Archives For Children’s Ministry

This just in…stop…from Mr. Kenny Conley and team…stop…big news out of Nashville…stop…Illuminate…coming to a town near you…stop…read below for all the cats pajamas…stop…you’re welcome…stop…

With two Illuminate Conferences under my belt, one thing is sure… Illuminate is like no other conference. At both Austin (2010) and Birmingham (2011) I heard the same thing over and over.

Amazing!

Incredible!

Inspiring!

Encouraging!

That’s what kidmin volunteers from Texas, Alabama and Georgia all had to say about their Illuminate experience. So, the only logical thing to do is more events, right? That’s what I thought too.

On Saturday, February 18th, 2012… Illuminate comes to the great city of Nashville, TN! Details are still coming together (like speakers and breakouts) but we do have a handful of great communicators already lined up.

  • Jim Wideman (General Sessions and Leader Q & A)
  • Jonathan Cliff
  • Amy Fenton Lee
  • I’ll be there too… plus a few others

So, if you live within a 2-4 hour radius of Nashville, TN, make plans to attend the only event bringing some of the most influential voices in kidmin to the local arena to equip volunteers. It’s one of the best investments you could make in your volunteer team. At the early bird price, you can afford to bring them all!

For more information about Illuminate, check out  illuminateconference.tv.  For more information about the Nashville event, visit  nashville.illuminateconference.tv.

My friends that are busy working on the most unique Kidmin Conference ever, have wanted me to pass along this important piece of information:

Did you know that our second “early” registration for the conference is less than 9 days away?  9 Days is not that long.  If you were a cat and died each day for the next 9 days then you’d be dead for good.  If you ate a Big Mac for lunch every day for 9 days then you’d get fat quicker than if you didn’t.  If you fasted for the next 9 days from all forms of food, then think how hungry you’d be on the 9th day!  If you decided that…

You know what?  This isn’t really going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go somewhere.  This October 7th through 10th in Chicago I’m going to be spending some quality time with a collection of the best Kidmin leaders around the planet.

I’ll be leading a breakout (That I believe could be the best 2 hours you spend at the conference.**) titled: “Under New Management: Gaining Influence in a New Place”  I’m going to be leading a group of leaders that may be undergoing transitions into new environments, or maybe just wanting to start over where they’ve been in a fresh way!

I hope that you will take the time to see why you don’t want to miss this special Early Registration Discount that expires in the next 9 days!

Can I count on seeing you at the Kidmin Conference in Chicago?  Well, can I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a big believer in creating experiences outside of our weekend environments for kids (and teenagers) to connect with God, and for those of us in children’s (and student) ministry there is not greater connection place to do this than Summer Camp.  Think about it, you’re away from the normal; and kids are thrust into a new unique environment where they are encouraged daily to be introspective about their own faith.  At Summer Camp you can spend 4 and 5 days talking about variations of the same thing, and do it in a safe, fun, friendly environment.

I have many friends that love to plan every detail of their Summer Camp Experience, from the location, to volunteers, to food menus, to chapel services, to swim schedules…but I am not one of those people.  At Trinity Lubbock I did not inherit a system where planning summer camp was built-in, and instead the Summer Camp Experience has been delegated out to more capable leaders.  I’m sure I could be the person that plans 100% of Summer Camp some day, but for now we’ve chosen a different way to do Summer Camp at Trinity Lubbock.

Enter the greatest Christian Summer Camp destination in the entire world: Dry Gulch U.S.A.

I’ve spent the past 5 summers in Adair, OK at Dry Gulch; and it has continued and continued to get better and better every year.  The team at COTM has taken over all chapel services and programming, and they really bring a level of excellence that exceeds any Summer Camp I’ve ever been a part of.  It’s traditional in that there are lake activities, swimming pools, and horse riding; and it’s untraditional in that it has large arcade rooms, really good camp food, excellent playground equipment, state-of-the art  theaters, a steam engine locomotive train, and overall the place looks like a DisneyLand vacation spot.

If you’ve not taken the time to see what the team at Dry Gulch U.S.A. is creating for Summer Camp, then go visit their website today.  I’m going to include a video here from the 2010 chapel services that was filmed in it’s entirety to show you a small sample of what makes Dry Gulch so great.

