Showing posts from May, 2012

Summer is here!

After our trip to Yates Center this weekend, summer has begun in the Martin household.  We have already started the conversation about how to enjoy the summer and not get bored. 

Here are a few of our ideas:
Limited internet and TV time--We are planning about an hour a day.Reading the same Scripture together separately and then together as a family.Enjoy time outside with friends.Family Fun Night--When we have a free night, each child can pick an activity to do as a family.  Only rule: no cost.Looking for opportunities to help and serve around the house. How about you?  What are your plans for the kids this summer?

In Christ

On Thursday, I decided to type "in Christ" into my Bible app on my phone and see the Scriptures as a reminder of my identity in Christ. 

Here is a partial list:

Last Day of School

Today, was the last day of school in Hesston.  My kids love school, but they are looking forward to a little break.  A neat tradition occurs for those finishing fourth grade.  Mackenzie was part of the "clap up" at the end of the day.  Teachers, staff, parents, and students line the hallways and clap as the fourth grade classes walk through the middle as they leave the elementary schools for the last time.  It is a great transition for 5th graders because they are part of the Middle School in Hesston.

Congratulations Kenzie!

Summer Resource from The Village Church

Check out this great resource for families for the summer.  It was written by staff at The Village Church in Texas.  Check it out here.


Yes, that's right.  I am thinking about pizza.  Why?  Because tonight is the pizza party for our kids who completed extra Bible reading this year during Hide N Seek.  During Hide N Seek, our students are encouraged to memorize Bible verses and complete weekly devotions.  Additional Bible reading is optional, but does come with a reward of pizza at the end. 

Am I motivating our kids with external motivation?  Yes.  But I don't feel bad about our boys and girls getting into the Bible on their own.  This year, they either read assorted Psalms or John.  They might be doing it just for the pizza, but I am glad that God's Word is being hidden in their hearts.  Now, for the big decision:  cheese or pepperoni?

#USMB-Don Morris on Momentum

This is my final post from the LEAD One event at First MB in Wichita, KS on May 3rd.  It was a great event with tons of great ideas for leaders.  The source for these ideas is Andy Stanley from 2010. 
Momentum: Forward motion fueled by a series of winsTip: You rarely regain momentum by simply doing what you did to create it in the first placeMomentum is never triggered by tweaking something old.  It is triggered by introducing something new.Anything new, by definition, generates some kind of momentumThe momentum can be positive or negative.The new must be a noticeable improvement over the old. Is this a significant improvement over what we had before? Warning: New does not guarantee sustained momentum. But, new is an essential trigger for momentum Applying "New and Improved" to the World of MinistryNew personnelNew programmingNew seasonNew seriesNew lookNew venuesMomentum KillersDisengaged LeaderOveractive management in contrast to visionComplacencyOld, Out-Dated SystemsCompl…

#USMB-Jon Wiebe on Generosity

This is my fourth post from the LEAD ONE event sponsored by Mission USA. Jon Wiebe of the MB Foundation shared on the the topic of, "Maximizing Generosity in Tough Times: A Realignment of Faith and Fundraising." Here are my notes:
Tough TimesGiving RealitiesGeneral Population <1%Roman Catholics 1.5%Mainline Denominations 2.8%Evangelicals 4%A Crisis ExistsFew seminaries teaching on generosityPastors avoid itFundraisers at Christian Organizations are competing4 Biblical PrinciplesUrge those who sit as stewards of storehouses to open them rather than hoard them.          (Genesis 41:56-57) Invite those with a portfolio of assets to sell as asset. (Acts 4:34-37)Direct the church to send aid to those in need. (2 Corinthians 8-9)Ask everyone to give sacrificially. (1 Kings 17; Mark 12:41-44; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7)4 ToolsEvaluative ToolOrganizational Tool (see 7 steps below)Discipleship ToolIndividual Tool7 StepsAcknowledge the problemAgree generosity is a spiritual issue of the he…

#USMB-Derk Madden on Change

This is the third post from the LEAD ONE event held at First MB in Wichita, KS.  Derk Madden's topic was "Leading Change in the Congregational Church Model.  Derk shared about his experience navigating change within his church. 

Process ChangeIs it really necessary?Would it be easier to just add something new?Is the timing right within the body?Do other key leaders agree?How much impact will the change have?Do you have the resources to allow the initiative to succeed?Ripple Model of Implementing ChangeFirst Circle-Strategic Planning TeamGather together the best possible team of three or more people to assess the situation and create a clear new desired goal, why the change is necessary using metrics if possible, and how it would be implemented. Understand how new change will be implemented in old system. Discover and put it into the framework of biblical mandate or perspective.Second Circle-StaffCommunicate and get feedback from staff about plan. Achiever their verbal buy in. …

#USMB-Ed Boschman on Vision

Here is the second post based on the LEAD ONE event held on May 3rd in Wichita, KS.  Ed Boschman, our Executive Director of USMB, shared about vision.  He started by asking some questions about vision in our homes, families and then moved to our churches.  His introduction was to answer these two questions: Philosophically, is vision really a big deal? and Theologically, is vision a God thing?  Before getting into the specifics, he shared several verses to try and answer these two questions.  They were: Matthew 4:17,19; Matthew 10:5; Matthew 16:19,21; Matthew 28:18-20; and Acts 1:8.

