Inside Look at Our 2016 Kid's Ministry Staff Retreat (Pt.1)

Twice a year, I take our children's ministry staff on a retreat.  One is held in January as we prepare for a new year of ministry and one is held in the summer as we prepare for the fall season of ministry.

We just finished up our 2016 summer staff retreat last week.  The word God had given me for this retreat was "Thirsty" from Isaiah 44:3 that says, "I will pour water on him who is thirsty."

We talked about staying thirsty for God to move in our personal lives and in our ministry.

The retreat featured 5 sessions plus a fun team building activity in the afternoon.  Today I'll share the notes from the first 3 sessions and share the final two tomorrow.  

Session 1 - Thirsty for Personal Growth

James & Lisa Duvall
(James is the the Executive Director of Ministries at our church and Lisa is the Director of Women's Programs)

  • Take care of yourself physically.  Your physical body is connected to your spiritual body.  If we are not physically strong, we will be emotionally and spiritually weak.
  • Read - leaders are readers.
  • Stay curious.  Ask why.
  • Just like Jesus kept growing, we need to keep growing. (Luke 2:52) 
  • Spend more time on your character than on your gifts and talents. 
  • Be the best version of yourself instead of trying to become someone else.
  • Nothing changes if nothing changes
  • Grow in your favor with others. 
  • Be a note taker.
  • Growth is painful but always worth it.
  • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Not planning is a plan itself. 
  • Don't become complacent in your comfort zone. 
  • Stay teachable. 
  • Make peace with people right away. 
  • Expect pain.  It's part of growth. 
  • Work on being likeable.
  • Strive to be a peacemaker. 
  • Become good at being a conversation starter.
  • Grow in favor with God through reading His Word and prayer.
  • Work on your spiritual disciplines. 
  • Challenge yourself daily.
  • Commit to excercise. 
  • Don't take offense at every little comment. 
  • Learn to be still. 

Session 2 - Thirsty for Volunteers

Frank Bealer
(Director of Ministries at Elevation Church)

  • Follow up with volunteers when they miss and let them know you missed them.  This includes when you know they are going to be gone (example - vacation).
  • High retention of volunteers is centered on making it personal.
  • Have your coordinators take snacks to the volunteers in the room.
  • Take good care of staff and volunteers' kids. 
  • Contact at least 3 volunteers a week.
  • Communicate the ministries' values to volunteers and have them memorize them. 
  • When the lines between staff and volunteers is blurred, you have become effective. 
  • Identify leaders you can call up to lead other volunteers. 
  • Provide every volunteer with a clear job description.
  • Encourage volunteers individually.
  • Schedule random times to thank volunteers.
  • Give your volunteers a voice.  Provide them with ways to give you feedback.
  • Embrace your limitations.
  • Your core values should guide your decision making.
  • Thank your volunteers when you don't have to.
  • Get to know your volunteers personally.
  • People want to be known and loved. 
  • Meet with your volunteers when you don't need anything from them. 
  • Help your volunteers see why they are doing what they are doing. 
  • Send your volunteers a text message to let them know you are thinking about them and don't ask for anything. 

Session 3 - Thirsty for Outreach

Allyson Evans
Next Gen Director at Life Church

  • Make sure you are personally reaching out to people and inviting them to church. 
  • Keep a commitment to excellence.
  • Tell stories.  Develop a story-telling culture.
  • Keep your relationship with God fresh.
  • Treat every weekend, every service, like it's your first. 
  • Don't seclude yourself.
  • Stay refreshed in Jesus.
  • Put people over tasks by giving the tasks to people.
  • Every weekend is your Super Bowl.
  • Remember why and when God called you into ministry.
  • Our role is to put people before ourselves.
  • No matter how large your church's just a micro percentage of the number of people who are still lost.  Be a micro church with a mega vision.
  • Keep your eyes open to people's needs. 
  • Write down what God is teaching you and reflect on it. 
  • Pay attention and listen to what God is doing around you.
  • Replace yourself.
  • Walk slowly through the crowd and connect with kids and families.
  • Be intentional about finding and telling stories. 
  • Identify what you can give away.
Stay tuned for sessions 4 & 5 tomorrow.  Have a great day.