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Monthly Archives: June 2009

To Drill or not to Drill

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Last year, our church participated in The Great Shakeout – a regional event in Southern California where local communities simulated what to do in the event of a massive earthquake.

After our regular worship services on a Sunday morning, we simulated an evacuation of our classrooms and what our pick up procedures would look like in the event of an emergency.  Parents and leaders were encouraged to know that we had a plan in place and our elementary-aged kids had a fun time running drills in their classrooms.

I began thinking of how great this event was a few weeks ago when our campus parking lot was used as a rally point during a local bank robbery.  Men held up a nearby bank at gunpoint and stashed a secondary getaway car on our campus.  Quickly arriving on the scene after the initial pursuit, local law enforcement agents spent just under an hour combing our campus with firearms drawn.

Now, luckily for our children and our programs, all of this took place on an evening when there were just a few people on campus… but, it made me wonder how often we should run emergency simulations with our leaders and what policies we should have on hand and which of these should be available for public knowledge.

Currently, we plan to run an evacuation drill annually with our kids on campus.
We walk our leaders through a handful of scenarios during orientation and we talk about the differences between evacuation and lock-down procedures.

So, my question to the community is this:

What drills are you running with your kids and leadership teams and how often do you simulate emergency events?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2009 in Kidmin, Los Angeles

 

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Orange Recap: Training Events for Small Group Leaders

How About Orange

Here we are, months later, and I’m finally able to recap some of my take-aways from The Orange Conference I attended in early April.
It’s partly because I wanted to put some of what I learned into practice before I shared some of the great things I heard while in Atlanta.
It’s also partly because I lost my notes and my wife found them a couple days ago.

Training Events for Small Group Leaders was a pre conference break out hosted by Autumn and Chad Ward.
Here’s what the conference said about this session:

Does the back door to your family ministry seem much larger than the front door? Do you spend more time recruiting than you do investing in your volunteers? Join two church leaders who, in very practical ways, are learning how to make that back door less appealing. This breakout will focus on vision casting, skill training, and strategic celebrations as tools you can use to enable your volunteers to stick it out for the long run.

For a great recap of the notes handed out for the session, check out Chad Swanzy’s GREAT summary here.

My big takeaway from this discussion was the idea of making a BIG DEAL out of training events for our volunteer teams.
Too many times we gather our people together to say thank you and we forget to make them feel loved and equipped.

If your team is excited to serve, there’s a better chance that they’re investing everything they’ve got into the ministry they’ve been called to.

So, how do you get them so excited that they’re inviting their friends to serve alongside them?
I’ll offer three thoughts:

  • Let them share stories
    Gina McClain has some encouraging words about the importance of hearing stories from the kids we serve.  How powerful would it be if your leaders not only heard these stories but shared them with the rest of the team.  If you team knows it’s making a difference, there’s a bigger chance your team members’ excitement will be contagious.
  • Remind them of the vision
    Remember yesterday’s post about casting vision?  No…? Well, go read it here.  Use team parties and award celebrations as a time to congratulate ministry role models and remind your team WHY they do what they do!  Team members who are equipped to cast vision for others are walking and breathing commercials for your ministry.
  • Show them how much they’re worth
    First of all, how much is a team member worth to you?
    $10? $20?  A cheesy $1.99 pen?
    Your leaders should walk away from training events knowing that you value them.  If they feel loved and equipped because you gave them a great dinner in an awesome setting and brought in a speaker to train and equip them, they’ll tell others about the ministry they’re involved in.  If all they get is a notepad and a stale cookie… well, they probably won’t be inviting their friends to serve alongside them anytime soon.

If you could add a fourth bullet point… what would it be?
Share your thoughts below!

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2009 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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Orange Recap: The Volunteer Dilemma

How About Orange

Here we are, months later, and I’m finally able to recap some of my take-aways from The Orange Conference I attended in early April.
It’s partly because I wanted to put some of what I learned into practice before I shared some of the great things I heard while in Atlanta.
It’s also partly because I lost my notes and my wife found them a couple days ago.

The Volunteer Dilemma was a pre conference break out hosted by Diane Runge.
Here’s what the conference said about this session:

“I don’t have enough volunteers” This is the #1 item on the Most Challenging list in the minds of children’s and student ministry leaders. In this breakout, Diane Runge, a former family ministry director, who built her programs with nothing but volunteer teams, will share her magnet and glue secrets so that everyone attending will go home with a specific strategy of practical ideas to enlist and keep incredible volunteers.

