The Impact Your Church Can Have On Married People

Back in 2013, I was finishing up my first year of serving a new church and loving every minute of where God had called me. Ministries were thriving and, after almost 20 years in professional ministry, I felt content and happy with where I was serving. However, I wish...
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A New Kind Of Startup Church

Back in the 1940s, when my grandfather started his first church in a wheat field, there were no church planting conferences, no church planting networks, and no money for new churches. It was just my grandfather, his family, and an abandoned church building. His...
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Why Core Essential Values Is A Cornerstone In Our Children’s Ministry

Two years ago, our children’s ministry invested in the incredible community influence of the Core Essential Values program. We felt it was a unique opportunity, 1) to connect our ministry (from the church) to children (outside the church), and 2) answer the need of a...
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Embracing The Huge Potential Of Parents

“Your job as a leader is to define spiritual leadership in terms for the family that are POSSIBLE and PRACTICAL so they can do the thing that they are wired to do as a family.” – Reggie Joiner The church has approximately 40 hours a year to invest biblical truths into...
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Preschool

Just trust me. Navigating the phase of separation anxiety.

Just trust me.  Navigating the phase of separation anxiety.

One of my favorite things to do when I visit my son and his family is to watch him play with his two year old twin girls. They squeal with delight when he throws them up in the air and catches them. There is no fear, only trust. We have the opportunity every week to instill in our little ones the lesson of trust. This is the most basic skill and the most useful lesson we will utilize throughout our lifetime. Learning to trust will be useful to us throughout our youth, teen years, and even...

Orange Leaders

In Times Of Crisis: Create Space For Grace

In Times Of Crisis: Create Space For Grace

Have you ever felt stunned when a child or teenager shares something shocking? Have you ever witnessed a crisis happening and wondered what to do? Have you ever watched a student leave your church knowing the fears that wait for them at home or at school? Have you ever been invited to know more about a kid’s inner battle but haven’t been sure what to say? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re probably a parent, a youth leader, or maybe even a loving friend who wants to help...

Brooklyn Lindsey

Orange Leaders
Elementary

Get Ready to H2GO!

Get Ready to H2GO!

Welcome to August! It’s likely hot where you are. Fry eggs on the sidewalk hot. —Which is why you’re sitting in the A/C with a water bottle handy. But while that water costs you no more than a trip to the fridge or the kitchen faucet, a clean drink of water is nearly unattainable for kids and families in many parts of the world, like the Philippines. And it’s not just water to for drinking that’s in question. Without clean water for bathing, washing hands, and brushing teeth, many families...

Orange Leaders

What To Do When You Question Those In Leadership Over You

What To Do When You Question Those In Leadership Over You

I wasn’t surprised by Lisa’s question, it’s a question I have heard many times. “Is working at the church as wonderful as it is attending here?” I’m a pastor, and all of my years in the workforce have been spent working in growing, healthy churches. I don’t know the “ins and outs” of corporate world or life in the marketplace, but I do know that working in a church isn’t always butterflies, unicorns, and whistling while you work. There is more at stake in what we do than a healthy bottom line....

Pat Rowland

Orange Guest
Preschool

Rest. Recharge. Refocus.

Rest. Recharge. Refocus.

I love social media during the months of May and June!! Every day there are… Prom pictures Graduation ceremonies Weddings End-of-year picnics Awards ceremonies Soccer/baseball/t-ball championships Vacations …the list goes on and on While I love seeing all the pictures, sometimes the busyness of our lives is almost overwhelming during this season.  And, while the celebrations are fun, this time of year can also take its toll on us as individuals and as families. Now that the...

Students

Post Camp Conversation Guide (Free Download!)

Post Camp Conversation Guide (Free Download!)

It’s July and it’s hot outside, which means it’s camp season for student ministries all across the country. (In fact, our very own High School Camp is happening right now in the mountains of Tennessee!) As you undoubtedly know, summer camps can be pivotal events in the lives of your students and small groups. Retreats often become the catalysts for powerful small group bonding, incredible memories, and significant faith decisions. What you may not know, though, is the...

CJ Palmer

Orange Leaders
Elementary

FX Checklist

FX Checklist

July – Now is the summer of our discontent.  Vacations, work trips, parties, camps… It’s tough to get anything consistent at church during the summer.  FX is no exception.  In fact, FX is probably the toughest place to coordinate leaders, presenters, families, tech teams …There are a lot of moving parts to try to mesh on a great day, but when you add in summer it gets nearly impossible. That’s why a lot of people decide to heavily modify their FX or even take some down time during the summer. ...

Students

How to Utilize High School Students as Volunteers

How to Utilize High School Students as Volunteers

Spiritual growth and serving are connected. Most students who get spiritually stuck need avenues to do something significant. If we as student pastors want to keep moving students in a better direction, we must create consistent opportunities for our students to serve. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of research aimed at why it’s so important for students to serve. Sticky Faith found that the more students serve and build relationships with younger students, the more likely it is...

Preschool

Creating A Rhythm of Prayer in the Life of a Preschooler

Creating A Rhythm of Prayer in the Life of a Preschooler

I recently wrote a blog post about the value of prayer in my life (you can read that post here). One of the reasons prayer is an integral part of my life is because of the value my mom placed on God’s word and prayer when I was young. As an Early Childhood pastor, one of my goals is to encourage and inspire families of preschoolers as they disciple their little treasures. Creating a prayer rhythm is a wonderful way to create a lifestyle of prayer with preschoolers. There are so many...

