Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-30

  • RT @coldplay: Coldplay-shaped puppets go sightseeing in NYC (but banned from Empire State Building) http://bit.ly/14tVzw #
  • Change has to take place in the context of vision. – @andystanley #
  • Saturday church doing #kidmin. Lov’n that our church has esspresso machines. Making myself a doubleshot. http://twitpic.com/5t3va #
  • Doing a 4year old class today. Loads of sick and vacationing teachers. Preschoolers are a riot! #kidmin #
  • Shooting a wedding. http://twitpic.com/5vylp #
  • Offically wiped out. Going to bed. #
  • I feel like a bus hit me backed up and did it again #fb #
  • Ddffdxxcbjjjdghhhhtfhhjjjjjjhhngfyyuuiooiiiyhfggtrfggggggcggvhbghghhhhhhhhhyyyyyygghhhhyhjhhguyuhhhjjjiujjjuuhyjiljhhg (my sons first tweet) #
  • Did loads of house projects today. Was thinking all day what #kidmin on the frindges looks like. #
  • Also thinking this. What do I believe is impossible in (#kidmin) but if it could be done would fundamentally change #kidmin frm @andystanley #
  • 252basics users read this post. http://samluce.com/?p=1519 #kidmin #
  • Having a hard time switching from meeting mode to doing mode. #
  • On an infuse phonecall with @jimwideman #
  • RT @chicowoo: New Blog Post: Not Making This Stuff Up – Be A Shofar Hero http://tinyurl.com/oxcdkv //// new game for #kidmin? #
  • Dinner with two toddlers is always a wonderful messy challenge. #
  • YouthMinblog.com Post: Collusion Course http://bit.ly/dxlAP
    Guest Post by @samluce #kidmin #stumin #
  • Currently video chatting at http://tinychat.com/61guh click the link to see me… #
  • On my way to work. Today is my Friday this week. Help me Jesus! #fb #
  • Weekend all set thankful for such a great #kidmin team. On my way to Canada. #fb #
  • Hanging with @mikeservello and @gxjeff nice weather good conversation #
  • Bus fair 2.35 sunglasses 12.50 sitting on your boyfriends lap when you could use the bench…..priceless http://twitpic.com/67pyu #

Q&A With Kem Meyer

Kem Meyer is the communications guru at Granger Community Church she lives to create less clutter less noise. As a kids pastor I could use a little more of both those things.

I remember a few years ago when I started reading blogs , long before I started mine, Kem’s blog was a shining beacon of reason and I found myself saying Yes, Yes and Yes to so many of her posts. I think we to often make the Gospel more complicated than Jesus intended it to be.

I had the privilege to ask Kem a question as part of her promotion of her new book appropriately titled “Less Clutter Less Noise”. The question I asked had to do with Multi-sites which as a children’s pastor find very hard to keep processes and communication simple, maybe it’s just me but I don’t think so.

So without any further delay here is my question and her response.

My Question

How do we effectively communicate (vision, values, policies) with-in the multi-site model without adding layers of complexity. Basically keeping people on the same page without tons of meetings. Multi-site creates multi-meetings and multi-exceptions to every rule.

KEM’s Answer.

When you figure out the answer to this question, let me know. Seriously! With multi-site strategy, the complexity factor increases greatly. It’s a constant process trying to identify the non-negotiables for everyone and the things unique to each campus. We’re not a full year into our own first multi-site launch. Each day it seems we discover a new “exception” to the rule and take it as it comes. There’s no way to avoid the multiple meetings. As nice as it would be to launch and hit the autopilot button, it is unrealistic. However there are a few principles we adhere to that help along the way.

• We still have one web site, enews and bulletin for the whole church. Although, each campus may have their own unique communication points on a blog or announcement reel, we use the same communication vehicles for 20% of the content that affects 80% of the audience. And, when people want to drill down for more, there’s no run around to multiple sites and the information is easy to find—regardless of the campus.

• We look for ways to produce it once and use it twice. Anyplace we can eliminate redundancies we try to do it to reduce time, costs and errors.

• Simplify the problem. Rather than react to everything as a complex execution, we consistently boil every project down to its core: “what do we want to happen as a result of this,” and work backwards from there.

• We still do everything in team. We all gather as one church, once a week for the all staff meeting.

• We adhere to the same communication values, looking for ways to bundle and simplify everything we do. Even though the next steps and ministry teams for each campus are very individualized and unique, we still look for ways to tie the next steps to the same major themes (e.g., the weekend series, volunteers, groups, etc.)

