2013 CPC Live Streaming

I have a real heart for those that work in churches and work with children. I’ve done it before myself, and I know what it takes and what it takes out of a leader. I know what it’s like to dread Saturday night phone calls, and to find yourself teaching in 5 minutes because somebody didn’t show up. For all of you out there that find these words resonating with you, then I’ve got a special treat for you!


One of the greatest resources for Children’s Pastors is now available in your living room. My friend, and Executive Director of INCM, Michael Chanley is letting us in on 5 sessions this year. Just visit  http://my.cmconnect.org/page/streaming at the scheduled times below and hang out with some great leaders from around the world!

Monday, February 18 at 6 PM  

General Session  #1  “Impart God’s truth to this generation”

save to calendar  |  buy this session

Tuesday, February 19 at 7:00 PM  

General Session #3  “Communicate with families”

save to calendar  |  buy this session  

Wednesday, February 20 at 6:15 PM  

General Session #5  “Pray for the international children s ministry community”

save to calendar  |  buy this session

Thursday, February 21 at 9:45 AM  

General Session #6  “I’m IN!”

save to calendar  |  buy this session

 Shop the  INCM Resource Community  to get DVDs, CDs and MP3s of all the breakouts and trainings.  All of CPC12 and CPC13 (Orlando only) are currently available. CPC13 San Diego will be available in the next couple of weeks.


4 Ways to Make Relationships Matter

Circles Better Than Rows

Do you create a compelling place that people want to return to the next week?

If environments are the way we communicate atmosphere and expectations, then relationships are the words and voice that keep people from disconnecting from us. And the connected will return to our churches. In our efforts to create amazing environments we can’t forget that it’s the people connecting with people who communicate the Gospel. It’s people in the parking lot, people at the doors, people in the classrooms, people in the auditorium, people on the stage, and people sitting next to other people. (That there may be the most times I’ve used the word people in a sentence, let’s hope you get the point.)

Relationships matter now more than ever. Here are 4 ways to ensure that you are putting value in the people and not the things:

1. Encourage Conversation. I’m not saying we should make introverts stand up and talk to strangers, but we should be encouraging our leaders to connect. Teach and train leaders to recognize the ‘lost in the building’ person, to seek out the parent that could use a hand, and to make face-to-face interactions with those that visit our churches. Make the first-time count for something.

2. Lead Small through Small Groups. I’m 100% convinced that circles are better than rows, and if you’re not creating small spaces for preschoolers, children, students, and adults to connect in circles…then you don’t think relationships matter. Make relationships matter by making community in circles the most valuable resource in your church.

3. Equip Leaders. Have you reminded leaders in these all important groups to make eye contact, to lean in when talking, and to remember someones name? Do you evaluate how your leaders connect with parents? with children? with visitors? It’s our job as a leader to communicate the value of building relationships. As a parent of 3, I cannot overstate how important it is for me that the leaders of my children connect with my children.  

4. Respect the Journey. Surface level relationships are still relationships. All relationships begin awkward, simple, and sometimes frustratingly slow. The journey towards community is a long one, but when we value the story being written over the chapters we’re living in, then we have a God-shaped view of what real relationships and community could be.

Hebrews 10:24-25 “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”

4 Ways to Make Your Environments Attractive


Do you create a compelling place that people want to return to the next week?

The most important thing we can do to create a place people want to come back to is make sure our environment are amazing. It’s numero uno, there isn’t anything bigger, and it’s never 2nd place to anything! The environment is the place people are going. It’s the smells the smell, the sounds they hear, the things they see, and the people they interact with. It’s the parking lot, the front doors, the hallway and the classrooms.

Simply put, the environment is EVERYTHING someone experiences when they visit you. Everything. This isn’t a Children’s Ministry truth, this is a church-wide element. Here are 4 ways to make your environments better!

1. Make it Noisy. Music matters. It’s only bad if it’s missing, too loud, or too quiet. Think of grocery stores, doctors offices, and being on hold with an operator. Music calms, it’s setups something important, and it paints the walls of the mind.

2. Make it Easy.  Do we make it easy for parents to get into our spaces, and do we make it quick? I’ve been in some amazingly beautiful hallways that had such an unorganized check-in process that you’d never notice how pretty those walls were. If parents can’t find where to go, and how to get there quickly, then they won’t be happy. Just think of your first time somewhere new. You want in and you want out, and you want to do both of them as fast as possible!