Students

Building Momentum in Your Student Ministry

Building Momentum in Your Student Ministry

The XP3 blog is all about community. We are a community of student pastors and leaders sharing ideas, strategies, victories, and struggles. That’s why we’re starting a new blog post series focusing on you, the student ministry leader. Once a month we’re asking you questions about student ministry and sharing your answers with the XP3 community. If you would like to contribute in a future post, send us an email. By Joe Harwell What unexpected resource have you stumbled upon...

Elementary

Volunteer, You Are The Awesome Secret Sauce

Volunteer, You Are The Awesome Secret Sauce

Dear Volunteer, Thank you. Thank you for being on the frontlines of ministry each week. You play a unique role to help shape the future of a child’s life. There are not enough thank-you cards to say how grateful we are. Week by week, you plant and share God’s Truth in a relational way kids can put into practice. You prepare before you arrive on Sunday. You meet kids in their world to help them talk through and embrace faith. Thank you for choosing to develop relationships with kids to have...

Misty Phillips

Orange Specialist
Students

Stuart Hall’s Strategy to Develop Students of Influence

Stuart Hall’s Strategy to Develop Students of Influence

Who do you want your students to be when they leave your ministry? How do you want your students to influence others after they graduate from middle school or from high school? When we begin with the end in mind, it informs what our strategy should be right now. It informs how we should be guiding and developing our teenagers today. When it comes to developing students that influence their own generation, we all probably have room to improve. And for many of us the area to improve is clarity....

CJ Palmer

Orange Leaders
Elementary

Comparison Is the Thief of Contentment

Comparison Is the Thief of Contentment

“Gracie gets super excited when her big brother comes into the room and calls out ‘bubba!’ Plus she says ‘doggy’ and ‘book’ and ‘ball’ and ‘milk.’ She’s just so bright and never stops chattering!” My Facebook friend was enthusing about her 9-month-old. My 15-month-old son was currently stuck on “dada” for everything. Even “mama,” which had shown up for awhile, had dropped out of the rotation. I gritted my teeth and scrolled down past another friend’s professional family photo shoot in a sunset...

Elementary

Stage Design for Shared Spaces

Stage Design for Shared Spaces

About the author: David Clark is the Technical Arts + Production Coordinator at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church in Bloomington, Indiana. He loves running, social media, and Chipotle.   Some days I sit and dream about what it would be like to have a ministry space that is specifically dedicated to our elementary worship experiences—A big, beautiful room that’s truly ours, and no one else’s. But I’m quickly brought back to reality, reminded that we do ministry each weekend in a gym—a shared...

Students

This Summer Doesn’t Have To Be “Just Another Summer”

This Summer Doesn’t Have To Be “Just Another Summer”

Summer is right around the corner. School will be out soon and all of us will be spending a little more time working on our tan lines. But the warmer weather brings with it an unwanted side effect on every ministry: low attendance. Have you noticed that there seems to be a direct correlation between warm weather and church attendance? The temperature goes up, the attendance goes down. If you’re like most student pastors, you have a love-hate relationship with the summer. It’s great...

CJ Palmer

Orange Leaders
Elementary

It’s Not a Show

It’s Not a Show

I just returned from the Orange Conference 2016 where I was fortunate enough to have dinner with some FX leaders. One man in particular stands out for me. We were having a quick dinner together (quick because we were on a conference schedule), and he told me that his entire view of FX changed at Orange conference four years ago. I stopped eating and leaned in, wondering what he would say next. Did he realize FX was a great outreach tool for families in his community?   Did he understand that...

Elementary

4 Tips for Welcoming Parents to Your Environment

4 Tips for Welcoming Parents to Your Environment

Partnering with parents is a key factor of the Orange Strategy. We recognize what happens at home is more important than what happens at church. So, as ministry leaders, we want to build a relationship with parents to help influence what happens at home. Parents initiate the relationship when they bring their kiddos to our churches. Our churches are given an opportunity to demonstrate how much we value their family by welcoming them into the elementary ministry environment. How can we make...

Jessica

Orange Leaders
Students

Defining the Small Win for Your Small Group Leaders

Defining the Small Win for Your Small Group Leaders

Most small group leaders have big wins in mind for their small group. They anticipate the big, pivotal, fulfilling moments that remind them why they’re leading a group in the first place – moments like leading a student to Christ or watching a student get baptized. But if big moments are the only wins your leaders are shooting for, they’re going to be disappointed on most Sundays. That’s why it’s so important to help your SGL’s identify the smaller wins along the...

CJ Palmer

Orange Leaders
Orange Leaders

Developing Volunteers Into Leaders

Developing Volunteers Into Leaders

“A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity.” ― Mollie Marti I remember way back when I thought I could do it all myself. Sure, there was a ton of work leading my first children’s ministry. We had about 75 kids and 20 volunteers. I was busy but it was manageable. When we grew to 100 kids and still only had 20 volunteers I felt pretty stretched though. It was then that I learned that if I wanted to lead a successful and growing...

Joe McAlpine

Orange Blogger