Top 10 Leadership Quotes From The Orange Tour 2014

Here are the top leadership quotes and ministry quotes from this year’s Orange Tour. Each year the good folks at Orange tour several cities teaching leadership and family ministry. Our church hosts the Seattle stop. Here are highlights:

TOP LEADERSHIP QUOTES

Orange Tour#10. Being afraid isn’t failure, staying afraid is. – @JonAcuff

#9. Just because something is true doesn’t mean that it will be embraced. – @ReggieJoiner

#8. Sometimes you need to risk and sacrifice what you are currently doing for the sake of what could be. – @CNieuwhof

#7. Stop thinking like a teacher… act like a coach. – @ReggieJoiner

#6. When you raise bar, high capacity people show up. – @CNieuwhof

#5. Surround yourself with voices that value what is dynamic as much as what is core. – @ReggieJoiner

#4. You’ve got to do character on the front end, not the back end. – @CNieuwhof

#3. As a leader, you are driven by mission, but you succeed because of strategy. – @ReggieJoiner

#2. The scope of your influence is determined by the success of your leaders. – @ReggieJoiner

#1. People admire your strengths, but they resonate with your weaknesses. – @CNieuwhof

TOP 12 MINISTRY QUOTES

Orange Tour - Reggie Joiner#12. People aren’t looking for friendliness, they are looking for friends. – @ReggieJoiner

#11. Trust leads to stronger faith, but doubt can also lead to stronger faith. – @ReggieJoiner

#10. Jesus never started with theology. He started with ministry. Where you start with someone is important. – @CNieuwhof

#9. God is not surprised or disappointed by the size of your ministry. – @JonAcuff

#8. If you never let your kids process their own doubts, they’ll never own their own faith. – @ReggieJoiner

#7. Don’t make the things in the world the enemy. – @ReggieJoiner

#6. Maturity takes time… we have to be willing to give people time. @CNieuwhof

#5. The greatest apologetic is a transformed life, not a full mind. – @ReggieJoiner

#4. One day when parents and kids think about your church, YOU will be what they remember. – @CNieuwhof

#3. The production at your churches doesn’t change lives. Relationships do. – @CNieuwhof

#2. You should invest in insiders. You should prioritize for outsiders. – @ReggieJoiner

#1. In the future, dialog will trump monolog.- @CNieuwhof

BONUS QUOTES

Orange Tour - Seattle Northshore Christian ChurchThe church should be the safest place to ask questions. – @ReggieJoiner

As leaders, our mission is to influence those who influence the next generation. – @ReggieJoiner

If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. What are you aiming at? – @JimWideman

When you start with a self-depreciating story as a leader, it works… because they all can relate to you. – @CNieuwhof

Kids may be leaving the church because there it is not a safe place to ask their tough questions. – @CNieuwhof

Tension doesn’t make a truth less true, it makes it more real. – @ReggieJoiner

Sometimes in our zeal to fight for what is true, we don’t fight for the tensions that actually connect those truths to what is real. – @ReggieJoiner

Sometimes a truth can lose clarity when it’s divorced from the reality of the other truths that amplify it. – @ReggieJoiner

When there’s tension, there’s opportunity. Tension creates a platform for conversation. – @ReggieJoiner

“You can’t tell kids to be the church one day if you haven’t given them the opportunity to be the church now.” – @ReggieJoiner

Kids will not believe they are signficant until you give them something significant to do. – @ReggieJoiner

You should enjoy going to church. We should create church as a place people want to be. – @ReggieJoiner

You may become a Christian in a moment, but it takes forever to figure out what that means. – @ReggieJoiner

Working with children is like planting an orchard. You might not see results until years later. – @ReggieJoiner

What God has given me is what I need to say yes to. – @JonAcuff

You will never be able to out-produce what’s available in culture. Culture can’t out-“community” your church. – @ReggieJoiner

Beliefs matter. Start wrestling with doctrine & principles & ask hard questions-it’s important! – @ReggieJoiner

What do you need to do differently today… to reach the people you want to reach tomorrow? – @CNieuwhof

CONFERENCE NOTES

Tweet From Elle Campbell: For more notes from @ellllllllllle and @kennnnnnnnny on creating a safe space for students, visit http://ellecampbell.org/orangetour

Tweet from Jim Wideman: #Orangetour Seattle here are my notes and worker app enjoy http://ow.ly/BIe80

The Orange Tour stops in cities around the country each fall. I find it a great resource for our children’s ministry, student ministry, family ministry and senior leadership teams. Click here for more information.

What are your favorite Orange quotes? Leave them below.


 

Orange Tour - Seattle Northshore Christian Church

 

Parenting: Empty Nest Syndrome – 7 Tips For When Your Kid Leaves Home

Some tips and advice for combating empty nest syndrome.

As leaders, our responsibilities don’t stop when we leave work. We also lead our family. The “final exam” of our home leadership comes when our children move on . . . they day they no longer live under our roof.

This year, our first child left home for college. I couldn’t have asked for a better son or better experiences for him while growing up. Yet this has been a challenging time of transition for our family. Here are some of the things we learned as parents in transition:

WHAT TO EXPECT WITH AN EMPTY NEST

It’s time: Your son/daughter may have really enjoyed high school. You may have liked attending sports, music or drama events to see your kids. But no matter how much you may wish it could all go on indefinitely, it can’t. It shouldn’t. By design, high school has a limited duration. Staying one extra day won’t add more value. Living at home also has a limited healthy duration. Lingering isn’t better . . . it just keeps everyone focused on the past (looking at the rear-view mirror). Instead, look out the windshield. The only way forward is to let go of what was and embrace what’s ahead (even if it comes with a difficult transition). Life has moved on. So should you. It’s the only way if you want your children to have a successful career, get married or give you grandkids.

A major life transition is thrust upon you: All the attention is on your child’s transition (as it should be). However, this can mask that you and your spouse are also going through a significant transition. Perhaps you are comfortable with how things have been. Maybe you thought most of your major life transitions were behind you (after all, you’ve already graduated, been married, moved and secured a job). This change may feel like an unwelcome surprise.

Loss of a focus: Think about it. You’ve spent a lot of time anticipating raising a family. Perhaps when you were a kid yourself you thought of getting married and someday having children. That means that you have been anticipating children and raising children for decades. Raising kids can be the source of our identity. It’s a valuable pursuit. For many, children are the biggest dream and focus of their lives. With the children leaving home, what dream or focus is now on your horizon?

Time and adult friendships: Having teens means spending time at their events. It can also mean making friends with other parents at these events. We can get used to spending our time this way and having a social outlet. How will we spend our time and make new connections going forward?

Loss of contact: We like our kids and enjoy spending time with them. Over countless hours and experiences a wonderful relationship has been established. Losing this day-in, day-out contact can make us feel sad. We want what’s best for our kids (moving on), but selfishly, we don’t want to give up the time we enjoy with our kids.

Your child is a boomerang: You are mentally preparing to be without your child. You’re ready to reclaim their room, throw out the old toys and reconfigure your home for a new era. But then junior comes home for breaks. He/she is gone, but not totally. You want them to have a place in your home, but they aren’t there very often to use it. This can make it feel difficult to cleanly transition to a new era.

Your mortality: Each year in the Pacific Northwest millions of salmon return home. They spawn the next generation and then die within a few weeks. Thankfully, that isn’t the case for humans. Still, an empty nest can cause us to take stock. The years moved quickly with children at home and we’re a little older. Somehow we’re not in as good of shape as we used to be and we’re beginning to feel some of life’s mileage. We are reminded that life is finite and precious.

EMPTY NEST TIPS

#1. Know that they are leaving home, not leaving us: The temptation is to equate our child’s physical absence with their absence from our lives. The truth is that our relationship with them continues. Our kids still need us and love us.

#2. Electronic communication: Stay in touch with your kids electronically. Gone are the days of expensive phone calls. Social media, texts and video calls are free. Take advantage of them. If your child is away at college, suggest that they call you while walking to class (nothing else is competing for this time). Take an interest in their academic life (their friends probably don’t).

#3. Plan visits: Plan ahead so that you will always know the next time you will see your child. Time moves more quickly when you are looking forward to a visit.

#4. Dream: The dream of raising young children is now behind you. Don’t let there be a void. Dream some new dreams and set some new goals. Budget resources to help you achieve them. Chances are we are better skilled and better off financially than we were before kids. There will never be a better time in life to accomplish new things.

#5. Reconnect with your spouse: Years of raising children changed how you relate to your spouse. Use this opportunity to do the things you couldn’t after your children were born. If you used to enjoy doing something together, chances are you still will now that there aren’t kids in the house.

#6. Get a “kid fix” if you need it: If you find yourself missing simply being around kids, volunteer in your church’s Children’s Ministry or Student Ministry. There are plenty of kids that would benefit greatly from your time and attention.

#7. Celebrate the win: Your job as a parent is to work yourself out of a job. Congratulations, you’ve successfully equipped your child to leave home and live in the real world! If the day your baby comes home from the hospital is worth celebrating, so is the day your young adult leaves home. You’ve completed the “adult-child” stage of parenting and can now move on to the “adult-adult” stage. It’s quite an accomplishment.

What are your best tips for handling an empty nest? Share them in a comment below.


 

Empty Nest Syndrom

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Top 10 Quotes From The Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

Here are the best leadership quotes from this year’s Global Leadership Summit, as they appeared in the #GLS14 Twitter feed.

TOP 10 LEADERSHIP QUOTES

#10. “Don’t get so addicted to vision that the people feel like equipment” – @BillHybels (via @wcagls)

#9. “Rather than focus on your critics, focus on the people who are impacted by your work.” – @tylerperry (via @wcagls)

# 8. “Conflict is the opportunity to strengthen a relationship” (via @ashleynchrist)

#7. “Leaders need to have a ruthless commitment to resolving relational conflict regardless of how bad it feels.” – @BillHybels (via @LeapsofJoy)

#6. “If you’re not interested in getting better, it’s time for you to stop leading.” – @PatrickLencioni (via @MJRueter57)

#5. “You can not let your budget dictate your faith.” – @PastorChoco (via RT @rhonda_dahlin)

#4. “Your peers determine how far you go. Be a giver. Be a friend.” – @JeffImmelt (via @VisionandGrowth)

#3. “The heart of trust is truth.” – Don Flow (via @wcagls)

#2. “When you don’t talk around the truth you have to talk through it. And truth accelerates trust.” – @josephgrenny (via @wcagls)

#1. “Leadership flows out of who we are, not just what we do.” – Don Flow (via @wcagls)

 

… AND A BONUS BAKER’S DOZEN LEADERSHIP QUOTES

“We like the final product, but we don’t like the process.” – @PastorChoco (via @wcagls)

“If you’re not going to do anything about the answer, then don’t ask.” – @PastorChoco (via @wcagls)

“I use the laughter as anesthesia to get to the stuff that really matters.” – @tylerperry (via @spagerealtor)

“Challenge without confidence creates fear; confidence without challenge creates complacency.” – Don Flow (via @wcagls)

“People won’t give their best unless their leader challenges them to do so.” – @BillHybels (via @wcagls)

“Candor is never the problem: People don’t get defensive over what you’re saying; they get defensive over why you’re saying it.” (via @mattvorhees)

“Prayer is good but it has to move us to do something.” – @PastorChoco (via @wcagls)

“The intent in crucial conversations is FAR greater than the content” – @josephgrenny (via @Chris_Mase)

“Every single decision you make as a leader has an effect on the spirit of those you lead ” – Bill Hybels (via @LetsGrowLeaders)

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles.” – @PastorChoco (via @wcagls)

“Being an effective leader starts with how we negotiate with ourselves and get out of our own way.”  – @ericaarielfox (via @wcagls)

