- For all you youth pastors...Transportation is a big deal, always have a plan to get people moved around SAFELY! Transportation is not a last minute deal. Also always call the bus company and make sure they REMEMBER. We had three buses not show up after camp one year!
- Sound / Lighting / stage "look" MATTER - work hard to mix what you do up. Change the stage around, change the lighting, get creative. It really does help set people up to listen / learn / experience in a fresh way.
- STAFF your weakness - if you are not good at "games" add a game coordinator to your team for the event. Contract out your weakness with paid staff or volunteers. A special event is not the place to get better at what you are not good at. Your weakness can make the event very UN-SPECIAL.
- Make sure you trust EVER PERSON LEADING ON STAGE. Know what you have to work with. I have made some bad calls on this one!
- PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY then PRAY MORE. If you want God to work in a specific way at an event you better start praying. The cool thing is if we make prayer a central part o the event God might just change our plan.
- When the event starts, BE FULLY PRESENT! Once the event is on the roll, get in the mix and experience it as it happens. You can make changes after each phase of the event but know that your event is what it is after it starts. Get engaged, take notes, and trust God to work.
- Have fun! If you do not enjoy the event you are leading or planning and can never enjoy the process, you have the wrong job. Have fun - when you have fun it sets up your team to enjoy the ride.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Rule #2 - TOO MANY EVENTS = MANY POOR EVENTS
When your team runs from one event to the next with no break and no time to plan you are destined to be too busy to really pull off great events. This applies to weekly events and seasonal events. Some of us have a mid-week service, a Sunday night small group time, Sunday morning Bible Study groups, and weekly fellowship events that we are responsible for making happen. There is no way all of those ministry times get the focus needed and the resources to make them great. Trying to do too many events lead us to many mediocre events that never accomplish the goal we have in mind.
If you want to take your camp, retreat, outreach event, small group, weekly student gathering to the next level...MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TIME TO FOCUS ON MAKING IT GREAT. Do less in order to accomplish greater impact. It takes time and focus to make an event a great experience for teenagers. Be willing to pace yourself. Say no to some opportunities. Stay focused. Build momentum. Move your event from good to GREAT. If you are going to do less in order to do more, take time with your team to figure out what you need to stop doing. Have the courage to slow down in order to focus and take your event to the next level.
Monday, December 28, 2009
RULE #1 - NEVER try to do EVERYTHING...empower a team!
If you want to run a successful event you better get talented leaders involved in leading different areas of the event. One year I tried to lead worship and run an event...NOT GOOD. One year I was a key speaker and then tried to run the camp...NOT GOOD. One time I tried to be the primary tech guy at a retreat...NOT GOOD. When you try to handle too many areas of your event you will be distracted from leading with a clear mind. Every event needs someone leading who understands and is fighting for the end goal of the event. If you are too tied into one aspect of an event you will not be free to address problems when they come and I promise they will come! Your best events will be one with the best team around you. Support them, cast vision, empower them and let your supporting cast take your event to the next level.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
- Ask for feedback and listen even when it is not asked for >> we listen to our volunteers when they contact us. Why? Because they know where we are going as a church better then anyone else. We ask for feedback and we listen when we are approached with a concern. Volunteer leaders need to know they have a voice.
- Trust volunteers with significant responsibilities >> counseling, leading small groups, leading ministry teams, training, creating. We empower volunteers on all levels of the organization to do significant things. Gifted volunteer leaders want to be in the mix and do not mind doing hard things. Being "paid" is not required to have an important role on the team.
- Train and Mentor >> we are trying to create a culture of leadership so we have to train, mentor, and inspire our volunteer teams. We take volunteers to conferences, we do online training, we pair up volunteers for one on one mentoring. Investing in volunteers pays of on better leadership form volunteers.
- Connect >> we want our volunteers lead as a family, to enjoy teamwork, to be known. When volunteers join the team they are joining a leadership family. A good volunteer team is one you love spending time with. (if ya don't like your volunteers you might have the wrong people on your team!)
- Place volunteers in the right roles >> We work hard to evaluate volunteer leadership and assist volunteers to find roles that fit their gifts and passion. Yea, this takes work and patience and it goes way beyond just filling holes in our ministry. We we also work to promote volunteers to new levels of leadership when we see they can lead on the next level.
- Seek wisdom from volunteers >> In times of challenge or times where we had to make significant decisions in church I have watched our team seek wisdom and prayer from key volunteers. I know this is an art but every leader needs to have a few other key volunteers that they can go to in critical times of organizational life. In your organization's your volunteers do amazing things in their jobs day to day...they may have wisdom you need to gain from!
