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Hiring: A Partner for our Family Ministry Team

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Hiring: A Partner for our Family Ministry Team

Job Description (and feel free to share this post!)

You may or may not have been reading this blog when I posted this:
http://westcoastcm.com/2010/05/17/top-10-reasons-i-want-you-on-staff/

Context: You see, a good friend of mine had left our family ministry team and I knew that only the right person could fill the gap left in our ministry team.  Our church was in the midst of restructuring in such a way that we could strategically partner with parents of kids, cradle to college, to pass the faith on to the next generation.

And, because Jesus knows what he’s up to, we hired the only person who could have filled the position we created.

Now, a few years later, we are looking to add another person to our team.

Earlier this year, our Middle School Director got married.  That life-transition led him to begin interviewing at churches so that he and his new wife could take on a bigger role at a place that was looking at doing some of the same creative things in ministry that we’ve been doing to reach families in our community.  Hard to blame him – 7 years ago, I did the same thing.  I’m stoked (and a little sad) to say that he found an amazing fit out in Colorado, where he’ll be able to help lead that church in a direction that’s a little more Orange than it’s been.

So… we’re hiring.

The job description is here:
http://www.glenkirkchurch.org/page3-52/ResourcesJobopportunities

We only hire people who are passionate about partnering with families, who are innovative in ministry and have a track record of building teams who pass the faith on well to the next generation.

If that’s you (or you know someone who fits that description), let me know.  You can send me a message on Facebook (HERE) or Twitter (HERE) or leave a comment below and I’ll put in a good word for you 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Orange

 

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Teen Leaders in KIDMIN

Teen Leaders in KIDMIN

Notes from my #kidmin12 workshop

This workshop examined best practices and next steps for getting teen helpers involved in children’s ministry at your church. From getting your youth pastor in your corner to a how-to guide for getting teens to serve in your ministry, learn how to take your children’s programs to the next level by effectively integrating teen leaders onto your team.

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Later next week, I’ll begin posts that correspond with each slide in this presentation.  If you were at Kidmin and attended my breakouts, these slides and notes will make perfect sense.  For those of you who were unable to be there… well, this post, like my last post, won’t be nearly as helpful as the ones that are going to follow.

You may also enjoy these posts:

To be a Leader
http://westcoastcm.com/2009/07/05/to-be-a-leader/

VBS Youth Training Recap
http://westcoastcm.com/2009/07/03/vbs-training-recap/

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Kidmin12, Resources

 

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Kids’ Worship: Where We’re Going

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying AYO
Gotta let go
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO
Baby, let’s go

‘Cause we gon’ rock this club
We gon’ go all night
We gon’ light it up
Like it’s dynamite
Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon’ light it up
Like it’s dynamite

Here’s a quick relevancy test: are those lyrics familiar to you?  Chances are, they’re familiar to the kids in the community you live in.  More on that in just a moment.

Today’s post wraps up a series on Kids’ Worship: Where we’ve been, what our transition looked like, where we are today… and today’s post will cover some dreams I have for the future of kids’ worship in our ministry.

Student Led Worship

Since our transition (from something to nothing and back to something), I’ve been the primary worship leader for our kids on Sunday mornings.  On the occasion that I’m out of town or sick, our church’s worship director has taken time out of his busy Sunday to come over and lead worship for our kids.

One of my hopes for the coming year is that I shift away from being the worship leader in our Elementary environment and that we get to a place where the youth in our church are leading our kids in worship.  We’re in the midst of raising up multiple teams who can do this well – I hope to see this transition happen before the end of this school year.  Two thoughts behind this move:
1) Kids love seeing high school students in leadership roles.  If guys on our high school football team can rock out for Jesus on a Sunday morning, it gives our kids the freedom to join in – their coolness factor isn’t on the line (because, let’s be honest, singing along to a lady or old guy with a CD player can be a sure way to embarrass a kids in front of their visiting friend).
2) When students take leadership roles in your church’s ministries, they grow in their faith and in their commitment to the Church.  I truly believe that high school students learn more about their faith by serving than they do by spending a Sunday morning in Bible studies.  Call me crazy.

Kid Owned Experiences

For our church, Sunday is the road IN to our community and the Faith.  Sunday mornings at Glenkirk are meant to provide space for people, young and old, to ASK “who is Jesus?” in their lives.  With that in mind, we always want to think about our first time visitors when programming our kids’ worship time on a Sunday… because we know we’ll have them.  We also recognize that our kids need a place where they feel welcomed if they’re going to welcome others.

That’s what led to our great idea that then lead to the card you see at the top of our post.  We started thinking – “how cool would it be if kids had significant input on the Sunday morning experience?”  If kids knew that they had influence over the way a Sunday morning looked, maybe they’d be more likely to attend regularly, invite friends, and get involved during the time they spend with us.

