The 6 Truths About Multi-site Every Kid’s Pastor Need to Know

Let me be frank. Multi-site is not easy and is not for everyone. I have hated it at times and am thankful at other times. One of the things I love about multi-site is it forces you to grow, invest in and pray for more leaders.  Sometimes people will call asking about Multi-site kids ministry I always tell them we have far from figured it out. Here are the other six things I tell them.

1. Two sites will stretch your parents more than you. Three sites plus will stretch you and your staff more than your parents.

2. There is no perfect model. Everyone has a different take. What you need is not a model to follow but clarity from your pastor on his desire and what that looks like in the context of your church.

3. Multi-site is hardest on the kids ministry because of the massive amounts of leaders and infrastructure need to pull off a Sunday. Once your pastor does one location start planning for five.

4. You have to be more sure of your values they need to be more clear and more simple than ever before.

5. You need a point person staff or volunteer who you trust and who understands the churches DNA and understands you and how you work.

6. You need to trust God more than ever because it really is bigger than you. One site you can manage but get to three or four and your God dependence gets greater. A greater dependence on the work of the Holy spirit and our trust in a God who works all things according to the counsel of His will in our kids ministry has been by far the best thing to come out of our multi-site experience.

12 years in and as we start our 5th campus I still have much to learn.

Group Kidmin Conference Notes – Anatomy of a Team

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What is teamwork? It is crazy messy scary awesome nutty fun amazing powerful and life changing.

Paul talks about the church as a body. An interdependent structure that can only fully function when every part is doing their part.

Ephesians 4:14-16
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

A Team is much like that. It functions best when there is cohesion and interdependence.

So what does the Anatomy of a team look like?

1. In the first section we talked about starting with the why – The first thing you need is the mind of Christ. What is the why? What is the dream and the vision God has put in your heart.  – Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:1-11
2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. 3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Christ’s Humility and Exaltation
5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,
6 who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be used for His own advantage.[a]
7 Instead He emptied Himself
by assuming the form of a slave,
taking on the likeness of men.
And when He had come as a man
in His external form,
8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
9 For this reason God highly exalted Him
and gave Him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,[b]
to the glory of God the Father.

2. Skeleton of the team – you need structure once you have the mind of Christ you need the processes and the places in place to carry out the dream God has given you.

Externalize everything –
Externalize Structure – build an org chart –
Externalize Values
Externalize Expectations – Job descriptions – should have three parts – expectations, accountability and values

3. Structure without tissue is a bit scary you need muscles and tissue and skin.
This is where structure meets ministry. – determine your leadership capacity – if you have 100 kids don’t lead like you have 60 and don’t lead like you have 600 lead like you have 250.

Intentional Mentoring – You only get out what you pour in relationally
You have to move people from incompetence to competence –

Training (How to do meetings)

4. The heart of the team is you.
What is the thing that only you can do – Pump the vision and the values through the veins of your ministry.

The net result is a growing thriving team – it’s not about numbers it’s about health.

When you go home this week.
Get the mind of God for your ministry –
Be the heart that pumps the vision and values into your leadership team
Build the structure that will keep your team together.
Pour into your team – Do what only you can do.

6 questions every leader needs to ask after a big event.

planning

We just got back from camp it was another amazing year and God did some amazing things in the hearts of the kids that attended. Our kids pastor and his team did a great job. Now that I am back I do what I do every year question everything.

Planning the event is huge, but the thing that we often neglect is the pulling the event apart. It matters little at this phase whether the event was a success or failure because this is actually the first step in planning the next event or planning to cancel the next event. I know that I have avoided this part because of insecurity, but more often because I am done with it and on to the next thing. I have to recognize that my confidence doesn’t come from how well the event went or my ability to keep going. My confidence as a leader comes from putting my hopes and dreams in Christ. When you understand that your worth and your confidence comes from him it gives you the strength to kill a program that you have done for years or the wisdom to make that same program better than it’s ever been.

Here are 6 questions I ask myself after each event we do.

1. Am I doing this program or event because “it’s always been done” Is this event in line with the values and the vision of the church currently?
2. Did we accomplish what we wanted to accomplish with this event?
3. Were we good stewards of the money this event cost the church to pull off?
4. If this is something we are going to do next year how can we involve families in the process?
5. Did I have the right leaders there? How can I leverage the planning, running and reflection of this event to grow the leaders under me?
6. When all is said and done was Jesus magnified more than we were?

