Archive for December, 2009

A New Challenge … Children’s Ministry

I recently took over leadership of our Children’s Ministry. I am doing leadership like I’ve never done before. Not sure how it will play out, but we will see. Because it’s only one of eight leadership roles I participate in (Cadre, 3rd Year Master’s Commission, Financial Analyst, Youth Leader’s Coach Website/Product Development, Middle School, Media Oversight, NYLC and Children’s Ministry), everything is empowered/delegated to others. I just provide oversight to the individuals, who in turn provide oversight to the teams.
So far, …

1. Our Executive Leadership Team is meeting every Sunday through January to develop unity, strategy and communication. After January, we will probably move it to a semi-monthly meeting. These are the coolest nine people you will find on the planet. Seven are MC students and two are home team (Tabernacle regulars). We need to up the ante on home team and, hopefully, will in time.

2. We renamed the ministry from Kids for Christ (always abbreviated KFC…not sure who thought that one up) to 4:12 KidStreet. We are in the midst of a strategic redesign and relaunch. Everything is being overhauled. Nothing was ever bad, it just wasn’t great. We are trying to bring greatness to the Kid’s Ministry.

3. We are working on branding the ministry.

4. We are launching small groups on Sunday mornings in late January. I am more interested in talking “with” kids, then forever “at” them. Talking “with” them enables us truly to know if what is being “taught” is being “caught.” In addition, it allows us to know them by name and love/care for them at a deeper level. Given that we have a two hour service on Sunday mornings, we can accomplish the small group time within the Sunday morning experience.

5. Picked the brain of my Indiana friends at GCC. And, took the team to an Orange One Day conference (we’re using the 252 Basics curriculum). Figured I might as well put myself and them in the presence of greatness.

6. Set the rotation for teaching each week, including ensuring each teacher is evaluated to “make us better.” Since I consider us to be a “teaching church,” I am willing to take a few more chances here AS LONG AS we have a system in place for evaluation. Without it, I’d probably just rotate through our top four naturally gifted communicators. However, that limits us from discovering new ones or pulling it out of others. The one thing I want to do is find a few videos or develop some short teachings to increase the chances of a “win” before they step up to the plate.

7. We’ve divided up the responsibilities. This will need continual retweeking. Some of our Master’s Students already have a TON on their plate. Time will tell if they can pull this off. My priority is them…and while they will probably never live balanced lives while in the ATL (or anywhere else for that matter), I do want them to live healthy ones. Here is a look…

4:12 KidStreet Executive Team:
Adrian, Austin M., Austin S., Brady, Brian, Judy, Marissa, Megan, Tiffany G., Tiffany J.

Executive Team Lead: Judy
Leadership meetings, leadership development, all other Executive Teams’ direct report, helps problem solve, etc.

Tab Leadership Development Leads: Brian and Tiffany J.
Intentionally develops relationship with Tabernacle family and invites them to be a part of 4:12 KidStreet.

Student Leadership Development Leads: Austin S. and Megan
Works with Adrian, Tiffany and Rey to develop a track for junior high and high school leaders to run on in the form of leadership development.

Sunday Morning Programming Lead: Brian
Make sure Cue Sheet is done and keeps service order going. Stays in weekly communication with Creative Arts Lead.

Creative Arts Lead: Brady
Determines and works with various teams on creative element needs and makes sure they are ready on appropriate weeks. Stays in weekly communication with the Sunday Morning Programming Lead.

Communications Lead: Brady
Ensures team members know what they need to know before Sundays and leadership meetings. Connects with various leads to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Character Development Lead: Austin M.
Develops live/video characters and provides leadership to actors used in various aspects of the service.

Video Leads: Brian, Adrian, Brady and Tiffany J.
Finds and/or gets videos created for various aspects of service, including worship and filler time when service goes long.

Small Groups Leads: Tiffany J. and Judy
Develops small group material and communicates it to small group leaders, makes sure all supplies are provided.

Tech Team Lead: Brian
Sets rotation schedule for volunteers and communicates tech needs.

Boys Discipleship Lead: Adrian
Creates ways for the boys to grow in their relationship with Christ could be thru games, challenges, events, etc.

Prayer Lead: Adrian
Creates two minute intros that set the tenor for prayer time.

Pre-Service Lead: Austin S.
Makes us better and ensures all supplies are on hand.

Administrative Lead: Austin S.
Updates database, counts offering and ensures all slides are ready for service (including expectations, total recall, virtue, memory verse, announcements, etc.).

