Episode 054: Partnering With Parents With Will Hutcherson

Partnering With Parents

In this episode, I talk with Will Hutcherson of NextLevel Church in Fort Meyers, FL. Will and I talk about clarifying the win for family engagement and their five-part strategy for partnering with parents. He shares a lot of practical things they have done to simplify and maximize this strategy, and what it looks like all throughout the year.

Will Hutcherson

Connect with Will on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Email: Will@nextlevelchurch.com

NextLevel Church

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Parent Survey from Will

Orange – An organization that values the church and parents coming together to make a lasting impact on the next generation by providing curriculum and resources for both parties

Just a Phase – A project by Orange that helps parents understand how to win at each phase in their kid or student’s life

Parent Ministry – An organization that comes alongside the church and helps them know how to partner with parents

Champion Tribes – A resource that helps busy dads connect with their sons in unique and life-changing ways

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters (book) – Dr. Meg Meeker talks about why the father-daughter relationship is crucial and shares ten secrets every dad should know

13 Reasons Why – How Do We Respond as Parents? (Article) – A blog post to help parents know what conversations to have with their kids and students about this new Netflix show

Partnering With Parents: 5 Part Strategy

  1. Celebrate major milestones
  2. Reactivate felt needs
  3. Connect parents with each other
  4. Resource parents when they need it and create a bridge between the small group leader and parent
  5. Cue weekly

Partnering With Parents: Developing a Strategy

  1. Survey parents
  2. Ask: If we could do anything, what would we do
  3. Consider current resources–people, money, and organizational energy
  4. Create a plan
  5. Present it to key leaders
  6. Launch and then begin to automate/delegate

Action Items

  1. Clarify the win for parent partnership at your church
  2. Evaluate what you are currently doing to partner with parents
  3. Brainstorm ideas for partnering with parents with some key leaders at your church, and then map out a plan for the next year
  4. Partner with small groups or adult ministries at your church to help connect parents with other parents

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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: Tomy Cummins

In the next episode, I talk with Tomy Cummins of Woodmen Valley Chapel. Tomy and I talk about what student ministry looks like at his church. He shares an overview of what their programming looks like throughout the year, and then we dive into some specifics about trips and volunteer culture.

 

Episode 053: Q & A With Your Questions From the Year

Q&A

In this episode, we celebrate one year of the podcast with a special Q&A episode where we answer questions you all have asked and submitted throughout the year!

One Year Celebration

Congratulations to Jhark423 for winning the $50 Amazon Gift Card. Thanks for the rating and review you left on iTunes, and for listening and learning along with us!

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Carey Nieuwhof’s course, High Impact Leader, check out The Ultimate Guide to Productivity, and leave a comment with your name and a tool, app, or best practice that helps you stay productive. On Friday, we will randomly choose one person who commented to win Carey’s awesome resource.

The Five Questions

  1. How do you train volunteers when time is limited? What are some practical ideas for when you are training volunteers? And, what does it look like to train volunteers in a digital age? Start Time: 9:35
  2. How do you recruit and develop coaches, or volunteers who lead other volunteers? Start Time: 19:37
  3. What are some ways you can measure and determine whether or not you are winning in ministry? Start Time: 37:25
  4. What are some suggestions or best practices when following up with new families? Start Time: 48:57
  5. How do you navigate leading in a role, or in a church, that is not what you expected? Start Time: 56:30

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Question #1: Training Volunteers

  1. Develop a good onboarding process. Download our Volunteer Onboarding Process,  Application and Background Check EmailVolunteer Application, Volunteer Reference Email, Volunteer Reference Form, Volunteer Interview Questions, Orientation Book, and 6 Week Follow-Up to help you get started.
    1. Cast vision and answer, “Why does this matter? Why should you serve on this team? And, what is the difference you can make?
    2. Clarify and communicate the fundamentals of your environment, ministry policies, and security procedures
    3. Pair them with an expert volunteer and allow them to apprentice for six weeks
    4. Have conversations throughout the process to see if the role they are pursuing, or the ministry environment, is a good fit for them
  2. Create a culture where the leaders who lead a group of volunteers have one-on-ones with them. These meetings allow for personal care and leadership development. (Check out Episode 041 with Allyson Evans for some great thoughts on leadership development)
  3. Hold trainings (Read the 7 Keys to an Effective Volunteer Training System here and The Secret to Getting Great Attendance at Volunteer Trainings here)
    1. For training content, make notes of things that you come across in podcasts or books, present content that is already available, or check out sites like Download Youth Ministry and Orange that have helpful content for your team.
  4. Leverage technology
    1. Do Facebook Live trainings
    2. Prerecord and upload videos to Vimeo, Youtube, Ministry Grid, Trained Up or Good to Go
    3. Host a webinar

Question #2: Recruiting Coaches

  1. Create a leadership structure with consistent terms across ministry environments (Check out Episode 42 with Todd Adkins to learn more about leadership pipelines)
  2. Write a job description for your coach role
  3. Invite individuals into the role who have shown leadership abilities or potential
  4. Invest in a small group of leaders or leadership team, and ask people from that group to become coaches (This post includes 28 ideas for leadership development)
  5. Meet six times with a group of people and walk through this plan, based off of Chazown by Craig Groeschel, to help them discover how they are wired and how God could use them most effectively

