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Posts Tagged "Orange"

Big Words Won’t Change the World

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Leadership, Ministry, Orange


“Words matter.

A few select words over time can impact someones direction in life.”

Have you ever considered the power of your words?  I’m sure you have. Especially when you have to go back and apologize. What you thought was a flippant statement was received with far more weight than you intended.

Since we know that harsh words can make a devastating impact on those around you the inverse is true, as well.  Loving words can make a profound impact… especially when spoken consistently over time.

I shared these thoughts at LeadSmall.org.

If your a parent with kids, a big brother or sister, an adult who interacts with kids or was once a child yourself… check this out.

Big Words Won’t Change the World

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Orange Squeeze: State of Church & Family

Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry, Orange

Carey Nieuhoff and Jarod Hurd took some time on the main stage at Orange 2011 to share a little of their research from The State of Church & Family report. Here’s the official description of the report…

State of the Church and Family 2010 Annual Report is a research-based examination of parents in the United States commissioned by Orange and conducted by The Barna Group. The study presents groundbreaking research about how parents perceive and interact with their local faith community.

Though the report is incredibly comprehensive, Carey and Jarod took some time to highlight the impact of technology on the family.  And the research is surprising.

There are certainly different ‘camps’ that suggest the extent to which kids and adults use technology (i.e. television, internet, smart phones, video games, etc) is excessive and detrimental to the family unit.  But the research in this document suggests…

…the impact of technology on the family may not be ‘evil’ as some would call it.  But it just amplifies the problems within a family that already exist.

That’s an interesting statement.  The idea that technology itself is inherently neutral.  It is neither good nor evil.  However, it’s role in our families can amplify existing relational problems.

These are the two compelling statistics Jarod shared:

  • 92% of parents use mobile technology; 75% of teens & tweens use mobile technology
  • 36% of teens felt they had a close emotional connection to fathers

These two statements sitting side by side can feel a little uneasy.  If it’s true… that only a fraction of teens feel a close connection with their dad and the majority of the teens and dad’s utilize technology in some way…

  • Is there a way to leverage the amount of time invested in technology to invest in each other?
  • Is there a way to inspire dad’s to recognize their impact and refocus his efforts on investing in relationships with his kids?
  • What can we do as a church to paint a picture for dad’s leading them to embrace practical methods for creating the kind of relationship they truly want with their kids?

As a ministry leader, there is so much in this document that drives me to dig more into our younger families.  Helping parents to adopt rhythms and habits that foster solid relationships with their kids.  So that by the time these kids are teens that statistic is different.

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The Voices of Orange

Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry, Orange

There are a ton of voices out in the Kidmin world.  Many that aren’t heard simply because they don’t have a platform to speak.  “Voices of Orange” is a series of posts to highlight these leaders.  You’ll hear from Family Ministry leaders, Student Ministry leaders & Children’s Ministry leaders.  All of whom are in the trenches fighting week in and week out to do what God has called them to do.  Here are their voices.

Julie Eastman leads kids ministry at Northside Christian Church in Spring, TX.  She brought a dynamic team of leaders with her to experience Orange Conference 2011.  I grabbed Julie and her kidmin team for an interview.

Julie shared about a ministry-changing interaction she had at Orange 2010 after chatting with Joy Bowen at the Orange Specialist Meet & Greet.  After that conversation Julie was challenged to go back to the drawing board and revamp her team structure.  Shelley Wells emerged from these changes as the team’s Volunteer Coordinator.  Focusing on their volunteer recruiting & acclimation structure, Shelly works to develop and deepen the volunteer bench.   A newbie volunteer goes through a series of steps including a Spiritual Gifts test, Background Check & One-on-One interview.

Then said newbie moves into a coaching phase where they are paired with a seasoned volunteer referred to as a mentor.  The mentor’s role is to show the new volunteer to do what they do.  Shelly and her team has found more success with pairing new volunteers with mentors that will best develop them as leaders… not necessarily mentors that lead a specific age group. Shelly says,

We’re less focused on placing someone based upon their preferred age when they start as a volunteer.  Instead we work to place them with a mentor that best fits their personality.

Naturally I asked, “What’s your best method of recruiting?” Julie shared some of the challenges they’ve had in the past with mass recruiting “Come Sign Up” Rallies.  The success rate was low considering the number of people that signed up based upon an emotional response.  So they’ve established a “Bring someone with you” culture.  At every meeting, every training, every group interaction they have with their volunteer team they are sharing this vision with their volunteer team.

Who do you know?
Who can you invite?

“Who can be you so that you can be where God is calling you next?

Bar none, that’s the best quote of the conference for me.

Who can be you so that you can be where God is calling you next?

I’m stealing that one, Julie.

