Episode 050: “Growing Young” With Brad Griffin

bradgriffin

In this episode, I interview Brad Griffin of Fuller Youth Institute. Brad and I talk about the book, Growing Young, and dive into some questions about how to apply it practically. We also look at what churches are currently doing to apply the principles in this book,  what’s working, and what’s not working.

Brad Griffin

Connect with Brad on Facebook and Twitter

Fuller Youth Institute

One Year Anniversary

The One Year Anniversary of the podcast is Tuesday, May 16th. You won’t want to miss this episode! Like NickBlevins.com on Facebook and check your email for giveaways and more info as it approaches. I’ll also be doing a special Q&A episode, where I answer a lot of questions that you’ve sent in throughout the year. If you’d like to submit a question, email me at nick@nickblevins.com, send it on Twitter @nickblevins, or click the “Ask a Question” button on the right side of this page to leave a message. I’d love to hear from you!

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Growing Young (book) – Dr. Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin dive into the six essential strategies that help churches reach young people and create churches they love to attend

ChurchesGrowingYoung.com – Check out more resources for Growing Young

FREE Assessment – See where your church lands with regards to the six core strategies

Kara Powell and Carey Nieuwhof talk Growing Young – Carey Nieuwhof interviews Dr. Kara Powell about what she has discovered about what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to reaching young people

Sticky Faith (book) – Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Chap Clark talk about the relationships and best practices required to help young people develop long-term faith

Growing Young Found that These Things Didn’t Matter

  1. Church size
  2. Church age
  3. Location or region of the country
  4. Denomination

A Strategy of Disproportionate Prioritization

  1. Intentionally pay attention to young people
  2. Support and equip parents
  3. Does something in the service speak to them?
  4. Are they represented in who is leading or guiding programs?
  5. Do they have any kind of meaningful work to do in the service?

Action Items

  1. Get the book, Growing Young
  2. Take the free assessment, and plan to take the bigger one in the fall
  3. Gather young leaders in your church, get to know them, and invite them to share their input with you

Subscribe | Share | Rate | Comment

To make sure you never miss a post, hit the subscribe button in iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or Tune In radio. Keep your friends and co-workers up-to-date as well by sharing it with them via email or social media.

Leave a rating and a comment in iTunes to let me know how this podcast is helping you and your ministry. Also, let me know how we can make it better!

Next Episode: Jared Massey

In the next episode, I interview Jared Massey. Jared and I talk about what children’s ministry at a small church looks like. Jared shares his definition of a small church, and why he is passionate about leaders who serve in a small church context. If you serve in children’s or student ministry, the principles apply across the board.

Episode 049: Understanding Middle Schoolers and Pointing Them to Jesus With Katie Edwards

katieedwards

In this episode, I talk with Katie Edwards. Katie is the Junior High Pastor at Saddleback Church in California. She shares some great insight on how we can better understand middle school students and help them understand how much Jesus loves them. Katie walks through the specifics of what they teach, how they train leaders, and how they use what’s unique about middle schoolers as they plan their ministry for the year.

Katie Edwards

Connect with Katie on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Email: KatieE@saddleback.com

Saddleback Church

One Year Anniversary

The One Year Anniversary of the podcast is Tuesday, May 16th. You won’t want to miss this episode. Like NickBlevins.com on Facebook and check your email for giveaways and more info as it approaches. I’ll also be doing a special Q&A episode, where I answer a lot of questions that you’ve sent in throughout the year. If you’d like to submit a question, email me at nick@nickblevins.com, send it on Twitter @nickblevins, or click the “Ask a Question” button on the right side of this page to leave a message. I’d love to hear from you!

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Understanding Your Young Teen (book)Mark Oestreicher shares insight into early adolescent development, how cultural changes impact this, and practical advice for parents on how to understand and lead their young teens

Middle School Ministry (book) – Mark Oestreicher and Scott Rubin’s comprehensive guide to connecting with middle schoolers and their parents, and helping them grow

My Faith | My Family | My Friends | My School (book series) – Kurt Johnston and Mark Oestreicher’s junior high survival series that helps put readers in the mindset of middle schoolers

It’s Just a Phase–So Don’t Miss It (book) – Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy walk through the phases of a kid’s life, sharing information about development and pointing to what they need most at each stage, allowing parents and leaders to maximize each phase

Orange – Check out Orange’s resources for middle school ministry

Changes in the Minds of Middle Schoolers

  1. Transition from concrete thinking to abstract thinking
  2. Desire to make decisions and be independent
  3. Curious to discover their uniqueness
  4. Begin seeking adult faith
  5. Have an energy and excitement without fear

What Middle Schoolers Need From Their Small Group Leader

  1. Fun, which leads to trust, which leads to depth
  2. Affirmation
  3. Daily bite-sized wisdom
  4. Consistent time

Saddleback’s 3 Spiritual Arenas

  1. Large Group: Weekend service and summer camp
  2. Small Groups: Meet midweek in homes and engage in relationships and Bible teaching that allow for deeper discipleship
  3. Individual Life: Opportunities for students to make their faith their own through serving, getting baptized, sharing their testimonies, and doing missions

 

Action Items

  1. Check out the books Katie talked about in order to better understand the kids or students you are leading
  2. Consider sharing the books or small bits of informations with other leaders in your ministry during regular trainings, circle-ups, gatherings, and volunteer events

Subscribe | Share | Rate | Comment

To make sure you never miss a post, hit the subscribe button in iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or Tune In radio. Keep your friends and co-workers up-to-date as well by sharing it with them via email or social media.

