OC16 Notes: 8 Practical Things Leaders Can Do Each Week

The following are notes from Jeremy Holbrook from Adam Duckworth’s OC16 Presentation 

There are kids and teenagers who are coming into your church who engage with you and volunteers, staff members, small group leaders;  and the fact is, we only have a few minutes with them each week;  so we need to handle each minute with strategy.

1. Find leaders who will show up every single week.

We believe that discipleship best happens through relationship.  We believe the best way for a kid to develop a relationship with Jesus, is to actually see someone who has an authentic relationship with Jesus.

  • For pre-schoolers, enlist a leader for 5-7 preschoolers for 90-minutes a week for a year!
  • For K-5,  enlist a volunteer for 8-12 boys or girls for 90 minutes a week (Separate boys from girls around 2nd grade) for a year.
  • For Middle School:  enlist a leader 8-12 for 90 minutes a week for multiple years.
  • For High School: Enlist a leader for 8-12 boys or girls for 120+ minutes a week for multiple years.

“Kids’ faith is on the line…this is why it’s important for you to show up every week.”—Adam Duckworth

2. Respond to what matters most

  • Preschool— Embrace their physical needs by giving them what they need now.
  • Elementary— Engage their interests by being ready and knowing what they like.
  • Middle School— Affirm their journey by creating a safe place for meaningful dialogue.
  • High School— Mobilize their potential by providing consistent opportunities to serve.

We believe that kids and teenagers will go be the church when they leave us when we give them opportunities to be the church when they’re with us.

3. Find the right rhythm

  • Preschool— Keep things moving in predictable and physical ways.
  • Elementary—Keep mixing things up in predictable but flexible ways.
  • Middle School—Keep changing things in predictably unpredictable ways.
  • High School—Keep changing things in thought provoking ways.

4. Tell the BEST stories

  • Preschool—Amaze them with stories to capture their imagination about God.
  • Elementary—Engage them with stories that evoke a response to follow Jesus.
  • Middle School—Connect stories and scripture to reflect God’s story of redemption.
  • High School—Clarify stories and scripture to compel a lifelong adventure to love God and make Christ known.

5. Stick with ONE idea

  • Preschool—Reinforce one monthly idea that shapes ow they see God.
  • Elementary—Reinforce one weekly idea to inspire them to follow Jesus and reflect His image.
  • Middle School—Reinforce a core truth and key questions that help them redefine their faith.
  • High School—Reinforce a core truth and key principles that fuel their personal faith and ministry.

It’s really easy to get complicated….it’s really complicated to keep it simple.

6. Keep having fun

  • Preschool—Keep it mess and give everyone a role
  • Elementary—Keep them guessing and let them win something.
  • Middle School—Keep it messy and Spotlight what they can do as a team.
  • High School—Keep it alive with humor that incorporates sarcasm, spoofs and sketches.

Have you ever been to a bad party? What did you want to do?  LEAVE and not come back!

7. Cue every parent.

This is not a one-size fits all…you have to hit them from every direction.

  • Preschool: Cue parents to reinforce key ideas during routine family times.
  • Elementary: Cue parents to reinforce key ideas during routine family times.
  • Middle School: Cue parents to reinforce key ideas during routine family times.
  • High School: Cue parents to reinforce key ideas during routine family times.

Because routine family times looks different at every phase.

8. Turn them towards others

Teach them that church is not about “them”… It’s about loving neighbors as yourself.

  • Preschool—Prompt them to share and help.
  • Elementary—Rotate kids to serve each other (especially 4th-5th grade) give them the opportunity to BE the church, not just come to the church.
  • Middle School—Enlist middle schoolers to serve along side of adults and parents.
  • High School—Enlist teenagers to serve weekly to develop a personal ministry inside and outside the church.

Phases are short and brief, don’t miss your opportunity to utilize them.

Jeremy Holbrook is the pastor for children’s ministries at Wildwood Church in Ashland, Kentucky.

 

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