I have the blessed opportunity to speak with kid leaders everyday.  Many leaders are seeing that change is needed and they need to engage kids in a better way…its just how to get there. The Sunday School church model of the 50′s isn’t attractive for these 21st century kids.  Volunteers aren’t attracted to serve. Filled with nothing but good intentions leaders realize they are rather stuck, and not sure how to get “unstuck.”   If you keep on doing the same thing, you end up with -(finish it with me kids…) the SAME thing.  Getting “unstuck” means  being willing to check out what’s on the horizon.  No one means to get stuck-  it’s just that Sundays roll around so fast! And once we had a plan- we “stuck” to it.  I have leaders weekly say to me, “What is this ORANGE kid leaders are talking about?”

Orange is thinking through questions like this …. What if your church thought in terms of strategy, not just programming ?  What if the church- the light (yellow), shining bright combined its efforts with  family- the heart of home (red) and partnered together  to bring kids the Message of God’s love? What if you combined the two? What if you taught LESS to achieve MORE?  It would create ORANGE!  Leveraged influence the parents, who are the primary source for spiritual training of their kids, with the church who presented God’s timeless Message in fresh, fun engaging ways?  It attracts kids.  It attracts families.  It energizes volunteers.   ITS ORANGE!   www.whatistorange.org

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Misty on September 29th 2010 in Uncategorized

Manna Up! Trusting the freshness of Manna

This summer gal loves the fresh produce of summer. Its the real deal. I relish each bite of a summer tomato.
I read in Exodus about the Manna deal God made with the children of Israel. Out of complaining, God  showed his faithfulness to them. To me it was really a trust issue. A trust test- if you will. God was specific in the “how to” gathering process of Manna. Each day you got to get a miraculous new supply of sustenance in fresh “what IS this?” or manna bread. First of all, YOU had to go get it. And the only day you got to take extra was before the sabbath rest. If you tried to keep it for another day,  you got mold and general yuck city stuff in your breakfast the next day.  However,  IF you expected new manna to be out there?  It would be!  God’s faithful like that!
(Read for yourself in Exodus 16)

As a ministry leaders are you picking up the daily manna? There are so many great blogs/helps/articles out there that are God inspired to help YOU lead.  Like never before  there are resources for ministry leaders to be fresh in ministry presentation.  Don’t sit in your tent waiting. Go out and find the Manna so you can be filled and ready to do your job!  Daily doses of leadership challenges and inspiration are there for you.  Take them in.  Use them!

Some of you have been doing ministry for awhile think you have got this all under control… like attracting volunteers and families just happens? LOL!  Creative, strategic fresh ministry will bring health and life.  Don’t be afraid.  Its yesterday’s Manna that isn’t so fresh for you.   Don’t get me wrong.  The Bible and God’s truth is absolutely timeless.  Its a done deal.  But HOW its presented at your church should  be as fresh and inspiring as the miracle of daily manna.  Its a trust test.  Trust Him to new ideas and strategy my friend. Its like  my summer tomato.  Real deal.

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Misty on August 13th 2010 in Uncategorized

Planning on an ORANGE fall

I am a summer girl.  Hot is good.  Cold is bad.   Long live the good times of summer!

As I read about that proverbial ant in Proverbs today, I thought about (gulp) …Fall.  The Bible says the ant plans in the warm summer for the harvest time. (Prov. 6:8) We are told to consider the habits ants have.  The ant simply prepares to be ahead of the game when fall rolls around, and my feet get cold again.

So what are you thinking through NOW over summer to help in the fall as you endeavor to be most effective to kids and families?  Status quo, no matter what you have done just won’t fly for long.  Switch it up.  Add new.  It can be remarkably uncomfortable being in uncharted territory.  But when you consider the times in the past you “stepped out there” look how God showed up!

How about some BIG asks for volunteers?  Now is when (like the ant) you prepare. Step up the game and ask your volunteers to commit to a FULL month each time (same people/same virtues) to serve as a small group leader.  How about the entire fall or spring season? Big asks from your volunteers yield reward IN your ministry area to the kids. Whatever the next step is: do the BIG ask!  Don’t  go into another fall season apologetically asking for help. Dispel the notion that someone is needed to fill a spot spot VS partner with you to make a difference! There is a difference in the two! One looks like an obligation on the calendar, the other is a ministry opportunity.

Ministry leaders I speak with know that a change needs to take place.  We all need to make changes. Keep in mind people navigate change in different ways.  The vision casting of what the end will look like will help those who are reluctant.   Keep casting vision.

Start planning for a beautiful ORANGE colored fall.  As ministry leaders we can be like that Proverbs ant.  Consider the Fall now while its summer by reading Reggie Joiner’s book THINK ORANGE.  You may just need to  begin and find out about this ORANGE coloring of ministry to kids and families.

Orange is uniting home (red the heart) and church (yellow=the Light). These are two huge influences!  Combining ministry programming around that red and yellow will make greater impact equals ORANGE!  But be warned… it will mess with you.  I think its the BEST plan in the long term fight for the family!   And I’ve been in the trenches of  “ant work” for many years.  Plan while its summer!

Consider the ant my friend.

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Misty on June 17th 2010 in Uncategorized

Me a cheerleader?

I know. You already you have an image in your head when you see the word cheerleader,right? Pom poms, pleated skirt, pigtails and ribbons. Maybe even the SNL cheerleaders come to your mind. But just for a moment, lets block out the stereotypical rah rah. Think  more like “leader of cheering” if that helps…

The dictionary defines the word cheer a : something that gladdens: a shout of applause or encouragement. I believe God is all over that! He rejoices over us. He lifts our head. He brings encouragement. That’s my kind of cheer leading for the challenging game of life.

As a leader, you need to be the biggest cheerleader for your volunteers. Notice things. Encourage people as you see their gifts in action. Funny, but sometimes we don’t recognize that we are gifted in an area until someone else notices. Cheer for volunteers and affirm their gifts. What does cheering for them do? It helps your team members to realize the difference they can make. Cheering for your team is making time for celebration. Let others know about your team and how they sacrifice to be faithful to minister to kids. Hooray for what God is doing through ordinary people like us.  Celebrate partnering with God and the gifts in people.  What will happen?  More people will be attracted to join the team.   As a leader you must be the biggest fan of your team and shout it out loud often!

Go Team!


Misty on June 8th 2010 in Uncategorized

Clever Like That…

I have heard SO many great stories from people who do ministry both as a volunteer and  paid staff who lead kids. These are not your average bear leaders. No- this is a new breed of clever! One who is focused on a mission of re-activating the family in their church and community. They are change agents.  They are doing all they can to lift that bushel and let the Light of Christ shine.

These leaders are making compelling vision casts to their pastors. They are evaluating multi-programmed services that send multiple messages, (what Pastor does this for the adult congregation on a weekend?!) They are seeing the value in teaching less is more!  These leaders are CLEVER at figuring out you can leverage influence when you send the same message each time you meet with purpose. There are clever leaders engaging parents AND kids at the same time in a service designed to be shared for those IN and OUT of the church. Yep, they are clever like that! These great people are going above and beyond the committee and task force days of old to cast a compelling vision to those they report to with passion.

Jesus gave high priority to kids- and said don’t you hinder them. Clever. Make your mission crystal clear each time you get the opportunity to have kids come to your ministry area. Be clever like that and don’t you dare shrink back!

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Misty on May 19th 2010 in Uncategorized