One of the greatest things about the Children’s Pastor’s Conference is the friends you make and the fun of getting to cross paths with them again. I’ve lost track, but this is somewhere near my 30th CPC in a row. (I can’t tell for sure because while I’ve been to every one since 1995, I don’t remember which years have had 2 or 3 of them) It truly is a blessing to be here!
It is a lot of fun to meet people who share your passion for children’s ministry, and to reconnect with them over the years. Many of the friends I reconnect with at CPC, I first met at a CPC in the years past, and I look forward to continuing to connect and make new friends in the years ahead.
Byron Ragains who runs the Chicago Children’s Ministry Network, a Church Consultant for David C. Cook, and Larry Fowler, Awana’s Vice President and author of one of my favorite CM Books, Rock Solid Kids. Bryon played a large part in the very first Kid U and has been a great friend over the years since I was in my first ministry at Moody Church, waaaaaay back as a green thumb in children’s ministry. Larry has also been a wise mentor and trusted counselor for me especially in times of need.
Or Joe and Scott from Harvest Publications, the #1 Place you should use to purchase curriculum and nearly any Christian books you need to find and buy. They don’t have a website, but you can call 800-323-3885 for the best service possible. They have great discounts and the personal attention they give their customers is a rare thing indeed now adays where the web has at times seemed to replace that personal touch we once took for granted. Harvest has sponsored a Kid U conference for each and every of our nine years and will again for the 10th Anniversary Celebration in October!
As you can see, Roger Fields is a nut! He was one of the first CPC workshop presenters who had a huge impact on my leadership and recruiting philosophy. He is best known for his Kidz Blitz outreaches which now are seen in over 150 churches a year around the country. Many also appreciate his wacky, but encouraging humor found in the online Cold Water Cafe. My favorite is his piece The Calling which I have heard quoted many times in my travels. Recently, at one of Byron’s networks, the speaker said she reads it every morning when she wakes up to start her day. He also publishes a pretty cool movie-making themed children’s church curriculum called Big City Studio.
I first met Jim Wideman on Roger’s Children’s Ministry Cruise in 2002. Jim has been the children’s pastor at one of the largest churches in the country, but has never gotten so “up there” that he didn’t have time to equip and encourage the little guys like me. In fact, in the past few years I started to notice that there was a guy in the Kidology Forum giving great advice and encouragement known only as “oldgreycp.” Using my administrative powers I poked into the membership database and discovered this anonymous encourager was Jim Wideman himself! Discovering his heart to equip and encourage young children’s pastors we set the the Leadership Forum on Kidology.org and also twisted his arm to give a discount to Kidolgy folks on his MP3 training ministry known as The Club.
Another awesome “CPC Connection” was discovering Todd Hampson from Timbuktoons several years ago. This man is amazing! Since then, not only do we sell his Scripture Shorts, Countdowns, Cartoon Packs, Worship Stills and Worship CDs, and the BRAND NEW Noodles preschool DVD, but Todd has done the artwork for my novel The Order of the Ancient and other projects.
Who’s that other guy? Only the graphic designer of the new and improved Kidology Handbook and THIS WEBSITE. Yes, Timbuktoon’s other talented dude, Sean Copley designed my business cards, brochure, letterhead and stationery that all match the ‘look’ of the new Kidologist.com. (his wife Jennifer edited the massive revision of the Kidology Handbook, so I’ll give credit there as well!)
What a team! And another great reason to go to CPC to meet guys like this! I took a bunch of other pictures today, but I gotta quit and get some sleep tonight. So more pictures tomorrow!