UPDATE: INCM informed me there were 3 CPC’s from 2001-2006, so I now know that CPC San Diego was my 40th CPC!
I’m enjoying my 38th or 39th consecutive CPC. I’m trying to figure out how many I’ve been to, but in order to get the exact number, I need to know how many years they hosted three! But for the past 17 years I have not missed a single Children’s Pastor’s Conference at any location.
Every time people say, “were you at the one where….” I smile, because I have been at all of them since 1995. It hit me this year that soon my age will be the same as the number of Children’s Pastor’s Conferences I have attended.
I have been here as an attendee, as a speaker, as a performer, as an exhibitor…but mostly I am just here to walk around and talk to my friends who love kids ministry as much as I do.
I love meeting new people. I love seeing old friends. I love encouraging folks going through tough times. I love giving a word of advice or counsel to those just starting out in ministry or business. I love just being here among those who are as committed as I am to reaching and teaching kids or equipping and encouraging those who do.
You know the names of some of them because you read their books, use their resources, and subscribe to their twitter and blog RSS feeds. But my favorite conversations at CPC are with the folks I meet who are in the trenches of ministry, week in and week out, year after year. They are the ones for whom coming to a Children’s Pastor’s Conference was a big investment. They may only get to come every few years, or maybe it’s their first time, and they are still wide-eyed at all the workshops and resources, and they are amazed that there is an ocean of people like them – nuts about kids, and eager to more creatively reach them.
I love the conversations I get to have just sitting around after a workshop or in the aisle of the resource center or around the convention center with folks who tap my arm and ask for a minute of my time. They are the ones I’m here for.
I spend a lot of time all year looking at a computer and answer e-mails. At CPC those e-mails become associated with faces and stories, and that’s why I never miss one.
I hope to see you next year at CPC. Let’s sit down and chat, O.K.?
I’m at the Children’s Pastor’s Conference in San Diego, California. The same location as my very first CPC in 1995. (I’ve not missed a single CPC at any location since, and I’ve lost track of how many that is, but it’s over 35 since there are at least 2 a year and some years there were 3!)
I will not only be LIVE TWEETING at www.twitter.com/kidologist so follow @Kidologist if you are on Twitter, or just use that link if you aren’t.
but recently I’ve been using TOUT.com/kidologist to post short 15 second video updates of life…
BUT, for those of you who couldn’t come to CPC this year, I will Live Broadcast my Workshops (and some other random broadcasts just for fun) on my U-Stream Channel at: www.Kidologist.com/Webcam
HERE ARE MY WORKSHOP TIMES: (Pacific Time)
Tuesday, February 28th
2:15 p.m. 10 Steps to a Ministry Reboot
Description: Whether you are new to a ministry, or need to “make it like new,” let the Kidologist walk you through a process of “rebooting” your ministry to give it new life and energy. From “top to bottom and side to side” he will give you the tools you need to revamp and reorganize for success!
Wednesday, February 29th
9:45 a.m. Taking Ministry Into Your Family’s Neighborhoods
Description: Looking for a creative way to reached UNchurched kids? Wanting an alternative to VBS that really works? Find out how Backyard Bible Blasts (or Splashes!) can help you reach 90% unchurched kids instead of 5-10% during your summer from someone who has done it.
The best way to know when I am LIVE BROADCASTING via U-Stream is to follow @Kidologist on Twitter and temporarily turn on mobile alerts during CPC (watching the hashtage #cpc12 as well!) as I will tweet right before I go live!
My good friend and a very wise and experienced children’s ministry guru, Dick Crider, who has decades of teaching experience both as a professional and as a father and grandfather, provides LIVE online training seminars via DiscipleLand that you can sign up for and attend FREE of charge.
HOWEVER – attendance is LIMITED so it is important to sign up in advance for the online workshops that interest you.
Recently while I was in Canada speaking at a conference my wife posted on facebook that the pressure was on her to be “as fun as daddy” while I was away. Well. She pulled out the stops and took Luke to a Monster Truck Rally! Something even I have never done, and it’s all Luke’s been talking about every ten minutes for days on end! I may have trouble getting back on the “funnest parent pedestal.” Go Mom!
