Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for Conferences
One of my favorite things about the Children’s Pastors Conference is the Resource Center. CPC remains the ONLY kidmin conference that provides a level playing field for all resource providers and publishers. While publisher created conferences can be fantastic, I love CPC because there is no agenda other than equipping and encouraging. Enjoy the other conferences, but be sure to come to CPC where you can learn about all that is NEW and exciting in Kidmin. I especially enjoy meeting small ministries/companies that are just starting out and love helping them get the word out about what God has laid on their heart to create and share, often out of their own family or church ministry success. That is what gave birth to Kidology.org – sharing what I’ve learned – so I celebrate a place where I can meet others with that same passion.
Brandon, Barney and I ready to Equip & Encourage!
We enjoyed exhibiting – but we love to share what others are doing as well! Kidology exists to help YOU FIND what you are looking for, even if it’s not on Kidology.org – that’s our Mission!
Here is a collection of videos I did with my iPhone on a pole so you could meet these great folks and learn about what they are doing to HELP YOU in your children’s ministry.
Watch each one, they are short!
Egglo (for Easter!):
Awesome Video Stuff:
Sparkie Summer Program (no Awana club needed!):
Teaching Kids How to Pray:
I hope you will support these ministries by checking out what they are doing and if you can use what they offer, encourage them with a purchase! It is the best way to keep people innovating for children’s ministry!
Next week I’ll be attending my 44th consecutive Children’s Pastors Conference. Though I’ve been to more kidmin conferences than can be counted. Sometimes I am privileged to get to do some Equipping and Encouraging as a workshop presenter or speaker – but usually I am just glad to be there to learn, connect, discover new resources and network.
Let me share some tips I’ve learned over the years about how to MAKE THE MOST of whatever kidmin conference you are attending – you invest a lot of time and energy and resources to attend a conference, you might as well be sure you get everything you can out of it!
#1 – Don’t try to do everything! This sounds contradictory to “getting the most” out of a conference, but conferences, by design are LOADED with opportunities to learn, connect and gather tools. However, if you attempt to DO everything offered, you may actually miss out on some of the best things there, or be moving so fast, you miss the people in the midst of the stuff to do. Keep in the mind:
The conference is there to serve you – you are not there to do what the conference has planned for you!
So be smart. Determine your goals, look over what the conference offers and if you need to skip a workshop session (or even a general session – gasp!) to accomplish your objectives, that is fine! Sometimes a one on one meeting with a key person may be more valuable than a general session with some famous leader pontificating over a bunch of stuff you’ll “Amen” but already know.
#2 Make the most of meals. Hey, you gotta eat – but you don’t need to eat alone, and trust the sovereignty of God to place you near some people that just may be exactly who you need to talk to. Of course you can, and should, schedule meals withe key people – but even when you just end up at a table with some folks – find out who they are. What are they looking for? Struggling with? Trying that is new? You’ll be surprised to discover you can learn as much from a table mate as you can in a workshop by some well known trainer. After all, notoriety doesn’t make someone more valuable. Having what you need is the key! And that person accross the table or standing next to you in line may just be the “secret source” of information you are seeking!
#3 Visit EVERY Booth in the Resource Area. Let’s be honest – some of the exhibit booths are pretty cool. They’ll have huge displays, wide screen HDTV displays and sound systems. The money they can pour into a booth must mean good sales from a super product, right? It also can spell: F.L.U.F.F. Often times I have discovered that the plainer, smaller more humble looking booths – while they may not stop you in the tracks, may actually have some fantastic resources in them, created by people who have put all their heart and soul and last penny into creating that resource after it worked at their church, and they are trying to share it with the world because it worked so great in their ministry. So make a point to visit every single booth. Even when you don’t think you need, want or have any interest in a booth, stop in and visit. After all, that is a brother or sister in Christ, right? Listen to their story. It’s not always about buying something – it may be about a connection later that you you’ll make between them and someone else, which builds the Kingdom of God!
#4 Interview Regular People. I know one of the highlights of a conference like CPC is you get to meet or see some folks who you look up to or who have really been a blessing to you – either through their ministry or the resources they have created. But remember, being well known is just an earthy attribute that means nothing in the Kingdom of God. I remember once when a fellow asked to interview me at a CPC. He had a list of all the folks he wanted to meet and get a few minutes to talk to. While I was honored to make his list, I asked him several questions about his own ministry. As it turned out, he had been in ministry longer than I had, had more kids, more volunteers, and more formal education at the time. I encouraged him by saying, “Sounds like you are the true expert between us!” And I proceeded to interview him about things I was struggling with in my church ministry. He got his questions addressed from me, but so did I! My point is, the expert you are looking at may not be teaching workshops, be at a famous church, or be published or have a blog/website. They may just be busy doing the work of the ministry and have a lot to offer you. How do you find these people? You get to know everyone who crosses your path at CPC – you’ll find treasures everywhere!
