Leaders That Last: Developing Single Adult Leaders

Originally Posted on August 14, 2020

Webinar Transcript

– So we were first getting on the phone. First, getting on the Zoom. I brought up an interesting story. Eileen was talking about how her church is getting a new pastor and he’s young. He’s in his thirties and how as leaders, we are called to lead and to build others. Some of them will, end up leading in our singles ministry. Some of them are gonna end up maybe one day being over us. They could be a pastor. They could end up where you step down and they step up, or you step over. So it reminded me of a funny story. Years ago, I helped a pastor at a church in New Bern, North Carolina to do singles ministry. He had no idea what to do. He was in the military. He became a part-time singles pastor. He came to a conference that I was doing. I do a retreat every year called, labordaysingles.org. Labordaysingles.org, check it out. But I was doing a retreat of the former people that used to run that retreat at Ridgecrest in North Carolina. I met him there and I started telling him about how to do singles ministry. Well, he was overwhelmed. He was just like, “Oh my goodness, I’ve got a lot to learn.” I said, “Well, let me train you.” So I mentored him, trained him. He came to several of my workshops and he became the full-time singles pastor. Well, a few years later, I ended up working at his church and he had moved over to the position of associate pastor. I became the singles minister. What’s so funny is, that I was over him and then now he was over me. But we have such a great relationship and such a mutual respect for each other, that it was never a big deal. He was an awesome guy and he still is. He’s now associate pastor in a church in Texas, but we’ve been friends all these years. But I think about that as a leader, are we doing that? Are we equipping and empowering and challenging people, so that God will move them in whatever way they need to be? So let’s go ahead and kind of get into a little bit of what we’re gonna talk about today. Please take notes. Please write additional questions, because there’s no dumb question. Just the one that’s not asked, okay? So, or have me clarify something later on, okay? So also really important. The first workshop, the first webinar that I did this week was, how to start singles ministry. All of these webinars are gonna be available online for you to see again and pass to others. But I did a series of videos also for Eileen and the Alabama Baptist Convention a few years ago, they’re also on my website on how to start singles ministry, as well as the handout. So make sure that you’ve downloaded that, because that way, we don’t have to go through all that again today of how do we start? How do we even begin, before we even start our leaders? Like, what is the process? What are the goals? Why are we even doing it? So please be sure to do that. So as long as I can remember guys, singles ministry leadership has been the struggle. We’re great at coming up with activities for singles to do. We might even do a Bible study. We might have a service project, but building the leaders is the difficult part. Partly, it’s because a lot of us were never built. We were never mentored. We were never discipled. We never had anybody pour into us and teach us and guide us. So we’ve read books, we’ve listened to a couple of John Maxwell. We read a couple of his books. We just kind of self-taught and that’s okay. Because there are a lot of times, that’s all it did take. There’s that natural-born talent that God has put in you. But there’s also strategy. There’s also a process. There’s also key things that make a difference in a really great leader and a leader that’s just so-so. You’ve probably been under those so-so leaders. Those people who drive you nuts. Those people who are not an encourager, or those people who don’t listen to your ideas. They don’t return emails. You wonder, how did they get the job? You know what I’m saying? I mean how did they get put in that position of leadership, when what they’re doing, doesn’t look anything like a leader? Now you’re watching this. You may be already a leader, a pastor or a bit of pastor. I know some of you are and I’ve learned from you. You may be somebody just starting out and going, “We’re just starting singles. I have no idea what I’m doing.” You may already have a team, but you just need it to grow. Or maybe you just needed to be affirmed in what you’re already doing. So we’re gonna get through some of that. I think you’re gonna see your answers to all those three areas. So three things we’re gonna focus on today. We’re gonna focus on what makes a great leader. Why leaders fail and then how to build your team. In all ministry, you cannot be successful without building leadership. It just doesn’t happen. What would happen is that if it’s only one or two people running the show, over time, you’ll get burnt out. You’ll get discouraged. You’ll get aggravated. You’ll say, “Well, nobody helped me. The ministry failed, because everybody got married. My team got married and they all left me and nobody ever shows up at anything.” and understand you can’t build the cart before the horse, as the saying goes. Events and activities and contribution, comes from a foundation first. From that foundation, all those other things come. So you have to build a team of people that have a heart for it. From that team, you build a ministry. So right from the beginning, you have people that are showing up that are buying in, that are taking ownership. But what happens most of the time, it’s just you with your vision and you announce a couple of things. A bunch of people come to the first one, because let me just tell you, when you plan your first event at church and use a social base, “Hey, we’re gonna have a big meal at the church.” They come like crazy. ‘Cause they’re coming to see what’s there. Like, “Oh who’s there? Oh, he’s cute. Oh, what’s that?” They’re just coming to check it out. Well a lot of times, you think, “Oh my gosh, 50 people came. We’re gonna have an amazing ministry.” No 50 people came to check it out. That’s not the ministry. The ministry is the ones that do come back and do decide that this is a part of what God has called them to do. So just be aware of that. We wanna build from the ground up, not from the top down. We wanna build the foundation, the roots, based on the word of God. Then from there, the team gets built. So even if a year later, you’re still at 10 people, it’s 10 people who are called to be there and 10 people who get it. It’s better to have 10 people that are sold out then 50 and 48 of them do nothing, which I’ve been a part of that, as well. So let’s keep going and let me just give you a little quick summary of one of my favorite stories in the Bible. The story of Matthew 14:13-21. This is the story of the fishes and loaves. Everybody probably watching this, knows that story. They had just ministered to a bunch of people. Jesus had gone to pray. Got in a boat and as they were in the boat, going across the lake, the people followed like, “Oh!” Because you know what, when you’re getting healed, when you’re getting fed. You keep going back to the sources. I mean, I would, right? That’s why church, a lot of times attracts people, because they’re getting something from it. It’s helping them emotionally, or physically, or spiritually. So the people are coming. They’re like, Bobby and Bob and Sue and “I’m hungry. I wonder if I can get something to eat?” I mean, they’re coming. It just shows us that, guess what? Ministry never stops. The poor will always be with you. There’ll always be people of need. So if you’re not taking care of you, you will get burned out and you’ll be empty. So you’re never gonna lead them enough. You’re never gonna steel them enough. You’re never gonna heal them enough. They just keep coming, they keep coming, they keep coming. So Jesus gives us a model where first he allows a little bit of time to get away, to rest. Then when he gets to the other side, the crowd is there. Obviously, it’s time to eat. The disciples say, “Send them into the town and get their own food. We’ve been out here working and we’re tired and they can just go get their own stuff.” Jesus says, “No, you’re gonna feed them.” So for the first time that I see here, here’s an exact situation where God is getting them structured and getting them organized. Up to this point, he’s been teaching them and showing them, and now even in their exhaustion, he’s saying, “I still want you to do some. The job is still not done.” But what I love about this, is just the process in which Jesus does this. It’s in verse 19, that’s the key. He said “And he directed the people to sit down in the grass, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven. He gave thanks and he broke the loaves.” He always had thanksgiving first, always praise God first to everything. “Then he gave the disciples and then the disciples gave to the people and they were all satisfied.” What I love is that verse 19, where he says he had them sit on the grass. He had them sit down and other versions of the same story. It talks about how there was a structure to putting them in groups. Right now we’re beginning to see that a part of singles ministry in leadership, is that you need to know what’s in your ministry. You need to be able to segment it. You need to be able to lift the gifts and the talents. There’s no way these disciples could have