Care For YOUR FAMILY And Advance YOUR MINISTRY This Christmas

I’m called to be a leading woman in ministry. I’m called to minister to families. I’m called to teach kids about Jesus. I’m also called to be a loving mother, an understanding wife, an honoring daughter, a supportive granddaughter, and an encouraging friend.

When I think about managing the many facets of my ministry and my family life, it can be overwhelming…especially at Christmas.

There are presents to be wrapped, volunteers to be appreciated, cards to be sent, Christmas parties to be planned, family functions to attend, and ministries to run. I tend to manage the pressure well. In that aspect Christmastime, is no different. I determine to do well and come to terms with the notion that I will sleep less, work harder, and make sacrifices. Herein lies the problem. Most of the time, I can cover my late nights and occasional missed school functions with special outings and attentive quality time when slower seasons arise. This doesn’t work at Christmas. The season is only a few weeks long. Functions can’t be rescheduled. Traditions can’t be postponed. If I’m not present, the celebration continues and my family feels neglected. For those of us in ministry, Christmas brings a new set of challenges.

I once heard my pastor say, “Jesus shouldn’t be first in your life. He should be at the center of it.” Putting Jesus first means that I put my husband and children second, when in all actuality, God wants to love and minister to my family through me. When I shift my mindset, everything changes. My ministry and my family life are no longer at odds. Instead, they work in harmony to accomplish the multiple callings God has placed on my life.

This Christmas, I want you to say “no more.” No more competing agendas. No more feeling guilty for missing a school choral concert or arriving late to a ministry prayer initiative. No more self doubt. No more double booked calendars. No more inner turmoil, wishing you could always be at the “other thing.” I’m challenging you to say “no more.”

It’s easier read then said, and easier said than done. When I prioritize, I put one calling in front of another. In reality, with Jesus at the center, they should work together in harmony.

The shift from prioritizing to centralizing can be difficult. For as long as I can remember, I was taught my relationship with Jesus comes before all others. While that is true in one sense, Jesus doesn’t want me to ignore my children for extra prayer time or neglect my husband for the sake of a daily devotional. He also never intended for me to sacrifice the family he blessed me with on the altar of the ministry he called me to. 2000 years ago Jesus came to give life. God loved us so much that he sent His son so that we might know love and discover freedom. It all started in a manger. A nativity scene that we remember and rejoice in.

In a busy season, it is my relationship with Jesus that energizes me. It’s what inspires me, encourages me and guides me. It is BECAUSE of my faith that I am better able to manage my family and minister to others.

When I say “no more,” I commit every aspect of my life to Jesus, not just my ministry. I am able to confidently say no more guilt, no more self-doubt, and no more inner turmoil. This IS possible when I devote myself to efficient management of my daily routine. I want to be clear, I don’t always get it right. I still have moments when I’m torn and frustrated, but I have established a few guidelines to help when I resort to prioritizing.

  1. I use a calendar application. I know what my days look like and I can prepare my heart and set healthy expectations for my family.
  2. I’m flexible. I ask, “What can can be moved or postponed and what can not?” That extra volunteer meeting can be rescheduled. My child’s Christmas play can not.
  3. I integrate when possible. Can I achieve two things simultaneously? Can my volunteer Christmas party be a gingerbread making party in which I bring my kids.?
  4. I set realistic expectations. I expect delays and calculate drive time.
  5. I choose to be okay when expectations are not met.
  6. When scheduling conflicts arise, I ask myself, “When I lay down in bed tonight, which appointment will I regret missing? On December 26th, what will I wish I would have accomplished? ”

Jesus wants to bless us with the best life. He wants us to be great men and women that achieve success in His name. He desires for us to have healthy families that serve Him together. It is possible, but it may require us to operate at a higher level of efficiency, especially during the holiday season. He truly wants us to experience joy and peace this Christmas.

Thank you for joining me throughout the month of December. I hope you’ve found fresh ideas and insight to help you manage the holiday season this year.

For more ministry ideas and strategies, check out my new book, Don’t Quit, available now at Amazon or at DontQuitBook.com.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Jess Bealer

You’re INVITED to SPOIL Staff and Volunteers’ Kids this CHRISTMAS!