I had a great time meeting with Julie and her team.  In my brief time with them I saw a group of strong leaders.  My prayer is that Julie and her team continue to work together discovering ways to extend their reach into the community of Spring, TX.  What an honor to get to hang out with some great people at Orange.

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Orange Squeeze – Innovative Ideas to Partner w/ Parents

Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry, Orange

I got some juicy tidbits from my experience at the Orange Conference 2011 last week.  Orange Squeeze is my post-experience series to share with you what I learned.  Careful… these posts contains pulp.  🙂

Carey Nieuwhoff is one of my favorite leaders in ministry today.  Bar None.

He’s encouraging, approachable, enlightening and overall just great to be around.  I want to be like that when I grow up.

Carey led a breakout session titled “Innovative Ideas to Partner with Parents” where he featured a panel of ministry leaders from 3 different churches taking some innovative approaches to connecting with parents.  In other words… simply being Orange.

Carey launched into his session by briefly recapping what it means to be an Orange church.  I love this and I never tire of hearing it.  After unpacking the 40/3000 analogy, Carey made a few comments that were encouraging to me.  He said,

“When it comes to Innovative Ideas for partnering with parents the script isn’t written yet.  You’re writing it.”

It almost makes you feel as if we’re on the cutting edge of something big.  That’s exciting.

Carey provided a few parameters for Innovative Initiatives when connecting with parents:

  1. Don’t think events, think experiences:  It’s not just information but how it’s applied that brings about transformation.
  2. Don’t just have them come to you, go to them.
  3. Don’t just facilitate information.  Facilitate dialogue.

As each panelist unpacked their Initiatives it was apparent that each event/function were simple in their execution, yet tapped into a felt need within the family.  Here’s a little of what they shared…

Jeff Brodie with Conexxus Church recently launched an event called The Great Family Experiment.  This event allows families to experience one of the five families values, Create a Rhythm.  Participating families received a package with adventures/activities they could explore as a family.  You can find out more and download the resource for free.

Kendra Flemming with Northpoint Community revamped their Baby Dedication experience for families.  They designed the experience to create the kind of event that allows parents to celebrate the birth of their child and to launch them into a journey to lead their child to love Christ.

This experience (BabyD) now involves some podcasts that lead parents to identify values that shape their families, define parameters around their marital relationship and shape patterns that help them grow personally with Christ as their child grows.  You can check that out here.

Kendra’s team also launched a few new products to partner with their monthly KidStuf Live experience. KidStuf Take Out is a tool parents can use.  It’s essentially Family Night in a box.  KidStuf Take Out includes activities, videos and conversation starters to help parents to create a fun and engaging time with their family in their home.

Kenny & Elle Campbell created an outstanding opportunity to help connect parents with their teens small group leader.  Knowing the value of getting parents and small group leaders in the same room, this couple knew they could get them to connect over a common denominator… the child.  Using some creative table settings, thought-provoking questions and a good breakfast… Kenny & Elle managed to increase buy-in and community among the adults that directly influence the lives of the kids Kenny & Elle lead.  You can download their stuff for free here.

I love these ideas.  Will likely implement them in some fashion at FPC.  More than that, I’m grateful for ministry leaders willing to share their ideas and products freely with the ministry community.  Let’s not reinvent the wheel.  Let’s work together to learn from each other.  By leveraging each others’ experiences, we can make a greater impact.

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Orange Day 1: Thoughts of Randomness

Posted by on Apr 27, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry, Orange

When attending a ministry conference like Orange 2011, there is always a huge anticipation leading up to.  And it always pays off.  Orange simply has a buzz about it that you can sense as you pull into the parking lot.  Day One is under my belt and here are a few random thoughts so far…

  • I love the side-bar conversations you have at a conference.  Obviously the teaching in the breakout sessions is highly valuable.  Yet, to me, the random conversations in the Orange Leaders Lounge is equally as valuable.  These add richness to the overall experience.
  • I should pack water with me.  Or $5 bills.  Water from a vending machine is ‘spensive.  (and ironic when sitting 10’ from ministry booths promoting clean water for orphaned kids.)
  • There are a ton of products that you want to know more about.  Visiting the vendor booths, asking questions and generally giving them an opportunity to talk about their product is worth the time.  I found some interesting things I’ll blog about soon.
  • I’m a hotel snob.  I just am.  I can go low-budget but let’s be real.  I’ve got some Kate Gosselin tendencies.  Not proud of it.
  • Amy Fenton Lee & Joy Bowen are now two women on my “want to hang out with” list.
  • I want to meet more people passionate about Preschool Ministry.  Who’s going to read this blog post then come find me in the Orange Leader Lounge Thursday?
  • Opening Night was awesome.  Worship was rich.  And I could fully engage b/c I was not responsible for anything.  🙂

More to come…

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