14 of our team at Milton Keynes Christian Centre have just returned from Orange Conference hosted in Atlanta, Georgia. They joined over 8,000 leaders and children’s workers from 50 states and 14 countries for 3 days of intensive learning. It included 7 keynote sessions and a massive 126 breakouts sharing the message with “One Voice -We can do more together!”.
Over the next few days, we will post a series of notes with just some of our learning with links to resources and questions to jump-start your ministry.
“Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9
A thousand generations were impacted just because someone said yes. What you do matters!
Watch out for ADOP: Attention deficit ohhh pretty
Perspective: Sometimes things don’t appear as they really are. From the outside things can look great but it’s all about perspective.
Forced Perspective: a technique which employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. Forced perspective in our ministries or life only creates an illusion of what’s real, true, and reliable.
However, with a few steps, we can create a desired destination that everyone and every system can lead kids and students to a unified common end in mind.
Take a step back and take a hard look at every part of your ministry. Without emotion, defence or blame. Make it a scientific standpoint. Clarity and unity trump everything.
Church Unique: “The answer is having a vision that oozes, that is original, organic, zeroed in, and extravagant. When leaders start thinking clearly, engaging locally, focusing redemptively, and risking boldly, their church becomes an unstoppable force and an irresistible influence.” Will Mancini from Church Unique, get a free PDF copy here.
Great questions to wrestle with for a blameless autopsy:
Find a way of celebrating and gaining consistent feedback from the key leaders in your NextGen ministries EVERY week (in person or online video conference e.g zoom):
As Leaders, it is important to try to move towards working ON the ministry, not IN the ministry.
It is very important to have someone on the NextGen team on the leadership team (or at the least have someone who will champion the ministry)
One Voice: Church vision and strategy + Nextgen vision and strategy = Integrated strategy for 1000 generations.
Life transformation happens in circles. A place where we can be authentic.
What is regular attendance? (For us in Milton Keynes average attendance for our children is approximately 2 x a month. This statistic alone demands that we look at a different way to influence families)
Everything we teach in early childhood they will ask questions about in primary school and secondary school. We must build a foundation. Help them learn how to interpret the word. Help the truth connect to their heart.
Are we creating consistent opportunities for kids to serve both inside and outside of the church?
If a kid has multiple voices speaking in their life year after year and if that same student is serving alongside adults 98% will stick.
To impact 1000 generations we have to put it all together. It requires more than just our nextgen team. From the car park to the main platform, everyone in the church needs to know what your goal is for every student in your ministry. Know what the win is and make it known
A Secondary School student will graduate living life on mission with a heart that belongs, a mind that responds, and a life that reflects Jesus Christ long after they leave us.
This goal informs our message, it informs how we speak to volunteers and everything we do or choose not to do. Allows us to have quick yes’s and gracious no’s.
Jim Collins: The Hedgehog Concept
The Hedgehog Concept is developed in the book Good to Great. A simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of three circles:
Transformations from good to great come about by a series of good decisions made consistently with a Hedgehog Concept, supremely well executed, accumulating one upon another, over a long period of time.
In every conversation you have you need to lead with your vision and lead with your values. Lead with your why. Think of family ministry as a vehicle. All moving in the same direction. If a tire comes off the car is done. If a tire is flat we all feel it. We all have to be rolling together and in sync together.
For more on Blameless Autopsy read Think Orange
Recommended listening: EntreLeadership Podcast #229: Dina Dwyer-Owens—Why Values Matter –
Recommended Reading: Creating Environments that help parents and kids fell welcomed!
Recommended Reading: Comprehensive guide to Family Ministry by Diana Garland
Article first appeared at CoreyRayJones, although we have slightly adapted it for us UK peeps.