Overheard at #OC17

For Our Neighbors

Opening Session

“The next generation needs someone who has gone before them to be for them.” – Gerald Fadayomi

“Do you want to see my face? Was it what you were expecting?” – Danielle Strickland

“Jesus liked parties because Jesus loved people.” – Reggie Joiner

“We’ve got to stop acting like discipleship is about information and realize discipleship is about relationship.” – Reggie Joiner

“Some of your neighbors feel like you don’t love them becaue you act like you don’t like them.” – Reggie Joiner

Main Session 2

“The hardest thing in ministry with children is you don’t always get to see the results.” – Jon Acuff

“Freedom is not just an outside job, it’s an inside job.” – Danielle Strickland

“God is really in love with people, and you can’t dismiss people and be right with God.” – Andy Stanley

“If we’re not careful – intentional – we’ll orient children and students toward obeying invisible God rather than loving visible people.” – Andy Stanley

“What does love require of me?” – Andy Stanley

“Horizontal morality is less complicated but more demanding.” – Andy Stanley

“My generosity is because of what God has already given to me.” – Andy Stanley

Main Session 3

It was SERIOUSLY night….so seriously, I don’t have anything constructive to post…except that, “As Christians we should laugh more!”

Main Session 4

“God wants to show us radical grace. When we get to be a part of that, it changes us.” – Mike Foster

“We’re going to celebrate the misfits and the marginalized.” – Mike Foster

“If I’m going to reach outsiders, I’m going to have to go outside.” – Ryan Leak

Main Session 5

“Social media posts from churches are 99% about the church. What if our social media highlighted the community?” – Jeff Henderson

“A Neighbor minded church allows people to BELONG before they BELIEVE!” – Jeff Henderson

“A Neighbor minded church creates common ground instead of dividing lines.

Main Session 6

“We need to love schools without an agenda.” – Nicole Fulgham

“Sometimes I’m reluctant to get out of my comfort zone to meet my neighbors.” – Kara Powell

“The Gospel champions cause, not comfort.” – Kara Powell

“Love everybody always.” – Bob Goff

“I’m not trying to be RIGHT anymore. I’m trying to be JESUS.” – Bob Goff

“Don’t JESUS at them, just love them.” – Bob Goff

“God doesn’t want your help. He wants your heart.” – Bob Goff

Main Session 7

“We cannot afford to be in the conversations and dialogues at the level the world is. We have to raise the standard.” – Bernice King

“We have to be willing to lead the community and connect with someone who doesn’t look like us.” – Bernice King

“We’ll never all agree, but at the end of the day, we can find win-win solutions.” – Bernice King

“What killed my father was indifference and apathy and the absense of the people of God and the spirit of God.” – Bernice King

“If you hold a grudge long enough, that grudge will start holding you.” – Jud Wilhite

“The devil wants to take your bitterness and hurt and make it a foothold that he can make a stronghold.” – Jud Wilhite

“You’re free, but you’ve got to walk in it.” – Jud Wilhite

Main Session 8

“If you’ll live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.” – Lecrae

“I may not condone everything you do, but I’m not there to condemn you.” – Lecrae

“When we are for our neighbors, we do more than just talk about it.” – Doug Fields

“There’s one Savior, and you’re not it.” – Doug Fields

“I’m suggesting a life that is less activity and more love.” – Doug Fields

“Busy is the enemy of neighborly.” – Doug Fields

“Go with confident expectation that God’s power is going to show up!” – Doug Fields



Making the Most of Orange Conference 2017

For Our Neighbors

If you’re in Atlanta at the Orange Conference, be prepared to drink from a fire hydrant for the next few days. Whether you’re in a main session or a breakout, you’re going to be inundated with more knowledge, wisdom, tips, solutions, strategies, vision, mission, and ideas than you could possibly absorb. Trust me, I know from experience! I started attending the Orange Conference before it was even called Orange Conference. Anyone remember Grow Up? Yes…I’ve been around a while.

I’ll never forget that first conference. I was 19 years old, hadn’t a clue about children’s ministry, and wasn’t particularly interested in learning more. I was a preacher’s kid and my dad was planting a church in rural East Tennessee. He knew we needed to make families a priority, but he didn’t know exactly what that meant. He sent me, his only child who didn’t particularly like children.