Question #2: Developing Coaches

  1. Create a list of coach values (Check out The 6 Things We Value In Our Family Ministry Coaches here)
  2. Have one-on-ones with them
  3. Gather coaches to learn together (Here is our plan for developing and training coaches)
  4. Read books and listen to podcasts as a group

Question #3: How to Measure if You are Winning

  1. Share stories. Build a culture where people are looking for and sharing them. Ask: Am I hearing stories, and what are the stories?
  2. Track attendance year over year
  3. Determine the percent of kids and students in your church. Go to TheArda.com to determine if your church’s percentages match your community demographics. (Check out Episode 28 with Anthony Prince from Ministry Architects for more info on this)
  4. Look at the ratio of weekly volunteers to kids and students
  5. Analyze the span of care and the ratio of leaders to volunteers

Question #4: Following Up With New Families

  1. Give them a gift
  2. Write a personal note to the kid or student and send it out that week
  3. Communicate with the parents. Let them know you are glad they came and introduce them to your environment. (Get all the details on the structure of these emails, and download them here)
  4. Make a personal connection

Question #5: Your Role in the Church

  1. Listen to Episode 4 with Jim Wideman on staffing, hiring, and deciding if you should stay or go. Jim’s book, Stay or Go?, would be great to walk through, and he offers a bunch of other great resources through NextGen Staff Solutions.
  2. Pray about it, and submit to the leadership
  3. Be open
  4. Ask: Will I be used best by God in this church? Do the theology, mission, vision, and strategy match who I am and how God made me to lead?
  5. Ask: Would I attend this church if I didnt work here?
  6. Seek wise counsel
  7. Be proactive when you are looking to work at a church and come prepared with the questions you have for them

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: Kenny and Elle Campbell

In the next episode, we kick off another year of the podcast with two of our very first guests, Kenny and Elle Campbell. We have a great conversation about what they’ve been up to over the past year and all the new things they are doing to empower and help youth leaders.

Episode 052: Jeff Henderson on Helping Dads Invest in Their Sons

Champion Tribes

In this episode, I talk with Jeff Henderson of Gwinnett Church. Jeff and I talk about Champion Tribes–something new he’s launching to help busy dads connect with their sons in unique and life-changing ways. If you lead in ministry, it’s an awesome way to partner with parents and help families in your community  win. And, if you’re a parent, it’s a phenomenal resource that helps you journey with other parents and students who are walking through the same critical phase.

Jeff Henderson

Connect with Jeff on Twitter and Instagram

Champion Tribes

Gwinnett Church

Notes From This Episode

Champion Tribes: Breakdown

  • Launches June 1
  • Download content digitally with the app
  • 12 sessions, completed over the course of 6-12 months
  • Gathering of 5-8 dads and their sons (ideally between the ages of 11 and 14)
  • Small group format with a game, movie clip, discussion questions, and teaching
  • Includes gifts that dads give their sons along the journey
  • Ends with a final blessing

Action Items

  1. Check out Champion Tribes and consider piloting it with a group of dads at your church
  2. Talk about how your team can make this tool an integral part of your strategy to help families win

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: One Year Q&A

Next week, we celebrate one year of the podcast with a special Q&A episode where we’ll be answering questions you all have asked and submitted throughout the year. Starting this Monday, May 15th, we’ll also be giving a bunch of stuff away–several gift cards and resources that will help you as leaders. If you follow the blog, subscribe to the email list, or connect on social media, there will be opportunities every day for you to win one of our giveaways. Then, we’ll kick off another year of the podcast with two of our very first guests, Kenny and Elle Campbell. We’ll talk about what they’ve been up to over the past year, and all the new things they are doing to empower and help youth leaders.

Episode 051: Ministry in a Small Church With Jared Massey

Small Church

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

Jared Massey

Connect with Jared on Facebook and Twitter

SmallTownKidmin.com

Warsaw Assembly of God

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 questions that all of you have 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

Orange

RuralCompassion.org – An organization that helps small churches in rural areas make an impact in their communities

Leadership and Church Size Dynamics – Dr. Timothy Keller shares how size effects the culture, style, strengths, weaknesses, and roles within a church

The Grasshopper Myth (book) – Karl Vaters argues against the myth that small churches are less than what God desires them to be

Strengths of Small Churches

  1. Opportunity to know and care for all individuals
  2. Environment that feels like home
  3. Fewer facilities and resources to manage
  4. Lack of red tape creates an ability to be mobile and respond quickly to needs

Barriers Small Churches Face

  1. The need to be all things to all people
  2. Spending too much time in areas that are not your strengths
  3. Finite resources

Recruiting in a Small Church

  1. Have conversations with people and ask lots of questions
  2. Don’t make assumptions, and don’t allow what you know to disqualify someone
  3. The best conversations happen outside of church

Action Items

  1. Check out some of the resources mentioned above to see where your church falls in terms of size, strengths, and other dynamics
  2. Evaluate the different ministries and initiatives in your church to determine what you can eliminate

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: Jeff Henderson

In the next episode, I talk with Jeff Henderson. Jeff and I talk about something new he’s launching to help dads invest in their sons in a unique way. It’s an awesome way to partner with parents and help families win. You won’t want to miss it.

Episode 050: “Growing Young” With Brad Griffin

Growing Young

In this episode, I interview Brad Griffin of Fuller Youth Institute. Brad and I talk about the book, Growing Young, which is all about six essential strategies that help churches reach young people and create churches they love to attend. Brad and I dive into some questions about how to apply it practically, 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.