The Kidmin Conference kicked into full gear. Here are some of the highlights for me.
General session with Dr. Lazarus Chakwera
God has not given up on our world and He refuses to give up on the next generation. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera
We need to help our kids grow 4 dimensionally physically, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera
As we build the next generation God uses this generation. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera
The next generation is a reflection, for better or for worse of the previous generation. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera
Unless we connect our story to Gods big story our lives and our kids lives will have no meaning. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera
Dr. Chakwera ended with the following statement I’ve been thinking about ever since “Am I leaving a footprint big enough for someone to follow?” Dr. Chakwera’s talk was very inspiring and challenging.
After the evening session I got a chance to connect with Craig Johnson had an amazing time talking with him and hearing his heart. I was inspired by his story and his passion for kids with special needs. Craig is a world-class leader and I feel fortunate to hang out with him at all. Love his humility and his passion to see kids with special needs experience church in the same way a typical kid would.
If you are a kids pastor and you want to start a special needs ministry but don’t know where to start Craig is working on creating a scalable model for kids pastors and for churches of all types and sizes. I can’t wait to see what Craig and his team come out with the Kingdom needs this and I am pumped beyond words.
Friday was a great day. I feel blessed and humbled to be apart of the Kidmin Conference its first year.
In a few short weeks there will be hundreds of kidmin leaders descending on Chicago home of the thick nasty pizza. I am really starting to get excited about heading out to connect with some old friends as well as meet a bunch of new people who share my passion for kids and youth.
Why this conference is different. – A little over a year ago, Group flew 10 kids pastors from around the country out to Colorado to give talk about what they love, hate, and don’t really care about when it comes to a kidmin conference. It was a time of brainstorming ideas to make Group’s conference different. We talked about what speakers we want to hear from what breakouts would pack the most punch. I have never heard of people wanting to start a conference inviting the people who will attend and ask them what kind of conference do you want?
What can you expect – Group was clear about a few things that I think could potentially make this conference very different from most.
– Affinity groups – You can sign up to hang with a small group of other kidmin leaders who have some of the same things in common with you. Some of the groups will be , large church, small church, multisite, traditional church, spouse of a kidmin etc… In these groups you have a leader facilitating a discussion that will hopefully help you process some of the stuff you are taking in. It’s also their hope that the conversation from these groups continue beyond the conference.
– No green room – All the speakers at the conference will be out and about and you will be able stop them and ask questions about their talk their ministry or even hear a bit about their story.
– No Venders – For me this one I could take or leave I don’t really visit venders at a conference I do all that online. I do know that some people go to conference and going to see what is out there is a huge selling point others they feel like they are trapped in a kidmin infomercial.
I really like the affinity group idea and will be leading one for Large churches. If you are going and are from a large church let me know I would love to connect before the conference if possible. I also like the idea of no green room maybe when I have my TV station and 4 jets my opinion will change. The vender thing I can take or leave. All in all it has lots of potential for relationship and I really like that.
Who is putting this thing on? – Group publishing. Christine Yount Jones is no stranger to next generation ministry she has been a vital part of everything Group does for years now. She is a wonderful person with a hear of gold. When I met Chris Jones for the first time I was so impressed she really loves what she does and she really cares about the work that youth and kids people do. Everyone at Group that I have met have gone out of their way to be the biggest support they can be for the work the church does.
I talked to Yancy briefly tonight about worship and the huge role it plays in what we do. We often talk about curriculum and what we teach as we should but I’m not sure if we discuss the importance of teaching our kids how to enter into worship. Here is what we do and why we do it.
1. Opening song – We always start with a high energy song that is usually just fun and doesn’t necessarily talk about God but gets kids moving and focused.
2. We take a few minutes to explain what are some of the ways we can praise God. What does the Bible says about what praise and worship is and why we do it.
3. 2-3 “Faster” worship songs – Our goal here is to help the kids have fun and still teach kids theology and prepare them to worship. We always try to pick songs that match songs that the Youth ministry does and Adult ministry does. I believe it’s important that even though our environments are different that the songs we sing are speaking the same thing.
4. 1-2 worship songs – Our goal here is to teach kids to connect to God themselves. Every song we sing leads to this point where kids can connect with Christ and learn the value of worship in their daily life. We want to lead kids to a transcendent moment where God can move on their hearts.
5. We close in either General Prayer for the service or specific prayer for what we feel God wanting us to pray for, healing, strength, courage ect… we try to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
One of the problems in the information age is that there are so many ways for receive and give information. I find it frustrating that you send text messages, make flyers, phone calls, emails, twitter and facebook and you miss 20% of your families.
Often my best ideas were stared from something I have seen or heard somewhere else. I remember having a conversation with Jim Wideman about how he is using Facebook to connect with kids in his youth ministry it really got me thinking about how to use Facebook in children’s ministry. So I thought that over the next few days I would break down how we are using Facebook and plan to use Facebook to better connect with the families that attend Redeemer.
1. Create a volunteer position whose job is to be the “Facebook Evangelist for Uptown”
2. Create events to connect families to our fan page
3. Use the fanpage as a source of weekly updates on what their kids are learning in Uptown as well as to inform parents of events coming up.
4. Try to help connect people who attend our church to the life of our church using Facebook.
My wife and I read to our kids everyday because we want them to understand that reading is powerful. It’s how you learn, grow and connect with people you would never be able to. I am still astounded that The apostle Paul, Abraham Lincoln, CS Lewis can speak in to my life and have an impact on me and my family years after their passing. Reading and writing are powerful. Here is a video that speaks to that.