This is us.
Four people who represent the age ministries of
Highland Park Church
. (0-5) (6-11) (11-13) (14-18 ish) Combined our team has hundreds of leaders and volunteers who fuel the ministries that we lead.
For the last 6+ years, we’ve had a growing desire that we
would begin to align our ministries better. We are a church is a community simply seeking to lead others to love God and to love others. And how we do that for our children and youth is important to us--it's important to begin aligning our strategy in order to live on mission.
We are at a point in our growth that we see the value of layers of ministry echoing the same heart. Not just lip service, but for real on the same page plans and actions service.
Some of it boils
down to shared leadership, genuine partnership, and a willingness to listen to
each other. And some of it boils down to nailing down a strategy—and defining
This fall, the four of us and a dozen of our leaders
attended a ministry training weekend together—called Orange Tour
At the end of the weekend, we were all thinking Orange could
be the thing that helps us with our goal to be a family ministry to children
and youth but also a ministry for and with parents (since parents are where
it’s at when it comes to who has the most chips in a child’s experiences).
|Image source: ReThink Group|
There are other organizations out there and resources as
well for youth ministries to move in this direction, to value the significance
and influence of the family as well as teach us how to take steps toward a more
intergenerational approach to ministry, I feel like these things have primed
the pump so to speak, for a shift in our thinking.
After we attended the tour together, we began integrating
Orange strategy into our ministries-part of this strategy is how we lead in
Before I explain what I feel is the most exciting part of
our learning—I should probably tell you what Orange is.
children we were in constant wonder—the dazzle of life provoking us toward
discovery. And as we turned over rocks and stared at the stars, we found
something surprising. We found a light glimmering in our hearts. The light of
is a path, a strategy with the intent to return to that glimmering, that
passion, and to rouse it in the next generation. You can find the Orange
Strategy in the color: combining the strength of two—red and yellow—for the
brilliance of another, Orange.
an Orange thinker asks, “What if church leaders and parents synchronized their
efforts to fuel wonder, discovery and passion in the next generation?” By
combining the critical influences of the light of the church (yellow) and the
love of the family (red) the Orange Strategy shows a generation who God is more
effectively than either could alone.”
I love being on the same page. And in this case, a literal page. I read a book that I picked up on tour called Lead Small
. And we are excited to begin to work with our leaders on this next step in their ministry development. My friend Elle Campbell has some incredible experience leading her small group leaders around Lead Small ideas and I can't wait to use some of the things she offers to other ministries like mine. (Check out this awesome parent | leader breakfast she did!
We're currently working on this.)
We are just getting our feet wet but one of the
big wins for us has been a rethinking of the role of the small group leader.
Here's a little outline of some priorities that were expressed in the book (that we'd like to adopt at HP Youth) and also a few ideas about how we're going to get started in each area. We currently have hundreds of children and youth gathering in circles with fun and loving adults. I can only imagine how we will grow as we become even more intentional about what happens in those circles.
- We want to adopt five priorities for building faith in the
next generation (source: Lead Small)—because we are learning that,
Every generation needs a bigger story
78:4-7 “We will tell the next generation of the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord”
There is POTENTIAL in the family to influence
their own kids
Families can believe in the POTENTIAL of the
church to influence their sons & daughters
A combined strategy (family with faith community) demonstrates the message of God’s
story, and influences another generation.
Synchronizing with others leaders ALIGNs leaders and parents to lead with the
same end in mind
“The essence of strategy is in choosing
what not to do.”(LS)
We’re going to pick five things that are taking energy
away from strategies and stop doing them in our ministry areas.
“Just because we’ve always done it that way
doesn’t mean that it’s not incredibly stupid.” (LS).
What does saying no to 1000’s of
programs and projects give us an ability to do?
Partner with Parents
Integrate Strategy (leaders/ parents/ church
Enhance Student Worship (Come)
Multiply Small Groups (Grow/ Relationships)
Offer Student Experiences (Serve/ Significance)
What does refining the message look like for us
on using fun as a means
understandable language (work on this…being crystal clear..make the complicated
awesomely simple…say less…more often…intentional layering of who says
responsibility for whether or not it connects (make changes)
g. What does reactivating our ministry with parents as partners look like?
the 1/5 ratio (1/5 parents nationally say that they have never been contacted
by their church
ii. apply strategy:
connect with PARENTS TO DISCUSS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO INFLUENCE THEIR CHILD
Give them a plan.
Show them how it works
Tell them what to do today (specific
spiritual leadership for them.
What will it look like to elevate community?
groups invest strategically
Leaders are present
Leaders create a safe place
Leaders Partner with Parents
Leaders make it personal
What it will look like to leverage our influence
of Life Groups/ Leaders
3 adventures/ experiences/ points of significance each year
Cause Event & Outreaches
Mission Experience (Camp/ Trip/ Local/ Abroad)
And there's a critical question:
makes us think that children/students will do ministry when they leave Highland
Park if they never do ministry while they are with us?
Lastly, how will we evolve our communication
style to connect?
style (creative efforts increase, hands on learning trumps old school rules)
value for the truth (we continue to hold up the truth of God's Word even when our teaching styles and methods change)
I loved this book and think every person who has ever sat in
a circle with children or youth should pick it up and remember why we do what
we do. It’s important not to miss the potential that sits in that circle and
the possibility of future faith that increases when we become even more intentional about the
things we say and do with a few.