This week I’m going to share some personal thoughts on the three areas of the church I manage.  Starting with the youngest of ages first, let’s cover what I believe about Children’s Ministry at Trinity Church.

  • I Believe that what happens in a preschool classroom is as relevant to the spiritual growth of our church as what my Senior Pastor teaches from the pulpit each morning.
  • I Believe that the overall health of our entire church is  dependent  on how we reach out to and disciple the youngest of children in Lubbock, TX.
  • I Believe that  those that serve and lead and invest in our children each week are in a better place to be blessed by God than those that do not.
  • I Believe that teenagers willing to serve in Children’s Ministry are developing a heart of compassion that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
  • I Believe that it’s allright to  criticize  our methods, programming, and systems in order to improve and upgrade what we do to reach children and families.
  • I Believe that events are judged as successful by not how many attend, but by how many come back on the weekend.
  • I Believe that kids should be given the opportunity to accept Christ at church, but that parents should be involved in the process and supported to continue the  spiritual  conversation.
  • I Believe that parents carry the primary spiritual burden to disciple their own children, and that it’s our job as a church to encourage the necessary steps to lead their families at home.
  • I Believe that Children’s  Ministry  brings about changes in the world in the here and now, and not only in the future.
  • I Believe that every weekend holds within it the opportunity for life change in the heart of a child.

So there I went, and shared many of the core truths I believe at it pertains to Children’s Ministry.  I’d love to hear what you would add, and what you think about my own list.  I’m sure I forgot some things, and maybe I’ll come back and add a few here and there to keep the list current.

All week long I’ll be blogging from The Orange Conference, and I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of my own Orange story.  This year it will be my 4th Orange Conference to attend, and boy have I come a long way baby!

In April of 2008 I attended my first Orange Conference.  I had been at Trinity Church for almost one year, and had picked the Orange Conference because it looked different than most of the Children’s Ministry conferences.  I took a key volunteer with me as a travel buddy, and the two of us putted around all week thinking…”This will never work!” and “How could this happen at Trinity?” and generally trying not to be discouraged about where I was at and where I wanted to be.

But sometime between that first conference experience at Orange and the next 12 months I got a vision for what could be.  I knew my limitations, and what may not work; but I was unwilling to throw in the towel.  We started taking teeny, tiny Orange baby steps to connect our families with our Children’s Ministry.  Then little by little it started to happen.  Things that had for so long been church-only (YELLOW) events started to look more like church & family (ORANGE) happenings.  I attended the 2009 Orange Conference all by myself; but was able to meet up with some friends that encouraged where we were headed at Trinity and shared some of their own stories of change.  In 2010, I attended the Orange Conference for the 3rd time; but this time brought along my boss and saw him catch a unique vision for our church.  It was happening.

Then in 2010, we started to gather some big momentum as we shifted the ministry at Trinity to our children into a more relational-based small group model.  And here’s the kicker, it actually worked.  In a church that has struggled to get volunteers to work with children, we started to turn it around.  In a church that has struggled to get parents involved in the key life-decisions of their children, we started to see large amounts of parents respond to our baptism and salvation conversations.  Parents turned out in large numbers for a special Child Dedication experience, and our Nursery and Early Childhood areas started to have a spirit of excellence that had not existed previously.  It was happening for us.  Parents (RED) were responding to us at the church (YELLOW) and we were seeing the first hints of an ORANGE atmosphere.

In January of this year, my role has shifted and changed to taking some of these things we’ve had success with in Children’s Ministry to our Student Ministries and College-Age Ministries; and I could not be more excited.  I’m in the position now of being able to cast vision, and hold accountable an entire Next Generations Ministry team to reach our city, families, and church with the single, greatest hope given to us in history.  That Jesus can save the world!

The journey I’ve been on in the past 4 years, is just that.  It’s a journey.  It’s not yet completed, as there is progress to be made while still maintaining the ability to be flexible to the needs of our growing church.  As I look at my 2011 goal sheets, it’s Orange in color; but still bright Yellow and bright Red in places.  It’s a great journey and adventure to make the brightest yellows and the shiniest reds work together in a beautiful Orange shade.