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Nuggets taken from Seeds conference prt. 2

seeds conference 2015

This year attending the Seeds conference via Live StreamPass was great. It cost my church a fraction of the price for me to go and attend, travel, food, Hotel etc.. Instead I was able to watch from many places of my choosing ranging from a couple local coffee shops, to my porch.

Just as if I was there I picked up some great nuggets of wisdom, insight, and definitely quotable tidbits. I want to list some more of these below and hopefully you will find them as good as I did. You can also go to my first post with even more goodies that I picked up over here

* Good people rarely leave healthy organizations. @patricklencioni

* Teamwork allows us to build the healthiest possible organization.

* Jesus is LIFTED UP when you do things with excellence!

* How to make your church healthy:
1. Cohesive leadership team
2. Create clarity
3. Overcommunicate clarity
4. Reinforce clarity

* Discipline 1 of creating a healthy organization – Establish a cohesive leadership team

* Discipline 2 and 3 of creating a healthy organization – Create clarity and over communicate clarity.

* Over communicate clarity, people need to hear this over and over.

* People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed. @patricklencioni

* Vulnerability is the best opportunity for growth. This only happens if the leader goes first

* When people in your organization can be emotionally buck naked with each other, it changes your culture for the better.

* “A healthy organization is one where people come and know that there’s NO politics.”
-Patrick Lencioni

* What makes Chick-fil-a special is not the sandwich it’s the culture.

* “People walk through walls of fire for leaders who know who they are.” @patricklencioni

* When we don’t recognize constructive conflict as good, it ferments conflict around them as people.

* You need to be competent, not perfect.

* If you have people who aren’t willing to grow then you have to be willing to let them go #leadership #churchgrowth

* If people don’t WEIGH in on a conversation/issue, they won’t BUY in. So don’t just SHARE info w/your people, let them SHAPE it.

* The primary source of accountability is the people on your team, not the leader of the team.

* Behavioral accountability trumps result accountability in #leadership & healthy #organizations.

* “As leaders we have to have the courage to hold leaders accountable for their behavior.”

* Minister upward, with the same love and dignity as we “minister-downward.”

* “My department is fine, your department isn’t my concern” it just takes one hole to sink a ship!

How to have a “Sent-sational” Kidmin Team


Guest post by Dawn Farris who is the Director of Children’s Ministries at New Testament Christian Church, Keokuk, IA. You can find out more about her at her blog or follow her on twitter @whosthefarris

I put a new “Scentsy” wax cube in the warmer in my office today. I hadn’t used one for quite a while, but the cold weather and gray skies made me want to warm up my space and my attitude. A sweet mix of peppermint and a little left over something or other was noticed by everyone who came by.

“Hmmmm. Something smells nice.”

“Oh, wow! Your office smells great.”

“What smells so good?”

The aroma in my office was sending some good vibrations throughout the church for sure, for sure.

Then a little later in the day I was Skyping with my friends Todd and Andy. We were chatting about blogging and we got on the topic of the attitudes and how we need to always be careful that we are conveying an attitude encouragement, humility and equipping rather than complaining, criticism or negativity.

As I got ready to head home for the day, I went to turn my warmer off and realized that our attitudes, and the attitudes of our teams, need to be a bit like that Scentsy.

A great attitude is like a pleasant aroma. It can literally change the atmosphere in a room–or a ministry.
How does that happen? A “scent-sational” kidmin team comes from individual “scent-sational” attitudes and efforts–from each member choosing daily to have attitudes like. . .


. . . regardless of our circumstances.

When we live out these types of attitudes, individually and collectively, people will take notice, they will be drawn to us and we will be a “pleasing aroma” not only to others, but to the Lord. We will not only be a “scent-sational” team member, but a “scent-sational” team.

So let’s get praying, let’s get choosing and let’s get using God’s power to permeate the space around us with the attitudes of Jesus as we serve together to be not just “scent-sational,” but sensational kidmin teams as we share Jesus with the children around us.

