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Org Chart

I feel bad.

Someone asked one of our awesome team (Kathryn Macdowall) to  send them an organisation chart for Hillsong Kids, and she had to write one down from memory because we don’t really have a up to date one.

It’s like one of the first rules of ministry.

Especially if doing multi campus Church!

It’s so important, you have to submit it before entering kidmin heaven along with your child safety policy.

But I didn’t have one.

You need clarity in your communication, which is usually found in the writing of something, but so many job descriptions and charts lie around gathering dust. Having something in the hearts and minds of your team is so much more important than having it just on paper.

What’s the most important document you have that no one has read?


Q is for Question

I have given myself a challenge for the next 26 days – post the complete A-Z of Ministry to Children.

Q… quit, queen, Qantas, quacksalver…

Q is for Question – Your kids have questions. Lots of them probably. They will ask the most random question at the most random times. I know that when I am with one of our KDG’s (Kids Discipleship Groups – small groups), and talking I can see certain kids brains veering wildly out of control on a tangent which inevitably leads to a question like “If God is my Father, then is Jesus my brother?”.

I talked in E is for Encouragement about this topic a little. Whatever happens, you do want to encourage questions because they show thought and intiative both things that kids have control over.

So I want to talk about the questions you ask as a leader and follower.

Asking questions shows:

  1. That you are eager to learn
  2. You care about other peoples worlds
  3. You want to improve
  4. You are aware of what is going on around you
  5. That you are interested
  6. You don’t think you have all the answers
  7. You want to involve others in the answers

As a leader you need to ask the most questions in the room. There is so much that goes unsaid in a team, assumptions, traditions, the way that we do things that are never articulated. Even if you feel like everyone in the room has heard it all before, say it!

Beginner stand-up comedians will work on new jokes until they have a solid ‘five minutes‘ of material they know is funny. They may keep using those jokes for years and years as they develop. Jerry Seinfeld in the movie/documentary comedian restarts his stand-up career after TV by writing all new material, and it is painful to watch at times as he goes through the growing pains.

Say what you have to say as a leader and then say it again. It will make your whole team laser focussed and avoid all the questions you don’t want to hear.

The questions you hear reveal your weaknesses, and the questions you ask reveal your heart.

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D is for Delegate

I have given myself a challenge for the next 26 days – post the complete A-Z of Ministry to Children.

D… Doctrine, dynamic, Donald Duck, delusion, darts…

D is for Delegate – I have seen it over and over in our team and in myself. You find yourself with a new volunteer who has a lot of potential to carry great responsibility. But after a few weeks they have faded into the background and either settled or possibly disappeared. Not every leader is going to hop on your ‘bus’, but I find to often brilliant leaders are sitting in the back row when they could be helping you navigate!

The missing ingredient is often authority. You have been great in delegating responsibility, but like a lot of leaders cling onto the authority either because you like to ‘be the boss’ or you don’t trust anyone to ‘do it’ as good as you!

Hey – it used to be that you weren’t as good as you are now and the only reason you are where you are today is because someone took a chance on you.

Heres a simple little procedure to help someone reach their maximum potential:

  1. Give them a simple task (very time specific) and follow up on it extremely diligently knowing that in the future you won’t have to be so thorough
  2. Thank the person in a big way and ask if there is any way they think we (the team) could do it better.
  3. Repeat a few times adding in the important ingredient – authority.
  4. If they rise to the challenge they become a leader – simple as that.

(There is a lot more to it than this but you get the idea… simple right?)

Final thoughts from Jim Wideman and his blog series Delegate or die:

Delegation is not an option for those who want to succeed in ministry. But to succeed you must take inventory of where you are. Start small and go from there. I try to recruit my team one worker at a time. Ask yourself and your volunteers, “What do I need to do differently?” What volunteers do you see potential in? Commit to coach volunteers and let them learn by doing. What are you waiting on? Delegate or Die!


Your underwear

Control makes change exciting. Uncontrolled change is unpredictable.

Here’s the thing: We only like change when WE are the one making the change. When we are in control.

I even hate it when I read about a fellow blogger who I may know only from reading their work or sharing discount celexa online comments is changing roles or perhaps Churches. What is that all about?

It’s because I have zero control over the situation.

As a leader you are setting the direction and keeping the team going forward — so when you change something, it’s exciting. In those times (Andy Stanley talks about that moment you realise you the most powerful person in the room), that it is wise to think about the last time your leader changed something and how you felt — maybe out of the loop, or disorientated or even a little worried about the future.

Communicating change means:

  1. Communicating the WHY behind the WHAT
  2. Taking time to answer the little questions
  3. Reinforce the vision
  4. Empathise with your team, don’t dismiss it as an easy decision (even if it was for you… remember: you’re in control)
  5. Talk about what a blessing the ‘old way’ was to bring them this far
  6. Choose your battles — attitude and heart need to fought for, not the colour of the carpet (that will be a much easier change 6 months later)

Wondering about the post title? Just an example of something that should change often 🙂


So you wanna work for me?

So you want to work for Hillsong Church, perhaps serve with Hillsong Kids at a high level?

I got this idea while reading Beat the Clock by Jim Wideman who filtered out speaking invitations to get rid of tyre kickers.

What kind of person am I looking for to be part of the team?

