Matt McKee interviews Peter O’Driscoll. Peter O’Driscoll is the founder of the Orlando Children’s Church. With a heart to reach the community around him, Peter shares his amazing story of what he is doing to change lives one kid at a time.
Community | Category Archive
Think of the families you mingle with in the carpool line, checking out at the grocery store, or cheer with from the sidelines at your kids’ soccer game. If they’ve never been to church, would they feel welcome walking through your doors this Sunday? Is your ministry a place where families in your community know they can come for help and hope?
This month, we’ll be looking at how we can provide experiences that are comfortable and accessible for non-attending families in our communities. And on a personal note, we’re going to challenge you to take a look at the power that can be found in your weaknesses and how it can help you be a better leader.
We know that you lead in several ways at any given time. You lead yourself, you lead volunteers, you might lead a staff, and you often lead up. Here’s what we have in store for you to accomplish each of these tasks:
PERSONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
How does this happen every single week? Sunday just won’t slow down. But don’t allow How can this happen every single week? Work commitments always seem to be in overdrive. But don’t allow that to interfere with the investment you make in yourself as a leader. Go ahead and grab your No. 2 pencil to mark some personal time each week this month to invest in your own leadership development—20 minutes should do it. We’ve already got a plan for you, so making the time is the first step to accomplishing it.
BOOK PREVIEW: Leading With a Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness by Dan Allender
Unlike most leadership books, author Dan Allender writes a compelling guide for leveraging your weaknesses for success. Allender reminds readers that God favors leaders who make the most of power that comes from weakness.
PODCAST: Mark Malin
Mark Malin is the senior pastor at Oakbrook Church in Kokomo, Ind. Mark shares with us how their church had been intentional about reaching out to the community around them.
REAL WORLD: Starbucks
Starbucks is significant to most of us; it’s how we get through our days and get a quick caffeine fix. However, this time we are taking a look at what makes Starbucks such a successful organization…you may be surprised, it’s more than just their great coffee!
VIDEO: Reggie Joiner
What kind of picture are you creating for your families that walk in the doors of your church? Is it a picture that they may never be able to live up to? In this video, Reggie challenges us to help our families live a bigger story not just a better picture, because God is telling a story of restoration and redemption through each of our lives.
TEAM LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Now that you have a plan to invest in your own leadership skills, why not make a plan to do some investing in your volunteers? Not like giving away big, fat bonus checks, though. We have a way to invest in your volunteers for free!
We’re going to make it really simple to become more intentional with your volunteer communication via some good-looking emails (if we do say so ourselves). We’ll even do the writing for you. Plus, you can even add your own words of wisdom to the messages.
Whether you’re leading a large staff, a few people, or you’re trying to lead up to your senior leadership, we’ve got something for you. We’re including another book review with this portion of YouLead because we felt it would be a great tool to reinforce this month’s topic. Speaking of that, this month’s focus is (drumroll)—
COMMUNITY-WIDE FOCUS [F7]
Experiences and accessibility are made available for those who might not normally be comfortable in a church setting. (See page 101 in The Orange Leader Handbook.)
WEEKLY EMAILS: Why We Do What We Do
Providing your volunteers with information that they can share with the parents of the kids and teenagers they serve will go a LONG way with your leaders. Sometimes the barrier between a volunteer and a parent is a simple lack of creative ways to connect with the parent—it’s time to change that.
This month, we’ll be sharing encouragement, stories, and research in emails that you can send your volunteers. And we encourage you to challenge these leaders to turn around and share this same information with the parents of the kids and teenagers in your programs. Simple—did we mention that already?
BOOK PREVIEW: Stripped: Uncensored Grace on the Streets of Vegas by Jud Wilhite
Las Vegas: A place where many go to “have it all” and leave with nothing, they’re stripped. Jud Wilhite shares the story an amazing faith community and of eight people who, when they had nowhere else to turn, embraced God’s grace.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP PODCAST: Jud Wilhite with Carey Nieuwhof
It’s not every day you get to sit in on a conversation between two incredible leaders. Carey Nieuwhof, senior pastor of Connexus Community Church and Jud Wilhite, senior pastor of Central Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, dive into what it means to be a church that is focused on what’s outside the walls of their church.
