We’ve all felt the Monday morning dread. I don’t want to go to work today, maybe I should just quit? The truth is this: Your calling to ministry is incredibly important and changing the world. The church needs you, and it needs you to not give up on it when you’re having a bad day or month or year.
Today on the podcast, we’re hearing from Tom Shefchunas as he schools us on boundaries and what they mean for ministry leaders. A life where we embrace boundaries is a life where we don’t always want to quit our jobs. Then, we interview Jessica Bealer and Gina McClain and get tips from their new book, Don’t Quit. And yes, confrontation roleplaying is involved.
We hope this episode encourages you to embrace boundaries, have the hard conversations you’ve been avoiding, and most importantly… enjoy Monday mornings again.
Ashley and Dave introduce today’s topics. (1:10)
Tom Shefchunas on boundaries. (4:25)
God wants us to start (and finish) the race well. (6:25)
Our tension in ministry. (8:15)
What is the definition of boundaries? (10:00)
- Who we are so we know who we’re not (10:35)
- Boundaries give us clarity (11:55)
- Boundaries help us say yes and no (12:20)
- Boundaries help us know when to confront and when to let go (12:50)
The three reasons we fear boundaries. (14:20)
Boundaries are a stewardship issue. (17:40)
If your ministry needs more than 50 hours a week, then you aren’t building a wise ministry. (18:55)
Dave and Sarah kick off the interview and introduce us to Jessica Bealer and Gina McClain. (19:35)
Where the idea for Don’t Quit came from. (23:15)
How do you practically move away from feeling like you want to quit every Monday morning? (26:15)
Using grace as justification. (29:20)
Gina and Jessica working through an example of grace-filled confrontation. (32:20)
Keeping someone’s best interest at heart. (34:15)
Making overlying rules for underlying problems. (35:30)
Gina and Jessica work through an example of having tough conversations. (36:30)
By leaning into hard conversations, you are actively shaping your culture. (41:20)
The three leadership postures. (42:30)
How do you start well? (47:40)
Dave and Ashley’s final thoughts. (51:05)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Don’t Quit by Jessica Bealer and Gina McClain
Boundaries by John Townson and Henry Cloud
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’s passion involves working with campus directors and their teams. 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.
Jessica Bealer has been leading children’s ministry for 17 years, the last five of which she spent overseeing standards, systems, staffing, and atmosphere for the children’s ministry of Elevation Church. She has managed the launch of nearly 20 locations and is considered a specialist in kidmin multisite. She and her husband, Frank, have four children and together founded FamilyMinistry.Church.
Gina McClain is a speaker, writer & Children’s Ministry Director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, TN. Her marriage to Kyle McClain keeps her marginally sane while their 3 kids (Keegan, Josie and Connor) keep her from taking herself too seriously. Her driving motivator is to lead Christ-followers to embrace and foster ministry in their home.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
We don’t like boundaries because we fear them.
We fear the loss of love, wrath, and hurting someone. We don’t want to be rejected so we cross our own boundaries. We don’t want people to be mad at us, so we don’t confront them when they’ve crossed our boundaries. We don’t want to hurt someone, so we don’t speak up for our needs.
Decide that you’re not going to quit (on a good day).
If you wait until the day when things come crashing down to decide if you’ll leave or stay, you’ll probably make the wrong decision. Decide before the hard days that you are not going to quit.
Ministry and confrontation go hand-in-hand.
It’s our job as ministry leaders to say no, enforce boundaries and have hard conversations. People will be mad at you sometimes, but it’s okay. By leaning into hard conversations—instead of fearing them—you are actively shaping your culture.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
What boundaries are non-negotiable? For both yourself and your ministry volunteers?
How can you tell the difference between a confrontation that’s coming from a place of grace and love and one that’s coming from a place of resentment?
What tough conversations have you avoided in the past? What system can your staff team put in place to make sure those conversations aren’t avoided in the future?
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.