fed thousands of people. The disciples had to be the first to feed and other people watch them and other people watch them. Everybody started jumping in, based on their gifts and talents to say, “Hey, let me get that basket. I’ll feed this group over here. Well, let me help these kids. They’re needing some food. Or let me help these older people, they need some help up. Let me help you over here. Let me handle this situation.” ‘Cause you know, it was chaotic. I mean, just think about what you see today. People are trying to all come together and the gathering and I love how this is an example of leadership development. That what God did call them to do, he didn’t give him the easy way out. He said, “You know what? It’s hard. It’s hard to lead people, but if you put some structure in it, you trust me for the provision. You trust me for what you’re gonna use in order to minister to them.” Not only did they feed everybody, but they had 12 baskets leftover. Of course there were 12 of them. God, didn’t forget them either. God is even also teaching them the idea of serving others before you serve yourself. It’s a great model and a great example of what God wants us to do. Jesus built the ministry by building the team, teaching them and encouraging them and guiding them all by example. Let’s talk about what creates a great leader. John Maxwell said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, that shows the way.” I love that. So great leaders sets boundaries, just like with Jesus in the boat. There’s a time where you have to say, “You know what? I gotta be by myself. There’s things I gotta do. I gotta get rest.” And finding that fine line of serving and helping and also saying, “You know what? I need to go.” The other day, I was on the phone with my co-writer of this new book I’m working on. He just got through doing a big online webinar. He was speaking on one of the chapters in our book and I said, “Hey, can I talk to you?” He said, “Ah really, Kris, I can’t talk more.” I said, “I need two minutes.” We’re on the phone for two minutes. That if you know me, it kind of went into three and four. Finally, he says, “Kris, I’ve got to go.” Click. I was like, and the next day he said, “I’m so sorry, because I was practicing a boundary, Kris”, ’cause I said two minutes and I abused the boundary. So as much as I was kinda like, “Whoa, what did I do?” That’s the point. That’s a good leader. He’s a good pastor. He set a boundary. He stood at that boundary. It told me a lot about him. That if he’s willing to set a boundary and stand behind that, he’s gonna also protect other times that we’re working together in the same way that I have a right to do the same for him. So another great leader has self responsibility. They desire personal development. They wanna keep learning. They wanna keep growing. They wanna go and listen to webinars and read books and they wanna keep training themselves. They don’t wanna just stop, even if the course may not be single specific, but it’s just gonna help them as a leader or help them emotionally or physically. They desire to keep learning. They’re relational. They build people, not just a program. They create an environment where they nurture and empower other people. They have to learn a lot about grace. A lot about grace. Yeah, I’ve learned a lot about grace . They also empower other people. They give other people the power, the responsibility, the ownership, of their own dreams, their tasks, input. They give people the ability to make choices. They permit them to do what God has called them to do and how to lead something. One of the things that’s so hard is, to let somebody else lead, when you’re not really sure they would do a good job. You know what I mean? Like maybe they’re not gonna do it the way you would do it. Or maybe it will fail. Or what if people think it’s a bad idea. Will they think I did something, because they are under me? What if they don’t do it right? What if it, you know what if it does, I don’t know. Maybe I just have a lot of questions, you know? So, “You know what? I’m not gonna let them do it. I’m just gonna do it myself. At least I know it’ll turn it right.” But what if God is raising up a new leader, that’s gonna take either your place, or God’s gonna move them somewhere else? What of God is using you to lead someone, so that he can use them? You’re not gonna know if you don’t delegate. You’re not gonna know if you don’t empower other people. A great leader sees the gifts in people. They see something and they’re like, “Oh, this person could lead this ministry one day.” Or, “This person can lead on their own. This person has great influence. This person can be an awesome teacher. They just need to be nurtured. They need to be encouraged and mentored.” Right now, I’m discipling my little cousin. She’s 16 and right from the get go, I noticed that she has incredible wisdom and discernment. I said, “You know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if one day she’s not teaching me.” But see a great leader, doesn’t look at that, as a negative, or a threat. A great leader wants to add to it. Wants to help that person. Even if it means you’ve helped them and they leave, which happens. Like, “I spent all this time with them and I trained them and I taught them and I came beside them and I checked in with Facebook and I texted them, we had coffees, we had lunches and then they left after six months.” ‘Cause yeah, ’cause God called them somewhere else. Don’t look at it as you’re pouring into them, just to build your team. Pour into them, to build God’s team, because surely as you’re pointing to them, God’s pointing to somebody else to bring them to you. You just don’t ever know whether who’s that gonna be and where that person came from. One of my favorite authors, who neither one is in the singles ministry anymore, is Terry Hershey and Rich Hearst. This is an old quote from them about giving the ministry away. I love this where it says, “Relational leadership is giving responsibility away, or giving the ministry away. It’s not about who has the most power but who can give the most power away.” Rich’s led singles ministry in McLean, A Bible church for ever and ever. He’s just incredibly talented. Terry Hershey. Another from the old days. Terry is now doing wellness ministry up in Washington state. Two men that I looked up to and learned a lot from, when I was younger. So why do leaders fail? Why do leaders fail? Well, ego is a real big issue. It’s all about them. You know, it’s all about me and what I’m doing and who I am and my authority and my, and everybody knows it’s me. Proverbs 11 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace. But with the humble is wisdom.” Guys, of all people I can be in front, on stage, every time. I’m happy to. Very comfortable with it. But God has called me to build it, to release it. So if I’m the only one on stage, how am I helping to build it and release it? So one of the things that I really loved to do was help build men, because I think our ministries are predominantly women. So I want men to reach men. So I spend extra time helping in equipping men. I put them up front as much as possible. I put them up front to do prayers and announcements. I have a process on how I get teachers and I’d maybe we’ll do a separate webinar for that. ‘Cause there is a specific process on how I train up teachers for ministry, but I wanna help people get to the point to where they’re upfront. They’re over, they’re leading, they’re casting the vision, they’re training other people. So there is a process where you build a team who then builds a team, because one day, one of those people may end up being the leader. It’s strategic, it’s purposeful. But when it’s all about you and you being upfront, even if the person that you put up front is not great yet, they’re a little weird, they’re shy, but they can get there. If you help them and nurture them and work on it together. No vision for the future, you can’t see possibly what could be done, then why are you doing a ministry? Why are you leading a ministry? Why are you starting a ministry and growing a ministry? If you don’t see where God can take it and what can happen. Then you’re just basically giving singles a social club. Which again, you’ll get burned out of that too. You can’t delegate inability. I’m not saying, I mean, you just don’t know how to delegate. Because again, it comes back to control. It comes back to being about you. “They won’t do a good job. They don’t know how to do the job. What did they mess up? What if it doesn’t get done?” Well, you know what? You delegate baby tasks first. You know what I’m saying? You delegate people to bring a food item. That it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make it. You delegate people to come set up, but you know what? You do the majority of yourself and then have them come and do the small setup. Or you have them clean up. Then some things, guys, it doesn’t matter. Who cares? If they do it different than the way you do it. Empower them anyway. Encourage them anyway. Have a specific idea of what you want, but then let it go, let it go. Some of you are watching this that are my own leaders for the retreat that I do. You see me over the years where I have a pretty good idea of what I think it should be. Then I’ve also just let it go. One of those are watching is Carrie. Carrie’s in charge of all of our volunteers and greeting and I just, I don’t get in her mess. I don’t get in her