REAL WORLD: Churches
If you’re going to reach your community, then it’s important to understand the culture of the community that you live in. We’ll take a look at four churches, who decided to do “church” a little differently.
by Harmony Hensley
While we realize that summer is still about six months away, it’s never too early to think about what programs you’ll participate in with your students. Here is one team of people doing tremendous mission work in their own community every summer.
Next year marks the 21st anniversary of Summer of Service. SOS is an annual youth conference that attracts upwards of 1,000 junior and senior high students from all across the country to converge on the campus of Vineyard Cincinnati for four and a half days of worship, teaching and outreach.
Though there are hundreds of summer “camp” retreat options out there for students, SOS is unique in that it mobilizes youth to make a major impact on the world around them through a tier of targeted outreach opportunities including acts of kindness, service, mercy and hearing from God.
Another thing that makes the SOS experience unique is that it is an inclusive conference. In 2009, we added SOS Special Ops to make room for students impacted by disability to attend with their age-appropriate peers. Special Ops students are assisted by a volunteer who accompanies them throughout the entire SOS experience. Students are given the option to tailor their experience based on what would set them up to be most successful (i.e., they can do the same kind of outreach each day if they prefer, or can follow the same daily transitions as their peers). We felt the addition of this layer of ministry helped us to not only fully reflect the body of Christ; but it allows us to model inclusion for the other SOS students attending the conference. At SOS, everyone plays and everyone has a mission.
A great part of the SOS experience is the group dynamic that plays out among students. Students are divided into groups of approximately 10 and assigned a volunteer youth leader who will be their guide throughout the week. These groups do life together, praying, serving, and growing deeper as they reach out through a range of outreach projects.
By the end of the week, students will have collectively hosted the following outreaches:
- Block Parties – Students will be mobilized to serve eight low-income neighborhoods by hosting FREE block parties complete with DJ, moon bounce, hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones, balloons, games, and prizes for all who attend. Each block party serves approximately 500 guests meaning they reach approximately 4,000 people by the end of the week!
- Car Washes – Each day, students will host 14 different FREE car washes at locations throughout the city. The car washes are either ABSOLUTELY FREE or $1. There’s a catch with the $1 car washes, though! Students will PAY guests $1 for the honor of getting to wash their car. Talk about a head tilt moment! Guests are completely astounded that someone would want to pay them to wash their cars and the students love it!
- Drink Giveaways – Students will be deployed to 28 different intersections per day giving away THOUSANDS of FREE bottles of water throughout the week to drivers waiting at stoplights. (Don’t worry; we keep it safe, and insure nobody is playing in traffic!)
- Partner Projects – Students will be deployed to serve a number of other non-profits in the Greater Cincinnati area by coming alongside them in their mission. These projects serve marginalized people groups such as those living in poverty, and individuals impacted by disability.
- E2 – This is where we really think outside the box! E2 stands for the “Evangelism Experiment.” Students are taken through a prayer training that helps them to learn to hear from God. Each group is then given $100 to go and serve someone based on what they hear during the exercise. This outreach helps us to teach students that God can use us every day in every circumstance if we just take the time to stop and listen. The stories that come back from this are incredible!
- Be the Difference and the ID Project – We realize that social justice starts with each of us having a better understanding of who we are, how we relate to the world, and connecting how God can use that to advance the kingdom. “Be the Difference” and “The ID Project” are programs developed by Change Point. For more information on their programs visit www.TheChangePoint.com
SOS creates an incredible environment for students to come learn, worship, and then immediately apply the biblical principles they’re hearing about from the speakers and presenters. They are then charged to take what they’ve learned at SOS to their home churches. We’ve heard amazing stories of students who have done just that. SOS stirred in them a holy discontent that lingered long after the summer ended. SOS alum Abby Hamilton of Fellowship Bible Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, was so moved by a Luau outreach that served adults with special needs that was hosted at SOS that she is now mobilizing her home church to host a luau at their facility this summer. Abby is just 14 years old and completely ready to take over the world! That’s our goal at SOS—to foster mission in students across the country.
