How do you impact a child’s life and faith forever? Give them a caring leader and a predictable and safe community where they can grow spiritually.
On today’s episode of the podcast, Reggie Joiner tells us why having two combined influences in the life of a child is the best way to impact their lifelong faith. Then, we’re joined by Tom Shefchunas as he talks about practical ways for Small Group Leaders to leverage influence and build relationships with their few.
Welcome to Episode 005 of the Think Orange Podcast.
Reggie talks about what community means (2:00)
What makes someone grow spiritually? (6:13)
When you elevate community, you do something the community isn’t doing (8:00)
Speak the truth in love (16:00)
Ashley Interviews Tom Shefchunas (16:20)
Tom’s definition of a Small Group Leader (17:10)
Teenagers walking away from faith: the real tension all churches feel (19:00)
Five big ideas for SGLs (20:10)
Be the adult you want your child to be one day (23:25)
How do you get someone to commit for an entire season? (27:17)
Dave shares available resources (36:45)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Tom Shefchunas’ website
Lead Small by Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas
Reggie is founder and CEO of Orange (The reThink Group). He has co-written three parenting books, Don’t Miss It, Playing for Keeps and Parenting Beyond Your Capacity as well as other leadership books including A New Kind of Leader and Think Orange. Reggie lives in Georgia with his wife, Debbie, and has four grown children, Reggie Paul, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebekah.
Tom is the North Point Ministries Multi-Campus Director of Transit (Middle School). Tom’s passion involves working with campus directors and their teams, as well as recruiting and developing the hundreds of volunteer small group leaders it takes to pull off Transit at the five churches of North Point Ministries. He is the co-founder of Uthmin.net, a place for middle school ministers to gather. 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, Mac, Joey and Cooper.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
1. The Church Can Do Something Culture Can’t
The truth is this: You can spends thousands of dollars to create an experience for kids, but culture will come along and outspend you 1000 to 1 to create a better community and more exciting experience.
But… what culture can’t do that you can is recruit people who care. The church can bring other adults into the lives of kids who care deeply about who they are and who they’ll become. Culture can’t and culture won’t do that. That’s why the church should leverage its unique advantage by choosing to lead small.
2. SGL: A Simple Definition for a Huge Role
Small Group Leaders are at the core of leading small. Tom gave us a simple and powerful job description: Someone who chooses a few kids, walks with them for a season and influences them overtime. This is leading small. It’s doing for a few what you wish you could do for many. It’s where heart transformation happens.
It’s tempting to want to lead big and not lead small. Because as leaders, we want to measure our success by how many people show up. But success isn’t measured in crowd size, it’s measured by what happens in the heart.
3. The 5 Things SGLs Must Do
Be Present: Showing up consistently tells kids you care. When they know you care, you’ll have more leverage and influence.
Create a safe place. Every kid needs a place where they can talk about their life with someone—who isn’t their parents—about what they’re going through.
Partner with parents. Parents are the most influential people in a child’s life, if you’re not partnering with them then you’re missing a huge opportunity. We talked about this in-depth with Reggie Joiner and Sherry Surratt on Episode 003, listen now.
Make it personal. Kids connect when they can relate it back to their lives.
Move them out. We don’t want kids just to come to church, we want them to become the church.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
SGL Application: Tom gave us five things SGLs must do. Of that list, which one are you doing the best at and which one do you think you could improve on?
Personal Application: How can I better become the adult I want my child or kids in my small group to become?
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’ll be back next week with a new episode featuring Reggie Joiner and an interview with Kara Powell, the Executive Director of Fuller Youth Institute, as they share about service.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.