One of the highlights of the Monster Jam was the Mega-Saurus. This mechanical beast that came out breathing fire and literally chewed a car in half! It was almost more than my six year old’s brain could handle!
He came home saying, “Daddy, I wish you had a Mega-Saurus for my toy cars.” So, I answered. “Why, of course I have a Mega-Saurus! Every self-respecting dad has a Mega-Saurus! What kind of father would I be, if I didn’t have a Mega-Saurus in the garage?”
His eyes about popped out of his head! “YOU h-h-h-have a Mega-Saurus?” He stuttered?
“Of course I have a Mega-Saurus. Do you have some cars you would like to cut in half?” (Perhaps I could regain my funnest parent status after all!)
I headed toward the garage with my six year old in tow; he was practically stepping on my heels he was so eager to see my Mega-Saurus! I grabbed my Mega-Saurus, and also the Vice so that we could flatten some cars for his new Monster Trucks to drive and jump over, and headed up to his play room.
Once at this Car Table (Luke has a Car Table instead of a train table) my Mega-Saurus came out from under the table breathing fire and proceeded to chew through two of his older cars. He was beside himself with delight.
We next used the vice to squish six cars (I had to set a limit or he’d have had to flatten ‘em all this week!) so his Monster Trucks could drive over some destroyed cars!
Never once in the entire process did Luke mention that my “Mega-Saurus” was anything less than the real thing. Why? Because I was pretending with him. Of course it was real. His cars are real, the crashes are real, the noises he is making from the engines are real – the dirt he sees flying off the wheels (that isn’t there) is real. Just as real as my “Mega-Saurus.” After all, my Mega-Sauraus did come up from under the table making monstrous noises before it devoured those two poor cars!
When you join your kids in their imaginative play, you enter their world and you create a love bond that is beyond description. They know it is play – but they see that you are joining them, and it is more powerful and effective that a hundred “I love you’s” because it is how they want to be shown love.
I know all too soon Luke will be too old for toy cars… he’ll just want the keys to my car. But by then there will be things I’ll want to share with him, warnings and instructions and I want to have a foundation of Mega-Love. And it starts today with not being too busy to chew some toy cars in half.
What Mega-Saurus can you bring to life? The result will be a some Mega-Love shown to your kid.
If they are willing to be the rear end of a cow with you!
This is Sara and me practicing in my Cow Costume (which I still have 20 years later!) eight months before we were married.
I got it for a Christmas Play where Hark, from the Herald, traveled through time to interview different characters from the Christmas Story (shepherds, wise men, innkeeper, etc.) in order to discover the “True Meaning of Christmas.” However, I thought it was too sacrilegious to have “Hark” interview Mary or Joseph in the Nativity, so I had him interview a cow off to the side instead.
I was very excited when I got my two-man, er, one man – one fiance cow costume, and Sara was happy to help me figure it out and practice with it while were on a Thanksgiving retreat with my family that winter.
Cow or no cow, we’ve made quite a team over the last twenty years!
Here’s a “Blast from the Past!” I recently had thousands of pictures scanned by ScanMyPhotos.com and am discovering some fun pictures from over twenty years of ministry as a children’s pastor (as well as lots of fun family pics).
Several of these kids I still know and some I am friends with now on Facebook, even though this was 1993 at the Village Church of Lincolshire, IL. (Pictured here are David and Hannah Shaw, Tina Myers, Athena (Rebecca) Stephens, Tyler and Kelsey Hagen, Matt, Sam and Gab Fuqua, Jennelle, Jenene and Jenna Stanonik, Gina Geavaras, Amy Lane, and others I only remember first names. I am getting old!)
Here is a fun game event I did in my Rookie Year as a full time children’s pastor that I called Sumu Kids:
First, the TEAM PHOTOS:
We did this at a “Sack Lunch Sunday.” Every first Sunday of the month, I let all the grade school kids stay at church for a themed afternoon of fun and games. Its purpose was simply to deepen my relationship with the kids as well as to give parents a nice Sunday afternoon off. (Parent Points!) There was always some spiritual teaching, yes, but that wasn’t the main emphasis. Building relationship was, as it made my teaching more effective during church. (Remembering all these names some 19 years later is proof that Relational Ministry works!)
