Archives For Leadership

Like the math class I was failing as a 9th grader, a new semester reminds me there’s always a fresh start! There are several relationships I want to renew in the coming year.

  1. Having students in my home
  2. Spending time with adult leaders for lunch
  3. Dating my wife
  4. A day every week just for my family
  5. “Think Day” once a month for myself

What’s important to you relationally this coming year?

 

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Flipboard is an essential part of my personal growth plan. It’s essentially an RSS feed that’s way more flashy and convenient than checking emails for the latest blog posts I’m subscribed to.

I currently only use it for blogs that I follow but you can set it up to follow twitter, Facebook, instagram feeds and more.

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It’s meant to read like a magazine, which is helpful if you like pictures with your text (haha, no jokes).

I have three folders set up on my app:

  1. Student Ministry
  2. Leadership
  3. Travel

I have these three set up to funnel my RSS feeds into flipboard. You can read how to set up your folders and set flipboard to do a ton more for you by clicking here.

Here are some of the blogs I follow with Flipboard:
Average Youth Ministry
What Is Orange
Brian Mills
Girls Minister
RE Youth Pastor
Student Ministry
Josh Evans
More Than Dodgeball
Rethinking Youth Ministry
Adam McClane
Millennial Leader
Jonathan Pearson
Rookie Pastor

 

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You can do things extraordinarily well, but unless you do the RIGHT things well, you still lose.

Do I really need to spend an inordinate amount of time formatting a document, building a website, or meeting excessively? What are the RIGHT things that cause us to win in student ministry? I don’t know if I know most of those answers but I believe relationships, recruiting and training leaders, and giving people ownership of ministry have to be at the top of the list.

What am I doing this week to reach one more student?

The reality about reaching students is that they’re not beating down the walls to get to us. Unless I am making strategic, intentional, and consistent strides to build relationships that lead to Gospel encounters, I am likely not going to reach more students.

Matt Lawson

 

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This is a one-hour audio recording of a Skype call with Jordan Easley. This training focuses on the essential traits of a invaluable staff member.

Jordan Easley SkypeIf you listen to this audio training, you will hear:

  • 16 principles for leading among other staff members and volunteers
  • The essential principle for avoiding “twenty-stupid”
  • Why a balanced personality matters
  • How to communicate with even speaking
  • The one thing that needs to be on your desk and accomplished weekly to boost morale on your staff and team
  • How to command respect from others by making a wise choice about your appearance
  • A practical way to encourage and support other staff members each week
  • Why staying in your own lane matters
  • Why every hill doesn’t matter and the place to not air out your battles

Jordan’s tenure at previous churches demonstrates his ability to be lead well and to be an invaluable team member that others respect and seek wisdom. He is currently the student pastor at one of the most influential churches in America.

This is a FREE audio recording available only to subscribers of this blog. Your subscription is free. Along with your subscription we also give you other resources that are exclusive to Revolution Speaks subscribers. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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“What are you teaching your leaders when you get together for training?”

This is probably the most frequent question we field from other youth pastors, from both large churches as well as smaller churches.

Consider these basic questions to ask yourself before planning a calendar year of training:

  • How often are we going to train? Monthly, weekly quarterly or a combination of several?
  • What are the primary categories all of our training should focus on? Reaching, teaching, relationships, youth culture, technology, personal leadership, etc?
  • What are the elements that each training should contain? I’ve written on some of the essentials that each leadership meeting should contain.

We’ve tried nearly every format for training our leaders from discussion based round tables, lecture format, as well as topical breakout options led by our own leaders. Below you can download two of our previous years training schedules.

2010-2011 Leader Meeting Training Schedule

2009-2010 Leader Meeting Training Schedule

[These training schedules are for our small group leaders. Training topics may look vastly different for other type leaders (ie. greeters, cafe, camp, etc)]

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New leaders shouldn’t have to guess your purpose, process, or expectations. This handbook represents one of the ways in which we communicate these to our new leaders. This handbook is updated yearly. Feel free to replicate for your own purposes.

SECTIONS:

  1. Introduction
  2. Adult Leader Info & Expectations
  3. Overview of High School Ministry
  4. Teacher Resources
  5. Forms

FONTS USED: Eurostile, Eurostile ExtendedTwo, Trebuchet, Pointy Demo, Rockwell

DOWNLOAD THE LEADER HANDBOOK

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I found a new bakery this weekend. I want to thank my former bakery for forcing me to look elsewhere.

I changed bakeries

Last week, my family drove to our old bakery only to find out that it was closed because the owner was on vacation. This past Saturday, we drove there again for doughnuts only to find out they didn’t have doughnuts that morning because the owner was sick.