“The myth that we can’t tell the truth AND keep friends is at the heart of of our dysfunction.” -@JosephGrenny (via @ToddAdkins)

“People join organizations, they leave managers.” – @BillHybels (via @wcagls)

“The stakes are too high for us to die with a small vision.” – @LouieGiglio (via @wcagls)

 

WILLOW CREEK LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2014 NOTES

From @lkoturner: Session notes on @JeffImmelt – the highlight so far for me of #GLS14: http://t.co/FFCCfTnueZ

From @Leadershipfreak: Lencioni’s thoughts on the 3 Most Dangerous Mistakes Leaders Make: http://t.co/OKbBuCAuHC

From @wcagls: @BillHybels shared “Hard-Fought Leadership Lessons” to open #GLS14 today: http://t.co/HsFMdtT0S6

From @StephenBraunius: My notes from Session 7b: One-on-One, Tyler Perry http://t.co/CD3IApWErI

From @StephenBraunius: Notes from session 2B #GLS14 “Positioning Your Organization for the Future” http://t.co/7UfCFey565

From @bradbridges: 15 Transformational Quotes from @PatrickLencioni Global Leadership Summit Speech || http://t.co/VcpNjVVHWC

From @bradbridges: 15 Essential Quotes from @BillHybels Global Leadership Summit Speech || http://t.co/r5zBu4iEiv

From @BrianKDodd: 18 Leadership Quotes From @JosephGrenny – http://t.co/54AJ673shA

From @BrianKDodd: 23 Leadership Quotes From @PatrickLencioni at  #GLS14 http://t.co/4qv73M07CU

From @BrianKDodd: 59 Leadership Quotes From @BillHybels at #GLS14 http://t.co/IkjX3mHsKT

From @BrianKDodd: 44 Leadership Quotes From @CarlyFiorina at #GLS14 http://t.co/WIiI0hEv7k

From @BrianKDodd: 18 Leadership Quotes From Bryan Loritts at #GLS14 http://t.co/7xA8UgmvOW

What are your favorite leadership quotes? Share them in a comment below.


 

Direct Communication Style – The Secret To Improving Your Leadership

You know the feeling. Something is wrong. You’re the leader. You really should say something about it. But confronting someone is the LAST thing you feel like doing. You consider your options. Perhaps you can do nothing, or simply drop a hint, and the problem will go away. You’re in agony watching the cycle of identifying a problem, shying away from a difficult conversation and then having the problem continue. How do you fix it?

I was raised on the West Coast, a part of our country where people are “nice”. Speaking in a frank manner was definitely NOT the tool of choice when resolving problems. People might subtly infer if there is a problem. Rarely would they say what they were thinking directly to your face (though behind your back was generally okay). It just wasn’t “nice” to tackle relational problems head-on.

Then I moved to the Northeast. I got creamed. I thought everyone hate me. They were always raising problems . . . to my face! They were direct and it didn’t feel particularly kind. I thought something must have happened to me on my trip from the West Coast to the East Coast because people were treating me so differently. But after about a year I came to a revelation: I did have friends and people did like me. I realized that on the East Coast, you always know where you stand with someone. The relational air was surprisingly clear. Great things happened because people weren’t afraid to be direct.

DIRECT VS INDIRECT COMMUNICATION STYLE

Do you struggle to be direct? You’re not alone . . . most people do. But if you’re indirect you may be hurting your career, relationships and potential. Here’s why:

Indirectness kills creativity and productivity. Indirect leaders fail to communicate both what they want and what they don’t want. Employees don’t understand what behaviors to avoid. They don’t know what the boss’ pet peeves (organizational landmines) are. This makes them afraid to contribute new ideas (for fear of presenting something that isn’t wanted). Employees retreat into their known silos and do business as usual. Indirect leadership creates an atmosphere where playing it safe and doing nothing is rewarded with continuing employment.

An indirect communication style fails to resolve problems and causes stress. Unresolved problems cause dull pain. It’s like a toothache that reminds you that something is wrong. Just like our teeth, problems don’t get better when we fail to address them. The dull pain amplifies other problems, making indirect leaders feel worse than they would otherwise.

An indirect communication style may reveal a lack discipline. It takes leadership discipline to look for problems, find solutions and speak with the people involved. Indirect people sometimes lack this leadership discipline and feel it is easier to let problems go in the hopes they will go away.

Indirectness makes leaders look weak. Leaders are in charge. Sometimes we are the only ones on our team who can deal with the obvious problems. Our people are relying on us to solve the challenges they can’t. We hurt our careers and our people when we fail to directly address challenges.

Indirectness promotes staff turnover. Indirect leaders drop hints. They beat around the bush. Indirect leaders ask others to communicate their message to a problem individual. Staff members view these things through their own lenses (past personal experiences) and come to negative conclusions. The unclear expectations create frustration and insecurity among staff members, which ultimately promotes turnover.

NOT ALL DIRECT COMMUNICATION IS CONSTRUCTIVE

Angry Direct CommunicationBad “direct” – The truth in anger: One of the reasons a direct communication style can be so difficult for some people is because they associate it with anger. How many times have we had an angry person say direct things to us? They have something that bothers them but are afraid to bring it up. It’s only after a problem emotionally elevates during an argument that the finally truth comes out (in an ugly way). Their issue may genuinely need to be raised. However, it’s impossible for the recipient to accept the criticism because it is in the middle of a heated argument. Directness is seen as an instrument for hurt rather than a positive relational tool.

Good “direct” – The truth in love: Good “direct” is about good intent. The Apostle Paul had one of the best “direct” styles in history. In Ephesians 4:15 he promotes the power of “speaking truth in love” to each other so that we will grow. When you read any of Paul’s letters you see that he is both encouraging and direct about things needing to be addressed. Paul says a lot of tough things, but always from a standpoint of constructive criticism and caring. When done this way, directness positively promotes growth and strengthens relationships.

HOW TO DEVELOP A DIRECT COMMUNICATION STYLE

Arrows - Direct CommunicationOur personality and skill set determine how easy it is for us to be direct. Some people are wired to be direct (drill sergeants, football coaches, prophets, etc.). Some people have had “direct” modeled well for them by friends and family. Other people are wired in a way that they detest conflict or have only seen “direct” used against them in ugly arguments. Where are you in this continuum? Knowing yourself will give you an indication of how difficult it will be for you to “speak the truth in love.”

Being direct starts with intent: If you need to speak with someone directly, make sure it is because you have their best interest (and the best interest of your organization) at heart. People are perceptive. People will listen if they sense you are talking with them because you care. If they sense bad intent they will quickly become defensive. Remember Theodore Roosevelt’s wise words, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Direct communication is enabled by relationship: Beyond good intent you need relationship. This means that you know the person you are speaking with. Over time you should have built positive relational capital with the individual. This means that you have made relational “deposits” in the past by encouraging them, asking about their family, helping them and paying attention to them. Having plenty of relational deposits means that you can make a “withdrawal” by being direct, without destroying the relationship. In the best relationships, showing you care by being direct can actual be a relational deposit and not a withdrawal.

Find the right location: A direct conversation requires the right location. Choose a place where others can’t see/hear you. Have tissue available in case things get emotional. Choose a place where you both can quietly go your own way immediately following the conversation. Choose an informal setting (seating area in your office) over a formal one (you behind your desk).

Use the right tone: Be mindful with your tone of voice and body language. Both should be calm, friendly and business-like. Remember that your words will have a lot of weight just because of your leadership position. The person you are talking with may have had bad experiences with confrontations and conflict. They may bring a lot of past baggage into the conversation. They may quickly become defensive if they think you are angry or wanting conflict. Commit to having the conversation quickly after the problem is discovered. Procrastinating builds tension and makes it more difficult to maintain an even tone.

Start by prefacing your comments: People want to be treated as adults. Set the stage by sharing what you will be doing and that you will be speaking in a straightforward manner. Example: “John, I know how much you care about things around here and I appreciate that. There are some things that are concerning me. If it’s alright, I would like to speak frankly with you about them.” This allows people to know that something difficult is coming but that you are going to speak about it as adults.

“Rip off that bandage quickly”: Having set the tone now is the time to say what needs to be said clearly and directly. Example: “Last month I asked you to get an agreement signed by ABC Company so they could use our facilities. As I understand it, that never happened and now they are going elsewhere. What’s up with that?” Asking for a response after stating a fact engages them and allows you to discover things you may not know. Many times the person will make excuses at first, but ultimately accept responsibility for their shortcoming.

Frame your response with common sense: At this point, keep the conversation frank and focused on the problem (so that it does not become personal). Example: “Okay, I see where things went wrong. John, losing ABC Company’s business is a $10,000 loss for us. That’s money we need to pay our employees and expand into other cities. We can’t afford these kinds of oversights. You’re better than this and I need you to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” If the person wants to take the conversation down different trails, politely and firmly redirect it back to the topic at hand. Example: “John, maybe Mary did mess up that other account . . . but right now we’re talking about what happened with ABC Company.” Stay singularly focused on the problem at hand.

Cover everything: In direct conversations there can be a temptation to explore most of a problem, but to leave out the most difficult part. Be sure to say all of what is necessary. There will never be a better time to do it! End by affirming the future and the value of direct communication: Example: “John I’m glad you’ll be doubling your efforts with ABC Company. I’ll look forward to seeing them here next year. I’m glad we have the kind of relationship where we can be straight with each other like we were here today.” End the conversation with a smile and handshake if appropriate.

DIRECT COMMUNICATION IS TWO-WAY STREET

Directness isn’t just about being able to occasionally “dish it out.” Through all your interactions, invite others to be honest and direct with you. Respond to them thoughtfully when they are. You should be able to accept direct communication from others as well as provide it. Be consistent in your directness and people will see you as a “trusted critic.” Directness with honesty can be so rare that people will value it . . . and you as a leader . . . to an unusual degree.

HAVING THE COURAGE TO BE DIRECT

Conflict is unavoidable. It’s a natural part of our organizations and relationships. The only question is, ‘How will I handle conflict?” If you have been defaulting to an indirect communication style, I encourage you work on becoming direct. It may be one of the more difficult things you do in your leadership this year, but I’ll bet it will be the most rewarding.

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. – Ephesians 4:25

Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. – Matthew 5:37

Note: This post was developed from my presentation to the national Xpastor conference in Dallas and originally appeared on the Xpastor website. I discuss it further with Rich Birch on the unSeminar podcast. Click here to watch.

 


 

 

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How To Inspire Others: Carpe Diem

There’s a moment..

We’ve all experienced it. And we would love to experience it again.

It’s that brief pause in time after the big event has ended. It’s when we put up our feet and take stock of what just happened. It’s a bittersweet moment better measured in emotion than time. The adrenaline is gone. The pressure to perform has ceased. The deadline is met. The mountain has been climbed.

Carpe DiemThese moments are amongst our most rare and precious in this life. There’s a clarity in our reflection. Was all the work climbing the mountain worth it? You bet. Were we right to make it a priority? Yes! Was the time we sacrificed well spent? Absolutely. Are we (and those around us) genuinely satisfied? In this moment, yes.

These moments only occur when leaders choose an attitude of carpe diem. It’s easy to play it safe, but don’t. Meaningful victories never sprout from easily obtained goals or challenges that do little to stretch. Others are inspired when we focus on something worthwhile and work hard at it. Seize the day… and ultimately you will give your team the gift of the moment..

 

Carpe Diem


 

 

 

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Leadership Lessons From A Leader Of Leaders: Carey Nieuwhof

Who do you like to learn leadership from? Perhaps the best people to learn from are those special leaders who can lead leaders.

Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof

It was my privilege to sit down with just such a person at the Orange leaders conference. Carey Nieuwhof is a leader in the Orange organization, which attracts some of the best minds anywhere. He also leads a highly successful church in the Toronto area. He is an outstanding speaker, connector, doer and visionary. Nieuwhof is a leader of leaders . . . and I asked him for his most practical leadership advice.

