Building a Young Adult Ministry 2 – A Church within a Church

Building a Young Adult Ministry 2 – A Church within a Church

Two and a half years ago we shifted our young adult ministry strategy to one more like church planting, a “church within a church.” After using a more “integrative approach” for 8 years, I realized that we just weren’t reaching our potential. I did a little local research and found that there are over 5000 young adults […]

Building a Kids Ministry Team 3 – Ratios

Building a Kids Ministry Team 3 – Ratios

Building a great team is vital to building a great ministry with kids. This post is part of a series of posts exploring tangible ways to build a great children’s ministry team. The last two posts were about key roles you’ll need on your team and various teams you’ll need in your ministry. This post is about determining how many people you really need in those roles. […]

Building a Kids Ministry Team 2 – Teams

Building a Kids Ministry Team 2 – Teams

Building a great team is vital to building a great ministry with kids. This post is part of a series of posts exploring tangible ways to build a great children’s ministry team. The last post was about key roles you’ll need on your team. This post is about additional teams that are helpful to have within your larger ministry. Some teams are vital to your ministry with kids. […]

An “Orange” NextGen Leader Handbook

An “Orange” NextGen Leader Handbook

We’ve put together a handbook for all the leaders and staff in NextGen Ministries at our church. While every church is different in scope, size, and culture, some ideas are scalable and cross-platform. Here’s what we do in our church. Maybe there’s something helpful here for you? Maybe not. We just like to share. It begins with […]

NextGen Policies for Safe & Healthy Ministry

NextGen Policies for Safe & Healthy Ministry

Developing policies is time consuming but super important for purposes of safety and risk management as well as the continuity of healthy practices. We require that every volunteer read and sign an agreement to abide by these policies. These policies continue to develop and evolve every year. But here’s a snapshot of our current policies as […]

Essential Skills: Managing Checklists

Essential Skills: Managing Checklists

There are many skills that ministry leaders need to develop. Among them are skills like teaching & preaching, leading meetings, planning events, caring for people, responding to crises, and so on. However, there are some less fashionable skills that are just as essential. Here are five of them that have been on my mind lately. Managing Checklists […]

Essential Skills for Ministry Leadership

Essential Skills for Ministry Leadership

There are many skills that ministry leaders need to develop. Among them are skills like teaching & preaching, leading meetings, planning events, caring for people, responding to crises, and so on. However, there are some less fashionable skills that are just as essential and are just hard, dirty work. There are five in particular that have been […]

Using Basecamp to Manage Church and Ministry Projects, Event Planning, and Key Processes

Using Basecamp to Manage Church and Ministry Projects, Event Planning, and Key Processes

We use Basecamp to manage all our ministry’s major projects, plan events, and manage some key processes. It’s an intuitive, simple online

What is a NextGen Pastor?

What is a NextGen Pastor?

A NextGen Pastor (or Pastor/Director of Next Generation Ministries) is also sometimes referred to as a Family Pastor (or Pastor/Director of Family Ministries). Most NextGen Pastors oversee multiple staff and multiple age groups, some of which can include college and young adults. A Family Pastor […]

The NextGen Way

The NextGen Way

  NextGen and Family ministry models are a rising trend in the world of ministry to children, youth, and families. We’ve recently made this shift ourselves. Previously, our children’s ministry, youth ministry, college and young adults ministry, and marriage and family ministries all operated with separate leadership, separate values and vision, and separate strategies and language. We’ve […]

The #1 Pastoral Skill

The #1 Pastoral Skill

The #1 skill that a pastor should master is RECRUITING.* You might say that the #1 skill that a pastor (or any other ministry leader) should master is preaching. A pastor can get pretty good at preaching and build a large audience. But, if he doesn’t master recruiting, find people, and equip them to lead and staff the kids ministry, the […]

Don’t Organize…Mobilize!

Don’t Organize…Mobilize!

