As a ministry leader, you spend a lot of time thinking about what messages your kids, students, and volunteers hear within your ministry. What if you could multiply your impact by working in sync with the age-graded ministries on either ends of yours? After all, if you’re not careful, what you do, the next person can undo or vice versa.
That’s why today’s episode of the Pod focuses on an aligned messaging strategy for families and volunteers. First, Orange’s own Frank Bealer joins us as he shares three big ideas for Refining the Message. Then Ashley and guest host Dan Scott interview Nina Schmidgall from National Community Church (NCC) on principles related to aligning volunteers and parents in a transient culture.
Welcome to Episode 55 of the Think Orange Podcast.
Having one voice across your entire family ministry is important for having team-wide expectations and standards (7:08)
Frank Bealer talks about Refining the Message across your family ministry (8:46)
Say less (10:48)
Say what matters (13:41)
Say it clearer (20:55)
Dan Scott and Ashley interview Nina Schmidgall (23:58)
Explanation of National Community Church’s multi-site model (27:43)
Family ministry in a transient culture (31:33)
NCC’s volunteer recruitment and assimilation rhythms (36:22)
If we can retain our volunteers, we can do less work to recruit new ones (41:02)
Achieving one voice across a family ministry team, as well as in a multi-site model (42:45)
Dave and Ashley’s final thoughts (45:42)
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
Frank Bealer is executive director of Leadership Development at The reThink Group and the CEO of Phase Family Centers. Frank is the author of The Myth of Balance: Thriving in the Tension of Ministry, Work, and Life. Before joining Orange, he was family pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is driven to helping leaders develop to their full potential. Frank and his wife, Jess, have four children.
Nina Schmidgall serves as director of family ministry at National Community Church in Washington, DC. She originally moved from California to the nation’s capital to serve as a legislative director in the House of Representatives. Writing and directing education and family policy, Nina realized her deep passion for strengthening the family and the home. She now oversees the family ministry department and children’s programs at NCC’s seven locations. Nina and her husband, Joel, live on Capitol Hill with their three small kids: Eloise, Ezekiel and Lorenza.
Dan Scott is the Large Group Director for 252 Basics Group at Orange. He spends most of his time leading a creative team of talented writers that innovate our large group environments. Prior to coming on board at Orange, Dan served as the Elementary Children’s Director at Ada Bible Church. He enjoys traveling around the world coaching children’s ministry leaders and speaking to kids and students. He blogs about life and ministry at danscottblog.com. Dan and his wife Jenna live in Cumming, GA and have four amazing kids: Liam, Ellison, Addison, and Taye.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
If your age-graded ministries have been working on their own to create messaging and bottom lines, you might wonder if it’s worth it to try to get everyone on the same page now. The truth is, while coordinating schedules, aligning strategies, and maybe even creating new content will require investments in time and energy, the dividends will be high. Here are three ways your team and the families you serve can benefit from one voice in your family ministry:
It prevents having to reinvent the wheel.
If everything that happens in your ministry builds from one phase to the next, kids will bring with them the foundational information necessary for the next thing. It’s kind of like teaching kids how to put on shoes. First, it’s just about getting them on the correct feet. Then, they’re ready to tie the laces. Eventually, one day, they go to the store and pick out the shoes they want to wear.
It helps parents think with the end in mind.
When parents begin to recognize a sequence in your messaging, they can tie their conversations at home to the irreducible minimums being taught at church. For example, when a parent of a preschooler knows that “God loves me no matter what” will someday connect to their child better understanding forgiveness as a high schooler, a simple conversation at bedtime becomes a life-changing dialogue over time.
It reinforces what matters most.
An aligned messaging strategy reinforces for families and volunteers what matters most. Rather than kids transitioning to the next ministry and thinking the stuff they were taught before doesn’t matter anymore, they can instead see how what they believed in the past can be owned in a fresh way as they mature and their lives often become more complicated.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
What are the irreducible minimums (bottom lines) we want kids and students to know before transitioning out of our ministries? What about before high school graduation?
Who is responsible for deciding and communicating these irreducible minimums? How can our entire family ministries staff support one another in thinking with the end in mind?
Are there felt needs we avoid talking about because they make us uncomfortable or they’re not on our radar?
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.