HOW TO MANAGE TIME

Deciding what you are not going to do is as important as deciding what you are going to do. The genius is in knowing what you are skilled and gifted at. Only say “yes” to those things you do well. Say “no” to everything else, especially those things at which you aren’t very good. Become excellent at saying “no” graciously. Your spouse and your assistant can help you in saying “no”. They may be able to decline some opportunities for you. Eliminate 90% of the opportunities that come your way so that you can focus on the 10% of opportunities for which you are gifted.

HOW TO STAY PRODUCTIVE AND ENERGETIC

Being a morning person helps. Get up early for your quiet time, writing and social media posts. Have them done by 8am.

Have a good assistant.

Be very careful what you say “yes” to and focus on what you are good at (as noted above).

Productivity varies with life stage. A driven person in a life stage where there are no kids at home may have one capacity level. A leader in a life stage where there are heavy family demands may have a different capacity, in that specific season. It’s good to be aware of your personal life circumstance and adjust your priorities/expectations/time accordingly.

Cultivate your heart. Your interior journey determines your external journey. Guard your heart with great friendships. Gather wise people around you. Maintain good relationships with Jesus and your spouse. Get enough sleep. Do the things that energize you.

Nieuwhof does not regularly watch TV or play golf. He enjoys cycling and uses the time cycling to think and create outlines for his writing.

A note for senior pastors. Pastors are expected to create sermons and give their church vision. In essence, pastors create “something out of nothing.” This means setting aside meaningful time to think and create message series/church vision. Nieuwhof limits doing church business functions to a maximum of three days each week in order to preserve enough margin to create.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW NOW THAT YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN AS A LEADER IN YOUR 20s?

It is character, not competency, that determines your capacity. As you grow your character you grow your capacity as a leader. It’s relatively easy to develop your skill set, especially in the areas in which you are gifted. However, character issues such as humility and submission were the things Nieuwhof wrestled with as a younger leader.

Having a mentor is important throughout life, but it’s especially valuable in your 20s.

Learning to work with a team is critical. A team can bring out the best in you and in others. Learn this skill as early as you can.

LEADERS LEARN FROM BLOGGING

Nieuwhof writes one of the most helpful and practical leadership blogs on the internet (CareyNieuwhof.com).

Writing blog posts help leaders process thoughts. You can become a better thinker by writing.

A blog teaches you what resonates and connects with people. If you write a book you will wait a year for feedback. A blog post allows you to receive immediate feedback. It can be surprising what ideas resonate and get shared. . . and which ones don’t.

Social media allows you to float trial balloons. Nieuwhof notices when one of his tweets gets a lot of response. He will build that idea into a blog post or a sermon.

TOP BOOKS FOR CHURCH LEADERS

Zombies, Football and the Gospel by Reggie Joiner

Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

Love Works by Joel Manby

THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE CHURCH

The greatest challenge the church faces is creeping irrelevance. We are more irrelevant than we think we are. This is a major blind spot for the church. The best place to see this is in the Millennial Generation.

There is a lack of next generation leaders. Where are the 20-something leaders? We have not seen enough emerge. We need to ensure there are enough young leaders to fill the leadership tank.

There is too much of a divide between business and the church. 100 years ago the best and brightest went into ministry. Now they go into business or elsewhere. This is creating a brain drain for the church.

People and families are looking for answers. However they don’t think the church can help.

The church has a great opportunity to reach people. There has never been more unchurched people. The fields are ready for the harvest.

The church also can leverage billions of dollars in under-used real estate (church buildings).

LEARN BY FOLLOWING NIEUWHOF

Carey Nieuwhof - Leading Change Without Losing It

Carey Nieuwhof – Leading Change Without Losing It

Nieuwhof is generous when it comes to sharing his leadership experience and wisdom.

Follow his blog at CareyNieuwhof.com and on Twitter at Twitter.com/cnieuwhof.

He is also author of the books “Leading Change Without Losing It” and “Parenting Beyond Your Capacity.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

Main Session Notes From The Orange Conference #OC14

Here is a great resource – Orange Conference notes! Each year 6,000 leaders gather in Atlanta for the national Orange Conference for church leaders. Cheryl Kneeland is a member of our team. She took excellent notes from the main sessions and several of the breakouts. She has graciously shared them with us for this guest post. Be sure to follow Cheryl on Twitter here.

MAIN SESSION #1

Virginia Ward – Changing, A Series Of Systematic Movements

We need to learn some things about change and see and understand each other. “I wanna be a youth leader who helps young people connect faith and life together.”

We are going to say YES to change!

 

Orange ConferenceBrooklyn Lindsey – Say YES to being uncomfortable.

Chaos is our love language (in middle school ministry).

Luke 11:46

Carry each others’ burdens. (Galatians) We can’t fix it all, we can’t move this right now, but we know that God can help and we can say YES to the uncomfortable right now that opens the door, shows them that we, the church cares.

Believe in a church that will sit with us in our doubt and tell us that we are here and love you.

> I’m not going to leave your side. I can tenaciously pursue unbelievers and can sit with them and carry their burdens with them.

> The yoke will never be too heavy for us because the burden is shared.

Say YES to the redeemable, uncomfortable person in front of you.

 

Reggie Joiner – Say YES to a God that is bigger than you think

When you go through life changes you lean into the people that you do ministry with, work with, do life with. I hope you will be surrounded with people that you can lean into; that will share with you, encourage you, be with you, whatever it is that you are going through right now beyond learning the skills, I hope you will find relationship with the people around you.

> KNOW- You can know God. Without a shadow of doubt.

> MOMENT- You can become a Christian in a moment. All it takes is a moment, to become a Christian, a new believer.

>BIBLE- The Bible is all true. It is a unique thing that God has given us so we can understand what it is he’s given us.

> TRUST- Trust leads to relationship.

> CHURCH- You should enjoy going to church.

> BELIEVE- Your beliefs matter. Understanding God’s principles.

> GOD- God is good. God is a god that genuinely cares.

Just because something is true doesn’t mean someone will hold on to it.

People walk away from church…It wasn’t because what we told them wasn’t true, it wasn’t because we didn’t teach them the gospel because we did,

65% of people that walk away, say they are not religious.

If we’re not careful, we can dismantle their faith or leave them with an impression that God is small.

“Sometimes in our zeal to fight for what is true we don’t fight for the tensions that actually connect those truths to what is real.”

The mercy of God doesn’t water down the truth, it amplifies it.

Tension doesn’t make truth less true, it makes it more real.

Somewhere along the way, we need to understand that we can somehow hold truths in our hands and honor them that will help us articulate and help others understand how powerful God is.

If you want to stretch the faith of a kid, capture their imagination, then look at truth in a different way. I want them to understand that YES you can know God but YES God is a mystery and somewhere along the way we have to hold both of those truths in our hand and yes you can know God and he can still be mystery and you don’t have to know everything about God.

YES you can understand what it means to have a relationship with God in a moment, but it will take you forever to know what that means.

Sometimes we hang kids on a foundation in faith that teaches them that if you have this faith, everything will be better. They will learn that somewhere in this process, being a Christian is harder and messier than we thought it would be.

Yes the Bible is all true and YES at the same time, everything true about life is not in the Bible.

One day they are going to face some problems that aren’t directly addressed in the Bible. The Bible is the final authority when it comes to many issues, there is other information that we need. The Bible is the way we can understand the story and the character of God.

Romans 1:20

We can learn from each other and we should be good stewards to learn.

> Why do you interview non-Christian leaders to learn how to lead? Because God made them.

> Why do you go to educators? God made them.

We don’t have an excuse not to learn everything we can possibly learn to be the best leaders we can possibly be. We can’t be afraid of learning everything we can learn…

Kids need to know that God is bigger than your Bible.

YES, trust leads to stronger faith and doubt leads to stronger faith.

> This is a huge issue; it’s important because the kids are going to grow up and start asking questions in middle school and beyond and the way you answer their questions will make a big difference.

> If you don’t allow kids in middle school to process their own doubt, they won’t own their own faith.

They should enjoy church and they should enjoy the physical world around us, what God has created.

> It’s okay to enjoy other things, other than church.

> Don’t raise your kids and tell them they won’t enjoy candy.

> Don’t get worried because you might like people that are not Christians, even better than some Christians, don’t worry if you like listening to Justin Timberlake.

> Don’t make kids choose between the world and church, for the same reason you watch a non-Christian run a football down a field.

YES to beliefs that matter and YES people matter more.

You know what you believe, but people matter more. The lost son is a good example.

If your beliefs cause you to treat people the wrong way, something is wrong with your beliefs.

YES God has an ideal, but YES God uses broken people.

> Some of your kids are going to try to live up to an ideal and they’re going to get broken along the way. But let’s go back through the scripture and look at how many broken people God used.

> When your kids feel they cannot measure up, they may give up. Give them the idea and the concept of Grace in the middle of their world.

YES God is good and YES you should do good.

> You should do good because he’s created you to do good.

> At the end of the day you and I do not have an excuse not to do good.

> If we’re not leading them into the trenches to do good then we’re not leading them to the truth.

If you don’t say yes to the tension kids could grow up to become “that” Christian.

God is good but you need to be responsible to do good in the world.

> Don’t get stuck when things don’t work out the way you want them to.

> Don’t be a jerk.

> Don’t be weird.

> Don’t be so threatened by questions & doubt that you don’t believe God is bigger than your questions.

> Trust that God is doing something bigger than you, bigger than your perspective.

The world is watching, your kids are listening and you need to make sure your giving them that AND this.

Take a moment and pause and worship a God that is bigger than us.

—-

MAIN SESSION #2

Heather Zempel- Pastor of Discipleship at National Community Church
SAY YES to finding everyone a place where they know they belong

Programs don’t disciple people, people disciple people.

Are our programs just keeping people busy or are they leading to relationships? What if we made sure our structures discipled people? Need to create places for people to encourage relational discipleship.

It’s going to take hard work to disciple people.

Disciples are made…When they know that they matter to somebody, when they know that they have a place to belong.

Romans 16 list…the people that invested in you, walked beside you along the way. Who’s list is your name going to show up on? We have the ability to control who’s list we’re on.

We need to name their potential. Drawing out of them the person that Jesus created them to be. Our words matter so make them big. Call them up to a higher level. You have to be a little crazy to be a disciple maker…You have to see things in people that no one else sees.

Be an example to all of the believers (Paul said to Timothy).

We also need to say YES to braving their mess. SAY YES to the inevitable mess that they will either create or find themselves in. Mess transforms peoples’ lives. We say YES to mess beginning with diapers and drool and it doesn’t stay that clean. You’re dealing with the bad choices that they make. If we want to say YES to the next generation, we have to say YES to the mess. We’ve got to speak life into the messy places. We need to remind kids that their mess is not final fate, it may be the incubator for miracles in their life.

We say YES to inconvenience, yes to hard conversations and shifting our priorities.Tell them a story that is larger than their own. We need to find ways to make kids experience grace that is unmistakable. It’s one thing to give kids a list of statements and say believe it or give them a list of rules and say follow it…We’re not going to win the next generation by making statements at them.

It’s not rules to live by but a calling to live for.

Who are we leaving in our wake? Who’s going to be on these kids Romans 16 list? We can make sure that they experience grace in the fullness of truth and the fullness of truth in the experience of grace. We’ve got to tell the story over and over again.

We cannot let Jesus’ last command become our least concern.

Invite them into a story that’s bigger than our own.

 

Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor at National Community Church
SAY YES to re-imagining what you do…

If you want to repeat history, do it the way it’s always been done. If you want to make history, do it a new way. Re-imagine the way you do things…

Acts 10 “He prayed to God regularly”

If you pray to God regularly, irregular things will happen regularly.

