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🧑🚀 EXPLORING NEW FRONTIERS PLAYLIST
Exploring The New Way to Approach Ministry, Full Playlist
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🧑🚀 In this playlist, we are exploring the 3 new digital frontiers for churches and youth ministry pastors and leaders.
It's not as sleek and sexy as Games and Message Enhancement, but it might ultimately be the key to unlocking true pastoral leadership and care.
And how do we do so in a new digital frontier and digital landscape?
We'll talk about it!
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Shepherding #PastoralCare #DigitalFrontier
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//SHOWNOTES & TRANSCRIPTS
//PLANNING CENTER PEOPLE
00:00-01:28 Shepherding and Pastoral Care is the secret sauce to communicating God's love
01:28-04:18 Why Hybrid and Shepherding are surprising linked
04:18-09:19 Digital Shepherding Hack #1
09:19-12:00 Digital Shepherding Hack #2
12:00-13:53 Digital Shepherding Hack #3
13:53-16:40 Digital Shepherding Bonus Hack #1 & #2
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Nick Clason (00:00):
Pastoring, shepherding, caring for people. It's hard work. Let's just be honest. And in this third episode of this playlist, exploring New Digital Frontiers. In the last episode, we looked at games and then we looked at message enhancement. And now in this episode, the final installment of the playlist, we're going to be looking at pastoral care. I get it, it's not the fun, it's not the sexy, it's not the social media, but pastoral care is really the secret sauce. It is the warmth that what brings people back to your church. So how do you as a pastor, church leader, ministry leader, or maybe even just a small group leader, care for your people? But how do you use technology and hybrid ministry to make it easier, more efficient, and create a more inviting and warm atmosphere around you and your group and your church? In this episode, we're going to look at three ideas that you can start using immediately in your ministry to care for people well.
Nick Clason (01:11):
And beyond that, I have a tool that I think every church needs to use. And finally, make sure you stick around to the end of the video because we are going to give you two bonus tips, and I think the bonus tips might be worth the price of admission. Welcome to the Hybrid Ministry Show. Well, everyone, welcome to the Hybrid Ministry Show. My name is Nick Clayson. I am a youth pastor, currently situated and located in the DFW Dallas-Fort Worth, area Y hybrid ministry. What I mean by hybrid is not just physical, not just digital, but a melding of the two, a hybrid experience between your physical and your digital. It's using technology to lean into the already in-person moment that is existing. And you and I know that pastoral care happens best, need a knee, eye to eye, maybe over a cup of coffee, but sometimes you're not physically with the person that you need to be with.
Nick Clason (02:06):
And so how do we meld the physical and the digital and bring it together to make it hybrid? And the reason I think this is important is because Gen Z and Gen Alpha are using their cell phone screen-based device more than any other screen-based device combined. And so the reality is cell phones aren't going anywhere, which is why I created this completely free ebook from scratch. It's going to give you 40 ideas a month's worth of social media that you can bring into your ministry and use in your social media. But here's why this plan is different than all the other plans. First of all, it's free, and second of all, it's recyclable and reproducible. And third, it is you and your students and your leaders on camera. It's not just a bunch of static roped, stoic graphics. And here's the thing, I think in this playlist, the shepherding idea, this might be the easiest of all the other ideas to understand more than games, maybe even more than teaching enhancement.
Nick Clason (03:07):
But some of the ideas I'm going to give you, you're going to be like, yeah, that's obvious. That's dumb, and I get it. But I do have two bonus ideas that I think are pretty next level that you're probably not thinking of. They're not revolutionary, they're not some super secret face scanning app that's going to help you be more caring of the people in your space. But they are just a little bit more outside of the box because I think that the ideas I have for you, you maybe haven't heard of or even haven't tried. But hey, before we dive in, I would love to encourage you for a like and a subscribe. Those two things are completely free for you, and they would mean the world to us because really, I do want you to be the best pastor possible to your students, to your church, to the people that God's entrusted to you.
Nick Clason (03:51):
And if you like, you subscribe, you're going to help get this message out to other people as well as not miss other ideas that we have coming your way that's really just going to help come alongside and help you be the best pastor, ministry leader or small group leader possible for you, for your students and for the people that God has entrusted into your care. So without any further fanfare, let's dive into three hybrid ministry ideas for shepherding and four K. So as we explore new digital frontiers and games, as we explore new digital frontiers and message enhancement, those things are a little bit more outside the box, a little bit more revolutionary, a little bit more, you got to kind of think and maybe squint your eyes and tilt your head and be like, okay, I see how you could incorporate that. But what I'm about to share with you are things that I think are pretty standard in most churches.
