5 Campuses. 1 Mission.


Last week we gathered all of the KidMin staff from each campus together for a two-day retreat. We learned, listened, planned, created, laughed, and played. It was a great couple of days!

The purpose of this retreat was to help our teams across campuses build relationships and share ideas. We know that collectively we have the potential to accomplish a lot more. We also know that if there are not strong relationships across campuses, there will be friction and frustration.

We can’t eliminate all frustration, but we can build healthy teams that are capable of working through the differences to get the best end result.

Ultimately…we are better together!

Here’s what it looked like:


Session 1: Welcome & Quiet Time

During this session we talked about the power of working together. We introduced the 5-1 concept, and we discussed how our own spiritual health will influence the health of our team.

We gave out the book Enemies of the Heart, and wrote a personal quiet time for everyone to get alone, and do some “heart” work.

Session 2: Strength Finders

Every director met with their team and played a game to learn more about their teammate’s strengths. We give this test to everyone who works on our teams.

Lunch and Learn


We placed our staff in groups of two or three people from other campuses that they might not normally get to talk to. We gave them three questions to discuss, and sent them around town to have lunch together.


Session 3: Fall Kick Off Breakouts

Every fall we “kick off” the new school year with a big event. We mixed up all of our teams and broke into several smaller groups to talk about specific topics related to this event. We discussed things like: break outs for small group leaders, how we should train new worship leaders, what we should give the new volunteers, and what production elements to include.

Session 4: Grief and Kids


We invited a counselor who works primarily with children to talk to our staff about helping kids who are grieving. Grief happens when there is any loss. It could be a move to new city, a new school, a death, a divorce, or the loss of a pet. Great practical advice!

Drive to Gwinnett Church


At 4:30pm we all jumped in our cars and drove 30 miles to our newest campus. This is a building we are sharing with another church. Many of our staff hadn’t seen it yet. It was a great field trip. We ate dinner and toured around the building together.


UpStreet Large Group @ Gwinnett Church

Fun Surprise!


The team that plays together stays together! We had everyone bring workout clothes, and we surprised them with a fun night at Sky Zone. The pictures say it all.



Session 5: Difficult Conversations


One of our staff walked our teams through the importance of having difficult conversations. He gave us a great step-by-step guide for handling these kinds of discussions with integrity and hope for growth. He gave great examples and really challenged our team to lead through difficult conversations well. (I’ll post more on that later!)

Session 6: 100 Ways to Appreciate Volunteers


During this session, we had every table brainstorm as many free or almost free ways to appreciate volunteers. We did this quickly and placed them all on a creative board. It was great and got our brains rolling for the next session. (I’ll post these ideas later this week.)

Session 7: Breakouts

During this session, we broke our team up into small groups and began planning together for the following: Volunteer Appreciation Plan 2012-2013, Volunteer Training Plan 2012-2013, Look & Feel for Summer in Waumba Land & UpStreet, and KidStuf Fall Changes.

Session 8: Family Ministry Covenant & Volunteer Website

We wrapped up the retreat talking about two things:

Family Ministry Covenant: This is the covenant we give to new volunteers who want to serve with us. We did some coaching on how to communicate this during orientations, and took questions concerning how to handle any conversations that might arise from this.

Volunteer Website: We are launching a new website for all of our volunteers this month. We showed everyone the site, answered questions, and heard feedback.

Then we all said “Good Bye”!


We had fun together, got to know each other better, got some planning done, and learned a whole bunch in the process!

I wish you could know this team like I do! They are the best!


  1. Thank you for sharing! Would love to learn more about the volunteer website and what all it is going to contain – Thank YOU for sharing all of this!!


  2. Brian Vander Ark says:

    Hey Kendra, nice work, I appreciated the outline of the staff retreat.
    I’m looking for some ideas on volunteer appreciation planning… Any chance of sharing your current volunteer appreciation plan or last years plan as it is really the framework and execution that i am looking for.
    Thanks again for the extra effort to share. I know we at Ada are better at what we do because of it!

  3. I want to come next year!! Sounds like a great couple of days. Looking forward to the followup posts from the breakouts!!

  4. What is the Family Ministry Covenant? Do you have a sample I could see?

  5. Jeremy Drew says:

    This is excellent. So exciting to see multiple campuses all working together!

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