I have been to MANY children’s ministry conferences since I started in kidmin 16 years ago. Most of them were good, and I have learned something from each one. However, I have always felt couple frustrations from each one:
1. I always came back overwhelmed because speakers would talk about things that were unreachable for me. See, I grew up in a mega-church, and because I tend to react to the way I grew up, I have loved serving in a small church. There are definitely things I miss about a large church–namely, the resources and facility. But what I love about small church ministry is that I can actually get to know every single one of my volunteers and at least know every child’s name. Often times, I would attend conferences with speakers that are well known from mega-churches. They would talk about having a team to write and act out in a different skit every week, putting together professional looking media clips each week, etc. It sounds like every ministry’s dream, and I get all pumped up. But when I come back to my small church, I would feel deflated because I don’t have the paid staff to pull off the things they talked about. When I saw that KidMin Conference was offering 4-hour track on Children’s Ministry in Small Churches, I was thrilled. It’s not just a 1-hour workshop, but it’s a half-track, something you can dig deeper with others that are in the same boat! Afterall, statistics tell us that 85% of all protestant churches in America has attendance of 200 or less. That’s A LOT of small churches out there! KidMin also has Small Church Connect Group! This is too cool!
2. I rarely have time to process everything, and before I know it, I’m back in my church running full-speed. I’m a process person. It’s very important for me to sit, think, and talk about what I have learned and have a strategy on implementation. In my earlier years, I was most concerned with getting as much information as possible. Now that I’ve been doing this for awhile, I’m more interested in getting information that’s relevant and useful to me, and to be able to implement in my ministry. I’ve been known to “ditch” workshops because I go into information overload, and I just can’t handle it anymore. I like that KidMin offers casual and open Connect Groups where we can network and just talk and process ministry together! Not to mention, the speakers are available to connect with people in a casual, kick-back environment! When I do workshops, I love connecting with people afterwards. I make it a point to make myself accessible because that’s when I get most pumped up–when I connect with people! I’ve been to conferences where the speakers were like rockstars–they do their thing, and they disappear. How AWESOME that KidMin allows time for the speaker and attendees to connect, talk, process, and network!!! and you can connect on comfy Sack Chair Pods, and even take naps when you’re tired!!! gotta love that “Relate & Relax” is one of the values of this conference!!!
As KidMin unveils more info, I’m sure I’ll get even more excited… but for now, these two reasons alone have me jumping up and down!!! (it’s just ironic that this conference is happening right after I stepped down from my church… but I’m 100% kidmin person, and who knows where God will have me serve next!)