For a great recap of EVERYTHING that was said during the session, check out Pastor Chris Szulwach’s fantastic summary here.

Personally, I loved the focus on identifying our ministry’s vision and the call to communicate that vision in a clear and compelling way.
As I often say, great ideas don’t sell themselves… and I think that applies to vision as well.
I believe that you can have the most amazing vision for your ministry, but if it’s not clearly presented in an engaging and compelling way, your team will not buy in, your parents will not buy in and, without that, your ministry will not thrive.

Further, I believe that a ministry with a clearly communicated and compelling vision will not have problems building and maintaining a volunteer team.

If you’re not sure that you’re effectively communicating the vision of your ministry, have your team answer these questions:

  • What is the vision for our ministry?
  • Are we actively seeking to communicate the vision of our ministry Convincingly, Creatively, and Continuously?
  • Are we creatively using audio and video to communicate our vision?
  • Do our ministry environments reflect the vision of our ministry?
  • Are we using events (for families and/or team members) to communicate the vision of our ministry?
  • If asked, can our senior pastor communicate the vision for our ministry?

Are there questions you’d add or remove from this list?
Any other insights into casting vision for your team?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2009 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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things I should hate more than I do: #47 Clutter.

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I don’t love clutter, but I don’t hate it either.

I try to chalk it up to creativity… though I think, deep down, my inability to keep my office, my side of the bedroom, my computer’s desktop, and other personal spaces clear of clutter just makes me look lazy.

So, starting today, I’m tackling the clutter in my life.
It starts with some small steps – I’m sorting my inbox (1,429 messages to file… ugh), organizing my desktop and celebrating by grabbing some new June desktop art from Smashing Magazine here (thanks to Kenny Conley for the idea).

I’ll tackle my desk and the boxes of unsorted papers under my desk later this week.

What’s cool is, after thinking about this idea for the last couple of days, I’m taking this clutter-free concept to my ministry approach.
I’m going to be looking for areas where clutter occurs, whether that clutter requires actual cleaning (VHS, here’s fair warning, you’re not making the cut), or if it’s a matter of streamlining our processes, I’m going to make it my mission to clear our clutter by the end of June.

Wish me luck.
I think I’m going to need it!

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2009 in Kidmin

 

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Hope is…

http://www2.grist.org/images/advice/how/2008/07/22/cemetary-sunrise_h528.jpg

Hope isn’t blind, it’s prophetic.  It sees what’s coming, what has to come, what can’t not come. – Jim Miller, Glenkirk Church 6/14/09

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2009 in Quotes

 

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Rainy Days and Sundays

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The best sound in the world to wake up to is the sound of a gentle rain on the windows and rooftop of our home.
I love overcast days and carrying an umbrella down misty sidewalks.

My favorite days to wake up to are Sundays.
My heart beats a little quicker as I sneak around the house before anyone else has gotten out of bed… mentally and prayerfully preparing for the day of ministry in front of me.

So, it’s funny to me to think about how much I’m disappointed when I wake up and find these things happening at the same time.
Rainy days and Sundays frustrate me to no end.

I’ve yet to put my finger on why, but rainy days seem to impact our children’s ministry program attendance more than holidays, summer breaks or sporting events.  Having an open courtyard where our welcome tables and classrooms are located probably doesn’t help the situation… but I’m left wondering, does this happen everywhere?  Or is this a California trend?

After sending out a tweet on a drizzly Sunday morning, I began to see that this could be an issue that impacts more churches than I first would have guessed.  Quick replies from @KellykelKool and @PudgeHuckaby (who, btw, has a GREAT blog over at www.pudgehuckaby.com) leave me wondering, what impact does rainy weather have on your church programs…?

So, seriously, no lurking on this one… we want to hear from you!
To the comments section!

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2009 in Kidmin, Los Angeles

 

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Playground Ribbon Cutting Ceremony @Glenkirk!

Playground Ribbon Cutting Party @Glenkirk 09 on Vimeo.

I’m thankful that this day has finally come.
Sleep should come a little easier now.

Thanks to all who supported this tremendously awesome project.

It couldn’t have happened w/out you!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2009 in Kidmin, Los Angeles, Playground

 

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