Mastermind Groups for Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry and NextGen/Family Ministry

Mastermind Groups for Church Ministry

One of the most impactful things that helped me grow as a leader has been coaching networks. I’ve been involved in a couple of them, specifically for pastors, and they have been great. I think every ministry leader should have the opportunity to be in a group like that. However, there are a few problems.

However, there are a few problems.

Coaching Network Challenges

There are challenges when it comes to coaching networks for ministry leaders. Here are a few:

  • There aren’t many. These are very common the business world, but not so much in ministry world. Of the coaching networks that do exist, most are targeted to Lead and Executive Pastors. Both coaching networks I participated in were that way and I was the only family ministry staff person.
  • They’re expensive. The last network I was in was $2000 for 9 months. That’s expensive. Cost is a barrier to most ministry leaders.
  • They’re instructional more than collaborative. I don’t think instructional is wrong. The first network I was in had that format and it was great. However, the last network I was in had a collaborative format used in Mastermind Groups. That was a much better experience, especially for people who have been leading for more than a few years.

MegamindMastermind Groups?

If you’ve heard of them, then it probably doesn’t sound weird.

Otherwise, the name might be misleading. I don’t know about you, but when I first heard of Mastermind groups I couldn’t help but picture this guy.

A Mastermind Group is a collection of people who gather together regularly to learn from each other, encourage each other, and help each other improve. The Mastermind format centers around using 3 key questions that everyone gets to answer:

  • What is going well in your ministry?
  • What challenge are you facing that you would like input from the group on?
  • What resource can you share that would be helpful to the group?

Most groups gather once/month on site or via video call and talk through those questions. In addition to the questions, there is a specific discussion around a book, article, or something the group is learning from together.

Interested in Some Pilot Mastermind Groups?

I’m hoping to pilot some Mastermind groups for family ministry leaders. Picture a group for children’s pastors, a group for youth pastors, and a group for family pastors. If you’re interested, click the link below to sign up for more information.

Click here to sign up for more information on Mastermind Groups for Ministry

Mastermind Group Registration has closed for 2016. If you’re interested in hearing about potential groups in 2017, please fill out the form below.



Win a Lifetime Membership to Parent Ministry

Ministry to Parents

In the NextGen/Family Ministry survey I did earlier this year, Partnering with Parents was the #1 topic leaders were interested in hearing about. I can’t say I was too surprised because it’s absolutely critical to a strong family ministry and it’s a topic I’m very interested in as well.

Podcast Interview

I’m excited to share the podcast interview I had with Jeremy of Parent Ministry. You can find it here. We talked all about ways in which we can do a better job partnering with parents. Jeremy knocks it out of the park as he shares the importance of ministering to parents and practical ways we can do it in our churches.

If you’re not familiar with Parent Ministry, they create content, resources, event kits, and everything you need to launch and organize your ministry to parents. After our interview, I thought it would be fun to see if they would be up for giving something away along with the podcast hitting this week.

They came up big. 

They’re giving away a lifetime membership to Parent Ministry (kids+youth bundle) to one lucky person. I’m not sure how to quantify a lifetime, but we’re talking about well over $10K in value.

Enter to win a lifetime membership to Parent Ministry

To enter to win, fill out the form below. Once you confirm your email address, you’ll receive an email with the one additional step you can take to enter to win. Not to mention, the step itself will give you some great free content, including:

  • 5 Strategies to take your parent ministry to the next level
  • 52 Family Dinner Discussions
  • Lunch Box Notes for parents to write to their kids
  • 80 Scriptures for encouraging parents

Be sure to listen to the podcast episode and share your thoughts in the comments below or in a rating on iTunes.

Winner = Kristin Shughart of Northridge Church

Kristin Shughart of Northridge Church won the lifetime membership to Parent Ministry. Congrats Kristin!

A Brand New Podcast for Family Ministry Leaders

Nick Blevins Family Ministry Podcast

I’m excited to announce a new podcast for leaders in Children’s Ministry, Student Ministry, NextGen and Family Ministry! I know one of the best ways I have learned and grown as a leader over the years has been by learning from other leaders. That’s what this new podcast is all about.

What You Can Expect

Here’s what you can expect from me regarding the podcast.

Weekly Interviews With Leaders

Each week I interview a top leader and ask them about the principles and practices they use to lead in their context. We talk about everything from recruiting volunteers, to small groups, to partnering with parents, and much more. To make sure you get the most out of the podcast and never miss an episode, be sure to subscribe (scroll down for how).

New podcasts will hit every Tuesday morning. So, listen to Carey Nieuwhof’s first and then check out the new episode here.


In recording these first episodes one thing is painfully clear, and it’s that I have a long way to go toward becoming a good host. But, I’m reminded of this quote by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn:

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
– Reid Hoffman

Actually, both things he said are true here. I did launch too late, as this is something I’ve wanted to do for a couple years. But, I am embarrassed by my first version, yet didn’t wait until my hosting and interviewing ability was where it should be to launch. That’s okay, though, because the guests more than make up for it.

Applicable and Practical

I’ll work hard to make sure the content you’re hearing is applicable to your context and contains practical steps you can take after hearing an episode.

How You Can Help

Now that you know what to expect from me, here are some things I’d love your help with.

Subscribe and Listen Weekly

Subscribe in your favorite podcast player:  iTunes | StitcherTune In

Click here to get the RSS feed to use in any other podcast player

Leave a Rating

I would love for you to listen and leave a rating and review in iTunes and/or Stitcher. It will help other leaders learn about it and I truly value your feedback (no pretense needed). My goal is to consistently make it better. If you have some suggestions or questions you want to send directly, feel free to contact me.

