Women’s Leadership Workshop Podcast is LIVE

TODAY is the day! My new WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP Podcast is officially LIVE. I’m so excited to share this project with all of my blog friends. These podcasts are narrative style. I tell a story from my own life and share how God is working. They’re designed to be encouraging and challenging….and brief (just 10 minutes).

A few months back I went in search of a podcast that would grow me as a Christian, a leader and a woman. I couldn’t find what I was looking for. That’s where this idea started. I know you’re busy. Me too! I hope this podcast will play into the rhythm of your life. Listen while you’re driving or getting ready in the morning. Put it on in the background when you’re making dinner. Find a time to grow yourself without adding more burden.

Your support is greatly appreciated! I’d love for those that listen and enjoy to share the podcast on social media and let the uplifting power of the Holy Spirit spread.

LISTEN NOW!

Blessings in leadership,

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

9 Ways to Honor and Appreciate Volunteers this CHRISTMAS Season

Part of Multisite Monday

Your programming is nearly complete. The cue sheets are printed. Your rooms are decorated. The holiday playlist is set and your snack bowls are filled with red and green Goldfish. Christmas is coming and you are primed and prepared. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of holiday planning and lose sight of your greatest resource, your volunteers. Here are 9 ways to honor and appreciate those that will serve alongside you this Christmas.

1. Answer questions before they’re asked.

The worship service times are varied. The lesson plan looks different. The number of children in attendance will be nearly double. Christmas is an exciting time of the year for those of us in ministry, but for our teams, it’s also a time of uncertainty. One of the best ways to reassure your volunteers is to answer their questions before doubt begins to creep in. Share your plans and offer encouragement. Provide insight and bring unity before your teams show up to serve.

2. Provide fuel.

Feed them. Your volunteer teams will put in many hours serving and ministering this holiday season. A hungry belly is a distraction easily prevented. Whether you provide snacks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, pizza or a catered meal, keeping your teams well fed is key to a successful serving experience.

3. Give the gift of a memory.

Volunteering during the Christmas season can be a fulfilling experience. Connections are made. Lives are changed and we stand witness. Offer an ornament or framed team picture as a way to look back and remember the impact that was made.

4. Offer strategic break times.

Small groups will be larger than usual, classrooms stretched beyond capacity. Volunteers may be asked to serve longer hours or additional service times. When stress and strain are high, it’s important to offer additional break times to grab a snack or go to the restroom. Schedule an extra volunteer to rotate from classroom to classroom providing well-deserved relief.

5. Connect through prayer and vision.

Everyone on your team has hopes, dreams and desires this holiday season. They may wish for a friend or coworker to attend church for the first time. They may have plans to reunite with family that have grown distant. Some of them are hurting and looking for a reason to smile and celebrate. One of the best ways you can bring unity and show you care is to set expectations, define what a win looks like and connect through prayer for one another.

6. Provide sweet treats and smiles.

A fun and festive atmosphere can make the volunteer experience feel more like an opportunity than a burden. Keep a smile on your volunteers’ faces with a hot chocolate bar or candy buffet offered exclusively to those that serve.

7. Create unforgettable experiences for their children.

It can be difficult to focus when you’re worried about your kids. Consider offering an alternative experience for volunteers’ kids who will be in attendance for multiple experiences. From a Polar Express themed movie hour to a secret Santa shop, the possibilities are endless. We’ll discuss this in further detail on the blog next week.

8. Gift unique and personal presents to leaders.

You may need more volunteers to meet ratios this Christmas season, but you need experienced leaders just to be able to open the doors.  A well positioned leader is priceless. With that in mind…it’s time to spend a few dollars. Make sure those that prove the most committed are gifted with something that says, “I thank you. I value you. I know you.”

9. Celebrate success and recognize excellence.

God is going to use your ministry to move in a mighty way this Christmas. If you believe it, you should anticipate celebration. Schedule a time to reflect, share and party! Draw attention to the seasonal victories your ministry has experienced. Offer praise to those God used to make an impact. Whether it’s a dance party or a dinner, take the time to celebrate success and recognize excellence.