Good ideas often lead to new experiments, which (more often than not) lead to failures.  The cool thing is – failures can allow us to learn how to succeed in the future… if we try to learn from them.

Our idea was this: What if, as a first step into giving kids ownership over a Sunday morning, we allowed kids the ability to choose what songs we sing during our worship time?  So, we developed a card that kids could fill out for song requests.  In fact, we might even use their song suggestions in our worship service at 11:11am (kids begin that service with their parents in church for community worship before being dismissed to programming).  As soon as I announced the new change, one 1st grade girl ran to the stage to pick one up… I had hardly finished my sentence and she had taken the card to the back of the room to begin writing furiously with a purple crayon.

I was excited when she brought it back to me at the end of the morning… and I knew that I had to share it with you.  It was too classic to let it slide (at the same time, I realized that I had to provide SOME context to the post – hence the series on Kids’ Worship).

I clearly didn’t set the parameters well – our great idea wasn’t defined well enough for the kids to understand what we were going for.  Instead, multiple cards were turned in with song requests for our worship team to perform cover songs.  The cards are helping me shape some of the music we play through our sound system during pre-service activities (creating a welcoming environment includes being intentional about the music playing in the room when children arrive)… but, that’s about it.

So, we’ll go back to the drawing board on that one and try to figure out other ways to get our kids actively involved in owning their Sunday morning experience.  If you have ideas or suggestions you’ve seen work in your context, feel free to post them below in the comments section.

That wraps up my initial thoughts on this series.  Shaping our Sunday mornings is still in process and I love getting input from parents and other kidmin leaders across the country (though, you get bonus points if you live on the West Coast).

You can connect with me via facebook (facebook.com/anthonyprince), twitter (twitter.com/anthony_prince) or through the comments section below.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Kidmin

 

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Raising the Next Generation of Leaders

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My first church leadership position was as a student crew leader at a VBS a small church in Northern California nearly 15 years ago.  You might not think of a student crew leader at a VBS as someone on your church leadership team, but that church did.  I still remember hearing the pastor tell us that we were on the church staff for the week of VBS and that we needed to live into that reality.

It was a HUGE responsibility… and, looking back, it was my first step toward a career in vocational ministry.

I think of that summer every time that I look at pictures like the ones above.  You see, each year I give that same talk to our group of student leaders at VBS.  And, each year, that group grows.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

This last July, I sat in a room with 300 student leaders, preparing them for their 2 week commitment to VBS at Glenkirk.  For many, it was their first time attending our week-long training session for Student VBS leaders.  Many had once been children jumping on the pews during opening VBS worship, some were simply youth in our community looking to make a difference in the world around them – all of them were joining the ranks of our church staff for the better part of a month.  They were given the chance to live up to great expectations and to share God’s love with the kids who would be entrusted to their care.

As I watch many of them taking on greater leadership roles in the church (we have students serving on worship teams, leading kids’ ministry, on our church’s finance committee, leading mission trips and serving in countless other areas), I can’t help but dream about the next generation of leaders that God is raising up in our midst.

This past weekend, students who were once just VBS counselors were leading our church’s largest kids’ ministry service while I spoke in a different location on campus.  Without a single paid staff person around, that service had one of its highest attended Sundays in its history… and it didn’t miss a beat.   When we look to duplicate ourselves in ministry, I think the wise investment is often found when we pour our lives and energy into equipping our youth with the tools and knowledge it takes to make ministry happen.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2010 in Kidmin

 

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Top 10 Reasons I Want You on Staff

I’ll begin by saying, for the 100th time, that I’m bummed to see our current Student Ministries Director, Jenn Graffius, leave.  After 5 years of faithful service, Jenn has taken a call to become an Associate Minister and Chaplain at a Christian school in the greater Los Angeles area.  I’m bummed to see my friend leave, but excited to watch God use her in her new ministry context.

So… that leaves us looking to rearrange the way we structure our staff to best serve our church and the community around us.

Today, we begin our search for a new Youth Pastor at Glenkirk Church.

I’m just one voice on the search team, but this person is going to be my teammate in trying to reach families in our community with the Gospel – for this to work, I’m going to have to like you.
So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 Reasons I Want You on Staff:

10. You’ve Done This Before

I’m going to like you because this isn’t your first rodeo.  You’ve seen large youth groups in action and you’ve actually introduced youth and their families to Jesus for the first time.  We’re going to get to share stories and ideas from past successes and failures.  And… you should be excited this isn’t an entry level position.

9.  You’re a Team Player

You and I both agree that a silo approach to ministry isn’t okay.  You care just as much about what’s going on in the church’s small groups or Women’s Bible Study as you do what’s happening in your area of ministry.