area. I trust her. I know she’s gonna do a good job and she may do it totally different than I would. Unless there’s a consequence where it’s showed to be negative, I don’t fuss about it. We just work on it. We look at it and go, “What could improve? What could be better? What do you think were the areas that we struggled with or wasn’t working well?” We solve it as a team. It’s not whether her way’s better than mine, or worse. It’s, what does God want us to do? A hurting leader, who doesn’t ask for help. Leaders have family of personal problems too. Often a leader feels that they have to be the strong one to set the example. But sometimes the greatest leader, is someone who says, “Hey, I’m struggling too. I’ve got something going on in my life right now. I am not happy about what’s going on right now in the world. I don’t know how to handle it some days.” That’s an example of a great leader, that I think helps people in their ministry, versus, now it can go the other way too. Somebody who’s got all kinds of issues trying to lead. Recently, it was brought to my attention, there was a guy who is in Celebrate Recovery. Not because he’s the leader of it. Because he’s dealing with addictions. So he’s in this Celebrate Recovery, but yet he wants to start a singles ministry. No, no, not ready, not ready, not ready. But what I read that is, he wants to attend singles functions. He wants friends, he wants fellowship. So he doesn’t find one where he lives. So he says, “Well, I’m just gonna start one, even though I’m still addicted to these things.” I had to counsel him not to. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach. It will be given him.” We just got through doing on Wednesday night, we’re doing Zoom Wednesday night Bible studies for singles. Anybody here is welcome to join us. If you’re not a part of that, you go to my website, the information is there, but we studied the book of James in the spring. I remember that verse that God says, you know what? If you’re not sure ask me, don’t go around thinking, “Well I’m the leader, I guess I should know everything.” No, ask God. Everybody else asks and God says, he will give it to you to know what to do. Being critical of others, being negative. Recently, I was working on my book. We were talking about how we need to invite people in our lives that have wisdom. As leaders, we need to have people that we can talk to about stuff that’s going on in the ministry and people that will support us and care for us. But telling two or three people to help you, is good. Seeking wise people to help you. But telling 20, is gossip. So as a leader, you have to be very careful who you complain about in your ministry. You find yourself going, “So can you believe Joe again? He’s always late.” “Yeah, he’s always late.” “Can you believe Bob over here? Oh my gosh. Wasn’t that a horrible prayer that he prayed? Oh my gosh.” It gets out, guys. Everybody hears you as a negative, is that you don’t really care and you become a part of the problem and you lose respect. So if you’ve got issues with a few people, choose maybe some people that are not even in your ministry to vent to, to talk to you to say, “I’ve got these situations, what do we do?” Lack of training others. You’re like, “Well I didn’t get any training.” So, that’s the solution, ’cause you didn’t get training? You don’t train anybody. No, you need to train people. I love John Maxwell’s books. “22 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork.” I have a leadership book on my site. I have leadership curriculum, six weeks long, awesome resource. I created it two years ago, because so many singles ministries were not training their leaders. They were just hoping they happened. So I developed this material to quickly. The first three weeks are inward focus, as a leader. Are you called, dealing with the enemy? ‘Cause he doesn’t want you to grow in this ministry. Then the last three, are about how to build your team. Great material to help you and equip you. But you need to be training other people every time you learn something. In fact, we’re gonna be doing it with our leadership team, for Labor Day, we’re gonna start doing training for our group every month, because we also need to continue to grow as a team. Unhealthy singles that dominate the ministry. Oh my goodness! I can’t believe how many times I’ve seen this. People have told me about how people are just, they’ve let people in the door that are, or I’ve gone to a ministry where they’re like, “Well, you know, Susie, she’s just in charge. She’s got all kinds of issues, but she’s really good at making a bundt cake.” What? Or, “Bobby, yeah he’s a problematic. He kind of messes what the girls a little bit. He flirts too much, but you know what? He’s the one that’s got the beautiful house, that’s got all the stuff and we have our socials at has house.” So you keep him? Or, they have people they call leaders and they’re not leaders. They just have money. They have resources, or they’re loud. Be careful, because your ministry will fail, if you allow them to dominate. Then of course not being teachable. Being teachable has to start with you as a leader. If you can’t see your own failures or mistakes and admit them, then how do you lead others? When I go on staff at churches, I do contract staff with churches. The first thing I’ll say in the leadership meeting is, “I don’t know everything. We’re gonna try some things and they’re gonna fail, because it didn’t work here. Although it works over there, they got to work here. Then there’s some things that we need to try and I’ll be apprehensive, because I don’t know if they’re gonna work, but maybe you have experience. So just know, even if you don’t like what we’re doing, trust me. ‘Cause sometimes things that you’re uncomfortable with, God is gonna do amazing things. Also know if we tried some things that don’t work. I’ll be the first one to say, “Ah, okay, that didn’t work.” Together, we’ll work on this together, Amen.” So, okay. So now you know what makes up a good leader and where leaders fail. You’ve experienced being on a team now, at some point in time, or maybe you’re on one now, or you’ve moved up the ladder to lead and you’re feeling you ready to start your ministry. So what’s the next step? Please, Don’t forget the enemy is gonna wanna destroy this. John 10:10, “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I’ve come to give life more abundantly.” Jesus, right away tells you what the enemy’s goal is. He doesn’t want your singles ministry or any leadership, any ministry to be successful. He doesn’t want you to get along. He wants you to be dominated. He wants you to overwork and get exhausted. He wants you to have problems with your pastor. Problems where your pastor doesn’t get it, doesn’t understand. He definitely doesn’t want any men in there, because heaven forbid you meet your spouse in church, you know? So he’s gonna keep it a bunch of women, very few men and the men typically are unhealthy. That’s his goal. So if you know the goal of the enemy, you have to counteract it. You have to look at it from that standpoint of what he’s gonna do. You gotta pray and do prayer covering of your ministry, on a regular basis. You have to be meeting and praying over your ministry. So in Ephesians 4:10-13, we have Paul sharing with us what the structure and the giftings that different people have. He said, “He descended as the very one who was centered higher than all the heavens in order to fill the whole universe. It was for some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare.” Now hear that, “To prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. So the body of Christ may be built up, until we reach all unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature”, mature, that’s that process, we’re all growing. “Attained to the whole measure of Christ.” We do what we do, because we all got different gifts, talents, God has given us. We do this to help each other grow in the Lord, to come to a place of unity. We’re not always gonna agree. Some people are not gonna like it, but everybody’s in a different place. As some people are gonna act like baby Christians, ’cause they’re baby Christians. But the goal is to get us all to a place of maturity, of growing in the Lord. Because when we come together in unity, we’re powerful and we can change the world. So you’re called to lead now. You’re like, “Okay Kris, who should be on my team?” I hear you. I feel called. I’m doing these things and I’m staying healthy and I’ve got boundaries and I’ve taken some things off my plate, because I feel called to lead the singles. I got a guy leading with me, or another girl leading with me, or my pastor leading with me. I have a vision for the future. I’m ready to cast the vision. I’m ready to share what God has. Who do I look for to be on my team? How do I build the team? Well, we’re looking for people who are FAT. If you’ve done ministry long enough, you’ve heard that acronym before. We’re looking for faithful available and teachable, single adults or leaders. Now understand, not all leaders have to be single. Some of the greatest singles ministries out there have married people on them or married people leading, especially when they were single at one time, or a single parent or divorced, because they understand what it feels like. But I’ve also had pastors have been married their whole life. They had a heart for singles too. So don’t automatically rule out a married person to