D6 Conference Look Ahead

This year I get to attend the D6 Conference (finally a conference close to home!) and I’ll be bringing all my readers here live and up-to-the minute information related to the conference.  The conference is from September 21-23rd in Dallas, TX; and features an absolutely amazing collection of speakers.  I’m really looking forward to my time with other family-centered ministry leaders and I’ll be working hard to bring you some great content and ideas from my time there.

The D6 Conference is pleased to announce that they will be streaming the following sessions from this year s conference for free at d6conference.com/live. (All times are approximate.)  How cool is that?  You can be wherever you want, and still pick up a ton of free stuff online!  Put it in the calendar now, and plan on watching on these days!

September 21—Wednesday

September 22—Thursday

September 23—Friday

  • Student Ministry Panel—Josh Griffin, Allyson Evans, Allen Pointer, Wayne Rice (9:30 AM CST)—During Session 6
  • Mark Holmen (11:05 AM CST)—During Session 7

Be sure to follow  @theD6conference  for unique conference-related tweets!

To help you get the full experience of D6, this collection of bloggers, writers, and leaders will be working together to make something fun all of those following from home!

Staff Talk: What Do You Want?

Learning to navigate staff relationships so that you are healthy and happy can be a difficult road.  However, it is a road that is possible to navigate.  It all starts with defining the culture and atmosphere you want to work in.  That sounds too simple, doesn’t it?  It sounds simple, because it is simple.  Before you can ‘work on it’ you need to know WHAT you want.  Don’t be afraid to be specific.

For example, you might say that you want your work environment to be one that is fun, or respectful, or harboring trust, or where accountability is practiced.  Whatever you want, you need to sit down with a pen and paper and figure out what it is that you want.

I think of it like this: If someone were to walk into your working environment and observe your team; what would they tell you it looks like?  It may seem silly to say this, but the time taken to define what you want is often put off.  But it’s worth your time to figure this part out.

But what does it look like within the context of the three working relationships we have at work?

Those I Lead ->  What would you want people to say about the department you lead, or the department you manage?  One key thing to remember for those I lead: involve them in helping to define what this should be.  I’m not saying that you let them define it, but you let them have a voice in the conversation.

Those I Cooperate With ->  If someone evaluated the relationship between you and a staff peer, what would you want them to discover?  As I cannot make those I work with do what I want, this becomes inwardly focused.  I have to ask myself these questions: What could I learn from those I work with?  What could I offer to those I work with?  What could happen if I got along with those I work with?  Invest the time necessary to see what you want from those you work with.

Those I Follow -> How would you define a healthy relationship with your senior leader?   Much like those I cooperate with, this one is inwardly focused.   I ve talked to so many people at churches that are unhappy with their relationship with their Senior leader; but few of them can tell me exactly what they even want out of their senior leader.   What is it that you want.

We could sum up this opening principle by saying that before you get to the DOING part of navigating staff relationships, you DEFINE what you want.

So here s the question to you: What do you want from those you work with?   Comment NOW!!

Navigating Staff Relationships

I remember my very first day at Trinity Church in Lubbock.  I was taken across campus to fill out some HR and tax paperwork, and after I finished I found myself all alone in someone’s office that was far from my own.  I asked where I needed to go next, and was told that I should go to my office and start the adventure.  However, there was one problem.  I didn’t know where my office was!  I spent the next 30 minutes walking around campus looking for my office.  In fact, it wasn’t until a week later that I discovered that the lady working outside my office door actually worked for me.  Amazing, I had an assistant and it took me a week to figure it out!

Now things have gotten much better at Trinity for new employees, but it’s still proof that being on a church staff can be quite the adventure.  Guess what I hear when I talk to people in church ministry?   Few want to talk about their ministry, but a good deal of people want to lament their pastors, peers, or volunteers.

Why is this so?

Because the most challenging and most unprepared aspect of working in church ministry is how we work within our staff structures.  Let’s be honest, how many of us ever dreamed that working with others would be so hard at a church?!?

This week I want to talk about something that has consumed my life as of late.  Learning to navigate all the different staff relationships we deal with inside of a church-staff setting.  Before we get started, let’s look at defining the three main categories of all staff relationships.

Define the Three Main Categories of Staff Relationships:

  1. Those we Lead
    1. Subordinates = Staff that reports to us directly.
    2. Volunteers = Those that serve in our areas and depend on us for leadership.
  2. Those we Cooperate with in accomplishing the Greater Vision of our churches
    1. Co-Workers = Peers that work on our same level within the organization
    2. If you re the Kid s Pastor, here is your Youth Pastor
  1. Those we Follow
    1. Managers = Direct Reports
    2. Executive Leaders/Pastors = Lead those we report to, or lead us directly.
    3. Senior Pastors = Leader of entire organization
Somewhere in the realm of all three of these we operate.  People we lead, people we cooperate with (or should be cooperating with), and people we follow and serve under.  As we start to identify the 4 principles of navigating through the sometimes treachrous, but always rewarding church staff relationships, I’d like to hear from you.
How many do you lead?  
How many are considered your ‘peers’ on your church staff?  
Who leads you, is it an executive pastor, department pastor, or do you sit directly under a Senior Pastor?  

Attention Birmingham Kidmin Friends

Do I have any Birmingham, AL Kidmin friends?  If I do, then please go and register RIGHT NOW to take you and all of your volunteers to the most unique, creative, dynamic, and fun place to be this coming weekend!  It’s Illuminate Birmingham!

I’ll be there along with Sam Luce, Kenny Conley, Jenny Funderburke, Amy Fenton-Lee, Jim Wideman, and many, many other Birmingham Kidmin leaders.  Illuminate Birmingham is a premier Children s Ministry event. Illuminate is the only volunteer-focused conference where you ll hear from internationally known and seasoned kidmin leaders who will inspire, equip and encourage your ministry teams. This is the only kidmin conference where bringing your entire volunteer team is not only encouraged, but actually is possible.

This holds within it the potential to dramatically change your Kidmin team for the better!  Don’t delay and Register TODAY!

Kidmin Conference Reminder

My friends that are busy working on the most unique Kidmin Conference ever, have wanted me to pass along this important piece of information:

Did you know that our second “early” registration for the conference is less than 9 days away?  9 Days is not that long.  If you were a cat and died each day for the next 9 days then you’d be dead for good.  If you ate a Big Mac for lunch every day for 9 days then you’d get fat quicker than if you didn’t.  If you fasted for the next 9 days from all forms of food, then think how hungry you’d be on the 9th day!  If you decided that…

You know what?  This isn’t really going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go somewhere.  This October 7th through 10th in Chicago I’m going to be spending some quality time with a collection of the best Kidmin leaders around the planet.

I’ll be leading a breakout (That I believe could be the best 2 hours you spend at the conference.**) titled: “Under New Management: Gaining Influence in a New Place”  I’m going to be leading a group of leaders that may be undergoing transitions into new environments, or maybe just wanting to start over where they’ve been in a fresh way!

I hope that you will take the time to see why you don’t want to miss this special Early Registration Discount that expires in the next 9 days!

Can I count on seeing you at the Kidmin Conference in Chicago?  Well, can I?