Mark Driscoll, a pastor of a multi-campus church in Seattle, recently wrote an article giving his insight on leadership development. He defined the following steps as being invaluable to those leaders who find themselves out ahead of their team, in over their head, and/or tired and frustrated:
–Accept that Leadership is Lonely
Leaders are those that build community, so more times than not, they are the ones who find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to having true peers and true community. As a leader, there is always some level of distance between you and those you lead.
-Use silence and solitude to write down what you need.
Use the energy you have to write down exactly what you need. You are the only one that really knows what you need. Leaders often do not practice sufficient times of silence and solitude. These times can be invaluable to working on your life rather than staying in the office working in it only to become unhealthy, angry, and burned out.
–Pray for God to go before you act.
Most leaders are doers and pushers. This means our first instinct when an opportunity or an obstacle arises is to do more and push our team to do more. Instead, the first thing we should do is pray.
–Emotionally wait for your team to catch up.
Don’t default to self-centered contempt and assume that you have failed as a leader because you are lonely. Instead, prayerfully and patiently wait for your team to catch up. Give them time to see what you see, feel what you feel, and know what you know.
–Teach your team.
Get your heart lined up with God in prayer first, then lovingly walk alongside your team by teaching them to see what you see, feel what you feel, and know what you know so that together you can do what you need to do by being who you need to be.
–As a last resort, use a sanctified shove.
Sometimes, when the previous five steps have been followed, there simply needs to be a sanctified shove to get people focused on their task and faithful to it.
As I read through those points, I couldn’t help but think about relationships. It is all about relationships. They are one of the most important resources you have as a leader. It is also important that these principles be followed in succession. You obviously have to accept your role as a leader before moving to understanding what your goals and vision will be; you and your team must be on the same page before you can effectively teach them and guide them. All of these principles work together, and if you take one out of sync with the others, things can quickly move south. How are you applying these principles with those that you lead?
I have a great son. Jordan is a committed Christ follower, committed to his college church, great student, works hard, and never asks for money. I feel so privileged to be able to say these things about my son. He has a great mom! All these things make me proud and the last one makes me smile. Jordan’s senior year of high school when he ask me if he could go somewhere, a party, someone’s house, I had a standard answer. “Sure, you have never given me a reason not to trust you. Don’t make today that day.” When we would talk I would tell him, “Trust is easy to get but hard to get back.”
Think about it.
We assume the best out of people. It’s our nature, part of our DNA. We want to believe the best about people and we do. However, when that trust is broken it takes a long time to build back: the spouse who was cheated on, the friend that told something you shared in confidence.
Great leaders must be people of integrity and integrity starts with trust. It is free, but losing it can cost you everything.
Degrassi: The Next Generation: set in Toronto, Ontario, and based on a 1980s show, high school students experience the realities of abuse, romance, homosexuality, sex, and addictions.
iCarly: Carly lives with her twenty-six year old brother, Spencer, and produces her own web casts (kid-generated scripts) from a studio in the attic of her home because she wants to be a good role model for kids and teens.
Wizards of Waverly Place: Wizards of Waverly Place follows Alex, Justin, and Max, just normal kids to everyone else, but are actually wizards in training. They use their powers to do most of their tasks. Even though they all train
and study, once they turn 18, only one of them will get to
keep their wizardly powers.
Sonny with a Chance: Sonny is a 15-year old who becomes a star after some producers in Hollywood find her internet film. This show watches the effects of her fame and fortune on her life.
JONAS:This show includes the three Jonas brothers and the crazy events that occur in their lives. This includes events like interactions with their fans and even double dates.
What do we do with this?
1. Pull illustrations from the shows that they are watching if an applicable one arises. Don’t know if it’s the right story to use or how to present it? Check out 5 Tips for Effective Stories.
2. Know what they are watching. Questions about right and wrong or what God would want you to do may arise, as these shows present some racy ideas that children will most likely struggle with in their minds. Watch these shows! They don’t have to be all you watch, or even the majority, but just a show or two a week will keep you current in what they are watching.
3. Know that kids are being influenced by these. Scary, I know, but for you to be completely relevant, we have to know what they are watching and learning and how that lines up with the Word of God. All of them are presenting more adult ideas to younger children, which is something that is pretty new to the entertainment scene. Kids are growing up faster than ever. Be ready.
Yes, but unfortunately the Centrikid backpack presale has come and gone!! For our first time selling a camp store item prior to the summer, we had a great response. In all, we had 53 churches order a total of 986 backpacks! We are just as excited as these groups are to have over 900 campers show up at camp with a bag in hand.
There were several ideas mentioned about how group leaders plan to use the bags upon receiving them in May. A couple leaders said they want to get the children’s names printed on the bags for easy identification. What a great personal touch! Another group plans to put the church name on the bags. Several leaders mentioned that they are getting a bag for everyone in their group to make it easier for kids to keep up with their Bibles and QT guides.
My favorite idea of the bunch was the idea to order a dozen bags and offer them to the first 12 children to sign up for camp. What a great way to motivate families to register now for camp instead of waiting till the last minute! The best thing about that idea is, sure 12 kids from that church will have a bag before camp, but the others in the group can still buy one when they get to camp! CentriKid Backpacks…still for sale at a camp near you! (while supplies last) Check this out to see what other items will be in the camp store this summer!
Enjoy this video of the CentriKid Camp Directors and Assistant Directors for this summer.
Still, in engaging these various elements of culture, where is the healthy balance?
Personally, I feel that it is important for Christians to be familiar with the culture so that we can employ it as a tool for sharing the Gospel. There are almost always redeemable elements!
Do not misunderstand. I am not suggesting that you ought to take your children, nieces, and nephews out to see Shutter Island…I am merely suggesting that, within the context of ministry, it is wise to recognize that, like it or not, children are exposed to the culture, and if we are not at least familiar with the elements of society, then we have no means by which to engage and redeem it.