#5 Social Network Like Crazy. Use Facebook to post – add new people to your Friends – and I recommend Twitter too. Because at a conference there is usually a hashtag for the conference. If you don’t know what that means, it is a tag you put in ALL your tweets about the conference. At CPC this year the hashtag is #cpc14. If you put that in your tweets, not only will your regular followers see your tweets, but anyone who clicks on #cpc14 in anyone’s tweet will also see your tweets, whether or not they follow you! It increases your readership of your tweets. Plus, YOU should be following #cpc14 (or the conference hashtag) so you can read what others are tweeting and check to see if you are following the the #cpc14 tweeters, and if you aren’t – start! (This also applies to the children’s ministry hashtag #kidmin which is good all year around!)
#6 Collect Contacts Like Crazy. As you meet people, get their contact info. Build your network at a conference. You will be amazed how you will need and want this information later! If you collect business cards, add them to your smart phone asap. Under the “company” or “notes” you can put #cpc14 and something you remember about them for future reference. Remember, it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know. And meeting new people and connecting is great – but you need to be able to extend that relationship beyond the conference!
#7 MOST IMPORTANT: Schedule Down Time to Read, Reflect and Rest. I remember when I got back from one of my first CPC’s and my senior pastor asked me, “When did the conference end?” When I answered, “Yesterday,” he said, “Then what are you dong back?” It was a subtle hint that I needed to add on extra time to process what I had learned, discovered and been exposed to. So I have often added on an extra day so I could just enjoy the resort/convention center without the crowds and slowly pray and process all that had happened the past few days. If you must get back right away, than plan a “day away” back home ASAP to go over your notes, all the paper you collect at a conference, and consider what changes you will implement. Much of what you hear/see at a conference will be things that excite you – but a lot of it is preaching to the choir – it’s stuff you already know. Other things won’t work in your situation back home. Some things you need to consider how to modify or adapt to your environment or church culture. This takes some time – and if you don’t make the time for it, all your conference “stuff” can end up on a shelf and no real change will take place in your ministry despite all the time and money invested in the conference. And that is not a good thing!
If you will be at CPC – please drop by the Kidology Booth and say hello. If you see me walking around, do not hesitate to stop me (even if I look busy) to say hello. If you want to chat – so do I!
Whatever conference you attend – make the most of it! Be intentional and connect with people. Remember, the Church isn’t the stuff that’s for sale, it’s the people doing ministry with us. So make connections that will last a life time. Resources are wonderful, but people are eternal.
You just have to see this in person!
(Click on any image to view larger.)
Have you ever wanted to UNPLUG from the hectic busy pace of ministry life? That is the entire point of Yosemite Summit. It is a week where you are unplugged in every sense of the word. No computer, no e-mail, no phone calls, no work, no deadlines, no ‘emergencies’, no pressure. Better than a day off spent catching up on personal things – it is a complete break for the sake of complete rest and renewal.
I was once told by a very wise mentor, “Karl, you need to stop being a human doing, and learn to become a human being.”
That is what Yosemite Summit is all about. It is an annual cessation of activity. Too often we confuse busyness with what God is truly seeking from us. Not that we aren’t busy doing good things! But we get so busy doing these good things, that our relationship with God can grow distant, and soon God is wondering, why or who we are truly busy for?
Stopping, completely, once a year is an opportunity to recalibrate. It is a time for reflection and renewal. It is not a time of evaluating ministry goals and seeking a new “ministry vision” from God! It is a time of setting all that down and walking away from it.
Why? God did not save us to gain a worker. He can manage quite fine without us. (Something to consider when you are working so hard – God doesn’t need you!) He saved us that we might enter into a relationship with Him and get to know Him. If we are so busy working that we aren’t getting to know Him – than the working isn’t working. It is actually counter-productive to what God’s true aim is.
We are busy “making Him known,” but we forget the first half – “To know Christ, and to make Him known.” If we forget our relationship in the pursuit of the second half, we are then working to reproduce something that isn’t what God wants. No wonder many non-believers have no interest in becoming a Christian! They see a lot of busy-bodies, instead of disciples of Christ, men and women who walk with God.