Nick Clason (04:43):
And so the first hybrid idea, the first hybrid tool, the first digital tool, and again, you might even as I say this, you can be like, well, yeah, okay, it is a church management software. And listen, I get it right. It is about the most basic thing. Most churches in America have One, you got Church Community Builder, you got Planning Center, you got the Rock, you got ACS through rum, through ACS. There are a lot of different options. Comment below what your church is using as a church management software, but here's what I want to let you know is if you're in a church like me, when I first started, we didn't do church management softwares. Our church management software was this small little tool called Excel. And if you're in a church that doesn't do church management softwares, and I get it, the median sized church in America is 75 people.
Nick Clason (05:39):
And so that's what the majority of churches around America, that's the size that most of them are. And so there may be a world where a church management software is not a defacto element to what you're doing. There are a couple of tools out there I want to share with you, links down below in the description that are actually free. So if your student ministry is 25 and under, there's a grow resource curriculum company by Kenny and l. Theirs is completely free. If you have under 25 people in your ministry, free forever under 25. And so what it does is it helps you with check-ins, sign in, and just keeping track of who's been there in the weeks to come. And that's part of pastoral care, right? Knowing who's been there so that you can reach out to those who haven't been there. Another option that's completely free, and it's free no matter the size is Planning Center people.
Nick Clason (06:40):
Now Planning Center is made famous through their services app, which is what musicians and bands would send their other band members, music song, song charts, lyrics, things for people to practice. They could assign you different positions like you're on drums this week, you're on bass this week. And then Planning Center started to dabble in other areas and other elements. And so Planning Center people is amazing and it links really well with services, planning Center Services, the module, but also events and registration and a calendaring and giving. I was in a church that didn't have a church management software. And then we finally did come around to a church management software and we went in on Planning Center. The downside of Planning Center is this, it's expensive. The upside of Planning Center is frankly, I've used all the ones I mentioned earlier, the Rock, ACS Realm, CCB Church, community Builder and Planning Center.
Nick Clason (07:39):
And Planning Center was my favorite by far. Hands down is also the most expensive, and so you just need to know that. But planning Center people is not expensive. It's all the other elements to make it kind of work together so that giving works together and that registration works together and that services works together, all linking in with people. But Planning Center People is completely free. If you want to do Check-in, it's another module that costs more money, but both of those are free Grow numbers under 25 and Planning Center people Free Forever links below in the description to check those out. But what they do is they just help you keep track of your people, their information addresses, emails, phone numbers. And as a youth pastor, youth ministry leader, one of the things I think that Covid did was it brought back some of the more old school ways to do pastoral care.
Nick Clason (08:31):
Right now, as a youth pastor send so many handwritten notes, and the way that I use that and the way that I use my church management software is I look the person up, I get their address, I write them a note and I mail it to 'em. The reality is I couldn't do that without that tool. And so again, it might seem basic, but the first idea I have for you is use and utilize your church management software. Now, if you already have one, you don't have to get it set up. You have maybe an admin who's keeping track of those things. That's great. That just gives you more access and more ability to help care for the people that God has entrusted to. So get creative, think outside the box. How else can you lean in and utilize your church management software to your advantage?
Nick Clason (09:21):
Hybrid idea number two that I have for you is text messaging. And again, I get it, you're like, dude, are you serious? That's so basic. But I just want to let you know when we had a death in the family last year, about a year ago at this point, and I was on my way driving a thousand miles from here back to our hometown, I got countless amounts of text messaging, countless amounts of phone calls from people who wanted to just offer care and support and love and text messaging is a really simple way that, think about it. Before the advent and invention of the cell phone, you had to be physically in a room with someone to offer care, and you should still do that, right? This is hybrid. That's not throwing out the in-person, but that's saying, Hey, I know this thing about you because of our in-person relationship.
Nick Clason (10:18):
I know this thing about you because of our in-person relationship. However, what I also know about you is that you're going through something difficult. And while I can't be with you right now, I can lean into the digital expression of our relationship, a cell phone, and I can text you and say, Hey, man, praying for you. It's so simple and I don't know about you, but for me, that means just as much as getting flowers or getting a meal sent to my home or even getting a handwritten note, frankly, I don't need some grand expression of shepherding or pastoral care. I just need to know that someone is there for me. Like I've told you, and in the intro, I'm in Texas, but I've been a youth pastor in Chicago. I've been a youth pastor in Cincinnati, Ohio. I've been a youth pastor in Dayton, Ohio, and still to this day, I keep up with students of mine.