- Keep volunteers in the loop >> volunteers should be kept in the information loop. Keep volunteers up to speed on where the organization is headed. Our volunteers should have key info and be able to spread key info!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
- Watching my kids count down the days till Christmas, visiting Santa, checking out the ornaments on the Christmas tree, and checking out the lights ion downtown Clarksville.
- Seeing so many former students come home from college. I miss those guys.
- The amazing Christmas service every year at GCC! It is an amazing time or worship as we celebrate the birth of Christ.
- Christmas trees...we have 6 at our house...we are addicted!
- Christmas movies...they never get old.
- Time off...yea that is great!
- Bowl games and NFL football!
- Spending a little extra time with people I love!
- Cool Christmas music...yes it is out there, you just have to look for it.
- The hope that IS the birth of Christ...that moment changed everything. God came to earth, that is amazing!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- fear of what MIGHT happen
- fear of what our family will think
- fear because it "has never been done like that"
- fear of the current leadership
- fear of failure
- fear of success
- fear of making someone mad
- fear of getting fired
If your church/ministry is not changing it is probably declining. Organizations that refuse change will die and some churches/ministries do need to die so new life can begin. There is hope. Have the courage to begin to ask God what needs to change where you are at and with courage, faith, and humility start fighting for that. Change might just be what brings a new beginning.
Monday, December 14, 2009
- Share - I really hope to pass ideas along to others. Parenting, leadership, ministry ideas, all that stuff...I just want to share that in an open format.
- Invest - I really feel like this is one way to invest in other leaders around the country. I have been so blessed by so many other leaders who have invested in my life from a distance through books and blogs. This is my way to pay it forward.
- Family - I really like talking about my family and hey this is my blog so I get to do that! I also want my kids to be able to look back and read what I was thinking about in 2006,7,8,9...you get the point.
- Expand - blogging is one way to take a conversation on Twitter or Facebook to a different level.
- Vent / Challenge - ya know, sometimes you just have to get stuff off your chest. BLOG ON BAYNE!
- Laugh - I really like YouTube! I really like to laugh...
- Inform - I use my blog to talk about things God is allowing us to do at Grace Community Church and Relevant
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
- Thankful each week I get to serve teens here in Clarksville with our team of volunteers!
- Thankful Remix (our weekly gathering) grew in amazing ways. Thanks to everyone who invited friends into this weekly experience.
- Thankful we were able to partner with One Church and launch a second location of REMIX.
- Thankful for Grace Community Church believing and funding our effort to serve teens in this city!
- Thankful that St. B Christian Church allows us to rent their facility!
- Thankful that each weeks teens get to experience community through small group not just a big gathering!
- Thankful for the team at xp3 and partnership with have with them with our small group material and series!
- Thankful for an amazing team of volunteers who make this thing happen each week!
- Thankful we get to connect and empower parents as they invest in their teens.
- Thankful our all the work our worship leaders (Mike Grayson, Will Mckelvy and Grant Brashears) invest into REMIX and the amazing job the REMIX band does each week.
- Thankful for our students proving to me that "youth ministry" can be different. To all of you who come to REMIX each week, you are each so amazing. I am blessed to be able to hang out with you and invest in your life each week!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
- Branding - online is the starting point to creating the "look" for your ministry. If you want to make a good impression start online.
- Connect with Guests - we know kids and teens might not visit your site first but I promise, TONS OR PARENTS will. When they do visit you want to help them get a good picture of what you value. When a teen does check out your website go head and design it with them in mind. Again, design it so it makes a good impression!
- Information - what do you believe? when do you meet? where are you? who are you? all that should be on your website!
- Connect with Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace are great tools but your website should always be your HOME BASE. Teens are out there living in social media, give them a place to use as a tool to invite their friends.
- Simplify registration for events - we have an online culture for all our event registrations! WE NEVER MAIL STUFF! We use our web for sign up and payment with our paypal account. It works!
- Connect with Parents - I know I am back on parents but we use our site as a hub to inform our parents. Parents can engage kids when they know what we are talking about. From our site they can link to the podcast or get our weekly parent update.
- Inform your volunteer team - your volunteers should have a place to go and get quick info. THE WEBSITE is it. Keep it up to date and your help your volunteers stay in the loop.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
- Community built only around your ministry is not refreshing for your soul. Sure you lead a girls group each week, have leaders/staff meeting, but in those setting you are still on guard. You need a group of people around you who know you as a person not only as a pastor.
- Plugging into a small group sets the example for your kids! My daughters think community group is just a normal part of the week. They also have groups that meet on Sunday morning. When I plug into community group then I set the example for my kids!
