U-Turns Allowed

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The Shake Up

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Justin Browning, children’s minister at First United Methodist
Church in Maumelle, Arkansas, revolutionized his ministry with some
of the following strategies.

Young Leadership — High school kids are small group
leaders and examples to congregation members. “We’re incorporating
high school students in our ministry as key leaders,” says
Browning. “If other people see that our high school kids are taking
these lead roles, they say, ‘Surely I can help.’ “

Going Small — “We really wanted to change what Sunday
morning looked like,” says Browning. “We need to be more
relational.” Small groups are the answer to that, and Browning is
implementing that philosophy through the ministry. To learn more
about large group/small group programming, go to
www.childrensministry.com and click on Web Extras.

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Not Compromising — Resistance is part of change, and
Browning has learned to negotiate when necessary. But there are
moments when compromise isn’t an option, he says. “I made a list of
uncompromisable things, things that I’m not going to compromise
even if people throw a fuss and give a fight.” Those things, says
Browning, are the very fabric of what grows, sustains, and gives
value to the ministry.

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