To be in awe of God again…
So once a year I stop all the activity and simply walk with God for a week doing nothing else but enjoying Him. And I invite a small group to join me. It changes me and helps me continue that walk when I get back to my God-given work.
Will you join me this May? Only three spots remain.
Take some time and browse through the blog on YosemiteSummit.org – you’ll discover inspiration and the answers you have about this unique event.
I’m already praying for you… I just don’t know who you are yet.
ABOUT | LOCATION | SCHEDULE | COST | BRING | REGISTER | WHY | VIDEOS | BLOG
PS: If you need this Summit and can’t afford it, please let me know.
Just search my blog for CPC and you’ll see I’ve been blogging about how amazing it is for many years. As far as I can tell, I am the record holder for the most consecutive CPC’s since I’ve not missed a single one in any location for the past 43 events. They are just plane fun! This year, we have already given away over $12,000 in kidmin resources!
Here are some of the video highlights from the first CPC of 2014, and I may toss in a few bonus ones from years past, just for extra measure:
Joel and Stan in the Kidology booth where every SPIN was a WIN!
JUMBO Sport Stacking with TWO Opponents… who won?
I got to race against a US Sport Stacking Champion… it wasn’t pretty…
Every year we do a Kidology Gathering… this is an intimate get together with no agenda other than to get to know each other, encourage and have fun. It is always a highlight of CPC, and YES, you are invited. Just watch Kidology.org for time and location while you are at CPC. This year’s Gathering featured an explosion by Joshua the Wild n Wacky scientist from ScienceVBS.com
Last year I got lots of great feedback from my Resource Room Video Tour which I plan to do again at CPC14 West:
You also enjoy this CPC Highlight Video I created last year after Orlando:
People still talk about this one… the amazing BOX JUMP!
If I were to combine all my Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Twitpic and other social media CPC posts over the years…. it would be quite overwhelming.
The Point: CPC is a LOT of fun and I hope to see you there someday!
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My 43rd consecutive Children’s Pastors Conference is now past, and my 44th is rapidly approaching! While there are MANY fantastic kidmin conferences today to choose from, only CPC brings together all the large publishers and many small ministries to exhibit, has general sessions to knock your socks off, and more workshops than you can count. OK, maybe you could count them, but there are a LOT!
This year Kidology exhibited and had a blast with a “PRIZE WHEEL” giving away resources from Kidology and a select group of our vendors who we featured in our booth. When all was said and done we gave away OVER $12,000 in Kidmin Resources. WHY would we do this? Because of our MISSION: To Equip and Encourage Those in Children’s Ministry.
CPC EAST 2014 (Click to View Larger)
EVERYONE who came to our booth won something – and not just samples! They went home with a set of Speed Stacks or DVD curriculum from EKG, or they won a free downloadable resource like River’s Edge Easter lesson, The Hunt is On!, or Jesus is Real from Tadpole Tales, or Knights of God 12 week curriculum from NextGen4Christ, or Scripture Lady’s downloadable Fruit of the Spirit music collection, or TruthQuest’s Easter curriculum He is Risen. Or it may have been one of many Kidology Resources like the popular U-Turn Cards or Resurrection Clue Hunt. Others learned about NoDuh the Wise One winning all his videos while others got the Kidology Handbook or Kid’s Church Cookbook. Of course, we gave away many full units of DiscipleTown and chose How to Love God with Valentine’s Day coming soon. But the most excited people were those who won a Premium Membership to Kidology.org – whether for the first time, or getting their expiration extended. With all the content, resource discount, monthly $1 deals and more – it’s the best deal in Kidmin!
But as you can see from the pictures above (click the image to view larger) the highlight of CPC isn’t the “stuff” (as cool as it is!) it is the PEOPLE you get to meet and hang out with. I so enjoy meeting new folks, reconnecting with long-time friends and seeing how Kidology can be a help and encouragement to both leaders and volunteers in ministry and the resource providers who are there to support them.
As I tell people who come to our booth,
“Kidology.org is like a CPC every day of the year right on your computer. Bright ideas for Children’s Ministry, the resources to equip you, a place to chat and make friends to be encouraged and where you can find what you are looking for – even if it’s not on Kidology.org, we are always the best place to start. It’s been that way now for over twenty years and still growing. HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?“
If you will be at CPC West, be sure to drop by the Kidology Booth so you don’t miss out on all the FREE RESOURCES! If you haven’t registered yet for CPC, what are you waiting for?