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…
I have the blessed opportunity to speak with kid leaders everyday. Many leaders are seeing that change is needed and they need to engage kids in a better way…its just how to get there. The Sunday School church model of the 50’s isn’t attractive for these 21st century kids. Volunteers aren’t attracted to serve. Filled with nothing but good intentions leaders realize they are rather stuck, and not sure how to get “unstuck.” If you keep on doing the same thing, you end up with -(finish it with me kids…) the SAME thing. Getting “unstuck” means being willing to check out what’s on the horizon. No one means to get stuck- it’s just that Sundays roll around so fast! And once we had a plan- we “stuck” to it. I have leaders weekly say to me, “What is this ORANGE kid leaders are talking about?”
Orange is thinking through questions like this …. What if your church thought in terms of strategy, not just programming ? What if the church- the light (yellow), shining bright combined its efforts with family- the heart of home (red) and partnered together to bring kids the Message of God’s love? What if you combined the two? What if you taught LESS to achieve MORE? It would create ORANGE! Leveraged influence the parents, who are the primary source for spiritual training of their kids, with the church who presented God’s timeless Message in fresh, fun engaging ways? It attracts kids. It attracts families. It energizes volunteers. ITS ORANGE! www.whatistorange.org
This summer gal loves the fresh produce of summer. Its the real deal. I relish each bite of a summer tomato.
I read in Exodus about the Manna deal God made with the children of Israel. Out of complaining, God showed his faithfulness to them. To me it was really a trust issue. A trust test- if you will. God was specific in the “how to” gathering process of Manna. Each day you got to get a miraculous new supply of sustenance in fresh “what IS this?” or manna bread. First of all, YOU had to go get it. And the only day you got to take extra was before the sabbath rest. If you tried to keep it for another day, you got mold and general yuck city stuff in your breakfast the next day. However, IF you expected new manna to be out there? It would be! God’s faithful like that!
(Read for yourself in Exodus 16)
As a ministry leaders are you picking up the daily manna? There are so many great blogs/helps/articles out there that are God inspired to help YOU lead. Like never before there are resources for ministry leaders to be fresh in ministry presentation. Don’t sit in your tent waiting. Go out and find the Manna so you can be filled and ready to do your job! Daily doses of leadership challenges and inspiration are there for you. Take them in. Use them!
Some of you have been doing ministry for awhile think you have got this all under control… like attracting volunteers and families just happens? LOL! Creative, strategic fresh ministry will bring health and life. Don’t be afraid. Its yesterday’s Manna that isn’t so fresh for you. Don’t get me wrong. The Bible and God’s truth is absolutely timeless. Its a done deal. But HOW its presented at your church should be as fresh and inspiring as the miracle of daily manna. Its a trust test. Trust Him to new ideas and strategy my friend. Its like my summer tomato. Real deal.