Orange, go home. Lock yourself in your room and draw a circle, get inside the circle and pray that God will bring a revival in that circle.

You can have Holy confidence because you know that God goes before you and you know that He can change anything and everything.

One day…you are one prayer away from a totally different life. Prayer is the difference between letting things happen and making things happen.

We underestimate what God can do in one day. God can accomplish more in one day than we can accomplish in a lifetime.

God’s revealing to us, giving us a vision from Him. Ask…What is your agenda (God) for me?

Often times I want God to reveal the second step, before I take the first step..don’t wait until you have the whole plan. You wouldn’t be in the place where God wants you to be.

Don’t let your budget determine your vision, let your vision determine your budget.

God is calling Peter to step out of the universe that he knows. It’s a huge step of faith to go where you’ve never been or do what you’ve never done. Sometimes re-imaging is as simple as changing the way you do something small, like switching translations of your Bible. (Get a different perspective).

Change of place plus change of pace equals re-imagining.

When and where do you pray? You should be able to answer this. If you can’t answer when and where you pray, you need to rethink your prayer time.

Matthew 18:18

Prayer is a spiritual contract. For the will of God.

Where is it that you’ve experienced God’s miracles? Sometimes we have to go back to that place to re-imagine.

“Surely not Lord” Peter had obeyed laws his entire life, he could hardly re-imagine another scenario. How many surely not Lord moments do we have?

Sometimes God shows up, sometimes God shows off.

When you get into an argument with God, if you win that argument you loose. If you loose that argument, you win. Is there an argument you need to loose?

Sometimes you have to risk your reputation to see God’s kingdom advance. Faith is willingness to look foolish. (Noah building an ark, Sarah preparing for a baby, wise men bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh, peter walked on water, etc.)

Peter walked through the door…This is the biggest moment in the history of the church. The moment that Peter entered the threshold, whosoever…we wouldn’t be here if Peter had not risked his reputation and re-imagined what he could do.

—-

MAIN SESSION #3 – When you SAY YES, you say YES to drama!

Ben Crawshaw & Jon Acuff

You’re a student leader and you’re in the middle of this and it’s messy; just start listening to people. You’ll learn a lot about people and see them as a person and not a problem.

Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner

We need to live in the tension of theology and ministry…

Distinguish between theology/ministry:

> Jesus never allowed theology to get in the way of ministry. Religion has it’s place, but religion is second place, it should never be first (people are first).

> As a team you need to wrestle with what does this look like. Jesus really did deliver us the great commandment. Ministry, putting others first, relationships.

> Love God, Love your neighbor: All the law and the prophets hang on this. We need to keep coming at it from the position of hanging on Love God and Love your neighbor.

> When in doubt, what does love require of me?

What would happen if the world around us saw us treat each other with grace?

If we can learn to SAY YES to the messiness, to walking alongside people when they are struggling; the church will thrive.

—-

SESSION #4

Kara Powell and Reggie Joiner

Say YES to not always having the answer.

70% of youth group kids who are graduating have doubts. When young people have the opportunity to express and explore their doubt and questions, they typically have a stronger faith.

It’s not doubt that is toxic, it’s unexpressed doubt that is toxic (or damaging).

When kids or teens ask tough questions, how do we respond?

> I don’t know, but…

Don’t just give the “Christian” answer of just trust God. Many people walk away at that point and don’t come back to church, to faith.

Jesus is bigger than our biggest questions. He can handle our questions and our kids’ questions.

 

Perry Noble – Say YES to not having it all together

There are many students that struggle with anxiety and pressure…for some they are sensitive to body image. (Many adults are too).

Many people have a season of life when they struggle with fear and anxiety (other struggles can be depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.):

> Don’t say “Do more, work harder.” They feel caught in the situation and they can’t get out.

We as leaders need to create an environment where it is okay to not be okay, but it is not okay to stay that way.

James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? If any one of you are sick, we need to call the elders and pray over them.”

> We often just think of the typical sicknesses like a cold, flu, allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.

> Worry leads to anxiety, anxiety leads to depression, depression leads to suicidal thoughts.

> These four things (worry, anxiety, depression & suicidal thoughts) are just as real sicknesses and we need to help each other.

> A sickness is anything that is not God’s best for you.

> Physically sick, emotionally sick, mentally sick, etc.

> I didn’t know that it was okay to not be okay as a leader. We need to create and model that type of environment…DO NOT pretend that everything is always okay.

> The first step is admitting that you are sick, that there is something going on that you need help with.

Churches often aren’t passionate about relationships and creating a safe place to be sick, they are a place to try to look perfect.

We cannot be the church that tells someone that they are struggling or messed up so they can’t come back.

For many churches…It’s okay to not be okay, but we have to pretend that we’re perfect. What does that look like to God?

You go to hell because you don’t know Jesus, you don’t go to hell because you commit suicide.

Many leaders in the Bible struggled (Jonah, Noah, Moses, David, etc.)

Godly people get stressed and anxious, and overwhelmed. Those people are some of the most spiritual people on the planet, but they are dealing with some real issues, some big things.

“…elders pray with them and anoint them with oil…”

Is it a sin or is it wrong for a Christian to take anti-depressants? No, don’t say you just need to depend on Jesus. You wouldn’t show up to tell someone having a heart-attack and turning blue that they just need to read their Bible more and pray more.

There is a chemical imbalance in the brain and it is okay to use a medication to help balance your body.

Most of the Bible heroes could not have worked at our churches. (Noah, David, Peter, even Jesus!)

If we’ve created environments in our churches where Jesus couldn’t be employed that’s not okay.

“…prayer will make the sick person well…The Lord will raise them up…”

The healing process begins and you can step out of darkness by helping us to see our sin issues and work through them. He never wastes a tragedy or a problem. It is a refining process, but there is a key to the environment we must create for our churches, our students, our kids…

vs. 16 “…therefore confess your sins to each other and pray with each other…”

I want something powerful and effective to happen in my spiritual life. You have to tell someone what’s going on, then you can be healed. You may not have told someone because you’re scared. It’s not easy to open up and tell someone else. But when you do, it makes a big difference.

God doesn’t necessarily heal you in the moment that you tell someone, but He starts the process. You have to model that environment where you tell someone and it’s really okay to not be okay, but it’s just not okay to stay that way.

The healing process begins as we talk about it out loud. Jesus said in His Word that talking about it heals.

Have the courage to be transparent, so that we can be trustworthy as leaders.

—-

MAIN SESSION #5

Doug Fields: SAY YES to helping marriages win

Bait & Switch- Is a practice in which the advertiser advertises one thing and then switches the deal when you arrive for something of their choice. Don’t do a bait & switch.

How do I help kids? Know Jesus? Be healthier?

I can’t adequately care for kids if I don’t care for their family, more specifically I need to care for their parent’s marriage.

We have to extend our definition of family ministry to include the family’s marriage.

When a marriage is bad, everything is bad. If you’re mad, you’re mad at everything. If you don’t have a healthy marriage, you don’t have a vibrant red in your family, your home. And that makes it hard to have a healthy Orange color when partnering with the church.

When you say YES to the next generation, you say YES to helping marriages win.

Many of our church’s marriage strategies are like putting a band-aid on a hemorrhage. It’s not enough to do a once a year conference or give couples a book or do a short sermon series on it. We would never use this approach for students and children. You wouldn’t teach them one thing and expect them to remember it and hold onto it for a whole year.

What if the people in this room came up with a plan to help the marriages in your church, a marriage strategy? What would that look like to do this at your church? We need to have these conversations.

If you’re about kids, you’ve got to be about those kids’ parents’ marriages.

Maybe it’s time to cut some things out and focus on the families, the marriages. The families, our families would be healthier.

Those of us that care the most about kids, need to take the lead on caring the most about marriages.

Children of divorced parents are more than five times more likely to walk away from the church.

1. Focus on your own marriage. Whether you’re married or not, you & I can be an advocate for marriage. Your audience, the kids are watching you. Your marriage is more important than your ministry. You marriage may be more important to your church than your ministry.

2. Teach your kids about marriage. We need to talk about marriage, more than just the sex talk or a purity message. Hebrews 13:4 We are good at teaching the second part of this verse, but we don’t do a good job teaching that marriage should be honored by all.

3. Recruit a mentor couple to be around your ministry. Be around the kids, other leaders. Help us think how we could help other marriages in our church. There are people that have something to offer at your church and they are just waiting to be asked to help.

4. Help couples date. Marriages are healthier when the parents get to date. Have teens help with date nights at church. Challenge the teens to serve and understand that they are helping marriages. Offer childcare. Do a date night for couples with children with special needs. We just need to hand couple’s footballs in our world; give them date night ideas. Resource: marriedpeople.org

5. Up-sell. Just like at a fast food restaurant. Connect a marriage strategy to your family strategy. Book: Married People, How to Build Marriages that Last (authors: Ted Lowe and Doug Fields). We’re looking for some courageous earlier adopters, that can help us figure this out in the trenches, getting in on phase one. We are on the ground floor of connecting marriages and children.

When you say YES to the next generation, you say YES to helping marriages win!

You came here thinking that you’re part of children’s ministry or students ministry, I want you to leave knowing you’re in marriage ministry too.

Let’s make it happen to help make marriages a priority.

 

Jeff Henderson: Say YES to people who say no to church

What you do is incredibly significant! What you are doing in family ministry is life-changing.

You change the world by falling in love with Jesus and letting him lead your ministry.

There is something in common with all of us here, this community that’s the same with your community.

Never tell God never, he plays close attention.

For some of you…You’re wow, but you’re not how. (Not typically good at figuring out the how).

I want you to know that God loves you and you may not believe all of these things that we’re reading, but I believe that God loves you unconditionally. It’s good news.

You may have said no to Jesus, but Jesus has said YES to you.

In 11 years pastoring, here’s the group of people we need to talk about. We need to say YES to those who have said no to what you & I believe, say YES to those that said no to the church and say YES to those that said no to Jesus.

We’ve got to get our hearts around this as it relates to the church.

You will never experience what the church can do for you, until you experience what the church can do through you.

Acts 17:22-23

We say YES by talking less. We talk too much.

> Sit down with the staff and listen. As she began to listen, the staff began to think that she really cared about them. Listening builds trust.

> Many reasons that people say no to the church is that we’ve just talked and preached at them and not listened to them.

> Asked people who do not go to church; How interested would you be in hanging out with a church pastor or staff member? 84% of unchurched 18-34 year-olds said they are not interested.

> They are more likely to attend church if it feels like a community.

> What would it look like if you could listen to your community?

> Own a restaurant, know the staff, the waiters, and talk to them. (You don’t have to literally be the restaurant owner, just get to know the people there, be a regular).

> How can we go on a listening tour? Say YES by talking less and listening more.

Say YES in a common unifying language.

> We talk church lingo too often and it confuses people. We want them to understand what we have for them. What is our promise to our community? And what are we saying in a way that they can understand?

> The reason so many people have said no to the church, is because they don’t understand us.
What do we want to be known for?

How can we say YES to those that said no?

Is there a phrase or language that we can communicate consistently that they would understand?

We are trying to get this language out to the community. FOR is a great word.

#FORGWINETT

Look for events in the county that need help. We just want to let the community know that we are for them. More people know more of what the church is against than what they’re for…make sure they know what it’s for.

When people have said no to the church, we want them to know that Jesus has still said YES to them.

—-

MAIN SESSION #6

Derwin Gray, Pastor at Transformation Church: Say YES to letting God rewrite your story

Leaders see things in other people, that which they don’t see in themselves…That who they are today, is not who they will be tomorrow.

Say YES to the next generation, to finding YOUR Story in HIS Story.

God has a story and he’s writing you into the story.

Galatians 2:20

We must be learning His story so we can understand it.

Say YES to co-crucifixion with Christ.