 

 

People I met at CPC: Heather & Elton McMillan

At CPC San Diego I got a chance to sit down with Heather and Elton kids pastors and founders of We Choose Virtues.

I asked them a few questions –

What made them start We Choose Virtues?

– It started off as a classroom management tool for the preschool class Heather was teaching. The kids had no concept of biblical values and there was no common language that the kids understood. There was little expected of the kids. Heather also saw from her interactions with parents that they were unsure what to discipline kids for that many parents where unsure what to expect of their kids. Upon seeing these things Heather set out to create a tool for her class that was simple enough to be consistant with so that she could use it in her class and so parents could use it in their homes.

How does it work?

The system can be used in most any environment from schools, church, to home. It is based on memorization, repetition and hopefully internalization.

The genius of We Choose Virtues is in the catch-phrases. They “catch on”. Your kids will be quoting the Virtues from the very first day on, and more importantly, they will know how to put them into action in the real world. Both the Kids Collection and the Youth Collection use these phrases that are age-appropriate. Here is a sample of the Kids phrases.

  • The Virtue: Each Virtue is preceded by the words “I am.” Not “I hope to be” or “I wish I was”. “I am” creates positive momentum and a sense of personal ownership. “I am Content” for example.
  • The Catchphrase: More than just a definition, the catchphrases are positive, practical and precise action statements that form the core of this system. Use them throughout the day to reinforce right attitudes and actions. “I am Content. I have my ‘Wanter’ under control”.
  • The Antonyms: The antonyms are a glimpse into the person they no longer want to be. These explain the negative form of the Virtue by using the phrases “I am not” and “I don’t”. “I am Content. I have my ‘Wanter’ under control. I am not bored, greedy or always wanting more and I don’t beg or whine!”
What I think is really valuable is that once the kids know the virtues they choice what virtue they need God’s help with that day and Parents do the same. It makes a massive difference when parents are transparent and admit to the virtues they need God’s help with.
What ages is this system for?
3 and up – There is stuff for kids and youth.
Is this a full on curriculum?
No the beauty of We Choose Virtues is that it is a supplement. You can teach it as a transitional segment in your kids church just like you would do your rules etc. They are short simple and easy to remember. (In my opinion they are perfect for preschool classes.)
Why add this won’t it confuse kids learning more than one thing a sunday?
They have found that it actually improves the retention of the class as a whole. You can teach more to the kids as a result of using this program.
– There are 12 virtues for the kids to learn. I have started using the system with my kids and they have been loving it so far. I love how it gives your family a common vocabulary for issues like whining and pouting. It’s a great tool we plan on using in the Luce household for years to come. I want my kids to first understand the Gospel that they are sinful and can do nothing outside of the grace of God. I also however want them to know what the fruit of a Gospel centered life should look like. In my opinion teaching virtues is not in opposition to the Gospel but the result of truly understanding the Gospel. I am not patient because it pleases God I am patient because of the power of the Gospel in my life empowering me to live for him based on what he has done for me. 

Black Friday, Chick-fil-a, and Leadership (part 1)

Don’t look now but your values are showing.

We all want to be what we are not. If you have brown eyes you want blue, if you have curly hair you straighten it. As a kid I had to wear “slim” jeans and so desperately wanted to wear “husky” it sounded so tough, and now skinny jeans are the rage. We want to be certain things and aspire to them but who we are shows through.

I recently went Black Friday shopping for the first time in my life. Saying it was crazy doesn’t do it justice. I am not a fan of crowds, and don’t ever feel like I have to have anything bad enough to wait in line for it. I’m just not that cool. But this year a deal came up I couldn’t pass up it was well worth an hour or two in line.

I was shocked by the confusion, misinformation, and overall craziness that transpired. There were no lines, no signs, no information and it wasn’t until last-minute someone handed out numbers. The cardboard container holding all the video games was destroyed and people were on their hands and knees looking for games. All of this could have been avoided with a little forethought. I have never seen so many shoppers in one place and every year it’s the same thing. You would think they would have put more thought into creating a system.

10:00 pm came people were screaming pushing and games where flying. I don’t think I will ever go to Wal-Mart for Black Friday again. What does Wal-mart value? – Cheap stuff sold to lots of people they make their money from bulk sales. No matter what values they put up in their break room they value bulk first customers second.

It doesn’t matter what you say your values are it’s what you do that shows what your values are.