Leave a rating and a comment in iTunes to let me know how this podcast is helping you and your ministry. Also, let me know how we can make it better!

Next Episode: Brad Griffin

In the next episode, I interview Brad Griffin of Fuller Youth Institute. Brad and I talk about the book, Growing Young, and dive into some questions about how to apply it practically. We also look at what churches are currently doing to apply the principles in this book,  what’s working, and what’s not working.

 

 

Episode 048: Small Group Leader Best Practices With Shannon Pijanowski

shannonpijanowski

In this episode, I talk with one of the small group leaders from our church, Shannon Pijanowski. Shannon is a phenomenal SGL who leads a group of 2nd graders every Sunday morning, and a group of 11th graders every Sunday night. We walk through what she does on a week-to-week basis to connect with kids and students, and how she partners with their parents.

Shannon Pijanowski

Connect with Shannon on Facebook and Instagram

Email: Shannon.Pijanowski@communitycc.net

Community Christian Church

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Unexpected Accountability (blog post) – Shannon shares how serving as a SGL can stretch and grow one’s faith in unexpected ways

42 Ways to Keep Showing Up (blog post) – Practical ideas for leaders on how to connect with their few

139 Weeks (blog post) – Shannon reminds leaders to know how much time they have left with their kids or students, and to lead with the end in mind

Lead Small – Check out more posts and resources to help SGLs as they invest in their few

Pre-Sunday Best Practices:

  1. Read the curriculum before Sunday morning. Knowing it well helps you communicate better and frees you up to connect with kids and students.
  2. Adjust the curriculum according to your few, and integrate extra props, visuals, and interactive elements to engage them
  3. Circle up and touch base about with other leaders to share wins and stories, and what’s working/what’s not working
  4. Invest in yourself. Go to trainings, read blogs, and check out books. They don’t always have to be SGL-specific. Parenting blogs, resources for family ministry leaders, and others, can be really helpful.
  5. Set an example for other leaders
  6. Pray specifically for the time you will have with your kids or students each week

Sunday Best Practices

  1. Intentionally focus the time
  2. Compliment them
  3. Talk about their lives
  4. Make agreements and invite them into making those agreements
  5. Champion students owning their own faith, and encourage them to serve at church
  6. Look for opportunities to give your kids or students ownership/leadership
  7. Validate and encourage questions
  8. Show them your Bible

Post-Sunday Best Practices

  1. Pray for each kid or student every week, and pray for bigger things going on in their lives multiple times a week
  2. Pray for their families and connect with parents for prayer requests
  3. Compliment them in front of their parents
  4. Follow up with parents about what was talked about during group, especially if a big topic or question was broached
  5. Notice when they are not there and send a handwritten note
  6. Send birthday cards that personally celebrate them and call our their gifts
  7. Celebrate milestones with them (ex: baptism, driver’s license)
  8. Go to events and games outside of Sunday
  9. Follow up with other leaders

Shannon’s Elementary Small Group Agreements:

  1. Keep our hands, feet, and bodies to ourselves
  2. Look for ways to be helpful and encouraging
  3. Be kind with our words and actions
  4. Be respectful to our friends and leaders
  5. Have fun

Action Items

  1. If you’re a small group leader, choose one of the things Shannon talked about and try it this week
  2. If you are a ministry leader, share this episode with your volunteers and use it as a springboard for discussion
  3. Consider moving from a class or concert model to a small group model where individual leaders invest in their few every week

Subscribe | Share | Rate | Comment

To make sure you never miss a post, hit the subscribe button in iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or Tune In radio. Keep your friends and co-workers up-to-date as well by sharing it with them via email or social media.

Leave a rating and a comment in iTunes to let me know how this podcast is helping you and your ministry. Also, let me know how we can make it better!

Next Episode: Katie Edwards

In the next episode, I talk with Katie Edwards. Katie is the Junior High Pastor at Saddleback Church in California. She shares some great insight on how we can better understand middle school students and help them understand how much Jesus loves them.

 

Episode 047: Creativity in Youth Ministry With Justin Knowles

Untitled design-19

In this episode, I talk with Student Pastor Justin Knowles. Justin and I have a great conversation about youth ministry, what it looks like at his church, and how to get creative with programming. We also dive into what makes a great volunteer culture and he shares his 3 year plan for revamping the ministry he came into at Christ’s Church.

