More from the Orange Atlanta Tour from a session with a panel of leaders: Stuart Hall, Sue Miller, Carey Nieuwhof, and Reggie Joiner. (Notes taken by Barbara)
They all sat with their copies of the State of the Church and Family resource. This panel walked us through some staggering statistics about the church and family.
– 55% of the unchurched have been to church at least once for something other than a funeral or a wedding. This is huge, because the unchurched have attended your church, and the BAD news is that they didn’t want to come back.
– Carey N. told us to “not declare victory too soon. Because when we look at the community around us, we have a lot of work to do.” My ministry might be growing and doing great, but the reality is that there are hundreds of families with preschoolers that aren’t going to church anywhere.
– 45% of church parents who have had recent church experience said the leaders of the church have made the church’s expectations of parents ‘very’ clear. What a huge challenge to me as a leader of families, that more than half of the families don’t even have clear expectations put on them.
o There has to be “clear and compelling vision for parent ministry.”
o Communication is the key to giving this vision.
• The staff HAS to work together. Everyone has to be communicating the same thing. Use the SAME words and phrases.
– The questions was asked about Senior pastors not being on board with the Orange strategy and the struggle that will come from this.
o Sue Miller did a great job teaching us to LEAD UP.
• “Be in it for the long hall.” Don’t give up in the process.
• “Make sure you do your homework and build a case.” Don’t just come to the pastor with emotions, come with the facts and be ready to give it.
• “You have to build a relationship with the senior leaders.” Give them a tour of your area and tell them stories and share with them what is really going on.
• GOAL: Understand principles not a program. “Don’t die for the program, die for the principle.” – Reggie Joiner
– How do we take the vision to the parents?
o Use the platforms that you already have!
• Baby Dedication, Transition from Elementary to Middle School, and Middle to High School.
• Use the Parenting Beyond Your Capacity (oh yeah, we got one of these for free too) book in adult small groups.
• Constant, Clear, Strategic, and Excellent communication
• “Vision leaks” – Sue Miller
– A stat was shown that as students get into the junior and senior years of high school, the number of students drops tremendously.
o “Unless there is a ‘relational anchor’ the kids will choose otherwise.” Get them involved. RELATIONAL drives the decisions.
After the first two sessions, and a TON of information, we broke for lunch provided by Chick-fil-a. There were a LOT of great conversations that took place around the tables while people ate. I overheard lots of talk about how they were going to this or that differently. It was great to hear how people were already applying what they had just learned with other teammates that were with them.