In this episode, Alfred Burgess shares some of his experiences within multisite NextGen ministry over the years and his heart for reaching outsiders. Having served on staff at two large multisite churches, Alfred provides a unique perspective on how an effective NextGen ministry can exist in different church models and how to create environments with the outsider in mind.

Alfred Burgess

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Kids Ministry at Sun Valley:

  • Franchise model, where kids ministry looks the same at all campuses
  • Campus pastors and teams make decisions related specifically to the campuses
  • NextGen Central Team makes decisions specifically related to brand, curriculum, vision, etc. for kid's ministry
  • Small group, Large group, Small group model, using Orange curriculum

Student Ministry at Sun Valley:

  • “If anyone can do multisite student ministry well, you're a genius in my book.”
  • Multiple methods being used to experience success (weekends, home groups, Sunday evenings, etc.)
  • Last 3.5 years, lots of turnover in students/families and volunteers, but gaining traction and credibility
  • Returning to what things were before when things were more successful
  • Staffing ratio 1:70-80

NextGen Staffing Structure:

  • Alfred oversees all NextGen from an Executive level
  • Central Student Ministries Pastor reports to Alfred, and student pastors at each campus report to this person
  • Central Kids Admin, Central Kids Curriculum and Central Kids Programming all report to Alfred
  • Campus Children's Directors report to Alfred
  • Staffing ratio 1:125
  • Preschool, K3 and 456 Coordinators at campuses report to Children's Director (and other ancillary roles)

Reaching Outsiders (foundation):

  • In AZ, many people have a short “memory” within the church, meaning they do not understand “churchy” terms
  • Be clear, not cute; people need clarity
  • Be likable, not just loveable
  • Simple, not simplistic

Reaching Outsiders (specifics):

  • Don't assume that parents know what kids are learning/experiencing AND don't assume kids fully understand what's being taught or that they are reviewing this at home
  • In ministry environments, where many kids will not be returning each week, review what has been talked about
  • Don't assume that volunteers know and understand what has been communicated after one weekend, and be straight forward and give clear information
  • Student ministries are typically filled with students who come because if who is there; kid's ministry grow because of and are defined by the FUN they have within their services

Action Items

  1. Establish trust in your YouthMin
  2. What isn't outsider friendly?
  3. Multisite? – Define decision rights

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