Why are we not using teenagers, and involving teenagers? They are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today.

They don’t have volunteers (you’re heart doesn’t volunteer to beat), they have servant leaders and EVERYONE 6th grade and older is a servant leader, serving somewhere in the church.

How do we say YES to the next generation so that they can have their story rewritten?

Say YES to receiving God’s love in Jesus.

Do they know that you LOVE Jesus? When it’s all said and done, they don’t remember the games, they remember JESUS.

On Sunday morning do you spend more time in your Bible or in your closest choosing what to wear?

Do our students know they’re loved? We want a generation that as they disembark in this world, they are intoxicated with Jesus.

Say YES to receiving significance in Jesus.

We want our students to say YES and do phenomenal things but we want them to find their ultimate significance in Jesus.

Jesus is my significance. We want our next generation to be achievers for Jesus’ glory.

Say YES to receiving a new identity in Christ.

We all have a past, but our identity is defined by Jesus Christ. Your past is no longer holding you in bondage. We have a new identity and a new power. Loose the victim label and accept Jesus’ identity for you.

Dream, imagine what our glorious God can do and have a generation of students that can imagine what Jesus can do and rest their identity in him.

Jesus says, That’s why I choose you, because you can’t. Jesus can.

 

Jon Acuff: Say YES to future, Say YES to being afraid

Courage is fun to watch other people have. But it’s not always fun to try to have yourself.

Bravery feels like wanting to cry, throw up, not sleeping very well…

Transition moments like the end of an event; you get so full of hope, but then fear is waiting in the car, “I’m not enough”, “other churches are cooler,” etc.

When you say YES to being afraid…

God tells us you don’t have to have it all figured out. There is a pressure to have your whole life figured out and feel like everyone else does except you.

> The closer you get to God, the more you realize I don’t know but I do know who does.

> We need to be able to say I don’t know and that’s okay.

> God takes you in places you can’t plan, he surprises us in ways we can’t imagine.

> Anyone who is successful and tells you they knew where they were going is lying. Moses had to move first before he was spoken to.

> You were created for more than just errands.

God knew you were going to be afraid.

> The most common phrase in the Bible is “Do not be afraid.”

> There are so many references to fear.

> Matthew 6:26

> What a gift it is that God choose a bird. We all see birds. There are thousands of them.

> God gave us something that we can look to regularly.

Sometimes we pray for the wrong things.

> You don’t always win and sometimes we are going to loose. Sometimes we will fail.

> When you face fear and you come up with all the options, where is Jesus in that?

> Why is he not one of your options?

> You perform and perform and perform and one day you wake up and you dread Christmas, or you say you can breathe again once you get through Easter. Is that why it was created?

> God doesn’t need us to add our talents to complete Him, he invites us into his story to part of it because He loves you not because He needs you to complete Him. He’s already complete.

God will never be handcuffed by the failures of your ministry or the successes of your ministry.

Sometimes you meet people and feel like you’re the only one with fear. We all have fears!

He loves us too much to take away our fears. Sometimes we pray for God to take away our fears…but, Why would He close the one door you’re walking through right now?

Acts 4:29

They don’t say consider their threats and remove them or get rid of them. They pray to have more boldness.

We need to stop praying for less fear and pray for more boldness. Pray for better legs that run faster to the one that is bigger than our fears.

God has a plan for you, but we don’t know it; that’s the tension and we have to live with it.

Don’t see fear as failure, see it as a doorway to a God that wants to have a relationship with you.

– BONUS NOTES –

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Pre-conference Session #1

Orange ConferenceStephen “Doc” Hunsley, M.D. Special Needs Ministry (SOAR) at Grace Church in Overland Park, Kansas

Topic- Training Volunteers to Include Children and Students with Autism

Don’t get down on the trials in life, because God is doing something!

Every individual is different, no one has the same exact needs.

Approx. 90% of children and families with special needs family members do not attend church. Most of them have either tried a church and didn’t feel welcome (fear of acceptance and the anxiety of volunteers) or got asked to leave a church.

75% of Jesus’ miracles in the Bible were performed on people with special needs.

We need to embrace special needs individuals in our churches, in our church family.

Most children with autism or other special needs, you won’t know right away.

The first impressions team and parking attendants need training to work with families with children with autism as well. They can help a family with a child that’s struggling to get out of the car or into the building and make the family feel loved and welcome.

Sensory Integration: Agitated Student- (Student refusing to sit down)

> Get down on the child’s level…DO NOT talk above them or down to them. It will elevate their stress.

> Stay calm and talk them through what is going on and exactly what is expected. Use First-Then language. Example: First we’re going to sit down, then we’re going to have snack.

> Verbal child- Have them repeat the First-Then statement back to you.

> Get some mouse pads (solid colors, just one or two colors total). You can have the child pick which color they want to sit on and you enable them to be a part of the plan and choose something for themselves. Works great with regular attending kids. (Builds routine)

Transitioning Behaviors: Overstimulated Student- (Recurring pattern with a regular child)

> Start with reminders (Sally 5 minutes until we’re going to go inside, Sally 3 minutes until we go inside, 1 more minute Sally)

> Try bringing them in several minutes before the class, walk them over to the drinking fountain and use the First-Then language. Helps them cool down.

Sensory Integration – Large Group Challenge (worship time)

> Try to figure out what the problem is. Too loud, new or strong smell, lights, too crowded, etc.

> Move them to another location in the room to see if it helps them. If it’s Miss Sally’s new perfume, moving to another spot in the room helps a lot.

> Sensory toys- create a small tub for each room.

> Deep massage or simple squeeze- helps them feel safe and they “melt”

> Have them stand by a window where they can look out and stand up, but still participate in the worship.

> Live Stream worship (either kids or adults from main service) in another room where you can control the sound and lights better.

Sensory Integration – Objects in Mouth

> Could be that the child just needs movement. Sometimes sitting in the chair is painful.

> Use a sensory box (full of little toys-squeeze toys, Rubik’s cube, gel wands, glitter wands)

> Get some larger items that can’t go in the mouth- large vibrators like the snake that goes around the neck tend to work well.

> If you do snacks in your room, have the child come over with you to get a small snack.

> Ask a simple question- Sally what goes in your mouth? It’s a simple reminder to them bc they often don’t even know they are doing it.

> Ask the parents what they do at home (many probably have chew toys) and ask them to bring one and label it in a zip-loc bag for them.

Behavior Integration – Meltdown (full kicking, screaming, hitting, biting- any ages)

> Create distance between the individual and the rest of the kids. It is often easier to remove an entire class (go on a bathroom break, outside, etc.) than removing the child).

> YOU may be the trigger, so be aware of that.

> If they are in danger of hurting themselves, get another adult to help you so you are NOT alone.

> Last resort, call the parents.

> Keep yourself at a safe distance, talk calm, slow, help bring their stress down.

> Reinforce with things like, hey Johnny your parents are coming soon.

> Turn the lights off, or dim them to get the stimuli down. Turn off the music and other distractions and stimulus.

> Get a weighted blanket. Ask someone to make one (filled with rice, beans, beads, etc). Typically weighs about 15 pounds.

> Lay the blanket on top of the child and let them calm down.

> Physical restraint is a last resort and needs to be a trained staff member and ONLY if the child is in physical danger of hurting themselves or others.

Behavior Intervention – Runner

> They can get through any lock, any gate, they’re fast.

> Go after them; however, don’t make it a game of chase. Stand still or walk toward them.

> Be careful not to turn it into a game.

> Figure out the trigger (are they escaping a task, want attention, bored and want to do something else).

> Need a code word for staff team and security at church. Call out “code green” and everyone covers all the doors to make sure they don’t leave the building.

>They also like to hide, so have your extra volunteers help look for them.

> They will hide in small dark places, especially when they are on the verge of sensory overload.

> During transitions, let them know ahead of time using First-Then statements.

> Hold their hand to walk to the next place.

> Remind them of the reinforcement system they have, so they know that they will get something positive when they are showing Christ-like behavior, or what they are suposed to be doing.

Behavior Intervention – Parent Conversation (At this point you’re tired, frustrated)
> Stay positive, talk about what their child did well that day.

> Don’t tell them they are a bad parent or a horrible parent.

> Special Needs parents are bombarded all the time, everywhere with the negative and all the things they are doing wrong (because people don’t understand that their child has special needs).

> Church needs to be a place of refuge, where the parents know their child with special needs is being loved on.

> Have the ministry director or pastor help you with the conversation

> Evaluate if the negative is something they really need to know about.

> They are constantly worn out, dealing with it everyday.

> Don’t do it in the middle of the hallway. Be respectful and private.

> Sandwich- Positive, Negative, Positive

> Do not place emotion in it (yours or assume the child’s), just state the facts of the negative.

> Pray through it and see if you really need to do it.

Language- Peer Interaction

> Kids will direct their questions and interactions to the adults in the room.

> Model to the child how to interact with the non-verbal child.

> Include the special needs child in the interaction, don’t just talk about them.

> Encourage and promote any interaction socially with their peers.

> Parents want to see their children included.

Language – Unengaged Student

> Be a model, show them the actions you want them to do.

> Encourage volunteers to get involved.

> Kids with autism, can be highly stimulated and on the verge of sensory overload, so even when they don’t appear to be involved (may just sit and watch quietly), that’s okay. That may be all they can do.

> Let them walk in the back of the room with a toy, it let’s them experience what you’re doing in their own way.

> Ask them questions about what you were teaching. They may repeat the whole story and beyond. Some kids will repeat several weeks or even months of stories to you.

> Have the same expectations, do not sell them short. Share the gospel with them and realize they can get it.

> Don’t give up on them.

> Observe the behavior. Sometimes it’s not sensory overload, it’s more of a choice action. Talk with them, why don’t you help with the motions today.

> Volunteers are allowed to touch the children and the child knows the word No.

> Help them stand up. Put your hand over their arms and help them do the motions. They frequently think it’s fun.

> If it doesn’t work well, take a step back and allow them to sit on the floor pr engage in worship in their own individual way.

50% of children with autism have seizures.

> First, stop and look at the time. The length of the seizure makes a HUGE difference. 5 minutes or more is an emergency!

> Ensure their safety, move them away from the wall, toys, etc.

> DO NOT put anything in their mouth including a bite block

> Call for help (another adult).

> If it’s a known seizure child, you may not need to call the parents, but you need that plan in place and agreed upon first.

> Always call immediately if it’s the first time they had a seizure or a new child

> Have two people there one on each side, to help them once they stop and are regaining balance

> You may need to call 911

Charlotte’s Web – Marijuana for children with seizures

> As a pediatrician absolutely not something I recommend.

> As a parent, if my child was having 100-1000 seizures a day, I would do it in a heartbeat to help with the quality of life.

> As a church, no where in the Bible is there something that says you are not allowed to do charlotet’s web. Some churches say no and have asked families to leave the church because they are doing it.

> No church should be making the stand to tell the parent how to parent. Take the high road. The family needs you to come alongside them, they need spiritual encouragement, love them.

It is helpful to interview your new special needs families and create a plan for their child to do what’s best for them and to be able to love the child and help the child.

For the parent in denial that their child is autistic; do not come into the conversation saying they have autism, just talk about how you’ve noticed that Jacob needs a little extra help in the class and we would love to get Jacob a buddy to help him have a better time in class, and keep up with the activities. You are just offering a little extra help, not accusing them of doing anything. You may ask if they have an IEP at school and ask about it.

Training for Physical Restraints (CPI). Check to see what training is offered locally and get your staff trained.

Buddy System- Majority of special needs students do not need a buddy. Try to keep them mainstreamed. Youngest buddy is 8 years old, but he’s one of the best ones. It’s more about training and language use then the age of the child. Encourage youth and adults to be apart of it. Tap into your middle school and high school students. Families may also want to serve together and this is a great opportunity.