be on your team. Because a lot of times, especially if you’re trying to reach men, having a male pastor or a married male to be on your team to help grow their men, will be really important. So we’re looking for people who are faithful, they’re consistent. They go to church. They’re consistently growing in their faith. They’re consistently attending a Sunday school class or Bible study. You see this, their walk is consistent. That means you have to kind of know them long enough, to see the rock. Be very careful of putting someone on your team that just joined your church, just because they led somewhere else. Unless you can verify their leadership at another church, just be careful. If they’re really called to be a leader, they’ll be willing to serve for awhile, until people get to know them, before becoming a leader. We’re looking for people that are available. If they’re already on three or four different teams at the church, they’re not available. It doesn’t mean they’re bad. Or They wouldn’t be great leaders. But I’m not gonna ask or beg anyone to be on my team, that are already committed elsewhere. They probably wanna lay something down to be on your team, because singles ministry takes a lot of time and you can’t, it’s really difficult to do lots of different things, besides singles. Teachable, just like with you being teachable, are they teachable? How do they handle criticism? How do they handle conflict? Also, people who like to invest in others, if you find leaders who are FAT, but lack the heart to serve or have a problem, it’s not about them. It’s about Jesus and reaching people for Christ. I love the scripture in John 13:1-38, where Jesus washes the feet of disciples is that, what do people see when they see your team and your leadership team is a bunch of, instead of big Holy huddle, where those are the leaders they’re running everything, or do they see you as people who wanna serve? Do they see you getting up and cleaning up? Do they see you staying to the end? Did they see you saying, “How can I help you?” Do they see you as, it’s not one person running everything, everybody there has a place and has a gifting. That’s what I love about my team for Labor Day. Everybody has their area. Everybody’s good at their area, but at the same time, sometimes we cross over to each other’s areas to support each other. Those who have a passion and a vision leaders need to not only understand the mission of the ministry, but also the passion to share with others. If you’re the only one that’s ever posted anything on Facebook, if you’re the only one that’s ever talking about your ministry, or giving out brochures or business cards in your ministry, that may be a problem. Now not everybody’s got the gift of gab like me, but everyone, if you really have a heart for this and love it, you’re gonna tell people. That’s what we do. We find a good sale. We’re gonna tell somebody. We found a really cool article on the web, or a funny thing on the web. We’re gonna tell somebody. Are people willing to tell about what you do, about your ministry? That’ll give you a really good indication of what the ministry, how it’s perceived by other people. We want people with a variety of backgrounds and ages and demographics, depending on the focus that God has called you to do. So if God has called you to reach 50 plus singles. More than likely, most of them are gonna be divorced or widowed, then that’s who needs to be on your team. It needs to be people that reflect who your ministry is. It can’t be eight women that have never been married and knowing that people are gonna come that have been married. In the same way, do not think you’re gonna get 30 somethings, if you’re a 50 something, unless you’re in the middle of nowhere. There’s only 10 singles in the whole county. 30s and 40s really don’t wanna hang out with older singles unless it’s maybe at a conference or a retreat. Because they’re looking for someone like them, to maybe one day marry or minister beside. So just understand that you’re probably not gonna reach everyone. Now, if you’re on staff you can, because you’re building individual teams of those demographics. But if you’re a volunteer and you’re 52 years old, focus on who you are and the audience that God is around you. Then if God has called you to build on 30 something, maybe over time, somebody in their 40s will join and maybe God will multiply the ministry. Then that 40 something will go to 30, 40 ministry. That’s the best way. It’s always better to multiply out of something that’s healthy and growing, then to split up something that’s not that healthy yet, just to appease a few people. Let’s keep going here. Unity is critical, guys. If you guys, if you’re a ministry, you’re not coming together to be in agreement. If you’ve got people that are causing issues and you’ve got leaders that are falling into sin, or that are doing things that you don’t agree with, as a group, you’re finding out through the grape vine, you’re not unified. It’s gonna be unhealthy and it’s not gonna work. It doesn’t mean people are perfect, but you do need to have unity in mind and spirit and direction with a ministry, so that you’re all working towards that. Understand, you’re gonna have differences. You’re gonna have different ideas on how things should be run. Over the years, I’ve had casualties. I’ve had people who’ve quit and said, “Oh Kris has got her own ideas. They don’t care about my ideas.” No, your ideas were horrible. Your ideas weren’t about the body. You’re building the body, your ideas were about doing your agenda. So if I come across as somebody who doesn’t wanna give into that, I’m sorry. In the name of Jesus, I bind that. But there are other times that people have come up with ideas. I said, “You know what? That sounds like good. You know what? I wouldn’t do that. But you know what? That sounds like a good idea. Let’s try that.” Then other times, I’ve had to say, “You know, that’s a great idea, but we’re not there yet. So probably let’s table it and let’s look back at it, but don’t let me forget. ‘Cause I might forget. But let’s look at it again later.” That’s acknowledging them and affirming them and telling them that you appreciate their ideas. But at the same time, knowing you can’t do everything. A lot of times, this happens when people wanna plan socials. They’ve got all these ideas of things that we could do, but they’re not willing to lead it. In some cases, I wouldn’t want them leading it, just ’cause they came up with the idea, doesn’t mean they have the ability to lead it. It fragments the ministry. So it’s better as a singles ministry to have the Bible study every week or Sunday school, maybe one Sunday lunch that you organized. Maybe one social event, like a game night or a cookout. Now remember, if you listened to the last two webinars, they need to be strategic fellowships, not just social. There needs to be a strategy behind them. Your leader’s gotta be spread out. You’ve gotta know who’s coming in the door and who’s going out the door. We wanna build people in Jesus. Now anybody can have a cookout but you wanna be strategic. But those other times a month, if people wanna do stuff, if someone says, “I have this great idea, let’s go tubing.” Well just pick up the phone and call your friends and go tubing. But we’re not gonna make it an event under the church, ’cause we’re splitting up our leadership. I’d rather our leaders be at the things we planned, then to split them up in a bunch of social activities. Then I don’t know who’s at that tubing. I don’t know who’s at that cookout. If it’s got the church’s name on it, then it makes me responsible for it. But if you as Susie Q, wanna have a cookout at your house, you can, but only invite your friends. You cannot invite the whole singles ministry, because I am not able to be responsible for what happens at that event. So let’s keep going. “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Psalm 133. Remember, as their leader, you did not recruit people to fulfill your dreams, but you rather invest in individuals, to whom God has given dreams of their own. So how do I find my members? Okay, so you’re at a church, maybe you’re in a singles ministry and they’re tying you to a peer ministry organization. Peer ministry’s gonna be more of a struggle, because you really have to build a team of people that you do know already. Whereas, if you’re at a church, you might have a bigger audience of people that you can pull from recommendations. They may not be people that you know well, but they could be people that other people recommend. So it’s a little bit different challenge. So we’re gonna focus as if you’re at a church, just to keep things simple. If you’re not in a church, you’re in a peer ministry organization and you want some help, just email me, or we can have a FaceTime call and I can help you with that. So how do I find my team members within the church? First, pray. “God, who do I want to be on the team? Who do you want to be on the team?” Prayer is really important. Create a survey, if you want to. I’ve done them through SurveyMonkey, that kind of thing. There’s a few of my website that you can check out. A lot of times, you’ll do your first initial thing, right after church on a Sunday. Feed singles for free. They love it. You’ll get a ton of people that’ll come. First of all, you’ll see your demographic right away. You’ll know whether you wanna continue or not. If you’re 42 years old and everybody that comes is 60 