Come to find out, the owner is the only person in the store that knows how to make doughnuts, as well as a lot of other things they sell. Apparently, when he goes on vacation or is sick, the bakery essentially shuts down because no one else knows how to do what he does.

Leadership fail.

Organizations that don’t reproduce their leadership capacities cannot survive.

Any multi-layered organization that’s dependant upon one person’s skills and abilities will find itself limited in its ability to meet demand.

A youth pastor cannot possibly minister to the needs and possibilities by himself. A pastor cannot facilitate every function in the church. There are many who try and they inevitably arrive a place of frustration and depression.

Great leaders and organizations understand the necessity of reproducing their skills and abilities. Great leaders also understand that when you expand your leadership base, you expand the potential for your organization to grow.

Nothing could be worse than killing the very organization you have worked so hard to build.

I’ve found a new bakery I can depend on. I know that sounds weird but when I’ve promised my kids doughnuts on Saturday morning, I want to know I’ve got a place I can count on being open and making doughnuts.

What areas of leadership do you need to multiply yourself? What areas of leadership do you need to give away so that you can function in your skill set?

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It’s recruiting season. Our ministries need more volunteers just like yours. Emails, tweets, newsletters, and pastor announcements just aren’t helping.

the #1 place to look for volunteers

The well seems dry. So how do you find more volunteers?

LEVERAGE THE INFLUENCE OF OTHERS

I was taught years ago by a mentor that my sphere of influence is only so large. But my sphere of influence combined with my leader’s sphere of influence is tremendous. Their relationships reach into places I have not been or may never go. Tapping into my leaders relationships expands my recruiting base to an almost unlimited level.

Here are a few phrases I use this time of year…

“Who’s leading your small group with you?”

“Who do you know that loves Jesus and might be interested in investing in teenagers?”

“Do you have any recommendations for small group leaders?”

“This is what God is doing. Who do you know that would want to join in on what He’s up to?”

The reason we have more leaders than ever is because we’ve expanded our sphere of influence through our leaders.

What’s your secret to recruiting more leaders?

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Healthy ministries have healthy leadership teams. Healthy leadership teams don’t just happen, they’re equipped and empowered.

6 Ways to Add Value to Leadership Meetings

In our context, we facilitate equipping and empowering primarily through monthly leadership meetings (except June and December).

When we recruit leaders we tell them that leadership meeting is the most important thing we do every month (outside of our small group time). We’ve learned that leaders will place importance on this time if, and only if, the meetings have value. It’s been a learning process for us in facilitating an hour and a half every month that adds value. I’m the first to admit that I’ve hosted quite a few meetings that were not worth my leader’s time!

This past year, however, (2011-12) we averaged 79% of classes attending our meetings. Our goal is 80%. That’s a significant improvement over years past. We’re happy with the progress. Here’s a few things we’ve done this year that we believe have helped add value to our leader’s time and ministry and increased our attendance.

1. Set up a collaborative learning environment
Our most effective meetings (based on feedback from leaders) typically happens when more than just the person training (typically me) has a chance to speak into the learning process. Because of that, we set up our meeting space with round tables. We place our leaders at tables with small group leaders who teach in the same grade and gender.

2. Allow time for leaders to get to know each other
We do this at the beginning so they are already inclined to talk when we get into our training time.

3. Use background music to encourage conversation
When we throw discussion questions to the tables, we’ve found that a little background noise helps facilitate conversation. I think it helps leaders not feel like they are being overheard at another table or maybe it just helps drown out the next tables discussion.

4. Have a clear learning destination
Our training always focuses on one of three general topics…process, purpose, or proficiency. Leaders should walk away with at least one specific application for their ministry area. For our most recent meeting, we had two destinations…(1) Establishing a small group routine and (2) What to do in the 1st 30 days with my group.

5. Cast vision
Vision is more attractive than need. Vision motivates the journey. While a leader may have come to your ministry because of your need, they will stick because of your vision.

6. Celebrate the activity of God
Student ministry is a messy, difficult calling. Telling the stories of God’s activity helps leaders remember why we came here in the first place.

Why do you think leadership meetings have difficulty gaining traction?

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Received an email this week from a mom with three sons. Attached to the email was a 3-page thought on modesty. I can’t repost everything in the letter but there were some great thoughts. This one stood out the most…

Fourth, Moms how would you feel if your husband’s secretary dressed like your daughter when she was at work?  What do you think he would think when she bent over his desk or to pick up a piece of trash?  How would you feel if his co-worker came to an office party or picnic in the same outfit you allow your daughter to wear?  Well, that’s how I feel when your daughter wears what she wears to Sunday School, Wednesday night gatherings and/or Church camp.

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Ladies…if you’re in the Woodstock, GA area, I would encourage you to attend this girls bible study during the month of July

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