Pull out the party hats, noisemakers and super fancy party drinks (for those in preschool world). It’s a new year! And you’ve discovered our brand-new Orange Kids Podcast, where we talk kids’ ministry and discuss practical solutions to our weekly challenges.
In this first official episode (don’t neglect to go back and meet our fine hosts in Episode 0!), Mike poses the perennial question: What is your New Year’s resolution? Gina dodges the question by declaring she doesn’t make resolutions. Kellen vows to go running more consistently (because at 6’7” and 168 pounds, he clearly needs to slim down). And oh, you know, meet someone and get married, too. Mike dodges his own question by not answering it.
But all three hosts get down to business about our real goal for the year: pouring into the lives of our families, staff teams and volunteers. And, as Mike points out: “It’s hard to spill goodness into others when your cup is empty. Healthy leadership looks like giving from excess, not from lack.”
Kellen, who hails from arid SoCal, adds: “In the desert, when you have an empty cup, it goes bone dry and thorns and things began to spill out. When we aren’t replenishing our cup, it gets very dry, and when we do pour out, it’s thistles, it’s dirt, it’s negativity.”
LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S EPISODE
FEATURED ON THIS EPISODE
Shannon is the pastor to women and children at Church Of The City in Franklin, Tennesee. She is married to Jeffrey, and together both have been involved in worship ministry for adults, students, and children for many years, both as leaders and teachers. Each summer, they are privileged to travel with Camp KidJam as worship leaders. Additionally, Shannon speaks to women and to ministry leaders, as well as writing curriculum and devotional resources for these audiences. She’s an avid baseball and college football fan and clings to the hope that her favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, will repeat as World Series champions in her lifetime. When at home, she can be found with coffee (always topped with whip) in hand, candles, blankets, and a good book or Netflix marathon. Jeffrey and Shannon have been married since 1999 and have three children, Maggie (16), Jack (13) and Ali (12). They live in Nashville, Tennessee with their two pups, Nash and Loretta.
THE BIG QUESTION
How do you fill up your cup with the good stuff?
Shannon launches with some key points: “Burnout is a very real thing in ministry; that’s the enemy’s design. If we can burn out all the people who are ministering, then the work stops. I believe there is a healthy way to serve God’s people and care for yourself. There’s nothing noble in burning out in the service of God.”
1. How do you know when your cup is running dry? What are the red flags?
Shannon: “When what is spilling out of my cup is not what I want people to believe is in it. If my cup gets jostled and I’m biting off people’s heads or gossiping or responding in anger.”
Kellen: “My emotions are on my sleeve. I get stressed anxious when jostled. It’s very apparent when something is wrong with me.”
Gina: “When I get snarky in meetings. That’s an indicator for me. I need to take a break.”
Shannon: “I’m adept at presenting a perfect image and turning it on when I need to. I go into a performance I have honed over time when I need to be on at church. That’s always a flag for me when I’m having to push a button and play a role rather than my responses being the overflow of my heart.”
2. How do you fill up your cup when you’re running low?
- Fall back and regroup; assess what things on the calendar can be moved
- Buffer myself; it can take forever to recover from wounding someone with my words. I buffer myself until I know I can avoid that hurt all together. It’s okay if I’m not accessible or have to delay a difficult conversation for a time.
- Remember this Louis Giglio quote: “Everything that you say ‘yes’ to is less there is for something else. So make sure your ‘yes’ is worth the less.”
- I don’t have to be all things to all people. I know that’s not what God is asking of me.
3. How do you refill on a regular basis? Is your day off a day off?
Gina finds cleaning the house and doing laundry therapeutic. “I can fail at it and it doesn’t matter. I can finish something.”
Kellen plays little kid Lego games because… bachelorhood. It’s an hour to process and decompress.
Shannon takes the extended time to journal and pray that she doesn’t necessarily get other mornings.
Bottom line: when you have a day off… TAKE IT. Yes, this means YOU.
4. How do you handle getting into the main worship service on Sunday mornings?
Shannon is in a season where she simply can’t be in service, as there has been a lot of recent transition on her team. It’s a tension felt by most kid min leaders. So while you work toward that goal, find ways to self-feed. Lean into the benefits of technology, like live streaming and recorded teaching. Be intentional about accessing good content in a timeframe that works for you.
5. How do you help your team refresh on a regular basis?
Shannon: “If I’m feeling stressed out, I can assume my team is feeling it as well. If you keep going, they must keep up with you. I can’t give them more money, but I can value the fact they’ve been pouring themselves out by giving a comp day.”
Kellen: “If you feel like you as a leader are on empty, guarantee your team is feeling it.”
Gina didn’t used to take lunch, but realized she was making it not okay for her team to take lunch either.
Shannon: “As leaders, we’ve got to be willing to care for our people. They are not just a means to an end. As a leader, it’s my responsibility to steward them well.”
The (Mike) Clear wrap up: “At the end of the day, Jesus himself took time away. If he needed it, we definitely do.”
Open your calendar right now. Schedule some time to get away, even if it’s only half a day.
Once you’ve got that taken care of, connect with Shannon Scott through Instagram: @ShannonSScott
Executive Director of Children’s Strategy at Orange
NextGen Pastor at Crosspoint Church - Nashville, TN
NextGen Pastor at Our City Church - Corona, CA