Send Questions and Ideas for Guests and Topics

The best way to make sure we talk about something helpful to you is to suggest some guests, specific topics, and submit questions you have and would like input on. You can do that by replying to me on Twitter, posting on the Facebook Page, or by emailing me.

Share the Podcast

If listening to the podcast is helpful for you, please share it with your friends via email, social media, carrier pigeon, or whatever works for you.

Episode 001 – Elle Campbell on Small Groups and Partnering With Parents

Elle CampbellOur very first guest is Elle Campbell. Elle and I talk about the two most requested topics according to the NextGen / Family Ministry Survey I did earlier this yearSmall Groups and Partnering with Parents. Elle shares some great insights as she talks about transferring to a small group model in the middle school ministry she and her husband led in Buffalo, NY. She also talked about how they partnered with parents and we link to all the great resources mentioned in the interview.

Click here to see the Show Notes and listen to the podcast right here on the site.

New Episode Tomorrow!

There are 2 episodes for you right out of the gate, with the second one hitting tomorrow. I interview Frank Bealer, Family Pastor at Elevation Church, about how to help volunteers lead like staff. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!

Special Thanks

A bunch of people helped me get this podcast going and I want to thank them here.

  • My wife Jennifer, for doing the intro and outro bumper for the podcast in addition to all her support.
  • Carey Nieuwhof, for helping me learn some of the behind the scenes stuff and how he makes his podcast so amazing.
  • Frank Bealer, for letting me use the Your Love Is song for the bumper, off the eKidz Worship Album Undefeated.
  • Kenny and Elle, for helping me learn how they launched their podcast YMAnswers and with all the technical stuff.
  • Rachel Walker, for helping me with the podcast production.
  • All the guests who agreed to do interviews before this thing was even launched… but I’m not telling you who yet!
  • Last, but not least…


Thanks to all of you in advance for your help. Thanks for listening, sharing, commenting, rating, and sending in ideas and questions. It’s going to be a fun ride and I really believe it will help all of us maximize our church’s potential. The work you do is critical and I hope this is an encouragement and a resource for you along the way.

My Takeaways From the 2016 Orange Conference

Orange Conference 2016 Monday is Coming

Last week I had my annual trip to the Orange Conference. It’s a week I look forward to every year. I posted notes from the first and second main sessions, but here are some general takeaways I had from the conference. It’s a random list in random order.

A Refocus on Mondays

The theme of this year’s conference was Monday is Coming, with the idea being that what we do throughout the week is potentially more important than what we do on Sundays. I came back with a renewed focus on investing in people outside of Sundays along with some ideas for how to do that.

The NextGen Role and Structure Are Growing

My position at our church involves overseeing staff who lead birth through high school, as well as the transition out of high school. This position, which has various titles in different churches (NextGen, Family Pastor, Family Ministries Director, etc.), is becoming more popular. More than that, the structure of having one team is more popular and I think that’s a good thing.

I’m Excited About NextGen Staffing Solutions

NextGen Staffing Solutions, a partner of Orange, launched last week. It’s a new staffing firm helping churches hire Children’s Pastors, Student Pastors and NextGen/Family Pastors. My friends Jim Wideman and Matt McKee are behind it, and they’ll do a great job connecting churches with leaders. Personally, I also hope churches will allow them to help the church get some things fixed before hiring someone into a position, should there be any issues that pop up.

Complexity is All Around

Every year I get to talk to a number of ministry leaders from all around, and this year I had more conversations than any other year. One thing stands out, and it’s the amount of complexity most leaders are dealing with. Whether it’s the healthy complexity of leading in a multisite environment or the bad complexities that come with lack of clarity in leadership, it’s everywhere. Leaders who are in good, healthy situations where things are clear, are rare.

Story is Powerful

This isn’t new, but it was on display at OC16. Multiple people shared stories from their life on opening night to help connect us to them and the message they were carrying. Reggie shared a powerful teaching and, as usual, told a story that brought some tears and helped us feel the weight and importance of investing in people outside of church.

Leaders Want to Network

Kenny Conley helps organize some networking opportunities for NextGen leaders and people respond really well to them. Leaders also jumped at the opportunity to be coached. I love the posture of wanting to learn and the heart to connect with other leaders and learn from what they’re doing.

If you attended, what were your takeaways?

That’s certainly not all of my takeaways, especially if you could see the list of things I need to process and save in order to come back to over the next month or so. If you attended or watched online, what did you walk away with?

Orange Conference 2016 Main Session 2 Notes

Orange Conference 2016

I’m at the Orange Conference this week, and I’m blogging notes from main sessions. Here are my notes from the second main session.

Andy Stanley

  • The church saved my life, in a preventative way.
  • You are preventing more than you can ever imagine in the lives of kids and students.
  • For Andy, the Church:
    • Informed his conscience – A conscience that is well-shaped in a child is an anchor for the rest of their life.
    • Instilled a sense of purpose
    • Provided the context for lifelong friendships
    • Served as a window into God’s activity all over the world
    • Taught me to be Jesus
  • Following Jesus will make your life better and make you better at life.
  • People followed Jesus before they believed.
  • The Church provides the strongest argument for the dignity of individuals and human rights.
  • “Classical philosophers considered mercy and pity to be character defects, contrary to justice. Not until Jesus did that attitude change.” – Philip Yancy
  • The Church inspires us to embrace the one mandate that could change everything – Love your neighbor as yourself.

Outside of your family, there’s nothing greater you’ll invest your life in than the local church.