Four Things About Vision
The First Thing-What It is. . . A unique picture of a preferred future condition, envisioned through the lenses of:Lord's Agendalocal contextfaith factorThe Second Thing-Who Sees ItCalled peoplePraying peopleImagining peopleTransformational peopleThe Third Thing-What It DoesInspiresEmpowersStretchesFocuses and directsInvolvesThe Fourth Thing-How It is ActionalizedShare VisionSet…

#USMB-LEAD ONE in Wichita

On Thursday, May 3rd, the United States Mennonite Brethren hosted a LEAD ONE event at First MB in Wichita, KS.  LEAD stands for Leadership Education and Development.  The purpose is to provide leadership ideas for pastors and leaders.  I will be posting over the next several days information from that event.

We started our day with host pastor, Brent Warkentin sharing with us.  He shared eight characteristics of their leadership DNA.  They were:
Character CountsSpiritually Strong (2 Peter 1:3)Start with a YesBe NiceBalance of Discipleship and EvangelismHave a Positive Attitude (Philippians 2)Passion for Your Ministry; Enthusiasm for All MinistriesCommitment to Excellence

#OC12-Takeaways from Orange

If you have been reading my blog the last few days, you have seen my notes from workshops and general sessions.  Today, I wanted to share my takeaways from the Orange Conference in Atlanta from April 25-27.  I hope this is helpful to you. 
What does our facility say to visitors within the first 30 seconds they arrive? (i.e. smells, cleanliness, parking, signage, colors).  I hope to process some changes that are needed to help make Hesston MB a more welcoming facility.What game changers in ministry or culture do we need to address? (i.e. busyness on Sundays, social media, intergenerational ministry, focus on Sunday morning, leadership, etc.)  We have already made some changes in some of these areas.  We could have a more organized plan for social media.What gaps are present between our children, youth and adult ministries?  Usually this has focused on curriculum, but one workshop challenged me to think about the areas of service and worship. As pastors, we will be meeting in the month o…

#OC12-Doug Fields at Orange

On Friday afternoon, Doug Fields shared about his experiences in ministry.  He started by sharing a story of sitting in front of a sun lamp to get rid of some acne.  The result was that he burned his corneas.  He compared this temporary blindness to what we can experience in ministry.

3 Sun Lamps that cause blindness in ministry:
Importance of NumbersThe lie of bigger is better which requires us to feed the beast.Pace of LifeIncreases speed which makes ministry more like a sprint.  There is always more to do.  This pace of life causes us to skim on relationships.Constant ComparisonThere is danger to always be comparing yourself to others whether that is how you speak, lead, etc. These become a problem when you focus on them.

How do you turn the lamp off?  He shared the story of Lazarus in John 11.  It says, "Unwrap him & live."

3 Learnings
Bigger isn't better.  Better is better.Most people in church don't want to be a number.  Numbers feed ego.Hurry is the enemy o…

#OC12-Kara Powell at Orange

On Friday afternoon, Kara Powell shared some of her research of college students which became the book, Sticky Faith. I have the read the book and highly recommend it.  Here are my notes:

She started by reading Luke 2:41-47.  After reading this passage, she asked this question, "What does God intend for our church?"  Should we continue to separate kids, youth, and adults every time they come to church?  Or should the kids be able to sit at the adult table?  (This image was based on a dinner table experience at a meal where adults sit at one table in one room and the kids sit at another table in another room.)

She explained the difference between multi-generational vs. inter-generational.
Multi-generational is in the same room, but the ages stay together.Inter-generational is in the same room but the different ages are interacting together. She said the change does not have to be complicated.  You can continue what you are currently doing, but make it inter-generational.  She …

#OC12-Jon Acuff at Orange

On Friday, Reggie Joiner interviewed Jon Acuff on the main stage.  Jon Acuff has written a book, hosts a conference, and has a popular blog called "Stuff Christians Like." Acuff had a lot of great suggestions regarding the use of social media in ministry.  Here are my notes:

"Either we get into social media or we miss an opportunity."

The church needs to catch up.  Here are some suggestions:
Don't be afraid of "I don't know."Don't be afraid to talk to someone half your age.Go where your community is.Be who you are.Ask what kinds of problems you can solve with this. "When you wound online, you don't get to speak in love later."

Check back tomorrow for notes from Kara Powell & Doug Fields.

#OC12-Andy Stanley at Orange

On Friday morning at Orange, Andy Stanley gave a great talk on staff culture.  Here are some notes from his message:

"Healthy and productive staff cultures occur by mutual submission."
The Message of Mutual Submission is "I'm here to facilitate your success regardless of where you show up on the organization chart.The Assumption of Mutual Submission is "While our responsibilities differ, we are both essential to the success of the enterprise.The Question of Mutual Submission is "How can I help?" "Only one with a special anointing is Jesus."

He shared the following best practices:
Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.Systematize top-down service.Create and maintain a sustainable pace.Celebrate and reward mutual submission when you see it.Confront your ego.Drop the term loyalty from your vocabulary. Starting point for these best practices is the question, "How can I help?"