By Tom Fox
One of the exhilarating tasks of any leader is navigating change and transition. I’ve had the privilege over my 20 years of ministry experience leading several churches and ministries through a strategic change that has resulted in growth and a renewed focus on families. Recently my move landed me in a great church located in the rolling hills and horse farms of central Florida. Our motto is “whoever wants this generation the most will have them.” It’s not only a motto, but also a strong determination to do whatever is necessary to reach and disciple this generation. To do that you must first have an effective strategy and in my opinion there is nothing out there greater than Orange.
With that said there are a few things that stand out as we made the transition to implement Orange across all of our Next Gen ministries and unite our efforts into a world changing team that is now poised to make a lasting impact on families, the church, and our city.
Is it in you? In order for your team to catch it, it has to be in you. Anytime you are building a new culture you have to be the culture you are trying to implement. I think one of the beautiful things about Orange is the ability for anyone to grasp the concepts and then become “orange agents” without much effort. Orange makes it easy! Knowing the language and being able to communicate effectively is a key to moving your ministries through any transition. This will also help you move to the next step of creating a sense of urgency.
Start Slow. I began by planting seeds into the team for using Orange as our comprehensive strategy. I think one of the greatest things we can do is create a sense of urgency in our team by casting vision and helping them see the need and reason why there must be change. One of the easiest ways to do that is ask questions. Walking around your areas and asking questions like:
- Why do we do that?
- How can we make it better?
- Where did that idea come from?
These simple questions can open the door for you to share all the benefits that using First Look, 252, and Xp3 can provide. You have heard it said that if “we do the same things we have always done we will get the same results we have always got.” That is certainly true and most often they might have slowly landed in a place of comfort and security, but God wants to use you to shake things up by creating a sense of urgency and moving forward in creating that partnership between the church and the home.
Realize it takes time. Building your team and allowing them to process over a few months produces long-term benefits. It also permits them time to get their hands on it, view it, mess with it, and allow the Orange magic to work. Allow your team time to pray, process, and prove that it will work. When they see it for themselves it takes it to a whole new level. Ownership creates a new level of creativity.
Plan it and align it. A great strategy without a plan is just a great idea. In order for your team to move forward you have to put together a plan that is achievable. A key focus for us was aligning our entire Next Gen team. The synergy that has been created by bringing everyone from babies to young adults together has been amazing. We started doing that through three C’s:
Communication is vital and so it’s important to create a plan to communicate the changes and also keep the vision fresh. We did this by:
- A weekly communication to our team, our leaders and a social media push we call the #FistBump.
- A weekly connect time with our leaders before our experiences. We ask our leaders to come 45 minutes early so we can communicate, connect and increase their capacity. It’s also a great time to pray with and for our leaders and students.
- Monthly Power Meetings. We started encouraging our team to read a book and then we send a monthly review of a chapter or book that they can use with their teams.
- Quarterly training videos. Each quarter we have each team member within Next Gen do a 5-minute training video covering their area and then ask every leader in Next Gen to view at least two of them each quarter.
- Bi-Annual events. Our goal is to do two over the top amazing events for our leaders across Next Gen that help train, but also help encourage them in their roles. The goal here is increasing their leadership capacity.
I’d love to hear what you’re doing to lead through transition and change. We want this generation.
Tom Fox is a husband, father of two and Next Generation Pastor at Meadowbrook Church