I was blown away! Kids could actually have fun at church? Students wanted to go to youth group? What!?! It changed everything for me, a tectonic shifting of my mind. That was 16 years ago. I’m still at it, and I’m still here at Orange Conference every year. Now I have the opportunity to stand on stage and help others understand the importance of a ministry that is outwardly focused, a strategy that says we are, “For Our Neighbors!”

If you’re joining me here at #OC17, I have just a few tips to help you make the most of your experience.

Tip #1: Listen, don’t talk.

You’re proud of what God is doing in your church and there’s nothing wrong with that. I believe you should brag on God’s handiwork whenever possible…except at Orange Conference. If you want to continue to see growth in your ministry, you’re going to need fresh ideas and problem-solving strategies. You’re at the right place. Close your mouth and open your mind.

Tip #2: Unpack each day.

You’re going to be tired at the end of each day. The sheer amount of focus it takes is exhausting. Your hand will ache from taking notes and your heavy eyes will yearn for the comforts of the hotel bed. Resist the temptation to skip debriefing with your team each day. Take 15 minutes to discuss your discoveries, any ideas you feel could be implemented, and your daily take-aways. If you wait until the bus or plane ride home, you’ll forget important details. Instead, make it a nightly routine.

Tip #3: Don’t skip stuff.

You’re going to be tempted to lay in the sunshine on the grassy hill or take an extra long lunch with your team and miss a breakout or main session. Don’t do it! You’re here because God desires to speak to you. There’s something you need to hear, but if you’re not in position and ready to go when the word is spoken, you’ll miss it. The Orange staff have worked hard to give you adequate down time. Use it wisely.

Tip #4: Start small.

You’re going to hear a lot of different ideas and strategies. They won’t all work for you or your situation. Every church is different, every ministry unique. You can’t and shouldn’t be just like anyone else. If you try to take back 50 new ideas, you’ll overwhelm your teams. Instead, clarify your vision and begin to implement one or two new initiatives. Family ministry is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t be afraid to try something new, but don’t undermine your efforts with a million changes that can’t be measured or evaluated.

Tip #5: Network. Network. Network.

You’re surrounded by great leaders from around the world. The Orange Conference is a gathering of minds and passions. At some point over the next few weeks, months, or years you’re going to need an advisor, a listening ear, an unbiased friend, or an accountability parter. Who better than a peer who understands your daily struggles and triumphs? Initiate conversation, exchange contact information, and make new friends!

Tip #6: HAVE FUN!

Take a deep breath each morning. Put a smile on your face, and determine to enjoy every minute of #OC17!

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful, and I encourage you to come back all week. I’ll be updating the site daily with fantastic quotes from amazing leaders.

Jess Bealer

God of Jacob : A track that will inspire you to walk boldly in your calling

This incredible combination of powerful preaching and an inspiring musical track will help get any day off to an amazing start!

Check out the latest EP by Pastor Steven Furtick and Elevation Worship.




God of Jacob – https://itun.es/i6SS29z #iTunes



If you enjoy “God of Jacob” check out these two releases as well.

Do It Again – https://itun.es/i6SY7jZ #iTunes

I Will Fight – https://itun.es/i6SS294 #iTunes


A Guest Post with Creative Sheep

Honored to be a part of the Creative Sheep Podcast. Episode #14


slide2I’ve really enjoyed connecting with Jared Hogue. You can check out our conversation by clicking the image above.

I hope you enjoy the podcast (other interviews include Joe Sangl, Carlos Whitaker, Whitney George, and Lee Cockerell).


Frank Bealer

Communicating the values of your ministry to everyone

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As the ministry of Elevation continues to grow, so does the number of volunteers, staff and leaders that invest in the families of our church. One thing that we have been wrestling with is how to best communicate the values of the family ministry to everyone involved.


Here’s what we landed on…

Step 1: Clearly define our values in memorable statements. (See those here).

Step 2: Train as many people as possible.  This lead to a huge vision casting / training event.

Step 3: Create a monthly initiative where each value is featured across all campuses. For example, we now have determined that May is “We Will Make It Safe” month (Get it, MAY-KE it safe). Every campus, every team huddle, even our volunteer awards for that month highlight that month’s value.

Step 4: Introduce these values as early as possible to new volunteers. Below you will find our latest effort called eKidz essentials. (Isn’t my wife amazing on camera!)



Next Step: Determine how to communicate these values in a way that will best resonate with parents. 

While we have a long way to go, this seems to be a good start.

We would love to hear how you share ministry values with the great people of your church.


Frank Bealer

Twitter: @fbealer