There’s 168 hours in the week, and the families who attend our churches only spend 1 of them with us—if that! And that’s not even to mention all of the families who don’t attend our church. With so much of life being lived outside of Sunday (and outside our church walls), doesn’t it make sense we’d want to show up for kids, students, and their parents in both random and predictable ways?
Today on The Pod, we talk about how church staff and small group leaders can elevate community outside the four walls of the church. First, Tom Shefchunas (Shef) unpacks the Lead Small principle of Be Present. Then we’re joined by Kellen Moore who shares some (often humorous) stories from his own ministry, practical steps we can all take to show up in our communities, and why being authentic is more important than being perfect.
Welcome to Episode 46 of the Think Orange Podcast!
Tom Shefchunas unpacks the Lead Small principle of Be Present (9:20)
As an SGL, you’ve got to show up . . .
Being present allows us to connect the faith of our few to a community (13:24)
Dave interviews Kellen Moore (13:51)
Kellen tells about a time he stepped out to connect with families outside of Sunday . . . dressed like the Cat in the Hat (15:13)
You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to be present (18:41)
How to “show up” in a kid’s home environment (23:05)
Getting introductory conversations started with parents inside and outside the church (24:08)
Leveraging technology to Be Present in the lives of your few (28:19)
The importance of knowing what’s happening in kids’ and students’ homes (30:45)
Showing up in the social circles of your few (33:50)
Partnering with schools in your community by asking the question, “How can I help make your school even better?” (36:16)
One practical step leaders can take this week to partner with parents in their church (38:35)
Dave and Ashley’s final thoughts (41:47)
Ashley shares her own experiences of showing up randomly (42:54)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Blog: Orange Leaders – a blog with strategies, tips and ideas from leaders influencing the faith and character of the next generation
Tom is the Director of Strategy at Orange. Tom also co-wrote Lead Small with Reggie Joiner, a resource for children and student small group leaders. Tom and his wife Julie live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children.
Kellen is a self-proclaimed comedian, speaker and Middle School Pastor at Eastlake Church. Kellen lives in San Diego, California.
Quotes from This Episode
”Your Click To Tweet start to associate the ministry with your face. ” username=”coachshef”]You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to be present. Click To TweetKids will follow your example, not your opinion. Click To Tweet
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
We’ve all seen that look of surprise on a kid’s face when we’ve shown up randomly. “Wait, you’re here to see me?” After all, many middle and high school students aren’t use to adults showing up in their worlds who aren’t obligated to do so. Especially for older students, don’t be shocked if your presence is initially met with scrutiny. What if our goal was to be present in their world often enough that their response shifted from, “What are you doing here?” to, “I’m so glad you could come!”
Being present isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. In order to build a strong connection with a kid and their parents, you’ll need to show up over and over again just to lay a foundation. And don’t be afraid to let parents, and even the kid or student, know you intend to be there for them on a regular basis.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
Why is being authentic more important than being perfect? How have we seen this play out in our own lives?
On a scale of 1–5, how successful are we at using the church’s 1 hour a week on Sunday as a launch pad for further connection the other 167 hours?
What opportunities exist for us to volunteer at or to assist public schools in our community?
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.