Archives For Ministry

D6 Conference

I know that many reading this are sitting in church offices all over the world, or maybe you’re at the kitchen table, or maybe you’re at Starbucks with some earphones. Wherever you are, you can participate in a conversation happening in Dallas, TX at the D6 Family Conference. And you can participate for FREE, right where you are!

Both Thursday and Friday you still have opportunities to watch the LIVE STREAM. And you can continue to follow along with me at both today and tomorrow. I’ll see you there!


8:40 AM  CST                        Pete Wilson @pwilson

9:40 AM  CST                        Richard Ross @richardross


8:40 AM  CST              Sean McDowell @sean_mcdowell

9:40 AM  CST             Fred Luter

D6 Happenings

Jonathan Cliff  —  September 25, 2012 — Leave a comment


This week I’ll be in Frisco. (Frisco, Texas that is; it’s a Frisco just outside of Dallas.) I’ll be learning alongside some of the best family ministry church leaders from all around the world. I’ll be there to lead a pre-conference lab on Wednesday, but I’m really looking forward to interacting  with my new friends on Thursday and Friday. And this is where you could benefit…

There is nothing to replace the experience of being at D6 in person. But because many of you aren’t able to join me in Dallas next week, D6 wanted to give those of you at home a taste of the conference. That’s why  they’re streaming six sessions from D6 for absolutely free.  
Watch D6 Live
All you need to do is  go to  to watch, chat, learn, and grow.  Until then,  go here  for the full schedule of #D62012 online.
I’m also going to be live streaming some chat sessions from main sessions on Thursday and Friday, and you can follow along with all of that at And to take it up a notch, I’m not alone. D6 has invited some of my best friends along to share in all of the FREE sharing!
D6 Social Media Team

It’s Allright to Dream

Jonathan Cliff  —  September 20, 2012 — 1 Comment

Hopes and Dreams

We live in a world that is always asking us to be realistic. There are voices all around, and inside our heads, that tell us our dreams should not to be too big. There is something that says our aspirations need to be based in some sort of reality, and usually that reality is defined by others.

I disagree.

I disagree because my own life has proved many times over that dreaming gets you somewhere. There have been some big moments in my life (buy me coffee sometime, and I’ll tell you about them) that I specifically look back on as big DREAM moments. The memories of these moments have brought me to a place of gratitude, thanksgiving, and inspiration. The memories of these moments, make me grateful that God didn’t leave them as memories.

You should be allowed to dream. You should be dreaming. You should be praying for the impossible. You need to mute the voices of those telling you otherwise. I have gone through a transition and life change in the past 4 months that confirms all I’ll ever need to know about how real God is. Dreaming gets you somewhere. It doesn’t get you there fast, or  efficiently, or painlessly, but it gets you there nonetheless.

Dream please. For all of us out there living with our passion for tomorrow, we need more dreamers. Dream big things, and dream new things. Make the time to think of “what could be” and create the space to “imagine a better place” for you and all of those around you.

“The hope of the righteous brings joy.”  Proverbs 10:28


Set goals, meet those goals, celebrate the meeting of those goals, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. I’ve served and led in enough places to know the formula, but the formula is turned on its head when you’re new. There is another step after listening really well, and that step is to help take those you’re listening to to a new place.  Now here’s the inherent problem with taking the people you lead into new levels of leadership.

How do you take someone to new place, when you’re not yet certain of your own place?

I’m still working on my answer to that question, but I’m going to say that the word “slow” is in that answer somewhere. In my quest to answer that question, here’s my current gameplan for setting new goals in a new place, and helping others find their place while also wrestling to find my own place.  I’m tracking with three areas of tasks, and I’ve included three tasks with each to illustrate the differences between all three areas:

First, I’m tracking with easy, small and attainable things that maybe I’m seeing with fresh eyes as the new guy. There is not much potential for conflict here, as it’s easy as easy can get.

  • Could we fix that door?
  • Is there a misspelling on a popular send home material?
  • Are new volunteers background checked?

Second, I’m tracking things I’d like to talk about 6-8 months from now. These things carry a potential for conflict, but I’m not waiting so long to avoid the conflict. I’m waiting, because over time those things could change as I learn more and more about my own place in the organization.

  • Why do we have that door there? Could the door be moved?
  • The send home package needs a new marketing strategy. What does that look like?
  • Are new volunteers serving in the right place? How do we help them find that place?

Third, I’m tracking things related to myself, and nobody else. These are the things that help make my own job description come alive. These things are helping me determine why this new place would bring me here. It’s my effort to think Big-Picture.

  • What are the most important issues I’ve been brought in to fix? (If any…)
  • What are the areas I need to champion and celebrate better?
  • Who are the leaders I need to invest the most one-on-one time with?

It’s been my hope and prayer that this ever-growing list of “things” that I’m creating will prove fruitful at keeping myself busy, but more importantly; I’m demanding that this list help me with setting new goals for my new team and myself. I consider this my foundation to setting goals in a new place, it is my cornerstone for leading tomorrows tomorrow.

“The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.” Abraham Lincoln


As I sit to write this I am 36 years old. There are so many things different about change in my 30′s, compared to change in my 20′s. I know that going through the process of transition was richly different than at any other stage in my life. I found myself wanting to be 100% who I am, and less who I think people may want me to be. Does that mean I’m 100% authentic? Of course not, I’m still completely human. But my motives and  instincts  are focused on giving people the best picture of who I am.

The biggest difference I’ve noticed in myself during this  transition, than at other times in my life; has been comparing the opinions of myself with the opinions others have of me. When I was i my 20′s, I  thought  I knew most everything…or at least had a beat on most things. I also know that the 20 year old me had much higher opinion of myself than anyone around me did. Now I’m in my 30′s, and I find that I think much less of myself than others think of me. (False humility  alert…beware.)

I find myself wanting to consult someone on something, and then remembering that I’m that person for others now. This blog post has completely shattered any chance of me being viewed as humble; but I’m just gonna say it. I’m not half as valuable as others think I am. It’s not that I’m terrible, and it’s not that I’m not an expert in some things. It’s that I live in that in-between place.

My prayer is that God helps make me the person I need to be for others to follow, and I pray at the exact same time that God would keep me humble enough to know when it’s time to back off that expert label a little. I pray that I stay willing to learn through all opinions that anyone could ever have of me…ever.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10