Pre-conference Session #2 – How to Reach Families in Your Local Elementary School with Dan Scott (Orange) and Dan Kubish (New Spring Church in Wichita, KS)

There are lots of kids that will never walk in the doors of your church, and they need help, they need to see God’s love in action.

School in General:
> 50.1 million kids will attend school in US this year
> Average size is 20-25 kids & 1 teacher in a classroom
> 160,000 kids will miss school because of bullying
> 71% of kids report that bullying is a problem.
> 1 out of 5 kids will drop out before graduation

Americans are not happy with our schools.

Barna’s Schools in Crisis Survey
> 76% of Americans think greater family and parental involvement will improve lower-performing schools

> 70% high quality teachers will improve lower-performing schools

> 35% more involvement from faith communities will improve lower-performing schools

> Who is responsible? Primary resource for education 80% parents

We can help, but the church in general isn’t too sure. We can…

> Encourage teachers

> Help with fund raising

> Volunteer at local schools

> Help promote reform

Instead of helping, many in the church flee.

There is so much potential- our kids can be the light in their public schools, in the darkness.

There are 3 big influences in the life of a child:

> Church (40 hours a year)

> Home (3000 hours with family at home)

> School (1600 hours a year)

What would happen if we leverage the influence at the schools as well??

> That’s a lot of hours you can impact on top of your 40 in the life of a child over the year.

3 is greater than 1 plus 1 plus 1.

We need to work together, get on the same page with the schools.

75% of kids in your community will never benefit from what you do inside the church because they will never come to you. If you want to reach those kids, you have to go to them. Orange is about widening the circle, reaching out.

 

Dan Scott interviewed Dan Kubish (thebigideaexperience.com)
Core Central Values- Pathway to Public Schools

Where to start…4 simple steps

Adopt one school. Schools are looking for it. In Kansas schools are required to have a virtue based curriculum.

> Set up a time to meet with the school.

> They started with a 40 minute program to do for the school.

> They didn’t cross the line, didn’t say Jesus or get out their Bibles, but they still taught the virtue.

> They started getting referrals from other schools

> Need to meet with people on staff. Talk to the people in charge of curriculum, typically a counselor. Probably don’t want to go through the PTA. Directly to the people that make the decisions.

> Ask to do an assembly for the school

> It’s great to have a teacher invite you to the school, but not necessary.

Actually meet at the school, on their turf, in their time frame, with their rules

> Hang out and talk and see how you can get on the same page.

> Meet with them, Big Idea coming to your school (wear the same shirts to make yourselves identifiable).

> Janitor may not be too happy, so bring help to clean and set-up, tear down.

> Safety issue to have people on campus, so make sure you follow their policies. Go over the rules and make sure you tell them what your signal is to keep the crowd quiet. Have fun, but keep it organized. Be respectful, don’t come in like you know it all. Humility is key!

Be Positive – Point out good things about the school

Ask how you can help

> Leave your agenda behind

> Serve with humility

> Exceed expectations

Another idea is to do a carnival for them or something of that nature. We are here to assist the school.

In Kansas, May 1st is the Stop Bullying March, the kids all wear a shirt and participate in activities that day. They created a short 15 minute video for them to get the kids pumped up about participating and wearing their shirts.

New Spring church has a truck and tailor and they bring and set-up all their own equipment. They go to 71 different schools.

They also put up a billboard for Humility on the major highway through the city.

It will be the easiest money you raise as a church, people will step up to the plate. They told people what they’re doing and they donated the money to put up the digital billboards on the main freeway (I35). A radio station donated a short amount of time to them as well, where they just a do a 30 second blurb on what the big idea is (Humility, use the virtue)

There is a tab on the 252 website for the school XP and it can be a start for you.

Free to the schools, Dan K. buys most of their stuff from Core Essentials.

Most schools can’t afford assemblies but they are looking for them. Offer your program to schools as a free assembly.

You must have excellence, needs to be a program that both the kids and teachers love.

You can teach God’s truth to the kids and tell them Bible stories by changing names (for the Good Samaritan they used football team names).

They are able to build relationships with the school and he is able to go now when they call him to talk to a student when they’re going through something hard.

Encourage kids and administration.

They have a different website, name and mailing address away from the church. It keeps the schools open to partnering with them.

Most pastors will ask what will it do for the church. We would still do it even if no one started coming to the church because of it, but over 80% of the teachers and kids from those schools come to their church now. Teachers have figured out that if you love the kids so much that you come to us and build relationships and love on the kids than what amazing things are you doing at your church.

The teachers see the kids more than you do at church.

Tell the schools, we’d love to provide the core essential curriculum for you. It’s a great way in. Costs about $199 a month or so. It’ll be worth it for you to reach your community.

How do you go to 71 schools, 5 services on the weekend, and have 13 staff members? Do 4 shows at schools a day. DO NOT WRITE YOUR OWN CURRICULUM. Don’t waste your time. Work 40 hours a week.

Talk with your parents, talk with teachers in your church. Start small.

What are some ways to fund the program if your church does not have the funding?
You can talk to community leaders because it’s community-based.
Businesses (& business leaders) in the community like to help with things that help the community. There are people in your church that this is their passion…there are people already volunteering in schools and this may be part of their dream. They may volunteer to help you.

For Core Essential Values there is a backlog to go get at a later time if your school is doing a different value or virtue that month; however, there is stuff specific to the time of year or month like December.

You can do it with 3 people at the minimum.

—-

PRE-CONFERENCE SESSION #4

FX Interactive with Adam Duckworth in Fort Launderdale:
@adam_duckworth

Context for why we do what we do related to Family experience.
What is Orange? Two combined influences make a greater impact than just two influences. Church and Family…

Light in a broken world that should shine the light brighter so that everyone can see it.
Red and Yellow together make Orange.

FX is that coming to life, represented. Family and church should meet and learn about the same things together.

5 Principles to the orange strategy:

> Integrate Strategy: Align church leaders and parents to lead with the same end in mind.

> Redefine the Message: Craft core truths into engaging, relevant and memorable experiences.

> Reactivate the Family: Enlist parents to act as partners in the spiritual formation of their own children.

> Elevate Community: Connect everyone to a caring leader and a consistent group of peers

> Leverage Influence: Create consistent opportunities for students to experience personal ministry.

Populate the stage with middle school students and high school students: they engage in personal ministry beyond high school. It helps them stay in the church once they leave the community.

FX: A shared experience for families designed to engage parents as partners with a strategy to shape the character and faith of their children.

The life apps help shape kids, shape their faith, shape their future, shape their families. It’s a shared experience.

Why an FX? By creating an FX you help “reactivate the family” in your community.

> Communities are crumbling

> Families are different today, they are changing.

> Our doors are always open because we want to help your family take the next step toward Jesus.

Spiritual Leaders: Spiritual leadership has no clear definition.

There are people that are attempting to engage with us that may have no experience in a church, no experience with faith. They don’t know what that means.

It should be our goal in family experience to encourage people to take steps.

It should never be our goal to engage parents to do everything but to do something more.

Levels of Partnership:

> Aware: who understand they have a responsibility

> Involved: who are active and busy

> Invested: who are devoted in their participation

> Engaged: who are intentional about doing something

It’s very rare that someone is going to become engaged overnight, but we help them take little steps.

FX Priorities:

> Family Centered: Creates a consistent, shared experience for parents and kids

> Kid Focused: Targets the everyday issues in a kid’s everyday world

> Value Driven: Emphasizes specific life apps that allow kids to develop faith and character

> Creatively Wired: Uses innovative and creative tools to communicate timeless truths

> User Friendly: Creates a non-threatening environment for families to invite friends to

> Volunteer Fueled: Build on teams of volunteers

When you get like-minded people around the table implementing the same vision it will change your community. Volunteers are awesome.

About 13 elements in a typical FX

FX can be done with as few as 3 people, but it’s better (& easier) to have more people.

—-

THURSDAY BREAKOUT SESSION A

Brooklyn Lindsey, brooklynlindsey.com
Leading through Crisis, Tragedy & Trauma (Students)

Announcement: XP team has an emergency kit that you can use. Includes what to say and do programming wise after an emergency in your community.

You are not alone, it’s going to take a lot of people and a lot of love and you are not alone.

Small crisis: Play Finger Ninja- hands up, put your right pointer finger in the palm of the person next to you and on the count of 3 trap one side and escape the other side.

Quote: Ann Lamount says “Lighthouses don’t go all around an island looking for boats to save they just stand still and shine their light.”

Lighthouses are stable and strong, & they are drawing in nature, they draw ppl in.

Stay strong and be who you are in Him. That identity in Christ enables you to do what you need to do to help others.

We may not be the best at handling certain situations, but we will be the best at being ourselves and we will have what it takes.

Ldrs are often the first responders, usually starts with a conversation. You have this knowledge that you’re going to call on the phone or have a face to face conversation.

> Difficult, hard, don’t always have the answers. At the end of the day, our job is to respond.

> Your genuine and thoughtful response will tell the hurting that you care.

> Show up, respond, don’t be afraid of that.

SAY THIS NOT THAT:

As you begin to have the conversations:

> Focus on listening

> Focus on Feeling (Let them voice their emotions)

> Focus on Remembering (Tell me about a good memory, why do you love someone so much) – Journal, talk about your memories

Say This:

> I’m so sorry for your loss

> I hate that you’re going through this

> I know this is really hard

> I know that this is really difficult

> Tell me a story about this person

> We’re going to walk through this together

Book: Youth Leaders Guide to Crisis (good appendix of adjectives in the back of the book). Sometimes our simple words don’t express the depth or the breadth of their feelings. You can have a student circle some of the words that they’re feeling.

If you can’t go with them together, then find somebody that can. (Small group leaders are great)

DO NOT Say This:

> Avoid Cliches

> Avoid Answers (we don’t have all the answers)

> Avoid Timelines

Hurtful:

> Everything happens for a reason

> How are you?

> You’ll get over this

> God just needed another angel

> At least you have your Dad/Friends/etc.

> Don’t cry

It’s good to grieve and let people grieve even when it’s hard.

There are times that you go through crisis that you will have to deal with it in the future, because someone forgot it or blocked it. (Crisis can come out at any time).

Crisis lives on and it can be the incubator for miracles. (Heather said this in main session this morning).

Sometimes people look at the church and they just want to see or hear something that says come home. The world is just saying “Say Something” to me, let me know you care and love me. Be open and receptive.

People in your life need to be filling you up, speaking words of truth into you. You need to be full so you can say YES to being the lighthouse

Crisis foreshadows the future, they are imaging their faith in the future through you. God wants you to help carry other people’s burdens.

What is Crisis:

> A crisis is a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger

> A period of disequilibrium that overpowers a person’s homeostatic mechanisms (therapeutic definition)

> A crisis throws people off balance

> It can be difficult to predict

> It can be brought on by anything

> It can be something that effects someone in one stage of their life and not in another

Who determines a crisis? The person going through it.

When to respond when and how:

Acute (pointed, immediate): (Needs immediate attention from you or someone else, like going to the hospital). Suicide attempt, abuses, runaway, assault, sudden loss, etc.

Chronic (enduring, reoccurring, persistent): (Sometimes this will quickly escalate to Acute and it is not your fault) Cutting, compulsive behaviors, ADHD, depression, etc. Response can be slower.

Adjustment (stressful on relationships, annoying but they are usually just transitioning): Lying, sibling born, defiance, family remarriage, etc. Sometimes it helps to tell someone to breathe. Can be fun, but can also be awful. Tell them you’ll be with them through this.

Lighthouses don’t go running around an island trying to save people.

Daniel 12:3

Say YES to be the first responder and being helped by the first responders.