Teaching Leads: Adrian, Austin M. and Brady
Evaluates whoever is teaching each week, including prayer and worship mini-teachings. Currently all Executive Team leads, except Tiffany J and Judy rotate through teaching. Provides written summary of what they communicated to teacher each week.

Visitor Follow-Up Lead: Tiffany G.
Makes sure we have visitor cards for new kids.

“You Rock” Lead: Tiffany G.
Publically and individually acknowledges students that are taking steps and making a difference.

Worship Lead: Marissa
Creates two minute intros that set the tenor for worship time.

Puppetry Leads: Marissa and Megan
Develops puppet ministry.

Girls Discipleship Lead: Megan
Creates ways for the girls to grow in their relationship with Christ could be thru games, challenges, events, etc.

The need for your friends and family’s encouragement and approval

I had forgotten how much you always want your friends and family’s approval. Seth, a phenom of a leader and, more importantly, amazing friend is part of Cadre Kairos. He was in Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning for the Cadre. Because of a couple of minor behind-the-scenes glitches, some catch-up work needed from going home for the memorial service and prep necessary for my meeting with some Group Publishing friends in Colorado the day after the Cadre, I didn’t get to talk with or check-up on him as much as I’d have liked. But, my eye would go his direction every once in a while and I knew he was doing well. He’s always friendly and a networking genius. When we talked on the phone this morning, he bragged on the Cadre and the MC gang. It put a smile on my face. My smile just grew when I read his Facebook post to the world. Here’s what he had to say, “Can’t stop thinking about the Cadre in ATL this week. Jeanne Mayo, Judy Gregory, and MC students blew me away! I’ve been to every major YM conference and the Cadre Advance easily added more spiritual, relational, and practical value than anything I’ve experienced.” Thanks Seth, for being an amazing friend, leader and encourager.

It’s ok Charlie Weis… "That" win/loss record isn’t what "really" matters anyway

I was on Notre Dame’s sideline watching #52 warm up a week ago. #52 is Braxton Cave, an amazing young man whom I’m so very proud of. I’m not gonna lie, it’s kind of fun to be able to say that kid was in my middle school youth group when his whole body was about the size of his current bicep.

My sis had gotten field passes to the Notre Dame vs. UConn game, so it was awesome to be able to see Braxton up close. In fact, it was cool to see the whole game up close. But that’s it…it was just “cool” (and cold, my Indiana blood has thinned since moving down to Georgia). In fact, my exact thought on the sideline that day was “The ND field is cool but few will remember the feats performed on it. Your true legacy is the deposits you’ve made in the hearts of men before your lights truly go out.” I remember it because I thought it was a profound thought, plus I had tweeted it from my phone and Twitter shot me back the “Oops! Your tweet was over 140 characters” reject message. So much for sharing my profound thought with the world.

Fast forward five days later to Thanksgiving night when I get a panic call from my mom saying, “Judy, the nursing home called and Jimmy is not doing good. They think that he’s dying, will you go with me?” Within minutes, I met her there and we were walking in the door not really knowing what to expect. Fortunately before we got there, they had given him a morphine shot, so whatever breathing distress he might have been in had ceased. His breaths were quick and shallow, but not difficult. For nearly two hours we stood there, holding his hands, watching him breathe. His breathing slowed and then it just stopped. Jim died at 1:40 a.m. on Black Friday.

On Saturday morning we’ll tell stories and celebrate Jimmy’s life, but by the end of the day I’ll probably be helping my mom go through his things to give to his daughter and grandson before they fly home. It will be the same as when my father died two years ago, some of the stuff will get distributed among the kids but most will get thrown away or sent to Goodwill. Which leads me to this thought, “What will get my focus this holiday season…the latest, greatest gadget at Best Buy or the hearts of my family and friends? For one is “cool” and the other “eternal.” Jimmy’s life…and death…reminds me that I get to pick where I make my deposits.

Charlie Weis got to pick too. After three consecutive dismal seasons, he got his walking papers from Notre Dame (and a few million dollars). Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s Athletic Director, says he believes Weis will have a successful future. “He will go on to have great success, he’ll add some Super Bowl rings, no doubt, to the ones he already has…” Jack’s not bad, he’s not even wrong…I love football, but Charlie’s true legacy is the deposits he’s made in the hearts of his players when it comes to this real game called life. My prayer is that they were ginormous, especially for #52 who goes by the name of Braxton Cave.