Essentially, the premise behind it all is to empower departments and campuses using “freedom within a framework”. The objective isn’t to boss everybody around with a list of rules, but to instead provide guidelines to work within. It’s more about harnessing the power of a message and enhancing the experience, not about the dos and don’ts. There’s a balance between centralizing efforts that maximize excellence and creating a bottleneck for the things that don’t matter. We’re constantly evaluating that contrast. This may not be the clean-cut answer you were hoping for, but it’s the closest thing we’ve got to clean-cut for now!

#102 Stuff Kids Pastors Like

Acronyms

I am not sure who likes acronyms better churches or the government. In the government there is the FBI, CIA, DHS, FEMA, NSA the list goes on. As far as the church goes, when I first became the Children’s pastor of our church the name of the elementary ministry was R.O.C.K. Church, I honestly still don’t know what R.O.C.K. stood for. Better yet as a child of the 70’s I grew up in church during the hight of what I call the “Acronym Age”. I attended a youth group that was named…..are you ready for this C.R.A.C.K. Whether the name congers up thoughts of drug use or of a plumbers anatomy neither are pleasant and neither make you think “I would like to send my kids there”. Another youth group I attended was T.R.E.K. (Kenny my sci-fi friend would have loved it.) Totally Radical Embassies of the Kingdom. Live long and prosper.

There are two basic methods for naming something with an acronym.

Method 1 – Start will a cool name that has nothing to do with church and cram one of the following words or a combination of the following words: Christ, Radical, Kingdom, Kids, or Christian into your cool name to make it sound “more Christian”

The Less popular Method 2 – Start with a cool name and then shorten it. This one has more to do with luck than it does with wit. Like accidentally finding out your phone number spells a word.

I do understand what acronyms are supposed to be for. Shortening long names to make them easier to say when you will be saying them quite often. Can you imagine how much less would get done by government agencies if they didn’t abbreviate! I digress. The main problem I personally have with acronyms is the present a “insider knowledge” jargon atmosphere.

The first reason for the overuse of acronym is cultural relevency with a side order of Jesus. At least the government does it right the shorten a long name, in the church we take a short “cool” name and try to cram Jesus into it (C.R.A.C.K. “Christs Radical And Commited Kids”). Why, oh ,why must we do this.

The next reason I think people use acronyms is to help people remember your name. Yes, name recognition is good, but I think that we should be remembered by people because of the enviroment we create and the experiance that people have. People remember things that touch them emotionaly and spirtually.

The last reason I think people us acronyms to much is because they think if you name it they will C.O.M.E. Many times we put more brainstorming into getting a cool acronym than we do in creating enviroments where lifechange can happen. Ultimately that is our goal creating a place for God to move on peoples lives.

Big Thought

I have been listening to Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast. It has been rocking my free word. If you don’t subscribe to his pod cast you should.

He asked a question on his talk about Breaking Paradigms.

Here is the question:

“What do I believe is impossible to do in my field (Kids ministry) but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business (Children’s ministry).”

I asked Jim Wideman this question I think he gave an excellent answer. He feels that we as kids workers need to get kids to read, apply and love the Word of God. Basically we have so much more to offer kids but they walk away with less life transforming truth.

I have been thinking about this question for days because I believe if we find that thing unpack it and do it we can have a part in transforming a generation of kids ministry.

I am still wrestling with my answer. What do you think that one thing that is impossible to do in Kids ministry?

The Virtue of Cheating.

We just finished our first Hillsong Big Curriculum. I loved it. Like anything there were some things I’d like to see changed for next year overall I loved it. My story tellers and small group leaders alike loved it.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Most of my small group leaders loved the cheat sheets for small groups that Hillsong provided. They loved them so much and seemed to help our small group leaders so I decided to make my own for our 252basics curriculum.

You may ask why spend the time to make these? Great question. These cheat sheets do the following for our small group leaders.

1. Helps the small group leader stay focused – Know what they have covered and what they need to cover.

2. Helps the small group leader know the proper order of small group activities. Nothing more distracting than when your are trying to do prayer time and another group decides to do a game.

3. Helps the small group leader make eye contact and bring application to the kiddos. If the small group leader keeps looking at a full page copy of their lesson they construct a barrier to kids connecting. Connecting with their leader and with other kids.

4. Last and most important helps the small group leader focus on the kids and not on trying to remember what to say next.

Bellow is a sample of the cheat sheet. If you would like a copy of the June cheat sheets or would like the Photoshop file to make your own please let me know and you want it and are a 252baics subscriber and I’ll send the files your way.

What you doing to make 252baisics your own?K1_cheatsheet_FaithWk1.jpg