared with me that they dabbled with many different types of kids’ programming. They followed the step by step lessons. But they never stopped to have any real conversations about a long term strategy in their church to reach kids and families.
Then, they attended the Orange Conference in 2010 and heard the first concepts about having a strategy rather than just programing in place.Today they squeeze out every opportunity to partner with parents on the weekend. They equip and fuel Moms and Dads with tools to walk out their faith daily on what was taught on the weekend. Worship happens every day. Family worship isn’t a Sunday event. Conversations, moments and prayer around a key Bible story or Biblical virtue all spark a family to live out loud what is taught on the weekend. They are set for a long term WIN as parents and as church leaders now with a strategy in place. Got strategy?
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Benjamin Franklin
In my home state people comment that if you don’t like the weather, stick around – it will change. In the tech world you’d better be on your toes as change happens fast, and if you don’t watch suddenly you are left holding your PDA trying to figure out what happened. I’m not one to have the need for every gadget out there, but I will certainly use anything that brings a better result to what I am doing.
Church leaders need to take note of what Benjamin Franklin said about change. If you don’t, you’re done. Embracing change can look different for each team. It’s the think steps or personalities that may be causing us to get stuck in resisting change. My hunch is that it is both ego and fear based too. “If we change what will people say? What if it doesn’t work? This the way we have always done things.”
No one is questioning doctrine, core beliefs or the infallible Word of God. It’s the method of how that glorious Message is being shared that must be changing to keep it fresh. And no one church has it all together. When you neglect to embrace change, it helps people to compartmentalize and think “church world” vs “my world. These worlds should never be separate! Change brings the collision of these two world for people to live out their walk daily. Our mission is to tell the Good News to a lost world. Change is good.
I met so many great leaders on the front lines of ministry at 2011 Orange Conference. I’ve had some in depth conversations about navigating change with leaders. As people review the Orange Conference, they want to know how to navigate change.
Ever notice how people react to change? To some change is just a bump in the road of ministry. For others- change is a mountain to climb. I think most people view change as either a bump or a mountain. What’s your team outlook? What’s the best way to present and navigate change as a ministry leader? After all, those who keep doing the same thing will get the same results. This Gospel is too glorious to get stuck in a rut in presenting to kids and families. Too much is at stake.
Being unable to see ahead just naturally brings hesitation for change. I had a volunteer ask a great question when I was a CM leader. We presented updating and changing our ministry to include a shared family experience. This faithful volunteer had one question. Why? He needed to see what the end looked like. He needed more info to paint that picture in his mind. Once he knew what the future could look like for families, he warmed up to the idea. He ended up being a big fan! Change for him turned out to be a bump rather than a mountain because it was given to him in vision steps.
That’s where you come in as a leader. Without vision people can’t see ahead. They can’t dream and partner in what the future may hold. People navigate change in different ways. Embrace that and help your team buy in to new avenues of programming. Good leaders keep that in mind as they make changes. It doesn’t mean you shy away from change. Nope, you dive in! Great leaders bring their team along with vision first.
Trust in leadership is key. What builds the trust factor? Vision and follow through. You earn the right to make bumps rather than mountains when making change. When you cast vision- you get the buy in. Broadcast your vision to your team. Be the best in targeted current ministry by mapping out what the future holds to get the buy in to make changes.
You can check out more information on Orange at www.whatisorange.org. Free curriculum is offered right now to check out for you to be the best in presenting ministry to kids and families.
Many leaders coming back from the Orange Conference are feeling the tug to get quality ministry to kids and families rolling. For some the first move is to get a clear vision of what partnership in serving is. We should have people lined up to volunteer with their sleeves rolled up ready to go. First step? Cast vision to your church about partnering and serving! This must be communicated clearly. Your Pastor is the best to cast that vision to your congregation.
Big asks are needed for big serves! Once a month serves are ummm, well, polite. Please don’t apologize for needing volunteers. Don’t feel bad to ask for a bigger serve commitment. You are helping them to partner with God and use their gifts. Everyone GETS to serve. Everyone has a gift. When people use their gifts- they are happy! We know from scripture that burying your talent- aka not using is not an option to being fruitful. Vision of what the end look like gets the buy in. That’s when people step up. You must keep casting vision to your current team, while casting that same vision to invite others in to the serve.
People want to be needed and valued when they give of their time. That’s where you come in. As a Children’s leader bend over backwards to be sincere in appreciating your team. Be keen to know what gifts volunteers flow in. That’s paramount in keeping a volunteer. Watch what happens. Volunteers will go get others to serve with them. Add value to their gifts with training and watch them bloom. Those who claimed a busy lifestyle will have time to serve because they are needed and valued. Apologies must stop for asking for partnership in serving. Heavenly rewards and blessings are what God passes to His servants. You can’t buy that anywhere. Make your move by casting vision for new team members!
After landing back in the Lou and reconnecting with my family, dog and laundry I wanted to peel back what I experienced at the Orange Conference last week.
1. I had opportunity to meet some AWESOME lovers of Jesus who are in the trenches of ministry from all over the world. Sunday morning a big smile came over my face as I thought about these incredible people manning their posts in their local church to reach kids and families. I pray they re-think this incredible assignment God has placed in their hands. These people are absolute jewels!
2. Less really is more. I had many conversations with leaders who are realizing that their is more leverage when you refine your message. It gives way to greater impact. I was a leader who had 4 different curricula going at 4 different service times. It was exhausting and helped make silo’s within the ministry. When we all got on the same page- it was a beautiful thing! Bigger impact for this glorious Message we share in our ministry.
3. MOVE that Bus! People were given 10 simple ways to move forward in ministry. I asked many leaders what was the big bus in front of their ministry they had to move. They each had one action point in response that the Lord had helped them to see. It was different for each leader. But I pray no one goes back and let’s the bus stay parked. MOVE on what God has called you to do. Take that step of faith. This Gospel Message is too glorious for common everyday 1950’s Sunday School delivery. It was great for that time, but let’s present our best gifts in presentation. Whatever bus is parked- MOVE it.
More to come…