- Leader - you really don't need to promote "community" when you do not experience regular community. I tried to do this for years. It just does not work. When I talk to students at REMIX about small group I can do so knowing why community can change their life.
- If you are too busy for community group then you are too busy. When we have to many important things to do maybe we think we are a little too important. Maybe we need to quit trying to be so important and start trying to find balance in life.
- I learn so much about God's love and following Christ from the others in my community group. When we talk about scripture, faith, life, parenting, evangelism, hope, or struggle I learn from my friends.
- In community group I get a glimpse of what it means to BE THE CHURCH not just go to church. When God created this idea of church He meant it to look like family. Yes family is messy but it is real, transparent, caring, correcting, and encouraging. When we serve together, learn together, pray for each other, argue, think, dream, and laugh we are living our God's idea of church.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
10. It is COLD outside, the beard helps!
9. No Shave and November just work.
8. Because I can. That should just be enough.
7. Because I once worked at church who had a "personnel manual" that addressed BEARDS! Ha!
6. I read Wild and Heart a few years ago and it inspired me.
5. So I can hear my daughters call the gray hair in my beard "WEIRD"
4. So I can inspire the guys in our student ministry to NOT SHAVE!
3. So one day I can have a beard like Jamie McGregor, he was growing a beard in 6th grade!
2. Because the Titans have not lost a game in November.
1. Because MY WIFE LIKES THE BEARD! BAM!
Monday, November 30, 2009
I had fun today mom.
Study well at coumunitygroup!
See you ulater.
I love uyou vary much!
Psst i hpe the foods healthy!
That was an actual copy and past from the email! How amazing that she thought to send a note by email to her mom and she is 6. It was a good reminder to me that our kids will never know a world without DVR, wireless internet, Smart Phones, laptops, Text Messaging, Flip Video, or Social Networking. This is the generation we serve. Instead of always talking about how to protect kids from technology why not work hard to teach kids how to use technology in a healthy way. It is called balance and our kids need us to show them the way.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Due to an unfortunate conflict that arose from a group of individuals who considered Deadly Viper themes and imagery offensive, Deadly Viper is officially shutting down.
Our team is deeply saddened and brokenhearted by the end of this incredible ministry that has impacted thousands of lives over the past 3 years.
We wanted to say thank you for your support, love, and comittment to radical integrity and grace. And special thanks to those who have been especially supportive over the past 2 weeks during these very difficult events.
For more details on what is next for Mike and Jud please visit:
You can become a "Facebook Fan" of their new project below:
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thankful for hope
Thankful for Jesus, my Savior
Thankful for my incredible wife
Thankful for Kozbi and Kelyn my daughters
Thankful for God's love
Thankful for my family I will spend time with this week
Thankful for freedom
Thankful for friends
Thankful for music
Thankful for Grace Community Church
Thankful for the amazing staff and volunteers I work with
Thankful for laughter
Thankful for 2nd chances
Thankful for football and Diet Dew
Thankful for Relevant Student Ministry and REMIX
Thankful for a new day
Hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- We learn who we can trust (as parents we show our kids we can be trusted when trouble hits!)
- We develop character
- We learn what is really important
- We learn what prayer is really about and we discover a God who promised to be with us in the middle of life (God never promised a happy ending to every adventure)
- We learn about patience
33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I think as we lead our kids, preschool, and student leadership teams we need to constantly ask ourselves how we are serving the families coming week to week. How are we making a kid or teen's experience better? Are we striving to help parents connect? If every leader had a goal to make one person's experience better each week what kind of difference could that make. SERVICE (not new lights or signs) might take our area's to the next level!
Monday, November 16, 2009
From the very first day Grace Community have tried to embrace teamwork as a core value of our staff. We never thought it would lead to Batman and Nacho Libre hanging out on our office! We added three incredible guys on staff (Adam Bayne as our kids pastor, Rog Hill our Serve pastor, and Brandon Reed as our college pastor) and it has been amazing to watch our team come together even more. As we have added staff the extra margin created has led to our team serving as one even more! We hate the silo approach to ministry where everyone stays within in their own area. We staff around our strategy and since we all embrace the same strategy we can all have a voice in each others ministry. We really feel when one area of the team wins we all win. When we needed some help for a Cross Street Live video Rog and Brandon stepped up to the plate. That is flipping teamwork!
Here are some things I think make teamwork on a leadership team work...
- Everyone has a voice (maybe not a vote but a voice) - thanks Max Dupree for this lesson!
- Everyone has to be willing to give TIME to the other members of the team. Yes, keep the door open, and let another team member give or get input!
- Everyone has to CARE - yes that is big, we have to care about what each othewr are doing.
