CNLP 176: Margaret Spicer on How to Get Next Gen Onto a Senior Leader’s Agenda and Making Families a Church Wide Mission

Families are a huge part of every church, yet often church leaders behave like that isn’t the case. Margaret Spicer leads the Next Gen ministry from Crossway Church in Melbourne, Australia—Australia’s largest Baptist church. She talks about how she got kids, parents and students to become a church wide priority in a way senior leaders love.

Welcome to Episode 176 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links | |

Links Mentioned

Rethink Leadership in Atlanta Georgia, April 25-27th 2018

GLS Plus at Willow Creek, Australia, May 7th & May 8th, 2018

Leadership Worx: Carey Nieuwhof in New Zealand, May13-17, 2018

The Canadian Church Leaders Conference, Barrie Ontario, June 14-16th 2018

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3 Insights from This Episode

1. Get senior leaders to hear you by being prepared for your time in front of them

  1. Build a Relationship: You are best heard when a healthy relationship exists.
  2. Speak in the Senior Leader’s Language: Be clearly understood by speaking about what matters most to your senior leader. Find ways to show how your needs will positively impact those priorities.
  3. Be Solution Focused: Lead with observations you see in the areas needing attention and provide a well thought out plan to improve it.
  4. Invite Leadership into Your Ministry: Give leadership an insider view of your world, so they can see first hand what you’re doing and your team can feel their support.

2. If volunteers don’t feel needed they won’t stick around

Volunteers give of their time because they want to be a part of something that matters. If they don’t feel needed or involved in something that’s greater than them, often they’ll leave and devote their free time to something else.

Put a strategy behind developing your volunteers that includes measuring what it looks like for each volunteer to grow in their roles. Having a mutual plan in place offers an opportunity for them to take ownership of the responsibilities – with your guidance – and can build a stronger momentum to further your ministry.

3. When children and student ministry partner together it provides a better experience for families

As a child gets older, moving up to the next age group in church can be intimidating for a family. Especially if the ministry areas are managed without a unified, strategic plan to ease the transition.

Offering a curriculum that can grow with youth from preschool through high school not only relieves stress on the child, it provides a consistent, age-appropriate guide to help families navigate all the stages of parenting.

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: Todd Adkins & Eric Geiger 

So many leaders believe things about themselves and about leadership that simply aren’t true. Carey joins up with Todd Adkins and Eric Geiger from the 5LQ Leadership podcast for a co-broadcast of a special episode where the three of them tackle some key lies leaders fall for again and again.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 177.


  1. Sheryl Cahoy on January 30, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Carey, this podcast was another great one dealing with the challenge and change of Children and Family Ministries (Next Gen ministries in your language !) I am a staff member and part of our Senior Leadership team at a Catholic parish in the US that has been working diligently to change our culture from one of maintenance to one of mission. We have been a Divine Renovation partner with Fr. James Mallon this past year and have tuned into your leadership podcasts ever since.

    I am particularly interested in learning more about The Orange philosophy that Margaret mentioned regarding family ministry in small group. Not sure if I have that completely right. Is there a resource you would recommend?

    We have recently been able to address some challenges in our ministry leads and teams and are looking for a fresh new perspective that can help us reach more adults and families. As we look to replace some positions, I’d also be interested in any resources you have for job descriptions in this area.

    Thanks again for your leadership and sharing these great leaders with us in ministry!

    PS. I have also recently signed up for your High Impact Leaders course and enjoying that as well.

    Leading Change in the US

  2. Charlene Daidone RN on January 23, 2018 at 9:13 am

    I am not a minister in a church, but I am a nursing manager in a long term care facility. God has many houses and I apply so much that I learn from the emails I receive from you.

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