INCM’s Shift in global focus.

The last year has represented many changes to the vision of our ministry. This change in purpose has shifted our focus and created a renewed intentionality in everything we do. Those of you who joined us at CPC witnessed the innovation first hand. Others of you heard about it online or from friends. In either case, we are excited about what God is doing in and through our ministry and are honored to have you join us in this adventure.

When an organization undergoes dramatic change to vision, there are many contributing factors which will determine the success or failure of the change. Arguably the most important step is building a team capable of managing the transition. A team has to be equipped and empowered for the task ahead. INCM is blessed to have a team of committed staff who fit this criteria.

About a year ago we adopted a new purpose statement for our ministry: serve | serve | serve. INCM exists to serve God and to serve those called to serve His children. We have pushed hard to live out this new purpose statement. In a single year we have gone from a ministry primarily focused on events in the U.S. to a ministry with a global focus. This year we have transitioned from two major domestic events to a total of over 10 events. These events include:

  • CPC East and West
  • CM Leaders – a new event designed to train “leaders of leaders” in our unique calling
  • 3 events in Belize
  • 2 events in Hong Kong
  • 1 event in Egypt
  • several smaller regional events

With the renewed vision shifting our strategic focus, we have streamlined our staff. Our new ministry structure allows our team to navigate challenges and opportunities more effectively and efficiently. For a non-profit ministry, efficiency is one key that moves us to stewardship. This is our desire: to be faithful with the few things we have been entrusted as we pray and seek God’s plan in the coming days.

Roxanne Walker, now serving in her 15th year, is our new Operations Director. She oversees office operations and finances while seeking to implement strategies to enhance the participant experience at INCM events. Roxanne will be assisted by the new Operations Assistant, a position which is yet to be filled. You can email [email protected] for more information.

Lori Bethran ([email protected]), our newest staff member, is now the Training Director for our ministry. Her role represents a renewed focus on our training ministry and is a key part of our efforts to serve the Church. Lori will be managing all domestic and international training efforts, developing content and identifying leaders serving in children’s ministry to join our training team. This will bring continuity and cohesiveness to all INCM events.

Alan Walker ([email protected]), in his sixth year with INCM, will continue as our Marketing Director. His role now includes marketing all of our events and trainings globally while strengthening and expanding collaborative efforts with our ministry partners . He is assisted by Jordan Shew ([email protected]). Jordan has been with us for a couple of years and will now serve as the Communications Leader as he manages our online properties.

I’m honored to serve alongside of our new team and am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this ministry. If you have any questions about these changes, feel free to email me personally; I’m here to serve you. [email protected]

Thank you for being a part of what God is doing in the lives of His children. On behalf of our Board and staff team… we are honored to serve you and your ministry.

Michael Chanley
Executive Director

The Lifecycle of good leadership

I posted a couple of posts here and here that were largely focused at younger leaders. I want to talk to some of us who have been around for a while.

After leading in the same church for a good stretch of time and meeting other leaders from around the country. I have started to notice a leadership trend of sorts that I don’t believe has been talked about much. It’s the lifecycle of a leader. Have you ever met a 50 year old person who is trying to act like they are 20 it’s weird and unnatural. I’m not saying you have to wear Hawaiian shirts because you are 50 it’s just weird because there are certain levels of maturity you expect from people at different points in their lives. Leadership is much the same way.

This is personal observation and I’m still working through it so bear with me. Here is my challenge to everyone who is leading someone out there know where God has you in your lifecycle of leadership don’t despise where you are but embrace it with an attitude of faith and obedience and God will use you where you are more than you will ever know.

1. Learning

  • When you are staring out don’t pretend you know everything because you don’t, actually I know that  I know less than I thought I knew when I started. Ask more questions than you answer.
  • Email, call, tweet, connect with leaders who are further down the road than you.
  • The moment you feel that you have arrived you are in trouble and you are the last one to know it.
  • It’s in this season that you need to observe grow, learn and formulate ideas, get big vision. In some ways we never move on from here.
  • Build your team lean into God more than you lean into anything else

2. Doing

  • This is where you start pulling your team together.
  • You start to put to action those things God place on your heart to do.
  • This is where you start to find your voice for your generation. This doesn’t mean that you are going to travel and speak it means that you are going to use the skills you have learned to reach your generation.
  • Every generation has a means God uses to reach them it’s our job to find that means and speak His message to Glorify him not us. In the doing phase you are applying what you have learned and are typically to busy to help others because you are in the thick of what God has called you to do.