So, as you think forward and plan your summer programming for students, consider taking it to the next level by mobilizing them in your metropolitan area. For more information visit www.SummerOfService.com or contact Harmony Hensley at email@example.com.
Harmony Hensley is the pastor and director of Outreach and Inclusion Ministry at the Vineyard Cincinnati Church in Ohio. She has a dual degree in biblical studies and ministry leadership from Cincinnati Christian University and has a background in design and marketing. In addition to her role at VCC, she is also a consultant for the Key Ministry Foundation. Harmony’s passion for inclusion ministry stems from her high school years where she was a special education student. She has developed ministry models for respite and prom outreaches that have been reproduced in churches across the United States and in Ireland.
If you belong to a church that participates in the incredibly community-minded Upward Sports, you may have noticed something a little different about the program this year—a little Orange influence, perhaps.
Orange is very excited to work with Upward Sports by providing three pieces of the Upward Sports program: the weekly practice devotions for kids, weekly halftime activities for parents, and end-of-the-season celebration DVD for families to take home.
The purpose behind Upward Sports is connecting the local church with the community through the language of sports. Upward Sports supplies church members with resources, helping them build relationships in their community whereby they can share the gospel and help the community see the church in a new light. In other words, taking down walls for experiencing a loving community.
Rallying around the idea of creating environments and events for kids, Upward Sports and Orange are looking to bridge a gap between community members participating in a 12-week sports program, and those same community members participating in the local church.
By using materials based on 252 Basics, non-church members experience what the church is like on the common ground of sports. The relationships formed on the court or field between church members and the community are what Upward Sports hopes will motivate community members to attend church and become a part of its body.
Upward Sports and Orange hope this collaboration will provide a connection point for the community with local churches, fostering further involvement, and growing young lives toward understanding virtues and values. When churches unite the Upward Sports program with what they are already doing in 252 Basics, they are bridging a gap and providing a track to run on for families in the community.
If you’re already involved with a church using 252 Basics and Upward Sports, show your appreciation and support to the volunteers and coaches. If your church is running an Upward Sports program, consider aligning your efforts by incorporating 252 Basics—let your community see what’s played out on the field, embodied and nurtured within the church walls. To find a church in your area using Upward Sports, go to www.Upward.org/findaleague. Or, if you’d like to start an Upward Sports Program at your church, go to www.Upward.org/connect.
Founded in 1995 by Caz McCaslin, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian sports league for kids. The first-class sports programming—which includes basketball, flag football, soccer and cheerleading—provides a fun sports experience based on healthy competition for kids, teaching skills for the sports arena and values for life. Today, more than 550,000 children in 47 U.S. states and Canada participate in Upward Sports Leagues hosted by 2,400 churches.
by Jeff Shinabarger
So, how are things going? Busy. This is the new common question and answer from me, from friends, from colleagues, from everyone. The common response in the past is to be fine, but now everything is busy. At some point, there was a transitional response that happened from fine to busy. There has been a cultural shift that defined busy was a better term than fine. I think it is a shift in translation that happened in the last three years, since the economy has been hindered. Busy showed that we had work, which too often was a positive answer. But, it needs to end at some point in dialogue with trusted individuals. I say it too much. The truth is that I really am busy most of the time. It can be good, but in many ways I am realizing it also is not.
I am learning that busy-ness may be my great deterrent to true community. I am busy and many of my friends know that I am busy. What this communicates to my friends is that I don’t have time for them. Friends begin to think that if I am busy, I don’t need them. When you are busy or fine, it is a common answer that says I don’t need you right now. Being busy is a common answer for stay out of my life, I don’t have time for you.
