Creating a Strategy for Improving Your NextGen Strategy – Adam Duckworth
Every ministry age group leader should care as much about every age group as they do their own.
5 Gauges to Monitor
- Churches spend a lot of time on their mission, and not enough time on their strategy.
- Mission is what you’re going to do. Strategy is how you’re going to do it.
- Are you aligning your systems so that your staff, your leaders and your parents lead to the same end in mind?
- Figure out the end. For Orange, the end is all about relationships.
- Create an experience that’s age appropriate, relevant and fun.
- Are you crafting core truths into engaging, relevant, and memorable experiences?
- Do people like coming to the environments you’re creating?
- When is the last time you experienced your environments as an outsider?
- Nobody has the opportunity to influence a child like their parents.
- How have you developed a strategy where parents actively participate in the spiritual formation of their own children to build an everyday faith?
- When was the last time you considered how your current program could help lead their children?
- Move from the classroom model to a relationship model.
- Are you creating a culture that truly grows and develops leaders who serve in your ministry?
- Relationship = discipleship, so we must train people and give ministry away to people who can develop those relationships.
- Are you providing middle and high school students the opportunity to get in the game, or just be spectators?
- Are you creating consistent opportunities for kids and students to experience personal ministry?
- Where are you creating those opportunities? Don’t relegate them to the sidelines when they serve.
- When is the last time students have done something meaningful for someone else in your ministry?
- When is the last time you prioritized your own development over someone else’s?
My Ideas for Action Items
- Buy the Orange Leader Handbook and use it to evaluate your ministry.
- Bring in an outsider to evaluate your environments and debrief. This could be a friend from another church, or an unchurched person who can help you see things you are blind to.
- Create a plan for getting middle and high school students involved in ministry. (Side note, we set a goal this year to have a greater percentage of students serving than adults).
7 Quirks of Incredible Volunteers
- Many people never take the first step.
- The needs are too big.
- There are too many to choose from.
- They’re looking for the perfect fit.
- Try something that appeals to you.
- Start over if you’ve been burned.
Small is Big
- Not normal volunteers believe the smallest things they do have the biggest results.
- Don’t look for big things to do, look for small things. Small things have a bigger impact than we realize.
Own, Don’t Rent
- Not normal volunteers are owners, not renters.
- Owners invest more for a bigger return.
- They show up on time.
- They read their curriculum before they arrive.
- They commit to serve each week.
You, Me, & We
- This is not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about how we do this together.
- Everyone should understand we’re in this together.
- Volunteers should get to know each other and develop relationships.
- It’s about looking side to side to see what is going on around you – rather than focusing on yourself.
Honor the Leader
- Leaders need volunteers. They need love, support, prayer.
- When volunteers work against their leader, nothing good comes out of it.
- Sometimes the best thing a volunteer can do is amicably move on if they are in conflict with their leader over vision.
- Your leader needs a cheerleader, not a drama queen.
- Many volunteers should look for and identify their next step.
- Let go of what you want. Let go of your current role. Let go of controlling your future.
You Can’t Always See It
- Many kids aren’t going to tell you how you have impacted them spiritually.
- Help people understand they may never see those results, and that’s okay.
My Ideas for Action Items
- Evaluate volunteer recruitment strategy to ensure there are clear opportunities where people can start.
- Use the Not Normal book content in a volunteer training.
- Identify a role you play where you can replace yourself.
- Celebrate wins from student ministry in preschool and elementary to help people see the impact, even if it’s not on the specific kids they led.
Developing a Weekly Plan to Become a Better NextGen Leader
- Matthew 4 – Jesus calls us to be part of his mission, and he will “make you fishers of men”.
- Revisit our call to his mission often. Go to the place where you first felt that call.
- We need to make a plan with action steps.
- We need to invite others to speak into our lives.
- Ask questions. “Good questions inform. Great questions transform.” – John Maxwell
- Am I genuinely interested in others?
- Am I humble?
- Am I adding value to my team? Is my team better because I showed up?
- Am I investing my time in my best people?
- Be intentional with my own relationship with Christ.
- Know your why and lead from that.
- Balance doesn’t exist.
- Think integration, not balance. Make Jesus the center.
- Use this phrase to make exceptions, unplanned things that take your time, more integrated:
When this… (i.e. When I have to spend a night out in a meeting)
Then that… (i.e. Then I take the morning off and spend it with my kids)
How to Reach and Keep Families As a NextGen Leader – Pat Rowland
- 67% of Americans are dual-income homes.
- Programs and activities run the family around 7 days a week.
- The 20-30 year old demographic the one missing from church the most.
Regular attender is being re-defined.
- The typical rhythm of a family, even a Christian family, is becoming less connected.
- “A “regular” church goer shows up for worship once every four to six week” – Churchless (Barna Group)
The traditional family is becoming the exception.
- 18% of unchurched people fit the “traditional” family.
- Single parents are the fastest growing demographic.
Things Pat is learning about single parents.
- Single parents are cautious and fearful.
- Single parents want to be acknowledged, but not noticed.
- Single parents want an invitation to be part of the church family.
- Single parents need financial assistance, but they won’t necessarily ask for it.
- Single parents are willing to serve, but not every week and not away from their kids.
5 Big Matters in NextGen
- Image Matters
- First time visitors are deciding about your church in seconds, and before they even attend through your web presence.
- Public perception is reality.
- Clarify your identity.
- Environment Matters
- We want to create spaces, not places. A space is inviting and irresistible.
- Your environments communicate something, and possibly something bad.
- In Creating Spaces
- Focus on all 5 senses.
- Know your audience.
- Put on your first time glasses.
- People in the place reflect the space.
- Experience Matters
- Focus on quality.
- Time to plan.
- More innovation than budget.
- Say “yes” to the best.
- Development over delivery.
- Give them a story.
- Connection Matters
- Create a culture of connection.
- View follow up as an invitation to connect, not to invite to another event.
- Every day matters
My Ideas for Action Items
- Plan meetings to evaluate your strategy and message as it relates to single parent families and all non-traditional families.
- Walk through your space with a guest and evaluate every piece of it.
- Evaluate your ministry with the 5 Matters from above and discuss with your team.
5 Best Practices to Building a Learning Team
Nina Schmidgall, Cindy Fiala, Pat Rowland, Kenny Conley
Expectations for Content Consumption
- Have a culture of learning on your team.
- Have a rhythm of learning together.
- Expect everyone on the team to be learners, and self-learners.
- Read together.
- As the leader, you may need to aggregate and feed content.
- Use offsite retreats to grow together.
- Use offsite trips during the day (not overnight) to focus specifically on something.
- Use offsite time to work on bigger things, but also to strengthen relationships.
- Join a coaching network.
- Pay for 1-on-1 mentoring relationship with someone who is further down the road.
- Pursue relationships with people you don’t know yet.
- Introduce yourself to people you have only know of online.
My Ideas for Action Items
- Build learning into the rhythm of your team meetings, even in small chunks. Discuss a chapter, a podcast, an article, etc.
- Reach out to someone to start a coaching/mentoring relationship. Just start by asking for time to ask questions.
- Find a network, or start a network in your area.
- Kenny’s idea – join twitter, follow everyone who used the #iamnextgen hashtag, message 5 of them with a question in the next week.