—-

HELPFUL LINKS:

Orange Conference 2014 Notes – From Nick Blevins

#OC14 Orange Conference Notes – From Jim Wideman

Orange Conference 2014 Notes – From Brian Dodd

—-

This information was presented at the national Orange Conference #OC14. Click here for more information on Orange.

Orange Conference 2014


 

 

Top 10 Leadership Quotes From #OC14 Orange Conference

Each year 6,000 leaders gather in Atlanta for the national Orange Conference. There are tracks for senior church leadership, children’s ministry and student ministry. This year’s senior leadership track had over 300 in attendance. Here are the top quotes, gathered from the various sessions in the senior leadership track:

#10. Great leaders never have to demand loyalty. – Jeff Henderson

#9. (Senior leaders) how do you treat the janitor? – Derwin Gray

#8. Decide you are not going to try to please everyone. You either focus on ‘who you want to reach’ or ‘the people you want to keep’. – Carey Nieuwhof

#7. Change of pace, plus change of place, equals change of perspective. – Mark Batterson

#6. Leaders, ask yourself, “What is it like to be on the other side of me?” How are you to work for? – Jeff Henderson

#5. Every book you read is worth 2 years of life experience. – Mark Batterson

#4. The biggest leadership challenge I have is me. – Jeff Henderson

#3. We get so focused on the 10% of disgruntled people we forget about the 90% who aren’t. – Carey Nieuwhof

#2. Competency isn’t the issue. Character is. – Carey Nieuwhof

#1. You replace yourself by developing others, not by replicating yourself. – Jeff Henderson

BONUS LEADERSHIP QUOTES

Don’t let your budget determine your vision. Let your vision determine your budget. – Mark Batterson

We start every meeting by sharing wins. – Mark Batterson

The greatest enemy of your future success is your current success. – Carey Nieuwhof

If you really want to check your ego, get great leaders around you. – Carey Nieuwhof

My word for the year is “no.” I need to say “no” to more things. – Mark Batterson

Saying yes to one thing is saying no to another. – Mark Batterson

Leaders are readers. Everyone can read a book a month. Just put it in your bathroom. – Mark Batterson

Recruit amazing people and get out of their way. – Jeff Henderson

To develop leaders, ask questions of them… don’t tell them what to do. – Jeff Henderson

If you don’t change you will become irrelevant. – Carey Nieuwhof

Almost none of the disagreement in your church is over mission or vision… it’s over model. – Carey Nieuwhof

Recruit next generation leaders to help you. The most effective strategies to reach the next generation will likely not come from the current generation. – Carey Nieuwhof

What are your favorite leadership quotes? Post them as a comment below.

This information was presented at the national Orange Conference #OC14. Click here for more information on Orange.

Orange Conference 2014


 

How To Develop The Next Generation Of Leaders

This week I am blogging from #OC14, The Orange Conference in Atlanta. Orange is a gathering of thousands of church leaders, with an emphasis on senior leadership, children’s ministry leadership and student ministry leadership. I am highlighting some of the best material from the Orange senior leadership track. Below are the highlights from Jeff Henderson’s thoughtful session on growing leaders.

Think of a person who helped you grow as a leader. What was the most memorable thing they did?

Most people will answer with, “They were patient with me” or “They allowed me to learn from failure.” Another common answer is, “They spent time with me.”

No matter what our mentors did, there is one common thread: someone took an active interest in our growth.

One of the most important (but never urgent) tasks of a leader is replacing yourself. It is important to note, however, that you replace yourself by developing others, not replicating yourself.

After Walt Disney’s death, there was a saying at the Disney company. “What would Walt do?” was the question everyone would ask, hoping to keep the founder’s spirit alive. While this may have been done with the best of intentions, it was a terrible thing for the staff. It stiffeled innovation and bound the company to the past.

Take the story of John Lasseter. He was a young animator at Disney. He brought fresh ideas that didn’t fit the traditional Disney model. He was let go. Then Lasseter joined an upstart company called Pixar. He innovated the movie “Toy Story” and the computer animation that we all know today. John Lasseter and Pixar went on to great success. Old-school Disney Animation withered to a shadow of its once glorious self. Pixar and Disney would eventually merge, with John Lasseter as its president. The lesson: don’t try to replicate yourself. Develop promising leaders so they can lead from their own strengths.

If emerging leaders aren’t sure which direction God would have them go, help them look for God’s thumbprints on their lives. God’s thumbprints are clues as to his plan for our lives.

WHAT IS YOUR STAFF CULTURE?

Develop leaders by creating a great culture and recruiting great people.

If you don’t have a good staff culture, your church isn’t going to work. Many church cultures aren’t healthy. We should have such loving, joyful staffs that those qualities flow through the entire church.

Leaders, ask yourself, “What is it like to be on the other side of me?” “How am I to work for?” This will give you insight into your own leadership. You can also ask your leaders that same question.

The issue of staff loyalty can be a negative in church cultures. If you have to ask for loyalty there is a problem with your leadership. Great leaders never have to demand loyalty.

Hiring well is essential to having a quality staff culture. During inital screening, ask each candidate the following four quetions:

> What are your 5 strengths?

> Who are you learning from?

> What is your ideal job description?

> What is your favorite organization?

Gwinnett Church emails these four questions to all applicants early in the hiring process. The questions take time and effort to answer. Many candidates do not respond. This weeds out the weaker applicants. The candidates who do respond tend to be the stronger ones.

For an example of church culture, Jeff Henderson likes to share the definition they have at Gwinnett Church: “We want to create a staff culture of fun-loving, emotionally-intelligent people who are passionate about leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We will do this by building great teams, delivering WOW through service, focusing on outsiders and prioritizing personal and professional growth.”

HELPING NEXT GENERATION LEADERS WIN

Here are some tips for grooming promising leaders:

> Recruit amazing people and get out of their way.

> Don’t think of yourself as a director. Be a coach. Ask questions rather than give direction. Provide the opportunity to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes. Be the ‘question-man’, not the ‘answer-man.’

> Do life with your staff. Being authentic and vulnerable means your staff knows who you really are. It carries some obvious risks. However, the benefit of working with true friends outweighs the risk.

What things do you do to help grow emerging leaders? Leave a comment below.

 

 

This information was presented at the national Orange Conference #OC14. Click here for more information on Orange.

Orange Conference 2014


 

 

The 5 Traits of Churches That Will Impact the Future

This week I am blogging from #OC14, The Orange Conference in Atlanta. Orange is a gathering of thousands of church leaders, with an emphasis on senior leadership, children’s ministry leadership and student ministry leadership. I am highlighting some of the best material from the Orange senior leadership track. Below are the highlights from Carey Nieuwhof’s excellent session on the future of church.

What was the first piece of music you ever purchased? Perhaps it was on vinyl, cassette, CD or digital. We all love music, but the format we buy it on changes over time.

If you are a music industry executive, you’re challenged. While music remains the same, the technology behind delievering music changes quickly.

For churches, God’s message doesn’t change. However, our method of bringing the message to our communities must change with the times.

“Change is not an option, but how you respond to it is.” – Reggie Joiner

“In order to reach people no one else is reaching, you have to do things that nobody else is doing.” – Craig Groeschel

These are the qualities churches should have if they want to reach people in the future:

#1. Commit to the message, but be flexible with the method. Successful future churches will clearly distinguish between mission, vision and stragegy. Remember, it’s not a message question, but a method question.

Evaluate regularly. Pastors spend all their time preparing and no time evaluating. The congregation does the opposite. We should spend more time evaluating and listening to the feedback people are giving us. Be willing to be flexible on your method (change it), even if it’s a method you introduced.

#2. Give people a place to belong before they believe. Churches tend to interview visitors to see if their positions are similar to the church’s positions. This is starting with theology and not with ministry. To reach unchurched people, start first with ministry and not with theology. This was Jesus’ model.

You should allow people to belong to your church community even before they believe in God. Those who belong often begin to believe. They then become someone new because they belong and believe.

3. Value online relationships as real relationships. The vast majority of people won’t consider coming to your church building to be part of a weekend service. However, most people are online. If you are serious about reaching people for Jesus, you need to embrace online ministry. Some tips:

> Actually connect with social media. Your updates should not simply be self-promotional in nature. People tune them out. Solicit comments and ideas. Respond to people and their requests. Be actively involved in social media.

> Create local, helpful content for your city and optimize that content for search engines. For example, Nieuwhof’s church bought the URL for the name of their city and “Christmas.” Lots of people go looking for local Christmas experiences. When they search online, they find the speciality web site started by Nieuwhof’s church.

> Use multiple channels. Not everybody in your community is using every form of social media. As such, your church should be everywhere on social media. Nieuwhof’s church spends its energy on four social media venues; Facebook (everyone in the congregation has it), Twitter (used by many local community leaders), Pinterest (to reach an army of moms) and Instagram (favored by people under 30).

4. Embrace quicker, lighter and smaller footprints. The speed of church growth is impacted by the speed of decision-making. Quicker decisions are necessary. If you can’t make a major church decision in 24 hours, you’re too slow.

Lower cost venues promote growth. Constructing traditional church buildings is expensive and slow. Renting schools and sharing space with exisiting churches is far more efficient. As soon as one venue reaches capacity, quickly open another. In the end, a greater number of smaller venues can accomodate more people.

5. Encourage experimentation. The greatest threat to your future success is your current success. Be willing to try new things. Remember, we still don’t know exactly what future church will look like. Some ways to experiment:

> Devote 10% of your time and budget to things you’re not sure will work out.

> Reward the effort of your people, but evaluate on results.

> Don’t allow what is good to block what has the potential to be great.

Don’t be like the music industry, trying desperately to hold on to what was. Embrace the changes of today in order to win people with Jesus’ timeless message.

 

 

This information was presented at the national Orange Conference #OC14. Click here for more information on Orange.

Orange Conference 2014


 

 

 

How To Get The Most Out Of The Orange Conference… Or Any Professional Seminar

Do you want to supercharge your career? Consider regularly attending professional conferences. The connections and information we receive are well worth our time. Here are my tips for getting the most out conference experiences:

Prepare: Before you go, review the conference web site. Do the pre-conference reading or listen to the pre-conference podcasts. Some conferences have workshops the day before the main sessions begin. Arrive a day early and participate. Double check your travel plans to ensure you have enough time to comfortably make it where you need to be on time. Check your directions so you won’t be lost and frustrated. You want to be relaxed and ready to learn when you arrive. Look at the list of people attending the conference and figure out who you will be looking for.

Take notes:  Take notes in each session you attend. They are excellent to share with others and for your own reference. Offer to send your notes to people you meet at the conference as a way to further connect.

Take pictures: Grab a few shots with your phone and email them back to the office and to your family. Let everybody see what’s happening at the conference and your enthusiasm for it!

Prepare a report: When an organization spends hundreds of dollars to send you to a conference, a great way to say “thank you” is with a report. Write a brief summary sharing the main takeaways and new resources you found. Email your summary to your bosses and to anyone in the organization that might find it helpful. Mention the takeaways in your next staff meeting. Write a piece for the organization’s newsletter or blog. The more broadly you share the information you gather, the greater value it will be to the organization. This is also a great way to set yourself up to attend the conference again in the future (what boss doesn’t want to send a grateful employee who brings back information for everyone else?) Your report can also be shared on your personal social media streams to be of help to others.

Lead a session: There is a huge difference between simply attending a conference and leading one of the sessions. As a presenter you may receive discounted registration and access to “presenter only” privileges. People will see your name in the program and seek you out. You will connect with like-minded people when they ask questions immediately following your session. You don’t have to lead one of the main sessions. Simply volunteer to lead a breakout session.