Part of Multisite Monday

WHO: Staff and volunteers’ kids who will be at multiple worship experiences on Christmas weekend

WHAT: An area with special programming designed to keep kids engaged and happy during a long ministry weekend. You might call it CHRISTMAS CLUBHOUSE!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • North Pole Workshop (A fun hour of Christmas crafts)
  • Santa’s Secret Shop (Kids can shop and wrap small presents for family members)
  • Polar Express Hour (Watch the movie, Polar Express, serve hot chocolate, and paint wooden trains purchased from your local craft store)
  • Visit From Santa (Have Santa visit your Christmas Clubhouse and hand out small presents to every child in attendance)
  • Winter Wonderland (Make snowflakes out of copy paper and use a blender to serve snow cream or ice cream)
  • Reindeer Games (A full hour of Christmas themed games and team building activities)
  • Christmas Bakery (Let kids decorate and package cookies to give as gifts to their parents and loved ones)
  • Holly Jolly Buffet (A colorful buffet consisting of red and green food and drink)

WHEN: If you have three or less Christmas experience times, you may want to schedule a single Christmas Clubhouse experience. If you have more than three worship experiences, it’s important to consider how many times you are asking volunteers to serve over the course of the weekend. If you have six services, and you’re asking volunteers to serve three of the six, you’ll want to offer additional Christmas Clubhouse experiences. I would suggest two Christmas Clubhouse experiences for every three services scheduled. Make a schedule of events and email to staff and volunteers letting them know ahead of time what activities are planned for each service.

WHERE: Set aside a room or area within your ministry space for your Christmas Clubhouse experiences. If you can’t find space in your current area, connect with other staff members and see what space, outside of the children’s area, may be available. Make sure to station a safety or security volunteer just outside the door, but don’t be afraid to mix it up this Christmas and step outside the norm. The room should be decorated and prepped before kids arrive. You want them to step foot into a magical Christmas land in which they never want to leave. Think you don’t have enough space? Remember you’re going to be removing a good percentage of children from your normal kids programming. This should free up space and volunteers to help.

WHY: It’s going to be an exciting Christmas weekend. Attendance will be up. People far from God will experience the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Families will be reunited and choirs of angels will rejoice as the people of God celebrate His Son’s birth. I know your personal capacity is stretched. I know you’re dreaming about room ratios and spending every extra minute in the craft aisle at Target. You’re busy to the extreme. However, if you want to truly minister and care for those in your ministry, you won’t neglect the families that ensure successful execution week after week. Make the effort. Find the funds. Kids will love you. Parents will thank you. Instead of navigating a Christmas Eve with grumpy, exhausted, bored kids, moms and dads will appreciate the excited stories of their children’s Christmas Clubhouse experiences.

In a Multisite Model, it’s important for each campus kids director to look at the space he or she has to work with and make plans accordingly. Your Christmas Clubhouse experiences may vary from location to location. Find a few volunteers at each campus who love kids and have an abundance of Christmas spirit. Make a plan, give them a budget and hand over the reigns. You’ll be surprised the lengths a volunteer team will go to ensure a Holly Jolly holiday season for the families they serve most often.

I’d love to hear from you. What other fun things are you doing to engage staff and volunteers’ kids this Christmas?

I hope you’ll come back every Monday throughout the month of December as we discuss and unpack ministry systems and strategy this holiday season.

Click here to check out additional Multisite Monday articles.

For more ministry ideas and strategies, check out my new book, Don’t Quit, available now at Amazon or at DontQuitBook.com.

Jess Bealer

Help! I Need Somebody!

A Part of Multisite Monday

Have you ever looked at your ministry and been completely stumped? Have you ever had an insane urgency to sing an ode to the Beatles and break out with, “Help! I Need Somebody!” You’re not alone. We’ve all found ourselves at that crucial crossroads.

For the past 17 years, I’ve had the privilege to minister to children and families. At the age of 19, I took my first children’s director position. I was wide-eyed and passionate with big dreams. I can honestly say God has guided my path and allowed me to pursue greater opportunities than I could have possibly imagined. The past six years saw me leading the children’s ministry of one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America. It was an incredible journey.

About six months ago, my husband and I made a major transition in our life. We went on staff with Orange and began helping churches all over the globe better minister to kids, students and families. I also began consulting and coaching with leaders and ministries from around the country.

Whether you need a one time comprehensive evaluation or are interested in establishing on ongoing coaching relationship, I believe I can HELP.

