When you’re a start-up church, there are a million details to think about before you can even open your doors. It can be tempting to start by creating places for adults to worship. But what if you could make a greater impact by turning your energy toward a strategy that keeps the entire family in mind?
Today on the Think Orange Podcast, Brian White shares some principles we can learn from Disney that can be applied to our family ministry environments. Then Geoff Surratt joins us in the bunker for a conversation about what all churches—but especially start-ups—can do to implement successful family ministries.
Welcome to Episode 42 of the Think Orange Podcast!
Lessons from Disney with Brian White (8:55)
How Walt Disney came to the idea for Disney Land (9:00)
Churches have to deliberately design environments where parents and children can experience Jesus together (11:10)
Honor the past without living in it (11:28)
Ways the Disney Company has innovated over the past few decades (14:20)
A story of a time Disney missed an opportunity because they didn’t embrace the future (17:41)
The costs of choosing to live in the past (22:45)
Interview with Geoff Surratt (24:20)
What successful churches are doing in implementing their family ministries (25:30)
How nextgen leaders can lean into senior leaders to help them catch the vision for family ministry (26:45)
Getting to know your community before planting a church (31:39)
The biggest issues church planters often face in the first months (34:11)
Standards of excellence should be scalable (39:43) Dave and Ashley’s final thoughts (43:17)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Event: The Orange Conference 2018
Brian White is the senior manager of Product Integration at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. He also works attends and serves at Discovery Church.
Geoff Surratt helps churches across the country in strategic planning, teaching and staff development. Geoff previously was the Managing Director of Exponential, led the church planting and multisite ministry of Saddleback Church and served Seacoast Church as Executive Pastor overseeing their 13 campuses.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
When you’re planting a church, it’s easy to get caught up in the physical details of the process like finding a location, outfitting environments, and hiring staff. It’s easy to measure a start-up by its numbers. But now is a great time to gather before-and-after stories.
Stories are the fuel that keeps ministry leaders moving forward.
That’s why you always want to keep your eyes open for what’s happening around you. But you don’t have to wait for the stories to come to you—choose strategic times to invite people to tell you their stories. Maybe during a holiday like Christmas or Easter, or at the end of the school year. Once you’ve gathered these stories, find appropriate times to share them with your staff, volunteers, and the wider church.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
What’s our Mickey Mouse—the thing we need evaluate and change over time in order to appeal to today’s audience?
Is there an area we’ve allowed the pursuit of excellence to get in the way of being effective? If so, what is it?
What’s a step we can take this week to get to know the community we serve better?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.
Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.