There’s a big difference between organizing ministry and mobilizing ministry. The more we grow, the more gears there are to grease, the more issues we face, the more it’s necessary to recognize the difference. As a ministry grows, it is absolutely necessary to develop more policies, systems, and protocols to try manage the unwieldiness and messiness of […]

Mission Trips

Mission Trips

The Problem: How I Did Missions Then For years, I took students on annual mission trips. Some were domestic (in the U.S.) and some were international (outside the U.S.). They were always great experiences. But one day I realized a few things that made me really uncomfortable with doing them anymore. I think we were guilty […]

A Relational Approach to Staff Reviews

Here’s what I try to do when it comes to doing staff reviews. Pave the Way First, write the into the “Terms of Hire.” This is the document that accompanies the job description that outlines the details of pay, hours, employment status, expected working days (even hours if appropriate) and special events, termination rights and process, […]

6 Things I’m not doing at Youth Group Tonight

1. Leading Worship – I used to do that, but now someone else is doing that. 2. Giving the Welcome and Announcements – I used to do that, but now we have 2 student hosts each week giving the welcome and announcements. They’re doing great as long as we give them cue cards. 3. Teaching/Speaking […]

Best Format for Youth Group

Best Format for Youth Group

Over the years I’ve experimented with a variety of formats for running youth group. And, I see a lot of other people experimenting, as well. Of course, you have to experiment until you come up with what feels the best for you, for your group, and your context. But, IMO, this is the best format for our […]

Getting Our Teams Set Up

With all the changes to our staff and ministry teams, we had a lot of work to do clarify our roles, responsibilities, goals and objectives, and values. It was a lot of administrative work. But it was worth the time we put into it. We now have a pretty good idea of what we’re doing and […]

Our New Governance: Leadership Team Model

Making Decisions & Getting Things Done How do decisions get made in our church? How do things get done? These are two very important questions and we’re working hard on making the answers very clear and appropriate to our identity as a church. Congregational First of all, it’s important to know that we are a […]

My New Role as NextGen Pastor

My New Role as NextGen Pastor

Okay, so a lot of things have changed at our church and in my job. Over the summer (2014) we 1) made some major changes to our church governance and 2) restructured our staff. It was an extremely full summer keeping up with and adjusting to these changes on top of the normal summer craziness. Changes to our Church’s Governance […]

Letting Kids Know We Miss Them: Sending Group Selfies

So for the last few months, I’ve been pushing a little harder to see our team put more energy into making sure that every student in our ministry knows that they are loved and cared for. One way we do this is by being very intentional and systematic about our retention strategies. One part of this system […]

Let it Grow

I can’t help it…I’m humming the now famous song “Let it Go” performed by Idina Mensel, the voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen. We’ve seen it probably four times now. And every time I hear the song I honestly think of the Church. We need to “Let it Grow!” We need to unlock the doors […]

Focusing our Meetings

The more recent conversation in our Student Life Leadership Team has been about defining our roles (last post) and focusing our meetings (this post). Now that we’ve established some large-frame infrastructures to support our ministry, we’ve developed some new growing edges around our team meetings and the need to be more focused and structured. Here’s […]

Defining Roles on our Youth Ministry Team

The more recent conversation in our Student Life Leadership Team has been about defining our roles (this post) and focusing our meetings (next post). Now that we’ve established some large-frame infrastructures to support our ministry, we’ve developed some new growing edges around our roles and the need to more clearly define them. Here’s what we’ve […]

Three Principles for Growth and Balance

As I look back on my life and ministry, I’ve realized that there have been three basic principles that have helped facilitate both growth and balance in my life and ministry. Prioritize Have you read Acts 18:5-6? It says, “When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified […]

Using Catechism to Set a “Rock Solid” Table

Pushing back from the table is the best part of a meal with friends. That’s when the really good conversation comes out. That’s when you really start exploring deeper subjects, family histories, personal tragedies, and more. We’ve had our fill of a good meal. We’ve had our formal, meal-time gathering. The dishes have been passed, […]

Infrastructure

I’ve heard it said that a ministry without infrastructure is like a body without a skeleton…it’s just a 6 inch puddle of skin, fat and unusable muscles. Your skin can be beautiful on the outside and your muscles can be strong on the inside but they’re both completely useless without a skeleton to help them […]