These are my notes from the Orange Conference 2012 Breakouts. Orange is a conference for family ministry teams and senior leadership in churches. You can see my notes from the Main Sessions here.

Managing Multiple Ministries

Jim Wideman led this workshop. It’s unique in that it was a conversation setting and the group was limited to 30 people.

I signed up for this workshop because of always battling the tension of managing multiple things. At church I want to do a great job managing my roles and ministries, including preschool, children, students, college, website/tech and my role on our pastor’s team. Outside of church I manage this blog in hopes of helping other church leaders, develop websites for people, run, create resources to help church leaders (2 big projects in the works now), and coach other leaders.

I want to do all of that well, while keeping God and my family priority over all of that.

  • Be faithful in small things and God will bless you with many, big things.
  • Study time management to help with managing multiple ministries (The Effective Executive & Beat the Clock books).
  • Use tools for time management
    • Find a way to separate the different things you manage.
    • Jim uses different computers for church and his personal website/work.
  • Meetings are one of the top things stopping us from getting things done.
  • He meets every other week with each ministry team (children’s, student’s).
  • You need the freedom and support of your family to manage multiple ministries.
  • Burnout happens when you lose the ability to take a big task and break it into small parts.
  • If you’re going to manage multiple ministries you have to let other people represent you.
  • “The larger the ministry, the more time you have to spend in leadership development.” – Ed Young Jr.
  • You’ll have to give up things to manage multiple ministries.
  • How you get depth at key roles is to always have people apprenticing, learning, watching.
  • Set priorities and make appointments based on those priorities.
  • Think in steps and not just leaps.
  • Evaluate your time. Look at how you actually spend it.
  • What are you doing that somebody else can do?
  • They can’t do it if you don’t spend time with them to show them how it’s done, or at least make a checklist for them.

My Takeaways

  • Have our volunteers who aren’t leading teams of adults step up and lead 4x/year or even once/month in coach and director roles.
  • I set a reminder to look over the multiple things I manage so I can see how it’s divided up and make sure they’re not overlapping.

XP3 College Unpacked

Chuck Bomar and Abbie Sprunger

  • Mentorship means different things to different generations. Some differences include:
    • Older generations are typically an arms-length away with personal information and they value practical help and guidelines.
    • Younger generations value that openness and close relationship. They like natural conversation and connection.
  • You can go through a curriculum with college students and totally miss connecting with them and their life.
  • We can’t view college students as people to be fixed.
  • As discussion happens among leaders and college students, leaders should be part of the conversation not as a teacher/student but as a group member.
  • XP3 College is a different kind of curriculum in that it simply provides conversation topics for use in group settings. They release about one/month.
  • XP3 College also includes a mentor guide to set leaders up well for the connecting with college students and guiding them through these discussions.

My Takeaways

There’s probably nothing new here as our church is already working on ways to help college-age people connect more. I think the Xp3 College conversations are great for college-age groups and the session went through what they offer. A lot of that information is available on

Simply Strategic Volunteers

Tony Morgan led this breakout based on a book he co-authored with Tim Stevens. Tony is an experienced leader, strategist, consultant and coach for church leaders. His blog is the first one I ever followed years ago and I’m a better leader because of it.

  • Think volunteers before staff
    • Ephesians 4:12 – The leader’s responsibility is to equip people to do ministry.
    • God’s people aren’t called to do the leader’s ministry, they’re called to do God’s ministry.
    • If our mindset is to find people to do ministry tasks we will face challenges.
    • We have to find how people are wired and gifted and help them pursue God’s dream for their life.
    • LifePoint Church has 70% of adults serving, only spends 30% of their budget on staff, and has the lowest staff-to-attender ratio of any church Tony has ever worked with. The high volunteer number and low staff number are related.
  • We need to teach shoulder tapping
    • Tony used a group of folks as an illustration. He had them all play ministry leaders in a church who were going to recruit people to their ministry all at the same time, talking at the same time, loudly.
    • The point is that we often times compete within the church and attenders are confused.
    • We realize that 70-80% of people who show up at church for the first time were invited but when it comes to volunteer recruiting, we promote and forget the personal invite.
  • Stay focused
    • “One of the reasons we have a hard time finding volunteers for ministry is we’re doing too much.”
    • Too many options cause most people to not decide.
    • We need to encourage people to take steps with their friends.
  • We need to identify leaders, not doers
    • Tony referenced Moses’ struggle with being overwhelmed with having to be the only person people could take their problems too. His father-in-law helped him hand off leadership and that leadership was at different levels.
    • 4 stages of leadership Tony sees: (see more here)
      • Lead by example
      • Lead other people
      • Lead other leaders
      • Lead by vision
  • We need to empower people to use their gifts
    • Never do ministry alone.
    • Jesus did ministry in teams.
    • We need to cast vision for where we’re going in our ministry.
    • 1 Corinthians 12:27 – “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
    • We can’t continue to tell people what to do, especially if they have the leadership gift.
    • “We lead other people in our ministry like they’re first graders.”
    • Real leaders will not stick around in that kind of environment.

My Takeaways

  • We’re already planning our regular Summer Team volunteer opportunity as well as a one-time push in the fall specifically for our large group teams. I’m going to make sure part of our strategy is to leverage personal invites and not just promotion.

Structuring Your Ministry for Growth

Jim Wideman led this workshop. It’s unique in that it was a conversation setting and the group was limited to 30 people.

  • Structure is like the skeleton in a human body.
  • Structures have to change to keep growing.
  • There are growth structures and maintenance structures.
  • 75-80% full feels full for Americans.
  • 4 Structures that need to be right to grow:
    • Organizational
    • Facility
    • People in the right place
    • Budget
  • Do you have the structure to support 100 people if they asked to volunteer?
  • If we’ll do what we can do, God will do what he can do.
  • Have depth at key positions. Jim likes for leaders to have assistants, who have apprentices.
  • Jim doesn’t staff by ratio, he staffs by function.

My Takeaways

  • I’d like to get Jim’s books on volunteers, structure and more.
  • Our current family ministry structure was designed to support our ministry as it grows to a bigger size than we are now, but I’d like to re-evaluate it anyhow.