When I am busy, I choose to not engage in community. It is a verbal and chosen time response to friendship. When I am busy, I am actively not inviting others into my life. But, in my head I think that busy is good. In all reality, being busy is selfish.
I know there are times that people really are busy and need to focus on the task at hand to address a given problem. But if we are too busy to engage in relationships, we have a problem. When we respond and tell you we are too busy, too often, we need help. We really need deep relationship, comforting and concern. The result of being extra busy is loneliness and depression. You may not relate with this, but I truly need freedom from being busy. Time is of the essence. If you are not busy, you are setting an example for the rest of us. Please take time to engage people that are too busy. We need you.
Jeff is a social entrepreneur, experience designer, coffee shop owner and is always creating new cause-marketing ideas. He is the cofounder of the Fermi Project and served as experience designer with Fermi for three years. While at Fermi, Jeff played an important role in launching the national unChristian campaign. Jeff is gifted at creatively communicating the needs of the poor and the greater culture. He and his wife, Andre, live in East Atlanta Village with their newly adopted daughter. Image is courtesy of Jeff’s website, Plywoodpeople.com.
by Sarah Lee and Ronda Malin
Last week, Sarah and Ronda wrote about how to gain a partnership with a local church. This week, they talk about what to do once a partnership is established.
Once you have created a partnership with your local school and they have welcomed you to produce a School XP, your opportunity has started! The link to the School XP resources through 252 Basics (coming August 1) will provide you with everything to produce an engaging assembly. You’ll find the production notes, scripts, the Bottom Line segment (this segment replaces the “Word” segment in an FX), and even links to a monthly video and value song. Even with the smaller cast (four to six actors), you can get as creative and as resourceful as you like.
Here are some details: Add music at the beginning of the production to get the students and teachers engaged and energized. Remember the room full of excited kids? Use secular songs (you can find karaoke tracks and virtue songs, both on iTunes) in these spots. If you do not have technology to put the value on a screen, enlist an art class to create a banner with the value and definition on it. You have wiggle room in the sketches as well. If the script calls for two males and a female, but you only have one male to play the part, feel free to tweak the script to two females and one male. You can enlist teachers to play parts or recruit students from the high school drama team or choir. If you do not have vocalists to actually sing the songs, you can feel free to have a class in the school make up the motions to go with the song, and teach the rest of the student body instead of singing it.
The schools we work with have decided to customize a portion of the School XP. They award their students, who have been showing the value of the month, by showing their pictures with their awards at the next month’s assembly. What a great way to pull parents into the experience as well!
Remember, it all goes back to being the hands and feet of Jesus and serving the school system. We are not going into the schools with any other motive than to love and serve. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah leads the production of the family ministry at Oakbrook Community Church, and has partnered with schools to take that experience into the public school systems around Kokomo, Indiana. Sarah has been producing a Family Experience at Oakbrook for eight years. She is also a certified Zumba instructor! Sarah lives in Lafayette, Indiana, with her husband, Mike, and four-year-old son, Mason.
In 1985, Ronda and Mark Malin founded Oakbrook Church in Kokomo, Indiana, where she has served as the director of Family Ministry. Eight years ago Ronda and her team started 252 Basics at Oakbrook. In the last two years, God has given them the opportunity to influence the next generation via a relationship with public schools. She has led the charge taking 252 Basics into four public school systems, influencing 3,550 kids per month. Her passion for family ministry is eclipsed only by her love of her family—husband, Mark; daughters Sarah Lee, Mandy Snider, Carmen Smith; son, Jonathon; and grandson Mason.
Recently, our friends at Different Drummer offered two of us Orange staffers a unique opportunity to spend time at Walt Disney Animation Studios with a group of amazing women in ministry from churches all across the country. These women had a variety of Orange experience, ranging from none to some to thinking Orange, which made for a lot of fun discussion. During our two-day visit, we were asked, “What is Orange?” many times. And every time we gave our answer, we would receive a thoughtful and puzzled response—”So, you don’t just work with children’s ministry?” or “I had no idea our church’s entire ministry staff could utilize Orange resources.” So, over the course of the next 36-hours, while experiencing Los Angeles and Disney Studios together, we set the record straight.