My areas of expertise extend to children’s ministry multisite and launching, volunteer recruitment, coaching and appreciation, preschool and elementary age programming, systems, standards, atmosphere, staff culture, and time management and personal health.

Despite the demand of writing, speaking and managing the craziness of a six-person household, I have elected to open three additional consulting slots as we head into fall.

As summer quickly comes to a close and your church begins preparing for a SGS (strategic growth season), it’s always nice to have a new set of eyes and fresh ideas. I would love to partner with you and your team as we set the stage for God to move in miraculous ways!

If you’re interested in learning more, leave a comment below. 

Jessica Bealer

For additional Multisite Monday articles, click here.

Can You Really Balance Life and Ministry?

 

by | Jul 14, 2017 | Ministry Leaders, Orange Leaders

I married my high school sweetheart. Frank was the lead guitarist in a local band, two years older than I, a rebel with a cause, and he was hopelessly in love with me. The good news…I felt the same. I was smitten, and at the age of nineteen I stood before God, friends, and family and promised to love him forever. I always have and I always will, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t experienced bumps along the way. As I mentioned, we were practically kids when we recited our vows. We literally grew up together. In the sixteen years we’ve been married, we’ve traveled the world, changed jobs a half dozen times, lived in four states, flipped eight houses, had three children, adopted a fourth, fought off a debilitating disease, and clearly heard the call to fulltime ministry, which required a 70 percent pay decrease.

Of all that we’ve experienced, the call to ministry was by far the most challenging, and it wasn’t because of the reduction in our finances. Read more. Click HERE.

Summer Is The New January 1! #ThinkOrange

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If you’re a woman in ministry, particularly a mom, you probably look forward to summer for the same reason your children count down the final days of school: VACATION. The heat brings road trips to the beach, poolside parties, and lazy lemonade stand days. For many of us, summer feels like a three-month hiatus from reality. But what if this summer could actually be a catalyst to change? Suppose you could utilize this time to find a rhythm that helped you communicate expectations, set boundaries, even prioritize in such a way that you could lead better.

I’m not suggesting you should sacrifice your summer break on the altar of your ministry, but what if you could capitalize on this time so that EVERY day was both effective and efficient. Let’s make a SUMMER RESOLUTION! Here are four steps to help you find a rhythm that will work for you all year long:

Say “Goodbye” to GUILT!

At Orange Conference this year, I was talking to a leading lady in ministry. I asked her for the best piece of advice she had ever received. This is what she said, “Never feel guilty for prioritizing the call God has placed on your life.” My immediate thought was, “I don’t.” Then she explained.

 

Read the rest here

 

by Jessica Bealer

Say “No More” – Part 2

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In Part 1 of this post we discussed the concept of putting your calling at the center of your life. I have multiple callings on my life. I am called to family ministry and all that it entails, but I am also called to manage my family, care for my children, and support my spouse.

When I prioritize, I put one calling in front of another. In reality, they should work together in harmony.

The shift from prioritizing to centralizing can be difficult. For as long as I can remember, I was taught that my relationship with Jesus comes before all others. While that is true in once sense, Jesus doesn’t want me to ignore my children and pray to him or neglect my husband for the sake of a daily devotional.

My relationship with Jesus is what energizes me. It’s what inspires me, encourages me, and guides me. It is BECAUSE of my faith that I am better able to manage my family and minister to others.

When I say “no more,” I commit every aspect of my life to Jesus, not just my ministry. I am able to confidently say no more guilt, no more competing agendas, no more self-doubt, and no more inner turmoil when I devote myself to efficient management of my daily routine. I don’t always get it right. I still have moments when I’m torn and frustrated, but I have established a few guidelines to help when I resort to prioritizing.

  1. I use a calendar application. I know what my day/week looks like.
  2. I’m flexible. I ask, “What can I move or postpone and what can I not?”
  3. I integrate when possible. Can I achieve two things simultaneously?
  4. I set realistic expectations. I expect delays and calculate drive time.
  5. I choose to be okay when expectations are not met.
  6. When scheduling conflicts arise, I ask myself, “When I lay down in bed tonight, which appointment will I regret missing?”

Jesus wants greater things for you and me. He wants us to be great men and women that achieve success in His name. He desires for us to have healthy families that serve Him together. It is possible, but it may require us to operate at a higher level of efficiency.

What other tips do you have to better manage your daily routine?