Power of Praise


The power of praise can sometimes be the most overlooked tool in our children’s ministry tool belts.

This tool of Praise has the ability of transforming our perspectives, strengthening our mission and values, and energizing us when we feel we have nothing more to give. Throw a sincere praise to any of us or our team and watch energy and enthusiasm begin to show up from what seemed like empty vessels just seconds before.

There is a big difference between delivering sincere praise and manufactured praise. Know your team and the people that make up the team so it is easy to deliver to sincere praise. Here are the ingredients of sincere praise as I see them.

* It must be genuinely heartfelt to be believable.
* Supporting praise with detail makes it easier to reproduce critical behaviors.
* Coming from a person of great respect makes it more impactful
* Receiving it regularly and not just once a year makes it much more valuable
* Timeliness is critical for praise to have its greatest impact

These are a few of the ingredients that I feel are powerful to have when giving praise. What are some other ingredients do you feel are necessary to have in praise being given to you? What are some of the ingredients you also have included in the praise that you give to others?

Share from whatever experience you may have.

Team building the Nehemiah way part 3

Software: Microsoft Office

Depending on how you landed on this page, allow me to urge you before reading this post to start over on part 1, then go to part 2, then come back here to finish with part 3.

In Nehemiah’s third part of building successful teams, Nehemiah kept the teams focused on the big picture and their part in it. The people didn’t need a retreat, or an offsite conference. They needed to get the rocks out of the valley below and placed in the wall, and to finish the job before their enemies could organize.

In pursuing this great task Nehemiah went through what many of us go through as we pursue task that are bigger than ourselves. Here are just a few of the potentially crippling issues that arose but Nehemiah dealt with each one capably.

* The people had to be reassured against violent threats from their enemies, so Nehemiah posted guards so the work would continue (4:16-18).

* Relational problems erupted, so he took corrective measures (5:6-8).

* Enemies sent messages to set fear in their hearts (6:1-9).

Working through these problems and brushing aside distractions, Nehemiah kept everyone focused on the Bigger picture and their part in it.

God used Nehemiah to carry out a huge task through teams. I know that God can do a lot through you as well if you will take the time to follow the same steps that Nehemiah followed.

How are you keeping your teams focused and involved with the big picture and their part in it?

Team building the Nehemiah Way part 2


In Team building the Nehemiah way part one we discussed how he started with the big task of rebuilding the wall. You can read it here if you have not had the chance yet.

Now onto the second thing I see Nehemiah did in building teams that would see success.

Nehemiah set forth a lofty goal—rebuild the entire wall. This was a difficult task. It was a genuine BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). The priests and Levites could never do this alone. The job was too big for any one person or any single family. No other leader had been able to pull it off. All the people needed to work together to make this happen. The task cried out for many high-performance teams.

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.—Nehemiah

What lofty (BHAG) goals are you pursuing? Challenging your teams to?

Have you allowed ministry to become just the day in and day out type stuff?

We serve such a big God who wants the whole world to know about Him. It is way too big of an assignment we have all been given for life to be just business as usual.

Team building the Nehemiah way

team rock faces

Nehemiah is a great biblical example of someone who achieved incredible even jaw dropping success through teams. The protective walls of Jerusalem were in shambles. The people were divided and treating each other poorly. Yet Nehemiah rides in and helps the people rebuild the walls around the entire city in only 52 days! Here’s how.

First, he made sure he had a group that was committed to a common purpose, goals, and
approach and held each other accountable. They knew they could carry out more as a group than they ever could alone. Even though the officials, priests, and nobles ruled the city, they were not this kind of team I just described. They were simply a group of leaders by title. Nehemiah quickly figured out that the natural teams in the city were the family units, priests and Levites, and people formerly from the same geographic region.