and over you either gotta go, “Okay, my ministry is gonna be older singles. or this is not what I want. I really wanna reach 20s and 30s.” So, that’s gonna tell you. Number two, by doing the survey, you can have on the survey, if they’ve ever been a leader, if they’ve ever served. When the survey is over with and you tabulate the things that are on the survey, I would call those that have been leaders first and find out the story. Meet with them one on one, have a cup of coffee. See if you can verify. Go to the church’s database. Work with the church secretary and qualify these people. Who is it, that is single in our church? Who’s got singles background? Who’s married, that used to be single before? I would do my research to try to find people within the church. Now a church I worked at last summer, we advertised out the wazoo, that we were doing one of my studies, Jesus Single Like Me.” We had people come like crazy, ’cause they had marketed it so well. We already had a large amount of singles coming to the church. Then once they were there, we do a ton of followup. How are you doing, how did it go? Did you like it, did you like it? You coming next week, you coming next week? So out of that, I got one leader. Then I got two leaders. Then I got three leaders. Then next thing you know, we’re doing table hosting and people are having, they’re leading each of the table discussions. So it kind of happened at the same time. But in the meantime, I met with every single person, like, I don’t even know, 80, 90 people. I met with everybody individually and had coffees and lunches, because I was trying to find leaders to build the ministry. That’s kind of part of what you have to do too. So don’t be in a hurry to play in this big singles event. Don’t be in a hurry to plan this big singles ministry. Build your team first. It takes a few weeks. It takes a few weeks. One of my favorite people in the Bible, is Nehemiah. When Nehemiah first heard about his home, his city that got torn down, he wanted to go fix it. He wanted to go fix it right away. In our heart, we wanna fix singles. We wanna help singles. We wanna get singles together. We wanna gather them. But he had to wait, because if he’d gone too soon, he’d have been by himself. So it was four to six months that he prayed and he fasted and which God then gave him permission to go. Not only was he able to go, but he was able to take a team and army and money and resources to be able to build the walls of Jerusalem back. One of the greatest times of my life was two years ago, was to be in Jerusalem and to touch that wall. To think, this is the wall that I’ve been teaching about all these years. This is the wall that he built, because he had a team of people with all kinds of gifts and talents and backgrounds and experiences. But they were unified in building the wall, because it had a purpose. Does your ministry have a purpose? Do you see fruit coming from it? Do you wanna see fruit come from it? Then we have to be strategic in building our team first. Ask other members of your church, who do you know? Who do you know that would be great to be on our team. Understand to y’all, whoever starts with you. Whoever that initial group that is praying with you, that is spending time together, may not be the group that runs your ministry. They may simply be the ones that help you start, in which then God’s gonna help you reach and grow others. Before you build the team. Make an announcement, social media. Obviously, that’s kind of a dud these days. If you already had the core leadership, then split up responsibilities, make sure everyone has a job, so they can then find their own team. I have a job descriptions on my website. They’re free, it’s an editable file. You can just, cut and splice. What I like to do is I love to give out a general description and then I want them to write the rest. So if you already have a team, do they know what they’re doing? Do they know their job? Do they know what’s expected of them? Do they know how to train somebody else? If they’re building the prayer team or the marketing team, building the teaching team, building the greeting team, how do they build it? What would they tell that other person that their job’s gonna be. Understand, a lot of times churches say, “Well, we don’t wanna make it that much structure.” It’s too much like world.” God believed in structure. I’m telling you guys, if people know what’s expected of them, they’ll do a better job. If they write part of the job description, especially of an existing team, they’ll do a better job. They also will be able to train somebody else to do the job. Now it’s not a perfect science. Even I don’t do it perfectly, but I will tell you it’ll change. If people know, “Wow, this is what’s expected of me. I can or I can’t do it.” They can come to you and say, “Listen, I can’t do all this that’s on this list, but I could be part of it. Could I get a partner?” “Yes and you can also build a team of people.” Now, some people say, “Well, I don’t know how to build a team.” Well, use me as an example. I met with you for coffee. Oh yeah, I prayed with you. Yeah, we prayed about the position. I thought you might be good at. Yeah, I gave you a job description. Yeah, we went through the job description. Yeah, I’ll let you edit it. Yeah, that’s what I want you to do to somebody else. Oh, it means I need to pray. I need to think about who could be on my team and I need to have coffee with them and I need to tell them what I’m thinking about. They have a chance to have input and say, “I can do it or I can’t do it.” Then you go to the second, the third, the fourth. The goal is again that structure. Remember, I talked about and how to start a singles ministry that most singles ministries are relationally structured. Relationally means we all show up and we just love each other and we just care. We don’t really know who’s in charge of anything, but we just show up and it gets done . That’s the ministry that never changes sizes and never grows. Eventually people do get burned out. They quit. But if it was structured in such a way that would produce growth. If it was structured, if the way that you build a team, you build a team, you build a team, you could still be relational. With my Labor Day team, you know what? We’ve got Macy’s in charge of registration and everybody’s rooms, but Carrie sometimes steps in and helps. Kim, sometimes steps in and helps. I of course some, I do all the finance part and so we overlap. We’ve got a new lady that was doing our greeting this year, but I promise you, a lot of us know how to greet. We have a lady that does all of our food and our snacks. But again, we have people that know how to do that as well that have come a part of her team. But at the same time, if she needed to help us out with setting up some facilities, or tear down, or clean up, she could. See that’s the relational part. We all kind of know each other’s jobs to some degree and we can help, but we’re really good at our job. When we stay on our job and we grow in our job and we teach in our job, than our job is better. Then we all work better as a team, remember the foot and the hand and the eye. We don’t need 12 eyes. We need everybody to know their area to do their area well, but we’re all joined together. We’re all connected together, to make the body work. Isn’t that great? So make sure that even upon your core team, they know what their jobs are. We want our team to look like a hospital operating room. We want everybody to have a job, right? Okay, I want a surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse, person who sets up, a person who cleans up. We want everybody to know their job well, trained in their job. We want everybody to be able to train the next person. We want everybody to work well together. We want everybody valuable. That although the surgeon might have more training than the person who sets up, I want the person who sets up, who’s responsible for cleaning the operating room, to also do a good job and be valued and important. So if you keep leading your ministry where handful of people show up and people, “Well it doesn’t take two brain cells, Kris, we need to set up some chairs and cut up the watermelon and put out some hamburgers on the grill.” Yeah, but is that all ministry supposed to be? What about some strategy? What about some ways in order to empower people and guess what, that person’s flipping burgers may not be the leader that runs a whole ministry, but if you’re not training them and teaching them, then all they ever do, 10 years later flip burgers. So once you find them, meet with him, go over the description, ask for short commitment first. Maybe six months. Even with my team that we meet every, we’re rescheduling our retreat, because of COVID and having to reschedule it for next year. I even have to ask each one of them, “Hey, are you wanna be on this team again? Do you wanna work with this next year?” Because don’t ever assume, give people a chance to say, “You know what? I’m in charge of prayer, but I really feel like I’d rather be a greeter. But Susie Q, I’ve been training her. She’s gonna take over.” Awesome. Always give people a chance to say, “It’s not my area, or I need to step down, or I need to do something else.” So shorter term commitments is usually better, but you decide as a ministry and as a church. I went to a church for years. Then you had to sign up for three years. I’m thinking, “Three years? I don’t even know what