  1. You better bleed/love/fight for the local church – Sure there are plenty of worthy causes out there, but our focus is Church, the one thing Jesus said he would build!
  2. Your second mile better be well travelled – Above and beyond should be your local cafe, over-delivery should be your courier company.
  3. I love great ideas, I hate great ideas poorly executed! – That is all.
  4. You need to understand the devil is in the details – the comma in 1,000 is important! My first question might be “how did the event go?”, my second will be one of the following; “did the church van get returned clean?”, “did our volunteers feel appreciated?”, “how many kids exactly were there?”, “did it grow from last year?”, “what can we improve next time?” etc.
  5. Are you committed to the vision of this house? – What’s in your hand right now at this moment in time is as important than what is in your heart for the future.
  6. Sure you work hard, but can you holiday hard? – When you take a break… take a break… 8 months of leave owing is not a good sign.
  7. I hope you believe that you are more important than the role you perform – Your well being matters, no workaholics/martyrs need apply.
  8. Tell me HOW you manage your time – If you can’t clearly explain/define it we gotta problem.
  9. The only way you can hope to survive and thrive is with God – Your job/role/task/mission will be more than you can handle, don’t come on expecting your talent/gifting is enough. Forget it, you will need God! (Although you will be a person who wouldn’t have it any other way).
  10. Everyday will require you being creative – Everyone is creative, just because your 3rd grade teacher didn’t give you a gold star on your painting of your dog Pedro, and gives it to Tommy Wilkinson instead — doesn’t define your life. You are creative.
  11. Expect to be inspected – Hey, if you’re not growing your volunteers probably aren’t.
  12. You will have to pay the price – I’m not sure exactly what that will be, but on regular occasions there will come something that will touch your treasure (that’s where your heart is).
  13. God will give you the desire of your heart – Tommy Barnett says hold on to a dream for five years, whatever you do — please dream big.
  14. Please have a sense of humour – At some point I will make fun of your name or Funny Man Dan will live up to his name. The team that laughs together… will probably laugh at your expense.

I could go on… really I could.

Setting the bar high is very important in ministry. Don’t just accept warm bodies both on Church staff and volunteer teams – sell a vision, one that will require work, the kind of vision YOU would want to be part of.

Sure some of these will seem contradictory – that’s the point. Welcome to life (and life abundant)!


Oh Yeah, Balance.

BalanceI am heavily indebted to Rags and his post – How Leaders Should Spend Their Time

And by indebted I mean I am simply ripping him off and reposting it.

I am going to talk to our team about this and do a little bit of self-checking in this area… becuase owing to the current season I am getting a lot of ‘doing’ done. (Ha… doing done, I crack me up)

The cymbalta on-line prescriptions leader should spend their time:

  • 1/3 Reflecting – The leader do the necessary reflection, thinking, reading, learning and planning
  • 1/3 Doing – The leader do the laborious work of doing after planning
  • 1/3 Developing – The leader spends time training and developing others

Anyway, have a look at your life and evaluate your balance!


Volunteer Spotlight of Amazingness

There are two things I have negated to do here on this blog:

1. Talk about what my parents are doing in India (building an orphanage).

2. Brag on my awesome team.

Allow me to rectify cialis generic cheapest the second… I will fix the first soon!

How to be a great volunteer: Sarah Petchell

I cannot remember when Sarah started on our team. But for a number of years now I have watched and have been a part of her growth as a person and leader. Despite challenges she rises up and continues to amaze me by taking on what she really believes in!

She currently is one of the Primary Age four key team members overseeing two Sunday night services! This is a team very heavy with young leaders and she has moved from be put into a position to really building trust, respect and relationship with them all!

My lesson for leaders from Sarah is: Be Honest.

Let your yes be yes, and if you have to say no, say it! I am never in doubt about how Sarah is feeling or coping with life and ministry – can your pastor/leader/oversight say the same about you?

Rock on Sarah!


Ministry Team Structure

So I have had a bit of a writers block as of late, so I thought I might put up the structure I am using this year (at least the first part of this year) for our primary (elementary) leadership team.

We have 8 services over a weekend and they can be kinda blocked in groups of two.

Sat Night
(5pm and 7pm)

Sun Morn
(8am and 9:30am)

Sun Day
(11:30am and 1:15pm)

Sun Night
(5pm and 7pm)

(No we don’t go to all of them, it would kill us we have OSO’s — Optional Services Off rostered each weekend)

So the first tier of leadership is 4 brilliant team leaders… my key team and all ultra committed volunteers. They oversee a two service block

Then we have service leaders underneath them, one for each service… 8 volunteers who focus on one service and team.

Finally we have 2IC’s (second in charge), leaders on a journey to become service leaders. Each of the service leader/2IC’s in encouraged to develop and release leaders into ministry as well!

4  —-
8 ——–
8 ——–

A total of 20 champion volunteers overseeing the primary ministry… (K-Year 4) (Kindergarten is first year of school in Aus.)

This doesn’t include pre-teen (year 5-6) who have a similar structure.

Once a month we will have a Key Team United – with all our key people from Early childhood up, run by myself and my wife Beci, then once a month a primary key team run by the four oversights, and an early childhood key team with the four from EC running! (Voltage – pre teen ministry – will run with primary)

(BTW, none of this meeting has happened yet… we are starting next week…)

(Those of you in Northern Hemis — remember our summer is in Dec/Jan so this is like your Aug/Sept launches)

P.S. This post is for as much for my head as it is for your curiosity as it helps me articulate to our team!

P.P.S. I bet some of you read the P.S. before the article above — curious were you 🙂


I’m on Lock-up

It is 9:17pm on Sunday. We have just finished the final of our 8 services for the weekend.

I got up this morning for our 8am service, and 13 hours later we finished packing up from the 7pm service.

This weekend I have experienced more ‘church’ than some people would experience in two months.


I am part of the kingdom of God, building my little corner of it. Growing what God has given me the grace to lead and joining with a host of people around the world in participating in what Jesus said he would build… HIS CHURCH!

I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but right here.

So here I sit in my office having a breather before I head on out to lock up this awesome facility God has given us!

(Although I am glad I only lock up once every two months!) 🙂