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.?
Related: Why CPC?