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People I ve Met Online: Kenny Conley

Kenny Conley is proof that it’s a small world.  I did not officially meet the giant of a man (physically he’s like a giant tree…even in my own backyard) until 2009, but we’ve been dangerously close to meeting for years.  He lived in Tulsa, OK at the same time that I did in college.  He then lived in the DFW Metroplex for years at the very same time I did.  We both left churches in DFW around the exact same time, and even attended the Orange Conference in 2008 at the same time!  I remember Matt McKee telling me that I should visit with Kenny while I was there, but I guess I was preoccupied with sitting in Atlanta traffic and never got to it.

I did finally meet Kenny at the Orange Conference in 2009, and 2010.  I’ve also had Kenny and his family over for an evening in Lubbock once when they drove through town on their way to Colorado.  This summer my family returned the favor (albiet staying for much longer) and we all had a blast.  Ask him to tell you about the time he almost killed me and my oldest son on the San Marcos river in late July 2010!  My kids knew him much before they actually met him; because when we had some family medical issues a few years ago, Kenny and his wife Sara paid to have some pizza delivered to our house.  Such a special thing for my family at the time, and much appreciated!

Kenny is somebody worth following, and he can be followed at www.childrensministryonline.com.  He’s worked in small churches, and big churches; baptist churches, and pentecostal churches; and he’s been through some pretty great ministry highs, and some pretty sorry ministry lows.  For being only in his early 30’s, it’s amazing what Kenny has seen and been through as it relates to Children’s Ministry and now Family Ministry.  In Austin he’s transitioned to a more family ministry leadership role, taking the coolest job title in the word; “Next Generations Pastor” at Gateway Church.  While he no longer teaches kids with weekend regularity, or recruits 3 year old teachers with reckless abandon; he’s still committed to leading others into leading churches to intentionally equip children.

He’ll try anything, and has a closed mind about very few things in ministry.  He’s easy to get time with, and I promise if you email him…he will eventually return your email.  And when he does, I can guarantee you it will be sent between the hours of midnight at 2:00 a.m.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Sam · September 2, 2010

    Kenny is a beast. I am thankful he’s my friend I love calling him at 1am knowing that I won’t wake him just to run an idea past him.

    He’s a true friend and to think we met online. Crazy? More like crazy awesome!

  2. Starr · September 2, 2010

    Kenny and Sara are great people. Glad to know them, seriously.

  3. Kenny · September 3, 2010

    I was in all day meetings today when I saw this post go live. Probably some of the kindest things anyone (other than my mom… and my wife) have ever said to me. I love you Jonathan Cliff… and I mean that in the manliest way possible. You’ve been a good friend to me and my family and I’m so grateful I don’t do ministry alone.

    Hey, well what do you know. It’s past 2:30 AM. You know me too well.