Monthly Archives: March 2013

Women in Church Leadership! A new MUST READ book just for you!!

20130319-215325.jpgI am thrilled to be able to introduce you to a brand new book that I am crazy about! It is hot off the press and ready to be your guide through the sometimes messy world of leadership! If you are a woman in a leadership role in the Church, then undoubtably, you have experienced the highs and lows, the maze of feelings, emotions, and thoughts that can bombard you, making or breaking your effectiveness as leaders!

Jenni Catron and Sherry Surratt are no strangers to leadership. They are both strong and seasoned leaders who have co-authored Just Lead! A No Whining, No Complaining, No Nonsense Practical Guide for Women Leaders in the Church. This book is warm, personal, and full of stories, both their own, as well as those of other women leaders!  It will bring you encouragement, bolster your courage, and inspire you to step out and step up in your areas of influence!

Here is a little excerpt from the book to give you a glimpse into the heart of these ladies and what they have in store for you:

“Just Lead! is the conversation we would have with you if we could sit down over a cup of tea or coffee. There is much we could share: the joys and pains that we have felt as women leaders, the struggles and successes that we’ve experienced, and the lessons we wished we could have learned though others rather than learning the hard way….we believe in you… in your gifts, calling, and purpose as a leader. We believe God has placed you where you lead and wants you to thrive there… Our prayer is for this book to be a source of encouragement and hope when you find yourself in the challenging moments of leadership. We hope that you will be inspired to Just Lead!”

Just Lead! is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble now!

20130319-212416.jpgJenni Catron serves as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, where she leads the staff and oversees the ministry of five campuses. She loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis and hanging out with her husband and border collie. Jenni’s passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. Jenni blogs at    and you can follow her on twitter at @jennicatron

   S20130319-213659.jpgherry Surratt is the President and CEO of MOPS International. She has deep experience in church ministry and learning from women leaders. Her most recent position prior to MOPS International was the Director of Leadership Network’s Radical Future Innovation Labs. Her church ministry experience includes Children’s Ministry Pastor and Central Support Pastor at Seacoast church based in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. There she developed multi-site ministries at their 13 campuses. Sherry has a degree from Sam Houston State University, and worked as a teacher and administrator in the Houston (TX) Public School system. Sherry and her husband Geoff have two adult children and a grandchild. Sherry blogs at   and you can follow her on twitter at @sherrysurratt


We Don’t Recruit Volunteers….

One of the biggest questions I get asked by other church’s with regard to our Kids Ministry is: How do you recruit your volunteers? What is your volunteer strategy? THAT is a loaded question!! But the simple answer is… We don’t recruit volunteers! Instead we make BIG ASKS of God’s people!

What’s the difference? Let’s start by defining what a volunteer is… based on Websters definition:

VOLUNTEER – A person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.

So whats wrong with that? Isn’t that what we want? For people to do use their gifts in the church, freely offering to help where help is needed? Yes, of course! Many churches and other not for profit organizations work hard at developing a strong volunteer base and rely on those incredible people who give freely of their time to keep the organization going! They spend hours coming up with a strategy for how to recuit, train, and retain their volunteers!

Now by contrast, let’s look at the definition of a servant:

SERVANT: one that serves others ; especially: one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer

I love that! A servant is one that serves others in the home of his/her master. It denotes a posture of humility. Jesus gave us the greatest example of what it means to be a truly humble servant:

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Now this question: is having a “volunteer strategy” even Biblical? Let’s let Jesus answer:

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).

Let’s compare and contrast:

~ A volunteer gives his/her time… a servant gives his/her life
~ A volunteer is willing… a servant is obedient
~ A volunteer position is temporary… servanthood is a lifestyle
~ A Volunteer can “quit”… a servant can’t quit, but can be released
~ Volunteering is optional… servanthood is expected

Do you see the difference? So what is our role as ministry leaders in the church? What posture do we take? We have to TRUST!

~ We have to trust that God is working and moving in the hearts of the people in our church!
~ We have to trust that God knows exactly who he wants to rock the babies, park the cars, and greet the guests
~ We need to be diligent in creating environments and opportunities for servants to move into
~ We need to provide a clear “on ramps” for people to connect in service through out the year as God prompts
~ We need to understand that they may be coming to “volunteer”, but we model for them what it means to serve.
~ We have to BELIEVE with everything in us that when people serve, they grow, and when they grow, they continue to serve.
~ As people grow, we need to let them go… trusting that God will bring who is to come next.
~ We need to take the posture of servant ourselves…equipping and empowering and giving away ministry to the servants, not asking them to help us with ours
~ We can make BIG ASKS of God’s people, being confident that their answer, whether yes, or no, will grow and challenge and spur them on, as well as build faith in us.

I could go on and on…but if we do these things, and know these things, and create these things, and believe these things…slowly but surely, we will create a culture of servant leaders, rather than volunteers who come to help for awhile.

During His ministry, Jesus didn’t recruit volunteers; He called people to be servants.

I Love A Good Story!

I love stories. All stories. I’m fascinated by plots, and character development, hooks, twists and turns, and how in the end all the pieces, elements, story lines, characters, etc, come together to create the bigger story! I especially love it when there are bigger themes and life lessons attached to the story.

Its no wonder then, that I am fascinated with God’s story. And the stories within the story…all leading up to and foreshadowing the Greatest Story…the story of Jesus, his birth, his life, his death, and his resurrection! It is because of His story, that I have a story…and like every other child of God, my story fits into His bigger story as He continues to develop me…my life, my character, my experiences…offering his love, grace, and mercy to me. ME!!!

I have been blessed to be able to spend the past 20  years devoting the best hours of my days to my kids, my husband and my ministry…both vocational and lay…depending on the season and circumstance! There are many chapters of my life now each containing stories! Some exciting. Some boring. Some seasoned with pain and others with love and laughter. But ALL come together to make up the life and ministry that He has given me to lead from. At this point in life ( about half way there!) …its time to share the lessons learned. Its time to equip and empower others, giving away what I am learning, and what I have learned, as other did for me along the way.

I love stories. All stories… and I can’t wait to hear yours!