Nick Clason (11:09):
We have the world's longest Snapchat streak, and I definitely don't recommend that you Snapchat your students. But what I have done is some of my students who've graduated and have volunteered for me at camps and retreats in the past as graduated seniors and students now, I keep up with them and we talk and it's an everyday thing on the Snapchat streak. So sometimes we don't talk about anything, but I know when they're getting new jobs, we talk about the Bengals because that's their favorite team. We talk about their dad who's having procedures and surgeries. That is one way that I just keep up in the lives of students that are no longer in youth ministry. They're in their twenties now, but I still have a relationship with them because of what my cell phone. So don't overlook the power of what your cell phone can do for you and how it can help you care for the people that God has entrusted to.
Nick Clason (11:59):
You have idea number three, and I'll say this, this may not be the best youth ministry friendly idea, but Facebook groups, it isn't. If it isn't helpful for you and your youth ministry and your students, it can still be helpful for you and your youth ministry and your students' parents. And so create community, create a place where conversation can happen. I think sometimes it's a little difficult to do. I think sometimes it feels more like an announcement billboard thing, but some of the best groups, some of my best experiences on Facebook are in a group dynamic and in a group setting. For example, the Download Youth Ministry community Facebook group, the Youth Pastors Only Facebook group by Ymm 360. I'll link both of those down below in the description. If you're not, are any in them, check it out because honestly, it's people who are like, Hey, what do you guys do for Halloween?
Nick Clason (12:52):
What do you guys do for a harvest party? What do you guys do for a Christmas party? What are your Christmas leader idea gifts? How are you guys using chat GPT in your ministry to help you out? It's just a open source area for youth pastors to have a conversation. I wish that our Facebook groups could be an open source place for our parents to have a conversation about raising teenagers, because raising teenagers is hard, and there should be a place where the church is both the safest place to do it and where other parents can come alongside and give helpful tips, tricks, and hacks. And so I think that that can be a great place to not only help people just with tips, tricks and hacks, but also provide pastoral care because you can reach out and be like, Hey, and then this is going to put some ownership on the person, but if they're going through something, they might offer a prayer request.
Nick Clason (13:43):
And then if you're in that group, you are aware of something going on, which then you can go to your church management system, get their phone number and text them, and boom, which use all three of 'em. The two ideas I have for you that you're probably not thinking of are your personal intercessory, pastoral prayer for your people is probably the secret sauce to you shepherding your people well. And so maybe for you, you just have a vibrant prayer life. But one of the things I know is that most people I talk to, prayer is always an area they're wanting to grow in. I know it's an area that I'm always looking and wanting to grow in. And so one of my favorite apps is the YouVersion Bible app, and they have a prayer section. You can just log your prayers. And so maybe that can be a place where you can pray for the students in which God has entrusted to you, and you can break 'em up into categories.
Nick Clason (14:42):
So you can have your own kind of prayer list. You can have maybe a gratitude list or something, but you could also have an intercessory prayer for your students list, and you just list them out by name and you just pray for your students by name. And that's going to be one of the most impactful ways for you to have a heart that grows with care and compassion and empathy for your students in which God has entrusted into your care. But maybe you just need a tool to help you organize your thoughts, to stay on track and to not forget things. The other idea I have for you is an app called Flashcard Go, and you can download it in the app store. Full disclosure, I've never used it. It's also an iPhone app, not an iPhone guy. But if I was thinking if it's customizable to the way that I believe, they are telling me it's customizable.
Nick Clason (15:28):
What if you put faces of your students on flashcards and you could swipe through and see a picture of your student? Be like, got to pray for Gabe. Swipe through. Got to pray for Cameron, his relationship with his girlfriend right now, school. Got to pray for Caleb. Everything he's going through, the wrestling lady is having about faith. Got to pray for Megan. Megan, who's struggling with this, this, and this that could help you. Again, similar to the prayer app, filter your thoughts and pray for your students and pray for your students. Because here's the deal, we're in a new age. We're in the digital era, and some of the good things about physical gatherings aren't going anywhere. But how can you bring about the digital to enhance your physical ministry and make a difference both through games, through message enhancement and not through shepherding? Because I believe that every youth ministry needs to stop ignoring digital ministry. And that's the next video that's going to be linked here on the screen. Take a look at that because we're trying to make digital discipleship easy and accessible. So as always, stay hybrid