- Everyone has to believe in the other members of the team. Hiring the right people brings confidence!
- Everyone has to embrace healthy conflict. Yea, there are times we will not agree but that many times brings us to the best decision. Conflict is not a four letter word.
- Everyone has to be willing to step in when crisis hits!
- Everyone has to be able to laugh. Yes this is a big deal.
- Everyone has to understand the mission and strategy. We do not hire team members to come give us a strategy here at GCC, we have one! We hire people to push the mission and strategey forward.
- Everyone has to be a VOL...ok maybe not but it would help!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
How do you see your roll as a leader/servant in the church? Are you trying to be a guide or a security guard. Paul told the people in Corinth he was there to be a guide and I think that must be our roll as we invest in the people God has brought to us to lead. I grew up in a security guard world. My leaders tried to protect me from wrong doctrine, from sin, from the "world", from rock and roll, from rated R movies, from Christians of other denominations, from lost people, from doubt, from __________ I will let you fill in the blank there with whatever else you can imagine. Security guards simply protect. Security guards keep things INSIDE THE FENCE and SAFE. Paul says he was a guide and more than anything this generation needs an army of guides to step into leadership roles. Guides give direction, answer questions, allow questions, lead a group, point out danger, lead people to experience beautiful things (thinking grand canyon here!), serve the group they lead, and are willing to stay with their group but right out in front.
Security Guards keep what they have safe inside the confines of the church. Guides take a group of people and lead them beyond NORMAL, beyond SAFE. Guides add people to their group. Guides are willing to lead because Christ has transformed them and they want to bring others along on the journey. I want to be a guide!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Successful organizations spend a lot of time saying, "that's not what we do."
It's a requirement, because if you do everything, in every way, you're sunk. You got to where you are by standing for something, by approaching markets and situations in a certain way. Sure, Nike could make money in the short run by licensing their name to a line of wines and spirits, but that's not what they do.
"That's not what we do," is the backbone of strategy, it determines who you are and where you're going.
Except in times of change. Except when opportunities come along. Except when people in the organization forget to ask, "why?"
If the only reason you don't do something is because you never did, that's not a good reason. If the environment has changed dramatically and you are feeling pain because of it, this is a great reason to question yourself, to ask why.
The why factor is really clear online. Simon and Schuster or the Encyclopedia Britannica could have become Google (organizing the world's information) but they didn't build a search engine because that's not what they do. Struggling newspapers could have become thriving networks of long tail content, but they chose not to, because that's not what they do.
That's the key question, one that organizations large and small need to ask a lot more often now that the economy is officially playing by new rules.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
- Its makes community REAL at our weekly gathering. Every kid who comes is known by a adult who has the potential to be come a mentor! Not sure if you know this yet but teens want to be known, missed, celebrated, and cared for.
- Every student has a chance to express what God is doing in their heart. We feel if kids do not have a time to talk about the night and process we have failed them.
- It allows our volunteer leaders to move into "ministry" roles as they care for kids at our weekly gathering! Our volunteers are making a real difference week in and week out.
- We have time where we can take what was talked about on stage to a deeper level with each age group and gender as needed. 12th graders process differently than 9th graders!
- When teens get to block out one time a week and GATHER AND COMMIT to small group it makes the life of mom and dad more simple! One night is always better than 2 for parents.
- Teens don't just come to a big crowd experience and leave. We are trying not to be a spiritual pep rally. By doing groups connected with the gathering we hope to give teens a safe place to rethink faith, move forward in their journey with Christ, and discover community!
Monday, November 2, 2009
- Mid-week gave us a 2nd time each week to connect with teens since Sunday is such a big day for us at GCC.
- Mid-week allowed teens to invite and bring friends. We see first time guests every week that get invited to come on Wednesdays.
- Mid-week gives teens more time to hang with family on Sunday's. Sunday was a big family day in Clarksville and the service seemed to be getting in the way of that.
- Mid-week allowed our teens and small group leaders to focus on serving on Sunday morning.
- Mid-week allowed us to partner with our school system since Wednesdays are not busy days for sports.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
I was blown away! It was amazing!
This is a book you have to pick up and read because once you start you will race through it. It is honest, challenging and inspiring all at the same time. I wish every high school student would read this book and begin to examine where they are headed in life. As I read the book I constantly examined my own story, the story I am living out with the days God has given me. The story God has called me to. I am thrilled with so much of the story I am living yet challenged to take greater risks and tackle hard things in other areas. This is a must read. This is a book I will be giving away for years to come.