8.  You’ve Read My Book

Well, it’s not just my book… but What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry is a great resource for churches and leaders who care about the trends impacting Children’s Ministry across the nation.  You need to know what’s going on in Children’s Ministry because families who have kids in youth group often have younger kids too.  This book is a great place to start figuring out what matters, today, in ministering to children.  Here’s a hint: the answer is not flannel-graph.  Oh, and did I mention the book is totally FREE?  You should download it now.
(CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD: What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry)

7.  You Empower Volunteers

You can’t do everything and be everything to everyone.  I’m going to like you because you already get that – you understand the power that is unleashed when small group leaders own the ministry.

6.  You Collaborate

Your ministry is not an island.  I look forward to hearing about the blogs you read and the other youth leaders you are in conversations with on a regular basis.  You’re not afraid to share ideas with others… and you share new ideas and ideas that failed just as often as you share ideas that worked.

5.  You’ve Heard Jim Miller Preach

You wouldn’t apply for this job if you didn’t know how amazing the Senior Pastor is, right?  Our Senior Pastor’s ability to preach makes our job a million times easier.  And, in case you really want to know what his favorite sermon illustrations are, he usually posts them on his blog.

4.  You’re Planning on Being Here for a While

You know how great our local school districts are and you’re going to want to raise a family here… so, think of your kids (future or present) and plan to settle down here.  Glendora is the perfect mix of small-town-feel with big-city-everything within driving distance.

3.  You Know Why This is Funny

2.  You Think Orange

This is the direction our family ministry team is going.  You’ll be a part of that team.  I need Orange to be a part of your working vocabulary.

1.  You Care about Lost Sheep

You read the job description for this position and your heart started beating faster.  We’re a church that cares about those who don’t yet know who Jesus is.  So do you.  That’s why we’re a perfect fit.

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So… want the opportunity to work alongside me?  You can send a Facebook message (www.facebook.com/anthonyprince) or DM me (www.twitter.com/anthony_prince) and I’ll give you some more information about the position.  All inquiries will be held in confidence… so, even if you’re stoked with where you are now, you can still look at what it might mean for you to come onto our team.  You can also visit glenkirkchurch.org to find out how you can get a hold of the job description.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2010 in Kidmin, Los Angeles

 

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Orange Week: Integrated Strategy

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You Can’t Do It Alone.

You don’t live in a vacuum.

When I first heard of “Orange” ministry, I thought this was going to be the hardest part… Children’s and Student ministries working together in collaboration?! Are you kidding?

Now, years later, I’m beginning to see that having a strategy in place isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential.  But, I’ll confess, we’re not there yet.  Having an integrated strategy hinges on the simple concept of having a strategic plan that successfully takes a child from the cradle to college in a way that leads them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus along that path.  It takes a true partnership between church staff.  It takes a clear plan and measurements for success.  It takes a rethinking of all that we thought we knew about children and youth ministries.  Most of all, it takes a leap of faith.

Integrated

Months ago, our church realized that we were going to have to restructure in order to survive the economic downturn.  I sat down with our Student Ministry director to come up with a game plan for how our departments might restructure.  We had talked about partnerships and collaboration in the past but had never truly put our money where our mouths were.  In trying to integrate our two departments, we decided to share an administrative assistant and intentionally overlap the staffing of our departments.  Doing this has forced us to know what the other department is up to.  If our assistant is swamped because too many events are going on, then parents who have students in both areas are probably feeling the same way!  This is the first step in the direction of integration for us – we know we’ll have to do more in the future to become truly orange.

Strategy

I’d be hard pressed to give us high marks in the area of strategy, based on the simple fact that our Student Ministry department is in the middle of an overhaul.  They have great plans for the future.  It’s just that, they’re launching this weekend – it’ll take some weeks of fine tuning to figure out where they fit in the big picture of integration. Our hope is that, by having our Student Ministry staff join us in Atlanta for The Orange Conference this year, we’ll be able to develop the strategy side of things for a Fall Twenty10 launch.  It’s hard to let go of “my plans” for our church’s kids and share the creative process with a peer on our own staff.  What if they don’t like my ideas?  What if I can’t do all of the things I want to do?  What if I lose my 5th graders to a combined pre-teen program?! The possibilities for losing control are endless.

In the end, I have to trust that a strategic plan for our church’s kids will be better than anything I could come up with on my own.

If you know me, you know that I had a hard time writing that sentence.  We’ll see, over the next year, how much I mean it.

Want to see what others are saying about integrated strategy? Head on over to ChildrensMinistryOnline.com to see what others in the kidmin community are saying during Orange Week!

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2010 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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