I’m doing next year. Three years? but it didn’t mean you couldn’t say, “Hey, I just feel called to do something else.” But that was just a commitment that you made to the church. You wanna pray with them, pray about the decision and encourage them to pray again. You pray on your existing team for like you get with your core. You might say, “Hey, we’re thinking about bringing Bob on. He’s gonna be in charge of greeters.” Or we’re thinking about, maybe all the core has four or five people and ideas of people they wanna bring on the team. You can pray together for those people. Definitely be meeting on a regular basis, y’all. In the beginning, I say, you need meet every week. If you’re already meeting for Bible study, you’re already meeting, then take five minutes to pray for your church and for the direction of your singles ministry. ‘Cause we’re already meeting. Just spend that extra time. Right now, even during Zoom, even doing Zoom meetings and Zoom training and Zoom Bible studies, you can still pray for your study, pray for the direction, pray for what God would have you do, beyond the walls of your computer. Set up a time to follow up with them and say, “Hey, we’ve prayed about you becoming our team, be in charge of greeters. Would you, let’s meet next week. The same time, we’ll have another cup of coffee. I wanna hear what God has put in your heart. Is there ideas, suggestions, things you wanna change? Do you have some ideas of your own or direction?” ‘Cause understand greeting, just like greeting by itself, or prayer ministry, can have lots of tentacles, can go into lots of things. ‘Cause a greeter for your ministry is not only a greeter for your Bible study, but it’s a greeter for your social events. It’s a greeter for your service projects. It’s a greeter for your lunches. So now all of a sudden, you need greeters for everything and who’s gonna be in charge of that and who’s gonna train them all? So the same thing with prayers. Praying just for your team. It’s praying for the leaders. It’s praying for the individuals. Who’s in charge of that? Do you have people fill out index cards? Do they fill out a clipboard? Do they get up in front and share their prayer needs? Who’s gonna visit someone in the hospital? Who’s gonna check on somebody in their home? Praying is much bigger than just, “I’m gonna pray.” Let’s see how it can be. If you’re the vision that God has given you for this to happen. Build a relationship with your team. These individuals are gonna be running your ministry. You need to meet with them on a regular basis. Call them, text them. I try to do different things with mine. Some of them I call. Some of them I text. Some of them are Messenger people. Some of them do FaceTime. You find out what works best with your folks and contact them. Be sure though, whoever you’ve called to be on your team, that they have the skills and the resources to do it. One time, years ago, I had a lady who wanted to do our newsletter and she didn’t own a computer. She said, “Well I’ll just go to the library and do it.” I go, “I don’t think we have the right person.” Or, “Well I don’t believe in social media.” I get a few of those. I go, “Well, our ministry is pretty much on social media. So I don’t know how you’re gonna be able to be a part of the team and help us with this area. If you’re not willing to be on social media. You can be on Facebook without actual people knowing your name. I mean, you can have an anonymous name, but still be able to be on Facebook.” Continue to be the example of what you expect from them. Continue to be example yourself, but also what you expect from them. Create a contract. Some people do, some people don’t. It’s totally up to you, if you want to. Then set up your team meetings where you’re gonna do training. Go over the ministry business problems, issues, things like this. Encourage one another and build each other up just in the back of you’re doing II Thessalonians 4:11, and then working together as a team. Communication’s important. They need to know the job that’s expected them. They need to have access to you. They need to be getting information. If they’ve missed a meeting that you need to get the information to them. Discipleship is important. Personal, as well as a group. Bring in speakers, go to retreats, offer training, send them to my website, watch the videos. Remember to delegate, encourage and support each other. Nip gossip in the bud. Plan and strategize. Be sure everyone’s on the same page, spiritually. I’ve had that happen where I had a guy did not believe in the Trinity and didn’t find out til later. You need to know that up front. Evaluate often, ’cause things are gonna change. Be flexible. Be a bendy straw, be flexible. Have a plan to deal with conflict, problems. When your team quits, fails, or doesn’t get the work done. Then understand, I’ve had some ministries say, “All of our team got married.” Doesn’t really happen in my age group. But when I was younger and they all got married, that’s why you never stop building leaders and you don’t get to team and go home, I’m done. It’s constant, constant, constant, constant constant. A third of my time is looking for leaders, listening in. Who would be a good leader, who do you know? Constantly looking, because life changes. Singles get married. Single adults move away. Single adults change into different positions in the church. So if half the team gets married and you didn’t have a backup plan, you didn’t have some more leaders behind them to come in. Then that’s a problem you’re in. So keep that in mind. Here’s what questions to ask, if your team quits. Would you define that their jobs is the task appropriate for the team member? Does the team leader have someone to help him or her with the job? Does the team member have the tools they need to get the job done? Are the things going on in their life that limits them? Maybe a sick parent or sick child and a job has changed. Have I or someone else spent time with them? Additional resources. Have a leadership retreat. There’s the advantages of a leadership retreat team building the value of it. You can really bond. Overnight retreats with leaders are awesome. That’s one of my favorite things to do, because you really, really can grow. Have everybody wear a name tag. It helps identify the leaders in your ministry. You’re maybe the leaders have a different color or something just to help people identify the leaders or the servants of the council. Whatever you wanna call yourself. Some people don’t like that word leader. Well call yourself the council, who cares. Thank your team members. Send them a card, give them a gift card. Tell them you care about them. Tell them you appreciate them. ‘Cause sometimes you get discouraged thinking, “Nobody really cares if I do this or not.” Continue to let your church and your staff know their needs, but be careful that you don’t go and complain about your ministry to your pastor. That’s all he hears. Complain to somebody you know really well that won’t tell anybody you know. Just vent to them. But, make sure church knows that, “Hey, these are amazing things that are happening. People are growing. People are getting married. People are building relationships. People are getting healed. People are becoming holy.” let them know what’s going on. But also your prayer needs. Keep track of where your singles go, so that way you can look back and go, “My goodness, look what happened. Look how many cool things came out of this. We had five leaders come out of that. We had three marriages come out of it. We’ve had four ministries that started.” Keep track, ’cause that’s gonna encourage you. Also, if your church wants to know why you still only have 50 people in your singles ministry, you’ll say, “Well, 25 of them have gone off to do amazing things. Let me tell you who they are and where they’re at.” Get your singles involved in the whole church. Remember, singles ministry is not the end, it’s just a gate, to bring people into the church that wouldn’t come another way. You want them to be a part of the rest of the church. We get blamed all the time that we’re a church within a church, or we’re trying to separate singles out. That’s why a lot of churches don’t do singles ministry. But the reality is, it’s just like upper basketball. Women’s ministry, men’s ministry. It’s just a gate. We want them to come in and grow and get healed and get home. But we also want them to greet in the church. We want them to be watching three-year olds. We want them to be on the finance committees. So understand if you’ve got singles that are sitting on their butt and they’ve never changed or doing anything differently over a period of time, it may be time to ask them to move and just leave, because they become a problem, versus part of the solution. Utilize my site, please glean. By the book. Everyone knows a single adult. FAQ is a singles ministry. Dennis Frank used to be in charge of singles ministries of God. I put this book together. Over a hundred questions of 52 leaders in the industry. That’ll help you so much as well, to figure out what you’re doing and how to do it better. If you want one year prosperity, plant some grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow a tree. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people. I hope you’re encouraged. I know your brain is probably exploding. Eileen, they’re probably going, “Ah, she went really fast.” Time went by so quickly already, I can’t believe it.