Donald, thanks for putting your life out there for us to learn from. Thanks for being willing to ask hard questions, choosing to do hard things, and allowing us to take a look at your story!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The 2 pictures above came from a small group event that Jeremy Sydnor and David Tittle arranged for their small groups at REMIX. We love our weekly gathering, the teaching time, the worship, great video, the experience but the truth is that kids come each week because they are able to meet with a group of friends and an adult leader who cares for them each week in small group. Our hope is for life change to happen in the middle of RELATIONSHIP as students process what was taught from the Bible. When small groups excel they take the relationship to the next level. Next level small group leaders help their kids connect outside of small group time online and through planned events where connections can happen. Small group events help kids make memories. They give small group leaders the chance to have significant conversations with teens. They enable the small group to come together, to unite. When small group leaders do smaller connection events like a rafting trip, a camping experience, dinner out, or a sleepover teens have the chance to let their guard down and get to know their small group leader and the other people in their circle. Big thanks to Jeremy Sydnor and David Tittle for leading the rafting trip for their small groups. Thanks for working hard to take small group the next level!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Reggie Joiner on CHANGE...
People Change when the pain associated with the status quo becomes greater than the pain associated with the change!
When you get to the place in your ministry when you are operating off your memory and not your imagination you are in trouble / Mark Batterson
If you want to build something that lasts you have to be willing to change what you build!
Sometimes we get so consumed with not causing pain to our current leaders through change that we forget about the people we will never reach if we do not change.
The best way to keep a team moving toward the mission is to frequently upgrade your systems
The churches that refuse to change are the ones threatening the mission!
Every change gives us the opportunity to decide what is core and what is cultural! Relevant – connecting something eternal to the matter at hand!
So many times we just patch old systems with new upgrades and they just do not match, we add upgrades that do not fit the old system
Sue Miller on working as a Family Ministry Team...
Working together as a family ministry team means we will love each other, learn from each other, show up for each other. PLAY WELL TOGETHER! HONOR EACH OTHER.
Our teams must combine our strengths to lead better together!
All our environments / ministries are connected and when one loses we all lose! – Reggie Joiner and Sue Miller
Change in good times; do not wait for the dip to change!
From an Interview with Jim Wideman...
Being a balanced church is not about having tons of stuff going on, it is about simplifying so we can invest in this generation!
Reggie Joiner talking about COMMUNITY is student ministry...
The older a kid gets the more important it becomes to have a consistent leader in the life of a teen.
If we do not give teens another adult who will give affirmation they will find it somewhere else they will find it outside of the church.
What you invest in is what is important to you!
The older a child becomes the more important it is for a small group leaders to stay involved consistently for the long haul.
The kind of leaders we need do not sign up by announcements; we have to make the BIG ASK then empower them to bring on other leaders!
Student ministry is a moving target, teens get to choose if they come or not. Kids come to our gathering because they know there is an adult there who cares for them!
Reggie Joiner on partnering with the family!
We define our ministry by the parents who we want to make happy inside the church that we forget all the families who want help and want to partner outside the church!
96% of parents /ALL PARENTS/ feel responsible for the moral development of their kids! The church needs to partner!
Parents want to know WHAT IS NEXT; we can help make that happen!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
- I love we help kids and parents think through a VIRTUE like honesty, wisdom, etc. and then give them some tools to go home with! What happens at home is so significant!
- I love the energy that comes when the theater is packed with kids who are singing to God!
- I love that families can see with their own eyes that we think they matter. We put a ton of time into this monthly experience for families! They matter!
- I love watching kids and parents laugh together...it is priceless!
- I love watching our actors, dancers, and worship leaders go for it. THEY ARE SO TALENTED!
- I love that families get to make a memory that is fun and exciting at CHURCH! God is amazing and church should be too!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
- Stay at a Disney Resort - that was great in every way besides that they do not have wi-fi!!!
- Do the Disney food plan...that really worked well!
- PLAN - there is just too much to do, make a plan!
- PAY FOR IT BEFORE YOU GO...we paid on this thing all year and it was fun to go knowing it was paid for. Debt vacations SUCK!
- Go in the fall or winter...it was still crowded and hot but nothing like summer.
- Take your kids to the character meals...they are great and your kids will love getting to meet the characters.
- Take your kids when they enjoy the MAGIC! Do not miss taking your kids when they are young if you can.
Friday, October 9, 2009
I AM TAKING MY FAMILY TO DISNEY FOR 5 DAYS!!!!!! Here we go! I am unplugging, stopping, and hanging with my family for the next 5 days. Everything back home will be fine, I am stopping to rest!
See ya when we get home...headed to make some memories!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
It was a great day! Matt Chandler and Tony Dungy also really did a great job. Can not wait to see what goes down Friday. NOW I WILL SLEEP