Is a love for the World or a love for the Gospel informing the way you approach ministry and carry out your life?
Kids are interacting with the culture of the world. In the case of High School Musical, I watch it because I like it and because I know kids are watching it, and I want to be able to relate to them as I seek to build relationships and share the Gospel.
One of our camp friends, Jared, shared recently that his church is taking OMC on an Egg Hunt! That’s right… they are kicking of the Easter Season with an Egg Hunt version of the camp favorite, Organized Mass Chaos. Jared Norris, Minister to Children at Simpsonville Baptist Church says,
“We are going to use the game as part of our Easter Egg Hunt. We place [the tasks] inside eggs and have teams work together to complete as many tasks as possible just like the game. When they complete the task they take their egg to their station. Everything is basically the same [as the real OMC] except the tasks are placed within the easter eggs. We are going to do the clean version inside our gym because of the weather and the community not realizing it would be messy. I’d hate to disappoint parents because we got nice clothes dirty. For us this serves 2 purposes: 1) attract more older elementary kids to the egg hunt 2) promote for camp by using the game.
By the way, because you have to READ tasks in the game, we are doing it for 2nd-5th grade and the birth-1st graders are doing a traditional egg hunt. Anyway, its just an idea. I hope it helps other churches.”
There is nothing quite like traveling in a van for 3 or 4 hours with 15-20 of your favorite 3rd-6th graders! It makes for a very long day, but those memories are sure to last for a lifetime. We do, however, want to make that day as easy as possible for you and here are some tips that we’ve picked up along the way. Please feel free to comment and add your suggestions!
1. We recommend filling up your vehicles with gas the night before departure. Saves some time and headaches on your immediate departure.
2. It is always handy to put an atlas or map in each vehicle. You want to make sure if your group gets lost, they can find their way to campus or the next pit stop. Or just strategically place an individual with an iPhone in every van. That works too!
3. Cell phones are a great tool, but we’ve found it may be a good idea to put a two-way radio in each of your vehicles. That way, you are always able to communicate within close proximity (usually a mile or two) without worrying about losing your signal, etc.
4. Plan to arrive on campus between the registration hours posted for your specific week of camp. We do not begin placing campers in tracks until everyone has arrived on campus and everyone does have an equal chance to get their #1 choice, so in other words, there are no advantages to arriving early. In some cases, we will contact you prior to the summer to ask if you can arrive between a specific time window.
5. Make sure you have TWO PARTICIPANT FORMSfor EVERY PERSON that is coming to camp. Only ONE form needs to be notarized. That is the copy you’ll turn in at Camp Registration. That is the only documentation you’ll need to turn over to us. We will take care of the rest!
6. Plan your stops in advance. This includes where you’ll stop for lunch, possible gas stations, bathroom breaks (if needed).
7. Upon arrival, our staff will greet you and give you instructions on what to do next. Just look for the CentriKid banners and crazy, energetic staffers that will all be in matching T-shirts!
8. Make sure you have the phone number for your camp director handy (Found in your GROUP LEADER INFORMATION). We suggest storing that number into your address book, so in the event of an emergency or delay, you are able to contact that camp director immediately. PLEASE keep our staff informed of any delays or changes to your travel schedule so we can be ready for you and expedite your check-in as much as possible.
Getting ready for camp is more than completing forms and paying money. It’s more than packing the suitcase and assigning roommates. The spiritual element of camp preparation can really set up your group for an incredible, life-changing week! Begin now by praying specifically for your kids who will attend camp. Pray that the message would be clear to them. Pray that the Lord would place just the right people on their team and in their track times. Pray for the preparation of our CentriKid Staff as they plan to teach…
Once you arrive at camp, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with just your group every night. This is a GREAT time to see what kids have been learning at camp and drive home the spiritual truths introduced in Bible Study. Click on the picture above to download this year’s Church Group Devotion guide. Here are some important steps to take once you download:
1. Read thru the guide several times… if you walk in prepared, it’ll pay off big time!
2. Make a list of all the supplies you’ll need, and bring what you can with you to camp.
3. Add your own personal touch! Maybe there’s a game that your kids LOVE – incorporate it into your group time one night. Maybe you want to add “secret encouragers” who write notes of encouragement to one another, or even letters from home that can be delivered at camp. We could go on and on… in fact, COMMENT and let us know what IDEAS you have for adding to church group time at camp!
Group Leaders, We are so excited that you will be joining us at camp soon! Don’t forget to email us your participant list so we can be ready for your arrival. In the fun of camp being right around the corner, here are the top 5 things to be excited about at camp, along with some frequently asked questions about the participant list.
FAQs…about the Participant List
Why is it so important?
How early should I send it?
As soon as you can, but no later than 2 weeks prior to your arrival at camp.
***If you will be attending July 5-9 or 9-11 at Shocco, please send in your participant list before MAY 15.
How do I do that?
And now the fun part:
TOP 5 Reasons for YOU to be EXCITED about Camp:
(We always tell campers why to be excited, but you have lots of reasons to be excited too!…and we’ll go in reverse order…just to build the anticipation.)
5. Church group time: hanging out and talking about the day with your awesome group of kids.
4. Hang time: Running all over campus with your kids, feeling like a kid yourself.
3. Adult Track Time: Get hands-on instruction and lots of discussion about ministry and kids while building relationships with staff, the adults in your church, and the adults from other churches.
2. Adult Gathering: Get spiritually filled up and have a camp experience all your own
1. OMC: Yes, campers love this, but so do adults! It’s an energy-packed, chaos-driven, laughter-creating, shaving cream-slinging good time, and the best part: you get to be the one to help, take pictures, or administer the shaving cream!