– I wanna remind everybody, that these videos will be available shortly and you will be receiving an email from Doug Rogers, which will give you the video. There also will be where you can get the handout. If you missed making a handout, please, go download that. So you can have those resources. Kris, I have a question for you.

– Yes.

– How do you know if you’re called to leadership?

– Oh my goodness. Well, that’s a good question somebody asked me one time. How did you know you were called to lead singles? There was my first answer that kind of leads to the other, how anyone was called to lead singles or start a ministry was when I was talking with a friend and I was talking about my job and I was like, “Yeah, I gotta do this. I gotta do this, I gotta do this.” Then I started the singles and like, “Oh my gosh.” So right there was just where my heart was. She saw right away. She goes, “Kris, God has called you in a ministry. You have a passion for this. You see people’s giftings. You see how to pull people together. You’re a networker.” So part of it was having somebody else who saw it in me, before I saw it in myself. But farther back, even better was when I was a part of solo. Singles often liken to others. I came in, I hugged the walls for literally almost a year. ‘Cause I was afraid. They thought that I wasn’t perfect and they were. Somebody asked me some questions. This is what’s important is that you have to have the leaders or your volunteers asking people questions about their lives. Someone said, “Well, what do you do for a living?” After they’d known me awhile. Not the first question they met. I said, “Why I have my own advertising company.” They said, “Oh, we really could use some help in our marketing.” I’m like, “Oh, okay.” They said, “Would you be willing to come to our meeting, our team meeting, we’re getting ready, we’re working on a retreat.” I went, “Oh, okay, whatever.” Understand, I was living half one foot in the world Eileen, and one’s out. Okay and so they brought me to the team meeting and they said, “Yeah, Kris, we need a banner.” Some of you have heard this story, probably many times. They said, “We need a banner for our retreat, or a conference that we’re doing.” I said, “Okay.” “You’re a marketing person, right?” “Yeah, I can do a banner.” Understand it’s not a spiritual question they’re asking me, Eileen. They’re asking me if I can do something in my wheelhouse. In my ability. It wasn’t spiritual, a banner, you know? I said, “Sure.” I said, “When do you need it?” They said, “Oh, in like 11 months.” “Okay, well you call me in about 10 and a half months and I will make this banner.” They said, “Well, here’s the issue. If you’re gonna make the banner, you’re part of our team. You’re part of the marketing team. If you’re part of the team, you have to meet every week for a banner, that you don’t need for 11 months.” I said, ‘Are you serious?” They go, “Well, that’s okay. We can find somebody else to do the banner.” I was like, “No, I wanna do the banner. ‘Cause like I really, I’d like everybody to know that I did it.” ‘Cause at the time, that was my flash. At that time, I was about me. They knew that. So they were giving me a responsibility that wasn’t gonna make or break anybody else’s walk with God. I wasn’t a leader. I wasn’t having any spiritual control over anybody. But they saw something in me that I didn’t see in me. ‘Cause I was still struggling in the world. They said, “Well, you don’t have to Kris. We’ll find somebody else.” I’m like, “No, no, no. I wanna do the banner. ‘Cause then it’s about me.” So I said, “Okay, I’ll meet every week for a banner you don’t need for 11 months, gosh.” They said, “Oh, we do one other thing. I said, “What?” They said, “Well, we do a Bible study every week.” “A Bible study? I mean, I gotta open my Bible every week?” They’re like, “Yeah, but you don’t have to. We’ll find somebody else.” “Well, no, no, no. I’ll bring a Bible and read a Bible every week for a banner you don’t need for 11 months.” Well, it changed my life. I started going every week and I became a part of the team. Was the first team I’d ever been on. It was the first time I experienced other people’s inputs and ideas. Not only would I get the banner made, but I ended up being in charge of all the marketing. I did all the marketing, all the advertising, all the posters, everything. I still was not, I wasn’t in charge of anybody. I still was not spiritually in charge. But from that experience, I grew as a Christian. Then the next thing they said, “Kris, would you serve on our”, they had two levels. They had a core and they had one level below and the one below where like all the volunteers are the ones who, did all the greeting and all the food. They said, “Would you serve on that, as part of the marketing team for the ministry?” I did and they said, I was writing the newsletters. I was writing the articles and next thing you know, I was trying to do other things and it went from there. Then they said, “Kris, we’ve seen commitment. We’ve seen faithfulness. We’ve seen availability. We’ve seen teachability. Would you like to be on the core?” I was like, “Wow.” I mean, it took two years, guys. This wasn’t like overnight, because I was still struggling. I said, “Are you sure? ‘Cause I still have some sin in my life.” They said, “We know.” “But we see a person that’s willing to grow and change. That’s what we’re looking for.” That was the beginning of the end, Eileen. I started there and I did that for about a year. Then God called me. At that point in time, to do more singles ministry. Then that was, it was the next 10 years. It was a growth process that God would get me to where I would become my own peer ministry.

– Wow.

– It all started, ’cause somebody saw something in me that was leadership qualities, a teachable person and gave me something small enough that if I didn’t show up, if I said, “Oh, I’m not gonna do it. “Or I’ve been to three of these Bible studies, I’m not coming back.” They’re like, “Okay, we’ll just find somebody else.”

– But they were also willing to hold their level that you had to commit. I mean, sometimes we vacillate, we think, “Oh, they’ll just come and be a part. I’ll just take them every other week or every, so.”

– No, no, no.

– They left the requirement still stand.

– The availability part of it is important, because if I couldn’t, if it was consistently not there, so here’s a good example. Over the years, I helped build it. I don’t even know how many singles ministries I have built over the years. Well start or grow, because my goal is to train you and give it to you to run. I’m not there to stay. So I remember I had one where I just had this guy and he had a great house and a farm and everybody loved his farm. He was only at one meeting every three or four weeks. I said, “Guys, he’s not a good leader. He’s committed to other things. He’s a nice guy. Doesn’t mean he’s not a nice guy, but he’s not available. So what would be better is to just let him, when we do something at his home, he’s in charge of that. He’s a leader over his home and he’s a leader over getting us to help out when we get to his home. But I’m gonna take them off the core.” Now, if he came to me and said, “Oh, wait a minute, I wanna be on the core. I wanna help him the direction of the ministry.” “Then you gotta be there every week. You gotta earn that trust. If you’re not valuing it by being there consistently faithful available and teachable, then how are we unifying that, how do we go forward?” So that’s a long answer.

– Here’s a question that I hear a lot. I can’t get the support I need for this ministry at my church. So how do we help with it?

– Okay, I’m gonna do a quick answer on this, but I want you to get my website. ‘Cause I’ve got several articles on this that are really important. This is the big issue that most of us do. This is a typical scenario. I was at church. My pastor just got through preteen, like 14 sermons and he’s got his wife’s in the hospital and his kid is sick and he’s got issues. I stopped them on the way out and said, “Pastor, I wanna start a singles ministry. He did not respond. He seemed like he was in a bad mood.” I say, “When did you contact him?” Like as being a person who ministers to people in poor, poor, poor, and poor. Don’t ask me for something, when I’ve just taught all day long. Okay, so your timing of approaching your pastor, is critical. So real quick, in a nutshell, they don’t support it for lots of reasons. One, maybe the church really doesn’t believe in singles ministry. There’s all kinds of reasons. We talked about that in week one, I believe, the first webinar. All kinds of reasons. Maybe they have a past history. They tried it and everybody hooked up with everybody. Or maybe they tried it, because they didn’t have leaders. Or they had a bunch of married people doing it, who knew nothing about singles ministry, it failed. That pastor is not going to do it again, because his experience is, they don’t work. Sometimes they don’t do it, because they really don’t know what to do. They don’t have anybody that has the gifting. If you’re a whiny person, mainly female do that. It’s not so much men. A whiny female that keeps going to your pastor and you keep asking him to let you start one. He says, “No.” You may be the problem. Okay, not the pastor, because if you become that clanging cymbal, that’s not a good clang. You become a whiny needy, then he interprets that as being led by an unhealthy person, not a healthy person. So here’s what I do. If it’s something you’re called to do and you’re walking, you’re fairly mature in your faith, you believe that. You’re tied to and you’re serving at your church. You want to have a relationship with your pastor, your pastors and the leaders in the church, so that they see you, not as a single, but as a person that’s an adult, that’s serving at your church. You’re tithing, you’re consistent. So that you’re looked upon with respect. Then when time comes and you’re like, I would like to start this. Gather your folks and start praying. Gather married or single, anybody. Say, “God has given me this vision. Would you meet with me to pray?” Pray for a period of a few weeks. Just getting clarity on what you wanna do. Where’s your audience? What’s your focus? Is it thirties? Is it forties? Is it divorce? Is it single dads? Is it single moms? Get clarity, put it on paper, put plan down. Do your research. Go to my site, listen to as many webinars, or as many books, resources, talk to people. Also, if there’s an existing singles ministry in your city or close by, go to it, be a part of it, serve on it. Glean from it, learn from their mistakes. What would you do differently? You gather all that stuff up and put it in a nice little folder with nice little headings. Then you set up a time with your pastor, that’s good for him. You ask him any one hour of his time. Then you bring your team with you. If it’s one, two, five people, you bring that team and then you present it like a grownup, that’s respectful and responsible. All of a sudden, that pastor looks at that and goes, “Wow, they’ve done their research. They know the demographics. They’ve been praying for three months. There’s the people on this team are people that I can verify that they are mature in the Lord. They’re people that I know that I’ve served beside and done projects with and they’ve been at the church for awhile. I see that. They’ve come up with a budget. They’ve come up with a vision statement. They’ve come up with a plan on how to get there. They’ve done all these things.” The pastor doesn’t have to do nothing. Then at the very bottom you say, “Pastor, this is what we need from you. We need space. We’d like a little bit of a budget. We’d like permission. We would like approval. We would like support. What does that look like?” Well support means promotion. Listen on the website. I have a webpage support is prayer by the church. Money, how much money? What kind of money? Where’s the money coming from? What are you gonna do with the money? The more information you have that pastor, pastors, leaders, the more you have, the more you’re gonna come across is that these people are serious. “You know what? I think they know what they’re doing and I’m gonna trust them to this. Guess what they’re asking me to do, I can do, ’cause these are some small things I can do.” Then so if they really are mature themselves as a pastor, they’re gonna take your information. They’re gonna pray. If they come back and say, “You know what, you’ve done a great job. I see all this, but I just don’t feel it’s the right time.” You have three options. You can say, “Yes, all right. We submit to that and we’re gonna wait. In the meantime, I’m gonna have a cup of coffee with this group that I formed. You know what? I can still meet with them and do things with them. We just won’t call it a singles ministry. We’re gonna wait till pastor says, “Yes, do this.” Or you can say, “I don’t agree.” You still feel called. It’s called peer ministry. It’s what I have. You go start it outside of the church. But you still go to your church. Then the third is, you leave and go to a church that will do it. But I think the reason why most churches don’t is, because nobody puts together a plan, is respectful to the pastor, goes in when he’s in a good mood and allows the pastor to really pray and come back. When you just whine and complain and say, “I just wanna do a ministry.” I’d make you leave too. I’d say no, as well.