3. Teaching

  • There is a point somewhere along the way that you start to share with others what you have learned and how you have seen God use what you have learned to bless other people and reach people.
  • You start to let go of things so that you can allow other to learn and do.
  • You impart to the next generation not the means that you used but the lessons you learned, the mistakes you made and victories you won.
  • You take the sum total of what you have learned and what you have done to help create a foundation for the next generation of leaders to build on using the methods and the means God has called them to use.

We need fathers who will step up and teach and we need more sons who will be quiet and listen. To much of leadership is about preferance not enough is about timeless principles. There is nothing more frustrating (for the leader and for those they are leading) than a leader operating outside of their where God has them, a young guy teaching untested theories as if they are gospel, older leaders blindly clinging to older methods and neglecting to pass on the principles behind the methods.

I can’t tell you where you are as a leader but you know. Embrace where you are, grow, learn, apply and give away. In the end everyone will forget who you are and God will get the glory, and that’s just how it’s supposed to be. 

Conferences I’m attending: Napkin

Really excited to be apart of the Napkin Conference – I love the vision of this conference. To be a conference that is more about helping people clarify and even facilitate the dreams, ideas and visions God has given folks to do ministry different.

I’m really excited about going to Napkin for a few reasons.The first is the speaking line up they are all children’s pastors currently serving in a local church. I am a huge fan of hearing other kids guys who are still doing the work of the ministry not just retelling war stories of years past. To me how many of the speakers are currently pastors is a major part of what makes me decide to go to a conference. I am a huge believer in the local church. I believe that the church is God’s idea and is the vehicle he uses to reach a lost and dying world.

I also really like the fact that Napkin is going to be a bit  smaller than other conferences to me that’s an advantage because it gives you more opportunities to have conversations with kidmin legends like Jim Wideman, Dave Wakerley, and Ryan Frank If you are coming to napkin or thinking about it use this opportunity to connect with those guys but also with other kidmin leaders who are attending.

Lastly I love the general session only thing. I have never been to a kidmin conference but I think I am really going to like having a shared experience. I love conferences with breakouts but being able to hear all the speakers and process everything together is going to be steller. Can’t wait.

If you want to register do it before February 1st. when the early registry time will end. Here is the link to their registration site.

Retro Post: What are most churches looking for in a children's pastor.

What are most churches looking for in a children’s pastor.

1. Education
2. Experience
3. Passionate about God
4. Passionate about kids
5. Organizational skills
6. Works well with volunteers

I think that church should look for:

1. Passion for God
2. Education
3. Passion for kids and families
4. Chemistry with staff especially with the youth pastor
5. Ability reproduce themselves in others
6. Vision to attract leaders and build a team.
7. Ability to sell vision to leaders.
8. Able to recognize gifts and abilities of others. Know how to place who where.
9. Creativity
10. Can delegate authority not just responsibility.
11. Ability to fail well.

Trying to keep this post short this time but head over to Children’s Ministry online Kenny has a much better list than me check it out.

Retro Post: Seven people in the front seat of a pickup truck doesn't work.

Seven people in the front seat of a pickup truck doesn’t work.

Charlene, age 16
What is driving your ministry? How to keep you ministry from being driven in 7 different directions.

Be Specific – If your specific they’ll be terrific (Borrowed from Ed Young.) – Talk to your leaders often and be specific about what you want and don’t want. Share with them your vision. Talk early and often and for the love of all that is holy Be Specific.

Know where you are going – The only thing worse than “a” back seat driver is “7” back seat drivers. If you have ever driven in a car with more than one person all of whom have a different idea how to get to where you are going you know what I mean.

Stay Focused – Don’t be distracted by everything. I struggle most with this. I get distracted and because I try to do everything at once and in the course of it all…..(Phone ringing, must take this call)……what was I talking about? I wonder if I have any new emails?