Justin Knowles

Connect with Justin on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

justinkknowles.com

Christ’s Church of the Valley

Click Here to Win a FREE Orange Conference Ticket

Like the page and comment on my OC17 Ticket post with your location and church. I will be choosing a name this Friday, April 7 at 5PM Eastern Time. If you’re planning to be at the Orange Conference, feel free to reach out and let me know. It’d be great to connect with you!

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Download Youth Ministry Blog – Check out Justin’s posts and other great youth ministry resources

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (book) – Chris McChesney shares how to determine what is most important, develop a strategy for going after it, and seeing it through to completion

Event Ideas

  • Glow-in-the-dark night
  • Silent disco with headphones and dancing
  • Fall flannel festival with fire pits, a photo booth, and all things pumpkin flavored
  • Backyard BBQ with burgers, hot dogs, inflatables, human hamster balls, and an ice cream truck

Christ’s Church’s New Student Area

  1. Invite new students to the back of room at the end of the night
  2. Have them fill out a quick info card
  3. Give them a giant candy bar
  4. Follow up that week with a personal text from the leader they were introduced to

Justin’s Process for Revamping Student Ministry

  1. Started with leaders
  2. Rewrote volunteer expectations
  3. Had all leaders reapply
  4. Onboarded new volunteers
  5. Created opportunities for leaders to hang out together
  6. Began 3 year plan (Programming, small groups, serving)

Action Items

  1. Try planning and hosting events that take place during your regular programming
  2. Gather a team of people and brainstorm ideas for every area of Student Ministry

Subscribe | Share | Rate | Comment

To make sure you never miss a post, hit the subscribe button in iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or Tune In radio. Keep your friends and co-workers up-to-date as well by sharing it with them via email or social media.

Leave a rating and a comment in iTunes to let me know how this podcast is helping you and your ministry. Also, let me know how we can make it better!

Next Episode: Shannon Pijanowski

In the next episode, I talk with one of the small group leaders from our church, Shannon Pijanowski. Shannon is a phenomenal SGL who leads a group of 2nd graders every Sunday morning, and a group of 11th graders every Sunday night. We walk through what she does on a week-to-week basis to connect with kids and students, and how she partners with their parents. The principles and practices she shares are really helpful for ministry leaders, but could also serve as a great resource for your volunteers.

 

Episode 046: Leading Yourself and Aligning a NextGen Team With Aaron Bauer

aaronbauer

In this episode, I interview Next Gen Pastor Aaron Jack Bauer of Journey Church. We talk about self leadership and the specifics of how Aaron leads himself. Aaron also walks through what it has looked like for the Children’s and Student Ministries at Journey to align as one NextGen team.

Aaron Jack Bauer

Connect with Aaron on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Email: aaronjackbauer@icloud.com

Journey Church

Click here to register for Orange Conference 2017

Let me know if you’ll be there–it’d be great to connect with you!

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Jim Wideman’s Infuse – An online coaching program for kidmin leaders

Orange Legacy Countdown – An app to remind you that you do more with the time you have when you can see how much time you have left

Questions to Ask When Leading Yourself

  1. What’s it like to be on the other side of me?
  2. If you were employed by you, how would you lead you?
  3. What information am I taking in? What am I reading and/or listening to?
  4. Who am I connecting with and learning from?
  5. How well am I leading myself?

Evaluating Yourself

  1. Analyze your time and priorities
  2. Know and understand your strengths and areas of challenge
  3. Take a personality profile test, study it, and return to it periodically (Ex: Path ElementsRight Path, StrengthsFinder, Myers-Briggs, The Four Temperaments Test)

Tips for Learning

  1. Don’t limit your information consumption to the church world
  2. Read books and watch movies that are popular and ask why those things have been a success, and what this says about culture
  3. Listen to podcasts
  4. Meet up with people in your local area
  5. Have conversations with other people who do what you do
  6. Seek answers to questions you don’t even know you have

Transitioning Your NextGen Team

  1. Spend time in one another’s environments
  2. Draw out the different ministry areas and find where you already overlap
  3. Specifically, think through grades that transition from one environment to the next, resource sharing, volunteer training,  and your leadership pipeline
  4. Partner with one another as students looks to serve in children’s environments
  5. Share wins and stories
  6. Develop and use common language
  7. Value one another and show unity

Action Items

  1. Evaluate how well you are leading yourself
  2. Invite leaders from other areas of family ministry into your environment

Subscribe | Share | Rate | Comment

To make sure you never miss a post, hit the subscribe button in iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or Tune In radio. Keep your friends and co-workers up-to-date as well by sharing it with them via email or social media.

Leave a rating and a comment in iTunes to let me know how this podcast is helping you and your ministry. Also, let me know how we can make it better!

Next Episode: Justin Knowles

In the next episode, I talk with Student Pastor Justin Knowles. Justin and I have a great conversation about student ministry, what it looks like at his church, and how to get creative with programming. We also dive into what makes a great volunteer culture. Whether you lead in Student or Children’s Ministry, the principles apply across the board. You won’t want to miss it!