– Well, and a lot of times, the good intention of somebody is moved by a sermon and they say, “We should have this.” Well he’s got a jillion things on his plate. That’s not another area he can, you’ve got to use your approach.

– Right, it’s one more thing on his plate. So if he looks at it as, “Oh my gosh, there’s something else I gotta do.” He has some experience that it hasn’t turned out that great, because maybe there wasn’t this incredible leadership structure, there wasn’t organization. There wasn’t a mission statement. It ended up being a bunch of whiny, older women that were empty nesters running it, or it became a social thing only. If that’s his perception. Here’s a real big deal, Eileen. I am pro Sunday school. I love Sunday school. I think Sunday school is better than any church that has to small groups. I’m sorry. It’s just how I feel, because I see people grow way better. So if it’s a Sunday school focused church, more than likely, they’re gonna have a single Sunday school class of some size, but it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It doesn’t mean someone’s leading it right. It doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. So it still needs help. But if it’s a small group based church, the percentage of people, small groups is way lower than people in Sunday school. Singles typically don’t go to somebody’s house they don’t know. Married people don’t get that. If you’re married and you go to a small group at someone’s house, you have a backup. As a single person, we go, we don’t have a backup. So to get us to randomly go to somebody’s house and there’s eight singles there. That’s not how we gather. We gather with a big group first and from a big group, we form into small groups. So when pastors have a small group based church, do not understand that singles, firstly, to come in a group of 30 to 100, that I feel safe. I can choose to leave. I can choose not to talk. I need people and from that, I can form those Bible studies of eight, 10, 12 people. So that’s part of the challenges. When you’re meeting with a pastor who’s 32 old, he’s wearing tight blue jeans and he’s got his hair sticking up and he’s doing the modern, the contemporary church. Yeah, me too. He’s doing the contemporary church. A lot of times, he doesn’t understand singleness at all. He doesn’t understand. So you have to in a loving way, in a respectful way, come alongside and show him the value of doing singles ministry and what it looks like. So it doesn’t become one more problem for him. Instead, it becomes a solution and the ministry starts to add to the church. All of a sudden, the church sees singles as a value, but we need to keep them, because they are making my job easier, because they’re reaching people that I don’t really know anything about. They’re helping the whole body grow. That’s our focus. We need to be looked upon as, this is an asset to the church. Not a deficit.

– Absolutely, absolutely. Well, Kris, I have no more questions that have come in.

– Oh my goodness, are you serious? No questions at all?

– I think they’re overwhelmed. I mean, it’s just a pretty, it’s pretty intense. Lots of information in a short amount of time. So I’m sure you might get some emails from folks and her email address is in there. It’s also on the handout. So make sure you contact Kris. If you have a question or there, she got it in there quickly, or you go on her website for information, you could come on our website at alsbom.org. I’d get you that information also. I thank you, Kris, for spending. You’ve got something else to say.

– Well, I do. I’m looking at the sidebar and the chat and there’s some comments here. I just wanted to make sure, Carrie, you put in here something about several years to pick from, I don’t know what this means. Which year is it in?

– We got it, we’ve already taken care of that.

– Oh wow. Oh, you’re talking about one great Sunday . Oh, yes that’s, it’s linked on the site too. Just wanna give a chance. Anything else that people wanted to ask or comment, or any of the resources you recommend that you found that’s been really good for your singles ministry, or any additional challenges? Probably one of the biggest ones right now is COVID and people are asking, how do you build leaders during COVID? The same way you build them prior to COVID. You still meet with them, but it might be by FaceTime, or Zoom. It may, you can still do training. You can still contact them. You can still encourage them. Even if you’re not able to actually do physical activities yet, you can still do a Bible study online. You can still have a webinar, you can start a concert, you can still do games. We talked about this yesterday, on how to do creative things within Zoom games and as Zoom icebreakers. So we don’t wanna stop meeting and networking and teaching and training, because of COVID. I’ve heard of singles ministries that when COVID hit, they stopped meeting and they did not do any type of Zoom Bible study, or training, or continue teaching. The ministries are gone. You spend all that time building and now the ministries are gone. So I would encourage you that if you haven’t done it, that you continue to keep in front, keep in front of people. Is it more of a challenge, I believe, to find people to be on your team, when you don’t even know who they are, because you don’t see them, ’cause you don’t get to see them? Yes. With my Wednesday night study, I knew a handful of the people to ask them to be breakout leaders. But then there were two or three new ones that I hadn’t knew a little bit about them and got to know them and spend some time on the phone with them and ask them to be a breakout speaker. I mean a breakout host. So that may be what you have to do. Max just wrote, singles that are, you’re so sweet, thank you. Max, please put your web address again. Max has written books and other people’s books, as well. Max has a book on singles ministry, singles resources, that’s great, as well. So appreciate him.

– He’s speaking truth. He’s speaking truth. Well, I just wanna say, I know that Kris has two other Zoom meetings following this plus she gets to do a newsletter. Woo, craziness. So we wanna pray for Kris, as we conclude this time and we want, I wanna pray for each of you, that you’ll take this information and let it just seep in and marinade. Again, if you have questions, be sure to contact Kris. Max put his, got the information in there, Kris, so you’ve got it.

– Wonderful.

– Let me pray. Father, I just thank you for Kris and the great wisdom you’ve given her, Father. It didn’t come just instantaneous. It’s because of years of faithful service to you, Father, she has such a great way to give her information, engages us, challenges us and makes us look at what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and that we find our why. Go from there, Father. Most importantly, that we feel called by you to this ministry. Father. I thank you for each person that’s been on these webinars, over this last week. It’s been great to see their names. Now I feel like we have a connection and I just pray for their ministries wherever they are, as they’re located across the United States and across the world. So we just asked that we pray for one another in these days that as we take this information that we’ve heard and that we have in front of us, that we can go through it again and just let that dwell in us, so that we can take scripture. We can marinate how you want us to go along on our plan, Father, that you have for each and every one of us, as you promise. Now, Father, give us good rest. Give Kris a few minutes. Her voice sounds like she’s getting kind of weary, Father, so give her some time to restore, before she gets on these other calls. Father, we just thank you for your love, your grace, to each of us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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