3. Make it Fun. A great environment should include the sound of someone laughing, and I’m not talking the evil Disney movie  villain  laughing. It should be a fun place to be. For you it may be a play structure, or maybe a fun bus stop bench at check-in, or video games setup somewhere. Fun alone won’t do much good, but fun can be the entry door to get kids to keep dragging their parents back to church.

4. Make it Safe. Would you like every parent to know that you love their child? Then work hard to create a safe and secure environment. Background checks, pick-up receipts, locked doors during service time, and security at every exit are just the basics. If you’re not doing these things, and more, then you’re not speaking a parents love language.


I Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.  I have become all things to all people, that  by all means I might save some.  

It’s Hard to Get to Church Sometimes

Sunday Morning

In the book, Zombies, Football and the Gospel, Reggie Joiner talks of how Sunday’s are now a day to watch football, be with family, and do just about anything else but church. I know that this varies from one city to another, but the reality is that most just don’t feel the need to be at your church every week.

Have you imagined all that happens before someone even arrives at your church for the first time?

  • They have to convince family members to attend.  Maybe it’s a cranky teenager, or a detached spouse. Most in a family will not visit a church for the first time by themselves. They’re going to try and get someone to go with them.
  • They have to wake up early, when maybe they don t usually do so. So you have a Saturday or Sunday night service…that’s not normal for the weekend warrior either. No matter the time or day you meet, you’re still asking someone to do something they wouldn’t normally do at a time that they wouldn’t normally do anything.
  • They have the challenge of getting kids ready before arriving. This isn’t even easy for those of us that attend every weekend.
  • Walked into a place where only a few know their name, and the smaller church the more of a challenge this is for visitors.

But, you know what? That’s allright. It is what it is. The question to ask yourself is a personal, and more self-directed one.

“Do you create a compelling place that people want to return to the next week?

All of those ‘reasons it’s hard to get to church’ above are  legitimate   but there is also something bigger at play. The people that visit your church for the first time and press through those reasons have something compelling them to be there. Maybe something has been sparked in their lives that  compels  them to do what they never thought they’d do.

Don t lose fact of the truth that many of the  people who visit are coming because they need something and do not yet know what that is.


Orange Conference 2013

Orange 2012

For this year’s Orange Conference I will be experiencing it from a very unique angle. For the past 5 years, I’ve had to get on an airplane, rent a car, drive through Atlanta traffic, and bum a hotel couch off a friend just to be there. This year my house and family are 38 miles away from the Gwinnett Center. I’m going to be there, and I’m excited for it to be in my own backyard.

I hope you’d consider the ONE conference for children’s workers, senior pastors, student leaders, small group leaders, volunteers, preschool directors, and family ministry directors. This year Orange has added a special NextGen/Family Ministry track for those leading the whole team of family ministry, and when you see the list of speakers for that track…Woah!

In honor of a special Orange Week with a ton of other bloggers, Orange would like to giveaway a free Year Subscription to YouLead.

Check out the resources you can find now in the new YouLead:

ISSUES A collection of media tools focused on a core topic.
Each  Issue  provides resources for you and your team, including book previews, podcasts, videos and case studies along with prewritten emails to send to your volunteers—all centered around a topic, like: creating a family experience, developing a Small Group culture and focusing your message.

SESSIONS Selected messages from ministry experts
Sessions  are featured podcasts from Orange Events that will help answer specific questions you have in ministry. For example: How do I create an environment on a budget? How do I make a big impact on families with special needs? How do I recruit and retain great volunteers?

CULTURE Executive Summaries and Book Previews
We are learning from the best!  Culture  provides you with case studies and best practices from organizations such as Pixar, IKEA and Zappos that have relevant application to your family ministries. Also, we provide Book Previews of titles like  The Way We re Working Isn t Working, Choosing to Cheat,and  Switch  to help you sharpen your leadership skills and be on the cutting edge.

SOCIAL Messages and images that inspire volunteers
Social  gives you tools to connect weekly with your volunteers. We have created messages and images that will help your volunteers learn, live, lead and laugh. Plus, these pieces will help you stay connected and cast vision!

PREZ Strategic presentations to train teams
Prez  is designed to help you become more effective in your presentations to leaders and volunteers. It provides you with a graphic package and/or audio or video file to help you enhance your PowerPoint or Prezi presentation—and in some cases, we will even include a complete Prezi presentation—a cloud-based presentation and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual canvas.

PLUS Random stuff leaders want
Plus  provides you with a variety of random resources that you will love. It includes podcasts that explain the Orange Strategy, bumper videos to enhance environments and curriculum tools to equip you and your team.

For samples and the complete YouLead Resource Catalog, click  here!

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