Here are the kids getting their Sumu Fighter ready:
Gina Geavaras getting in one of the white suits I got from Abbot Laboratories
Abbot Laboratories was located near our church, and I asked volunteer at our church (Byron Wingerd – thanks!) for a few of these awesome zip up lab body suits and he gave me a bunch. (I still have some!) And then the kids stuffed them with toilet paper!
Then….. THE BATTLE!
Of course, the goal was to knock the other person (not over) but out of the circle! The Sumu Kids had to keep their hands either on their hips or just out in the air and could only use their belly to fight. It was hysterical! The kids loved it of course.
Oh, and did I mention they were BLINDFOLDED? Their teammates had to coach them on where to go by yelling instructions! But it was hard to tell which yelling kids were your team, so it took concentration.
The spiritual application?
1) You have to listen carefully to which voices in life you listen to.
2) There are enemies out there who seek to knock you over!
3) We need to work hard to not fall down!
SCRIPTURES I MIGHT HAVE USED: (I don’t actually know, but I know myself and how I think, so I would have used verses like this. NOT ALL of them, but I’m just showing you that after a FUN game the Bible has a LOT to say about standing firm and NOT FALLING DOWN!)
See how the evildoers liefallen— thrown down, not able to rise!
The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face.”
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:12
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
Luke 21:19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
1 Peter 5:9
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Have FUN playing games – make it count by incorporating some spiritual teaching – but at the end of the day, we aren’t in ministry to have fun, and we aren’t even in ministry simply to teach. I’m not sure if many of these remember the lesson I taught that day. (Though a well taught lesson becomes part of who they are.) But the relationship impacts deeper than a lesson, and in two directions. I miss these kids very much. Some I’m still in touch with. Others, I cross paths with from time to time, others I know I won’t see again until the New Heaven and Earth – and what a Day that will be!
I think I’ll challenge them to a Sumu Match on the shore of the Crystal Sea!
I think facebook has hurt blogs as I think people have gotten Internet-lazy. They just stay on facebook and don’t move around the web as much, however, I think a blog can still get traffic if done well. I read blogs, but focus on ones that are consistent (like yours, Glen) and solid content (also like yours).
If you want to get FB readers, you MUST install a Facebook “like” button and ‘like’ your own posts so they will appear on your wall so people who follow you on Facebook will see you blogged and hop over and read your blog.
RSS Readers (Like Bloglines/Google Reader) are less used today (I think) by the general public, as they were once how blogs were read.
Tablet readers are now stronger, like Flipboard, and I read a lot of blogs that way, and through Twitter feeds, so be sure to Tweet your blog posts through hashtags like #kidmin #leadership etc. as that will drive traffic.
Bottom line: Do people visit blogs directly today? No. Do they read them? Yes, but mostly because they are driven there by other means, so you need to drive people to your blog, and then try to get them to like it enough to create a way to get your content more regularly.
If you want to be read, you need to work at it. You can no longer just post and assume it will be read.
What do you think?
(Hey, prove to me you read MY blog by commenting!) LOL
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut. Routine can settle into our lives and we can find ourselves becoming creatures of habit. Life becomes a matter of daily survival instead of an Adventure.
On my podcast today, Nicki Straza, my Canadian sister, joins me as we discuss how to discover NEW things, the importance of trying NEW things, and most importantly, allowing God to do a NEW thing in you.
It’s the month of LOVE… and to show our appreciation and deep felt LOVE for our Premium Members who support our ministry, Kidology will be rolling out a super-duper special deal each and every week of February.
You’ll need to be a Premium Member on Kidology.org to benefit from these incredible deals, so if you are still hesitating on upgrading to Premium… now is the time to avail yourself of ALL the incredible resources on this vast website because we will be spreading the love around this month with some incredible deals for premium members only!
I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
~ Stephen R. Covey