It was a wonderful whirlwind of a trip and during our brief stint as VIP’s, our little group of women still found plenty of time to chat. Our first stop was a private screening of the new Winnie the Pooh movie in its entirety and the first four minutes of The Lion King 3D, to be released in July and September, respectively. What great family movies! After the viewing, we were all able to discuss how Pooh and his friends showcase many qualities of a strong Christian family—love, trust and kindness—and do so in a cute and funny storyline. Next, we were off to the Walt Disney Animation Studios where we met with some of the directors, producers, writers and animation artists from the movie. What a unique experience to hear the background on planning, research, casting and implementation of a Disney movie. Several of them also shared their personal testimony and faith with us, and how that is lived out on the job at Disney. They have seen some very cool things happen as they pray for their coworkers.
A few of our other excursions included the opportunity to try our hand as the voiceover for Piglet, speak with an original Pooh animator who has a 50-year-plus career with Disney, tour the archive building with over 65 million sketches from all Disney films, and watch The Lion King animators at work. We even received our very own drawing to take home!
Overall, it was a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at one of the most recognizable companies in the world. We were delighted with the chance to educate those new to Orange, as well as encourage those currently incorporating the strategy. Additionally, it was inspiring for us to hear how these women were serving God and their communities. We definitely made some great friends! And hopefully, they are also now able to answer the question, “What is Orange?”
A big thanks once again to Different Drummer and Disney! And be sure to see Winnie the Pooh at your local theater July 15—it’s a movie the whole family will enjoy!
by Sarah Lee and Ronda Malin
Being involved with the local public school system has been one of the most rewarding and incredible experiences for our family ministry team here at Oakbrook Community Church. For us, it all started with an art teacher who attended our church. With a dream of seeing an inward attitude grow into an outward action, the school adopted the Core Essentials curriculum. As a way to help the school center around the curriculum, we began as a ministry providing an entertaining assembly, based on the value for that month. From that, we are now serving seven elementary schools and impacting 3,500 students each month—60 percent of which would have never stepped foot in our door!
It’s all about trust. Start with a relationship when approaching a school. We think a great way is to find someone in your church who has a vested interest in the school, is involved (a teacher, administrator, or parent), or wants to use their influence to build credibility on your behalf. This allows you, as a church, to have an open door of communication.
Offering to do just one “no strings attached” School XP at an assembly or PTO meeting could be an easy step in the door. With School XP, you are sharing values that schools (and parents!) want children to learn. After you introduce a school to an exciting experience and they see the star-power quality of your performers, your concrete position is inevitable!
Another way to build a positive relationship with your schools is to gift the Core Essentials curriculum to the school. Who doesn’t want a school where they: treat others right; make smart decisions; and maximize their potential? This flat-fee curriculum is a user-friendly way that schools can implement values into their school culture.
When met with resistance, take time to build a relationship with a school. There are other ways to serve your local schools. Click here for some examples. Listen to your schools and take the opportunity from their lead. Soon, you’ll be sharing your influence for good all through your community.
Sarah Lee leads the production of the family ministry at Oakbrook Community Church, and has partnered with schools to take that experience into the public school systems around Kokomo, Indiana. Sarah has been producing a Family Experience at Oakbrook for eight years. She is also a certified Zumba instructor! Sarah lives in Lafayette, Indiana, with her husband, Mike, and four-year-old son, Mason.
In 1985, Ronda and Mark Malin founded Oakbrook Church in Kokomo, Indiana, where she has served as the director of family ministry. Eight years ago Ronda and her team started KidStuf at Oakbrook. In the last two years, God has given them the opportunity to influence the next generation via a relationship with public schools. She has led the charge taking Core Essentials into four public schools.
Happy Memorial Day! Take some time today to remember and give thanks for those who’ve served our country.