In a multisite model, collaboration is key when it comes to efficient care and effective appreciation of volunteers. Buying in bulk saves money. Sharing ideas produces creativity. At the end of the day, your volunteer appreciation budget and care plan may vary from location to location. However, it’s important to understand the strategy is always is the same. If you want to encourage consistency and longevity among your teams, you must clarify the vision, grant the authority to make key decisions at critical moments, and show honor and gratitude for a one’s contribution. Written as a formula it looks like this:

Clarity + Empowerment + Appreciation = Longevity

It’s a busy season, made easier by those that serve alongside you. Your ministry plan for Christmas should begin and end with showing honor and appreciation to volunteers.

I’d love to hear from you. How are you honoring volunteers this holiday season?

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 ideas and strategies about appreciating volunteers, check out my new book, Don’t Quit, available now at Amazon or at DontQuitBook.com.

Jessica

5 Ideas To Help You Connect With Families This CHRISTMAS Season

A Part of Multisite Monday

 

  

(Christmas 2017 – Browns Bridge Church, a part of North Point Ministries)

We are a mere four weeks from the big day. Christmas is coming! It’s easy for those of us in ministry to get caught up in the details of programming and the management of the masses. We focus on stocking needed supplies and meeting volunteer ratios. While those are necessary measures, it’s imperative we not lose sight of the importance of guest experience. Here are 5 ideas to help you connect and make a greater impact this holiday season.

  1. Decorate. Decorate. Decorate.

Your environment should reflect the festive nature of the season. Families want to reminisce, anticipate, and celebrate. Create an atmosphere where those things are possible.

  1. Create a festive family photo spot.

While we design programming and lesson plans that tell kids about the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus, it’s good to remember that moms and dads are in the business of making memories. Find ways to connect your ministry with those special moments.

  1. Consider giving kids an ornament or symbolic gift.

Every year in eKidz at Elevation, kids receive an ornament to add to their tree. The ornament is dated and themed with the current series. Over the years, families display their collection and recall their experiences with your ministry.

  1. Cookies and milk for everyone!

Excellence is in the details. If you want to make a lasting impression on the families you serve, you’ll need to exceed expectations in order to capture their attention. Consider offering hot chocolate or cookies and milk in the foyer. Are long lines stretching outside? Rent patio heaters and distribute hand warmers to those standing in the cold. Walk through every aspect of your guest experience and find ways to leave your visitors astounded.

  1. Offer opportunities for generosity.

Service and generosity are as fulfilling for the giver as the receiver. If you want families to form a lasting connection with your ministry offer them a way to make an impact. Allow those you serve to experience the satisfaction that comes when they act as the hands and feet of Jesus.

In a multisite model, each campus should reflect the culture and customs of its community. Are you located in rural USA? If so, maybe a rustic theme is your best option. Are you positioned in a downtown metropolis? Then a polished sparkly celebration is the way to go. With most systems, I am all for uniformity. In this instance, unity of strategy far outweighs the need for convention. Hearts soften during the holidays. During the Christmas season, people far from God often find themselves in a place of consideration and reflection. When we understand this, we can take steps to help us better connect with those we’re ministering to.

For additional MULTISITE MONDAY articles, click here.

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.

Jessica Bealer

An Interview With Gina And Jessica

Nick Blevins Family Ministry Podcast

For those of you in ministry, it may often feel as if your job is to manage the chaos. In our new book, Don’t Quit, Gina and I give you practical solutions to combat the crazy and endure the marathon race that is ministry.

Recently, Gina and I spoke with Nick Blevins about the whys and hows of sticking it out in ministry.

To listen now, click here.

To purchase Don’t Quit, click here.

Jessica Bealer

 

DON’T QUIT Interview

Kids Ministry Collective Podcast

Just a few weeks ago, Don’t Quit, the book I coauthored with Gina McClain, released on Amazon. The response we’ve received has been overwhelming. When we started the process, we wanted to write something that would not only inspire ministry leaders to stick with it for the long run, but also give them practical tips to make the journey easier.

Last week in an interview on The Kids Ministry Collective Podcast, Gina and I discussed many of the topics we wrote about in the book. I hope you’ll take just a few moments to check it out.

Click here to listen now.

Click here to purchase Don’t Quit!

Jessica Bealer