I have blogged about the leadsmall app from Orange before. I love it. The customization, the tools it offers and how it allows you to stay connected with other leaders and your small group is amazing. When you sign up for LEADsmall you also will receive Weekly.

Weekly is sent out, well, weekly. However, you also view a new list monthly and annually. It is a strategy and information tool to help communicate and stay connected with parents and small group leaders.

Weekly offers a quick “to-do” list strategy that helps make our job as leaders easy. It allows us to be more helpful to parents, engage student leaders and therefore impact the lives of students. From planning your social media campaign, reminders to connect with leaders on birthdays and over coffee Weekly is a great tool to help increase your capacity to impact the lives of students for Jesus.

Weekly sets you up to “cue” the parents in their role of influencing their children to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. From sending out ideas for hang out times, blog ideas, to giving them tips to having tough conversations parents in our ministry have benefited from our ministry team using Weekly.

If you haven’t signed up for Weekly yet, check out goweekly.com

Wolf Pack Part II


People want to feel like they belong. Leaders in your youth ministry will stick around, and even bring their friends along on the journey, when you can create a culture that demonstrates your student leaders are valued. Love your leaders as Jesus loves you. Invest in them, encourage them, challenge them, rebuke them, guide them, and extend grace. Your leaders will invest in your students the same way you invest in them.

I recently went to an Orange conference tour stop and one of the things I was able to take away was looking for ways not to simply deploy leaders in your group but to develop their unique strengths and passions. Your student leaders have different strengths, passions and are motivated by different things. Find out how to leverage their strengths and encourage them to fit their passions within your student ministry. It may mean they start and lead a new program or take the lead in a particular area. Empowering your leaders and allowing them to take ownership of the student ministry will allow a new energy to come into your ministry.

Value your leaders by valuing their time and money. Don’t ask them to give up their time with students and make them pay for themselves. Work it in the budget or in the price for students when you need to bring leaders somewhere with you. There may be times when you need to ask for a little, resources can be tight. Yet, find ways to give them a discount and make it fiscally possible for them to help you. When it comes to time we are all under a crunch. Remember, they are volunteers and have families and other priorities. There is a balance to be found. Ask them to commit to time and honor their commitment.

When hardship falls on your leaders, strengthen them. Reach out and help them. They are first committed to God, then their families, to work, then to your ministry. Knowing where you fit into the scheme of things allows you to help invest in your leaders. Demonstrate the qualities of the type of leader that you are looking for. Read your bible, challenge your leaders to do so as well. Pray hard, take care of your family, work hard. Invest in the lives of students. Your leaders will see it and will be moved to do likewise.

Walk with your leaders in life. Know their struggles and the hardships they face. Share your own with them. Encourage them. Pray together. Challenge them in their faith, to go deeper in their faith than they have ever gone before, walk with them there. Feed them; food is a powerful thing in building community. Call them up to talk, give them hand written notes of thankfulness and encouragement. Look for the little things to do that will help build community within your leaders.

When we create a culture that loves one another, appreciates one another, encourages one another, that prays together, and walks through life together, our ministry is successful. Your leaders will mimic for each other and the students what you have done for them. Build an army of people so devoted to Jesus Christ that His love just oozes out of everything they do.

Think Big, Think Orange!


Orange conference 2015 is going to be epic. I am super pumped to be out in Atlanta for a few days. Last year was the first time I attended Orange conference. If I am honest, I knew very little about Orange and was even a little skeptical about it. After a few days with the people of Orange, discovering what they are about, getting resources and ideas from other ministries I was sold. I am looking forward to Orange 2015 for 3 major reasons.

  1. The people at Orange are like none other. I can’t wait to be in one place full of people with similar vision, passion and drive to impact the youth of America for Jesus Christ. The people who attend Orange are crazy and awesome. One guy was decked out in an entire orange colored suit, another with an orange mohawk, you never know what you will see. What other reasons do you need? Connecting with people within the Orange network, seeing old friends, making new ones, it is all part of the experience at Orange. There will be great speakers sharing great stories and new ideas. After the week you will feel refreshed and ready to take on your corner of the world.
  2. Orange conference is always, repeat always, fun. Last year they brought in Jeff Foxworthy and had David Crowder lead worship. You won’t have a night that you are not cracking up laughing. You will be engaged and inspired to go out and impact His Kingdom. Great people, great experiences, and great fun.
  3. Last year Orange unveiled the leadsmall app for smart devices. I was so excited to use this tool in ministry this year. Recently they just allowed us to edit the material. Definitely a game changer. Who knows what they will give to people this year. There are great resources to buy and help in your ministry. The staff at Orange do a great job of bringing new ideas and resources to the Orange network.

If you haven’t signed up for Orange 2015 yet, opening day is October 9th. If you were sitting on the fence check out this video and be assured that Orange conference 2015 will blow your mind and go above all your expectations. See you in April.