Network and Connect: Make some new friends! Most information at conferences can be obtained in articles, books or on conference videos. What you can’t get anywhere else is the opportunity to meet other people. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you. Ask questions during panel discussions. Participate in interactive roundtables. Introduce yourself to the speakers and conference organizers. If you hit it off with someone you meet, suggest going to coffee or a meal. Everyone is in the same boat at a conference. People will be glad you took the initiative to break the ice. Exchange contact information and offer to help people any way you can. Write thank-you notes to them when you get back and follow them in social media. Send them articles, leads or other resources that could help them.

Extend your time before or after the conference: Many conferences are intentionally held in places where there is nice weather and lots of activities. See if you can extend your stay a few days (at your own cost) and enjoy the travel. Bring a spouse or a friend with you (at your own cost).

Purchase conference videos and audio sessions: Buy the audio/video recordings and show them to your staff. Even if the recordings cost a couple of hundred dollars, it is still far cheaper than what you have already paid to attend the conference in person. Individual sessions can be shared during staff meetings. You can also hold a training day, where several of the sessions are shown to staff.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE ORANGE CONFERENCE

The Orange Conference is where several thousand church leaders will gather to learn and connect.

Rich Birch has an excellent podcast on his unSeminary website (listen or watch here). In it he interviews notable Orange leaders Elle Campbell and Carey Nieuwhof. Here is a summary of their tips:

Tips From Elle Campbell

> Read breakout session descriptions in advance. If you have multiple people going, divide up the sessions so different people can attend different sessions.

> In advance, find out who will be there. Tweet to your followers and ask who is attending so you can make connections during the event.

> Bring orange clothing.

> Bring business cards or fliers. Do promotional giveaways from a backpack.

> Bring your electronics and don’t forget the chargers.

> Follow conference and #ThinkOrange hash tags on Twitter.

> Follow Orange bloggers on the OrangeLeaders website (list of bloggers here).

Tips From Carey Nieuwhof

> Stay for the weekend to attend Andy Stanley’s North Point Community Church.

> Hold a team debrief dinner following the conference.

> Write a report. Share your report on Google Docs so everyone can benefit from your learning. Taking notes in Evernote can help with this.

> Many times people at conferences are from your tribe. Meet new people. Look at name tags. Look for clues as to like-mindedness.

> For social media during the conference, make sure you have a good internet connection (preferably cellular data, because public WIFI can be a problem).

> Live streaming information will be available at WhatIsOrange.org and TheOrangeConference.com.

What is your best advice for getting the most out of conferences? Leave a comment below.


 

 

Top 10 Leadership Quotes From The #CLA14 Conference

This year’s Christian Leadership Alliance national conference was held in Dallas. Here are the top ten leadership quotes (from the #CLA14 Twitter feed):

#10: “Fear and courage are both incredibly contagious.” –  Dan Bolin  Via @nancyreece

#9: “There will be no harvest if you never planted and watered.” Via @liferesourcesnm

#8: “One of the greatest threats to a leader’s long term credibility is fruitfulness without purity.” – @ohfamily Via @larrydholland7

#7: “Metrics bring focus.”  -John Reynolds Via @chadw5q

#6: “The greatest threat to your ministry is you.” – Michael Oh Via @claleader

#5: “If you don’t have a clear sense of calling, it will be impossible to stay in the game when it gets tough.” – Laura Clancy Via @juilie_pierce

#4: “Build bridges of relationship that can bear the weight of truth.” – @TimElmore Via @stankeithhc

#3: “Leadership has less to do with position and more to do with disposition.” – @timelmore Via @amalphurs

#2: “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone else’s inability to see your worth.” Via @Toddadkins

#1: “The more resources we have, the less resourceful we tend to become.” – @TimElmore Via @ToddAdkins

6 BONUS QUOTES

#6: “Does your program REALLY do X, or is that just the story you tell yourself?” – Beverly Upton Via @mbaxmif

#5: “Sabbath, solitude, silence are three important disciples to enhance your leadership.” – @JeddMedefind Via @chrisingr

#4: “Jesus didn’t say ‘Well done good and high performing servant’. He addressed character. Be faithful and finish strong.” -@Kenny_Luck Via @mbaxmif

#3: “God loves us just the way we are but loves us too much to leave us that way.” Via @liferesourcesnm

#2: “Sometimes we shrink from leadership because our pride makes us afraid of failure. That’s not humility.” – Francis Chan Via @kmhamilton

#1: “Connect before you correct.”  – @TimElmore Via @susielipps

What are your favorite leadership quotes? Leave a message below.


 

 

Why Next Generation Leaders Want To Do Business AND Do Good

What’s different about the newest generation of leaders? There are meaningful distinctions in how they communicate, view social issues, demand authenticity, use social media, and look at the workplace. But there is no difference quite as pronounced as the desire to both do business and do good.

DRINK COFFEE, FIX A TOOTH

Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick

Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick CuraCoffee Founder

Recently I had the good fortune of meeting Thomas Fitzpatrick and his wife Tara. Thomas is an emerging leader in San Diego and a dentist. In addition to running two successful dental clinics, he volunteers his to help people in Nicaragua. He regularly travels along with other doctors there to give away his services to people in need.

One year his volunteer clinic was set up at a Nicaraguan coffee plantation. Thomas noticed the high quality of the coffee there. Then the idea struck him. . . why not import the coffee to San Diego and sell it, then use the profits to fund free dental clinics in Nicaragua?  Why not?

CuraCoffee

CuraCoffee

Well that’s just what Thomas did. He established CuraCoffee, a company to benefit the dental charity (inspired by the TOMS Shoes business model). He established a shipping relationship with another San Diego coffee house (that was already shipping coffee from Nicaragua and had extra container space). Everybody wins. The Nicaraguan farmers get a fair trade deal on their coffee beans. San Diego gets a great source for premium coffee. Volunteer dentists get funds for supplies so they can help people. Nicaraguans get their teeth fixed.

THINKING DIFFERENTLY

Thomas and Tara could have simply lived the California dream of professional success. But they didn’t stop there. They looked around and asked how they could make things better. They are making a difference using their desire to change the world AND their business skills. Our future is brighter because of the thinking of emerging leaders like Thomas and Tara.

CuraCoffeeWho else is doing great things for the world using a business model? Leave a comment below.


 

Photos courtesy CuraCoffee and Thomas Fitzpatrick

 

Top 10 Leadership Quotes From Catalyst West

The Catalyst West conference is a training experience for the next generation of leaders. It was held in Southern California during the first week of April. Here are my top 10 leadership quotes from the conference (taken from #Catalyst on Twitter):

10. “Biggest obstacle to learning is thinking you already know.” – @mikeerre (via @RobJacobs_)

9. “Be the leader you wish you had.” – @simonsinek (via @dccowan)

8. “Innovation is the clarity to see a problem and the skill to design a solution to that problem.” – @charlestlee (via @pdaarnold)

7. “Anchor your story in hope — not hurt or hype — but HOPE.” ~ @MikeFoster (via @ansonsexton)

6. “To keep talented people engaged, focus discussions of culture and innovation, less on growth and values.” – Charles Lee (via @stustreeter)

5. “Create a safe environment for disagreement.” – @trippcrosby (via @hinscheman)

4. “You can be comfortable OR courageous, but you can’t be both.” – @MikeFoster (via @RobJacobs_)

3. “If everything is important, nothing is.” – @DrHenryCloud (via @chuck_franklin)

2. “Stop telling people how far they have left to go. Instead tell them how far they’ve come.” – @bobgoff (via @ToddAdkins)

1. “The only way to lead a symphony is to turn your back to the crowd and the critics.” – @annvoskamp (via @LindseyNobles)

PLUS 8 BONUS QUOTES

8. “Talking about your idea can trick you into thinking you are doing it.” – @charlestlee (via @toddadkins)

7. “Leadership is not about what you do or what you know, it’s leading out of who you are.” – @DailyFrancis (via @toddadkins)

6. “There’s no short cut to quality.” – @charlestlee (via @catbackstage)

5. “#1. Think big. #2. Start small. #3. Keep moving.” – @charlestlee (via @ksc)

4. “A gift can destroy a leader if their character has not yet developed before they were launched into the spotlight.” – @christinecaine (via haleyveturis)

3. “A poor leader yells. A leader tells. A good leader listens. A Servant Leader understands.” – #Catalyst (via @robjacobs)

2. “Many of us are missing what God already has in front of us because we are looking for the next big thing.” – @ChristineCaine (via @haleyveturis)

1, “Comparison is cancer to contentment.” – #Catalyst (via @joshshipp)

What are your favorite quotes? Leave a message below.

Can you answer the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Can you answer the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

I thought I could. Until March 22, 2014.

Mudslide makes the cover of The New York Times.

Mudslide makes the cover of The New York Times.

Here in the Northwest there is a call. It’s the siren song of our incredible mountains. Shear walls of rock thrust vertically thousands of feet in air. Snow collects all winter atop these monuments, only later to melt into crystal clear rivers that attract salmon and bald eagles.

In the warmth of summer, my wife and I followed this call. Our favorite spot is along a river called Stillaguamish. Locals lovingly call it the Stilly. We would pitch our chairs in the river near Oso, a tiny town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range. There families gather to jump off railroad bridges into the cool water. There are rope swings, fishing poles and picnic baskets. It’s quite a place.

Larry and Sandy Miller

Larry and Sandy Miller

Larry and Sandy Miller heard the same call. For years they shared with us their dreams of building a home alongside the Stilly. They wanted a place to retire where they would never have to leave the salmon and the eagles and the snowmelt. It reminded Sandy of her days in Alaska. They even designed a separate riverside space for retreats. They wanted friends and families to experience the mountains they loved.

March 22, 2014 their dream came to an end.

After weeks of unusually heavy rain, a mile-wide section of mountain gave way. It was a catastrophic event, even by Northwest standards. Geologists say it may be the worst ever. The mountainside raced downhill at 170 miles an hour. It wiped cars off the highway. It choked the Stilly so quickly it sent a six-story tsunami upstream taking out homes and people.

In 3 seconds.

3 seconds.

Larry and Sandy Miller's dream home before the mudslide.

Larry and Sandy Miller’s dream home before the mudslide.

Larry and Sandy were at their brand new dream home the morning of the slide. They were making final preparations to move in and begin a well-earned retirement. They and their electrician are were killed.

They had spent years working to ensure their home was in a safe place. No expense was spared protecting the dream from a river flooding. But there was no protection from the unthinkable. The dream now sits under 20 feet of water and mud.

The loss of Larry and Sandy’s dream is nothing compared the world’s loss of Larry and Sandy. Larry was a businessman. He earned the respect needed to be boss by working his way up the ranks. He was the kind of guy upon which communities are built.

Larry Miller' sword.

Larry Miller’s sword.

My favorite “Larry moment” was the day he showed up to our church car show. Larry was a straight-talking leader who wanted to invite guys to be part of the Men’s Ministry he organized. Larry walked around the car show with an authentic three-foot sword (an Ephesians 6:17 reference to the Bible being our sword). Larry signed up 30 guys that day, the most successful sign up in church history.

Larry and Sandy Miller in love.

Larry and Sandy Miller in love.

Larry and Sandy loved their marriage. So much so they passionately wanted to help other couples with their marriages. For years they led our church marriage ministry, helping save weak marriages and strengthen good ones.

People like Larry and Sandy are the glue that hold us together. They are the non-squeaky wheels. They are the contributors and the doers and the helpers. They are the people you look forward to seeing. They make the room better just by walking in. They are the people you appreciate, even more so when they’re gone.

Why do bad things happen to good people? A week ago I could have given you the standard answer.

Now I’m not so sure.

—–

Larry and Sandy Miller’s story in the media:

KING 5 News (video)

Everett Herald

New York Times

Seattle Times

NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams (video)

Front page coverage of the Oso landslide in The Seattle Times.

Front page coverage of the Oso landslide in The Seattle Times.

 

Photos courtesy Ron Hadley. Used with permission.