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.
But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.
All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
by Cass Brannan
These last two weeks have been quite a whirlwind here in Tuscaloosa. The areas that were hit by the tornado will literally never be the same. The pictures and videos that you see don’t do justice to the sheer amount of devastation. Homes, shops, restaurants, and some of our favorite little places in Tuscaloosa were taken away by the storm. It is truly unbelievable what happened in Tuscaloosa just two weeks ago.
Since the storm, it has truly been amazing to see hundreds and thousands of people rally together to help find people, clean-up and restore Tuscaloosa. One of the greatest things that I have seen is the number of churches that have rallied together to bring relief and aid to the city! The minute that this storm hit, there were no more divisions between denominations, color, style or size of church. The churches in Tuscaloosa have been working together to help in any way that they possibly can. There has been NO competition to what other churches are doing, but rather an understanding that if your church is doing something well, then we will send that stuff, or the people to that church.
Where one church decided to focus on clothing, another is focusing on feeding volunteers. Another church has become a hub for volunteers to report to, while another has become a receiving/distribution center for those who were hit by the storm! My church is providing emergency child care for those who were affected by the storm, or for those who are serving in the community! Convoy of Hope has also partnered with our church to hand out supplies to families in need! Also, our church, as well as several others, is adopting families to get them back on their feet after the storm. Churches all over the city have been working endless hours to love on, care for, and sometimes give a shoulder to cry on.
This is how the Church is supposed to work!
This is how the Church should always work!
The city of Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas have a long way to go, but one thing is for sure—if the churches in this community will continue to be the Church and work together, the road will be easier to travel!
How Can I Partner with Calvary?
How to Adopt Your Own Hope Family
As an organization or individual, you can adopt your own Hope Family. Our minister of education and administration, Tim Plant, can connect you with a local church who has families in need. A complete adoption costs approximately $5,000. This amount covers the complete set-up of their household and monetary needs they will have in order to make their transition (first month’s rent, etc.). Contact Tim Plant at (205) 792-4032 to connect with a family.
If you can’t adopt an entire family, you can still give to our Tornado Relief Fund. Your money will be pooled with other gifts and be used for the same purpose.
How to Donate to Our Tornado Relief Efforts
Monetary gifts support long-term solutions—to which Calvary is committed! Every penny given to our Tornado Relief Fund will be used to meet needs in our community. You can mail a check designated for our “Tornado Relief Fund” (1121 Paul W. Bryant Dr., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401) or give online through our homepage.
Volunteer to Help Deliver Furniture to Hope Families
As the count on our Hope Families rises, so does our need for furniture delivery crews! If you have a trailer (14-foot, open is best) you can volunteer, please call Billy Hatmaker at (205) 561-7164.
Additional Ways to Help
While needs are constantly changing as the recovery stages advance, many churches in tornado-ravaged communities are coordinating their efforts. Additional avenues for volunteering and donating follow:
University Church of Christ – www.universitycofc.org
University’s website is updated regularly with specific needs from the community, as well as information for people seeking to volunteer. As reported on their website:
Donations for tornado relief may be sent to: University Church of Christ c/o Tornado Relief Fund 1200 Julia Tutwiler Dr. Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
For information, you may call the church at 205-553-3001.
Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Team is coordinating volunteer efforts. To volunteer, please register at www.churchesofchristdrt.org
Valley View Baptist Church Tuscaloosa – www.valleyviewtuscaloosa.com
Among additional efforts, Valley View is accepting backpacks filled with school supplies for area children. Contact: email@example.com
Capstone Church – www.capstonechurch.org
On their website, Capstone provides a number of ways to connect, volunteer and donate to the tornado relief efforts. Specifically, they are accepting gift cards in the increments of $25 and $50 to Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Dollar General, etc. Capstone is also collecting home goods such as linens, dishes, utensils, toasters, glasses, etc. For more information, contact Amy Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow them on Twitter.com at: @capstonechurch.
Photos taken by Reggie Joiner.