This past year, I functioned as the Family Ministry Pastor - a new role for me that had me overseeing Children's Ministry (where I pastored for 3+ years) and Student Ministry. Both are very different areas and require similar, but still very different skill sets. When the end of the the 2012-13 school year was up, I actually found myself reflecting back and missing my student ministry leaders and students.
Student Ministry isn't for everyone and after 1-year of being neck-deep in it, I've come up with the following 6 things I learned while in Student Ministry:
What I Learned:
What I Screwed Up:
At the end of the year, I was sad to no longer have all the students and small group leaders part of my life and job as I get ready to move to Neepawa. I learned lots about myself, made a lot of mistakes that allowed me to grow and see my own leadership strengths and weaknesses in a new light. I love the direction of Student Ministry at my church and know that there will be lots of kid's lives changed because of the amazing small group leaders that have invested their time, energy and love into them!
Where have you been challenged in your leadership journey recently? What have you learned about yourself (including where you screw up)? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Thursday is always a really tough day at Orange Conference - there is so much content to absorb with 2 main sessions and 4 breakouts = drinking from a fire hose! Throughout the conference, I was unable to live tweet, both because my phone's battery wouldn't make it through the day and because the content came fast, frequent and was so good, I didn't want to miss any of it.
Instead, I jotted down all the tweetable quotes from speakers throughout the day. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the first two days of Orange Conference! I've done my best to give credit where credit is due and some may be paraphrased from my notes - tweet away, fellow OCers!
Ron Edmondson @ronedmondson
Reggies Joiner @reggiejoiner
Mark Batterson @markbatterson
Andy Wood @andywood
Darren Kizer @darrenkizer
Jon Acuff @jonacuff
Jeff Foxworthy @foxoutdoors
Derwin L. Gray @derwinlgray
Like I mentioned in a previous post, I really love conferences - and my favourite one is coming up in only a few short days: The Orange Conference! Here are 6 ways you can make the most out of your time in Atlanta! I hope that I bump into you while down there!
What about you? What are some of your ideas on how to make the most out of a conference? Let us know in the comments!
I mentioned in a previous post that you need to keep your leadership skills sharp in order to lead well in any capacity. It's been said, and I fully agree, that "Leaders are Readers." So here are a few of the things I've been reading and listening to that help keep me sharp. Add some of them to your rotation of learning materials, and I'm sure you'll be better off for it!
Unseminary - This is a MUST-READ/Listen to! Both a blog and weekly podcast, Rich Birch continues to deliver fantastic content that all leaders need to be learning from!
What I like about it:
Andy Stanley Leadership - Again, this is a MUST-Listen to for anyone in ministry. If you're a fan of the NorthPoint's methodology or not, this podcast gives you a monthly audio lesson on leadership that you can use regardless of your circumstances or philosophy of ministry. If you're not listening to this, you are missing out!
Jesus Culture Leadership - this one is a stretch for me - and that's a good thing! The Jesus Culture people have a great heart for reaching people for Christ, but their style and possibly some of their theology don't exactly mesh with mine. But like they say, you'll never learn anything from people just like you. They are definitely aiming for the young leader, and I think that is awesome! I like their passion and it helps me stretch in areas I wouldn't go otherwise. Check them out
Phil Vischer - I stumbled on this gem while looking for kidmin podcasts... totally not a kidmin podcast! His panel including Skye Jethani and Christian Taylor lead to very provocative discussions on atheism, homosexuality, evangelicalism, and what it means to live out your Christian life. Phil has had some great guests on his show too that add to the variety! If you're looking for a change of what you're currently listening to, this is the one to check out!
Viral Churches - new to my collection, this book takes a great look into how churches are multiplying and the different ways that they look. Stetzer and Bird take an analytical view at different methodologies and seeing what are happening in congregations around the USA. I'm only about 1/3 through and I'm hooked and incredibly inspired to spread the Gospel through new (and current) venues that are open to me.
The One Thing - Short, sweet and intensely practical! How many times have you finished a day/week/month/year of work and been disappointed that you weren't able to accomplish what you shooting for? I read only one chapter at a time because there was so much for me to digest! Can you actually multitask? Is there such a thing as a work/life balance? Can you have successful habits? If you have any aspiration to do anything, you need to read this book! You can't read it and not glean gobs of practical wisdom.
David and Goliath - Don't read this as a commentary on the biblical story by the same name - you'll be disappointed and confused! Instead the insight that Malcolm Gladwell brings into how so many underdogs in society are able to "beat the odds" against giant foes will cause you to look at your problems in a new way! Gladwell's 'bait and switch' storytelling technique had me guessing on every page.
Futureville - Skye Jethani (remember him from the Phil Vischer podcast) has wrote a very readable book about how we view the future affects what we do in the present and how often Christians have lost the biblical view of vocation, resurrection and why it's bad for us. This will be a book I'll reference more and have already handed it out to congregants to take a read. An academic book, this isn't and you'll probably finish it in 2-3 sittings, but I think it's great! Get your copy right away!
What are you reading and listening to these days? Share in the comments and help us all grow more!
I went on my first bike ride of the season this afternoon - and with 16c weather (after a crazy long and cold winter), it was a fantastic way to spend an Easter Sunday! As I was cleaning off from my ride, I was struck with some leadership lessons from cycling today.
What have you learned lately in your leadership journey? Who are you learning from? What changes are implementing in order to get better in the role you've been put in? Leave it in the comments!
It's true, I LOVE conferences! I love the environment, the presenters, the swag bags, the people... everything! Even things like getting to a conference pump me up! It's a whole adventure for me! I like conferences so much, I even organized and hosted a Kids Ministry conference last November, Fuel Conference!
This month, I'll be heading down to Atlanta, GA to the Orange Conference with a group from my church and I'm already giddy about it! Here are some of the reasons I absolutely love conferences:
However, conferences also have a shadow side for me and there are times where I probably shouldn't attend any conferences. Here's why conferences are really bad for me (and probably you too!):
So, in the end, I'm still a huge fan of the conference... it's just that I have to be aware of the shadow side too. I suggest that you treat your team to a conference - it'll show them their valued, enhance your ministry and team building, and potentially network you with so many other people on the same path!
What conferences are you attending this year?
I've made some pretty big mistakes as I grew into my leadership roles. I was fresh out of college (although I did enter college at 24), with a bit of leadership experience under my belt and I found myself the leader of about 60 children's ministry volunteers! I knew that I was good at some things - better, even, than a lot of my team - but I had no idea how to lead.
I left a wake of relational damage in those first 6months - 1year; nothing irreparable, but when I look back, it's embarrassing and could have been potentially damaging to my future ministry. During that time I was eager to prove that I belonged in this position. That my salary was justified on the work that I could do. That even though I was 'young' I was a good leader.
In reality, a lot of my actions were simply because I was insecure and afraid of doing a poor job. I was scared someone might call me out for posing as a leader. My path was leading me to two possible actions:
If insecurity and fear cause you to make poor decisions, why is being afraid good for a leader?
If, as a leader, you find yourself afraid, be glad - because you are on your way to growing in your capacity, your faith and being able to overcome a problem that seems insurmountable.
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.