These leaders could pull together their people into teams quickly and effectively. He divided the work into more than 40 sections along the wall and brought together family leaders and officials to get it done. (Check out the long list of real teams in Nehemiah 3:1-32.)

How do keep your volunteers committed to a common purpose, goals and approach?
Have you learned to truly spot the leaders in your church?

Delegation needs Communication


I Have posted before on how Delegation is a must in children’s ministry.
Today I want to follow that up with the importance of communication before, during and after delegation.

Suggestion 1: Clarify your expectations. Write out what you want to do to see if it sounds logical and comprehensive. Be specific about the timeline and results needed (this should be part of the S.M.A.R.T. process I have mentioned many times).

2. Ensure you’re on the same page. Talk things over to be sure there’s a mutual understanding of important points. Rephrase what you understand to be what has been said and any assignments given out.

3. Share your knowledge. Help those you are working with succeed by being generous with any information or tips you can give them based on your experience. When they win the team wins. Long gone are the days of keeping information.

4. Remain available for questions that may develop. Many questions can arise once a person actually starts working on a delegated assignment. Check in often to offer feedback and advice, especially in the early stages. Anything short of this kind of continual check-in is not “delegation” but “dumping”.

5. Encourage accountability. Assign whole projects and related decision-making authority as much as possible. It helps to speed things up and people often feel more motivated when they have a sense of ownership.

How would following these suggestions help your children’s ministry out if followed?

Seek N Spell app for children’s ministry

As with anyone who works with kids in any capacity, we are always on the look out for new gadgets, tools, and now we can add into that list – the world of ever-increasing apps. It is from this list of apps that I want to bring a new one to you called: Seek n Spell.

Seek ’n Spell uses your GPS to create a new type of game. The object is to gather virtual letters and create words. Seek ’n Spell is played gathering in a park or other large outdoor space, players then race one another around the field to capture up to 10 letter tiles at a time, which they use to create words. Coveted gold tiles will appear randomly on the field, earning players a doubled score when used in words. Points are earned based on the length of the words players spell, and the player with the most points when time runs out wins.

So what are you waiting for, gather some of your volunteers and go out for an afternoon of fun or gather volunteers and kids and make an afternoon of it. What a great way to develop team, fun, adventure and physical exercise to boot.

UberConference for state of the art conference calls

I just ran across this wonderful new tool that truly looks very promising. What tool am I referring to? UberConference.
Watch this video for an early preview of this tool and then make sure you sign up with your email to gain early access.

I love innovation like this. Enjoy a new way to have those team meetings, be easier on your volunteers schedules, use this for your volunteer training times.

Then UberConference brings a whole new visual dimension to audio conference calls. From any computer, anyone in the call can see the names, photos, and other information of the others in the call. The display shows the current speaker, and the organizer has a number of helpful tools to keep the conference running smoothly. They can record calls, mute participants to get rid of background noise or put “earmuffs” on people they may not want to hear part of the conversation.

Volunteer recruitment is fun

When you hear the words “Volunteer Recruitment” what does it do to you? Do you get chills down your spine? Does the hair stand up on the back of your neck? Do you get sick to your stomach? Out of all the great things we get to do in children’s ministry, recruiting volunteers is the most dreaded part. It doesn’t matter if the ministry is large or small, we all face the same hurdle: Finding enough people to run it successfully.

Having had the opportunity to oversee tons of vacation Bible schools, special programs, weekly ministries, and camps as well as hundreds of children per service, let me urge you to try network recruiting. This is getting your volunteers to recruit other volunteers who’ll recruit others, etc.

When looking for leaders to help recruit for your ministry, make sure these people have good skills in relating to others. Find people who are good at making friends, because most people will start with their friends when they recruit. This will also build relational ties in your children’s ministry teams, so your volunteers will feel connected to one another.

Make volunteer recruitment fun! When something is fun, everyone wants to be involved.

To read the rest of this click on over to Kidology Zones and look for the title of this blog post.

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