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The Ultimate Kidmin Conference Cheat Sheet

I spent a very quick few days in Columbus Ohio last week speaking at the Kidmin conference. Apart from feeling the jet lag a little more than in the past I found myself in a brand new conference experience put on by Group Publishing.

The amount of training that happens is astonishing in it’s variety and sheer volume requiring a telephone book sized yellow sheet just to recap all the topics and sessions! So with that in mind, here are some tips to help you survive the experience.

1: Find a friend and organise a buddy system. Perhaps you could create code names for each other like ‘Alpha Moon’, ‘Tomato Bob’ or ‘Larry Cucumber’ that you can yell out in an emergency. Here I have pictured two men doing just that. Wayne Stocks from Dad in the Middle Blog and Michael Chanley from CMConnect are now establishing contact with each other and assigning codes… I believe Michael went for ‘Louisville Kitty’.

ohio-chanley

2. Find people with similar hairlines to your own. This is myself and Steve Adams from Saddleback Kids very relieved to have found each other and realising that both our hairlines have seen better days. Steve has teenagers and so has progressed towards complete cue ball faster than me, but I have no doubt that I will catch him up at some point. You can just make out Michael Chanley photobombing at the back still nervously looking.

adams-wakerley

3. Get your selfie on with a guy in a mohawk. Jeff from JumpStart3 was an ever present presence in the resource area and a guy with big dreams and the guts the go after them. Which brings me to the guy on my left.

kidmin_dave_tim_jeff

4. Bring along the legend that runs Hillsong Music. We just recently released Faith, Hope and Love a 9 week curriculum for both Preschool and Primary/Elementary and it’s awesome (I haven’t really mentioned it on the blog strangely). Tim Whincop and Josh Olson both were with me and made the Hillsong Kids stand happen.

IMG_3720

There were many moments that happened at Kidmin conference meeting people like Wayne Stocks and Gina McClain both bloggers who I have been following for a long time! Meeting Christine Yount Jones the editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine and seeing her enthusiasm for helping leaders in kidmin. I did want to catch Dale Hudson who writes probably the most consistent kidmin blog there is and I did see Anthony Prince in passing at some point. But next time I do this I think a blogger meetup would be in order!

Thanks Kidmin, we had a great time!

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The History of Bob and Larry? Controversy!

Wow, fascinating podcast from Phil Vischer!

FROM THE DESCRIPTION:

It’s been an interesting week for Bob and Larry in veggie-land, inspiring Phil to tell the whole story of how he and his characters parted ways, and the many attempts made over the last decade to bring them back together. It’s a story we guarantee you’ve never heard before!

As a student of kids entertainment over years and also the fact that I am fascinated by the business of entertainment this was one of the most interesting videos I have seen in a long time.

ALSO - let’s talk about the redesign of the VeggieTale characters. It’s a veg-apocalypse! It’s the end of the world!

According to Breathecast it’s causing a big uproar all over the place!

“I greatly appreciate the work that they have put into this new show but the characters are very odd looking. It’s not just that they’re different. They have a disturbed look on their faces and the eyes just make them feel creepy instead of kind and easy to love,” a commenter on Facebook said.

Me? I am waiting to see the new show for the review!

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1 reason to visit Columbus Ohio

As you travel the world, one destination towers over the rest in the search for international prominence.

Columbus.

It screams out from brochures, demanding your attention as you forget about Paris, London and New York. Drowning out your reservations with “We have a replica of Christopher Columbus’ historic ship the Santa Maria“. 

So I am sure there are lots of reasons to visit Columbus Ohio, but to be fair, there is only one reason I am here.

It’s the KidMin Conference by Group Publishing and Children’s Ministry Magazine.

I had a walk around the city this morning, grabbed great bacon omelette (international travel rules dictate, in the US? eat bacon) breakfast from a tiny little place around the corner from the hotel suggested by this great blog Breakfast with Nick. And then had a stroll around the rather massive count of high-rise buildings in the downtown area.

Seriously, there is a lot of tall buildings for 800,000 people (Apparently lots of state government departments are here).

But let me get serious for a moment. I am quietly excited about this conference. I have never been a part of an event run by Group before so I will be learning all I can, about how they do what they do. There are friends here and new friends to be met. If you are at the conf. come by the Hillsong Kids stand and check out some new resources!

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Kidshaper Conference Highlights

Kidshaper conference was a fantastic event in August.

We try and get as many of our team to attend as possible knowing that it will be a time where we get to be inspired, encouraged and perhaps most importantly hang out together without the pressure of task and ministry.

Andy Kirk is a champion with a very special place in my heart. His rebranding of the event makes me happy, his passion for ministry makes me happy, his innovation and the inner workings of his brain make me happy.

He is an absolute gift to the ACC in Australia. In short, when he asks me to jump, I ask how high? 

Kidshaper 2014 Highlights from ACC Kids on Vimeo.

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Is it a dusk or a dawn?

When people write about puppets in ministry the article title will be a variation on this; “Puppets – why we use them”. 

When you write ‘why’ in the title of an article you are doing it for a couple of reasons – either explaining a brand new concept or method to an audience, OR explaining just why a certain idea is still relevant when it seems to be declining.

I love the muppets. But even in their franchise ‘reboot’ movie in 2011 they had to prove themselves that puppets could still be funny.

Spend your energy on the new dawning idea rather than the idea in the twilight of it’s life.

P.S. I cried from overwhelming waves of nostalgia about 14 separate times in the Muppet movie. I like my puppeteers like I like my parents – they were around for my childhood.

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What Christianity Today had to say about your salary

The Gleanings blog from Christianity Today is a insightful blog and if you are hankering for a recap of the latest controversy in the Church world, it delivers. It’s no TMZ, but I guess nothing brings in readers like a little intrigue.

But check out this quote from the article How 727 Megachurches Spend Their Money

In research director Warren Bird’s Q&A with William Vanderbloemen at the conclusion of the study, the hiring expert suggests that churches should consider children’s ministry as a key strategy for growing their congregation. Vanderbloemen said:

The most strategic churches we work with are realizing that a premier children’s pastor/leader can become one of, if not the largest growth engines for the church. And such churches are paying accordingly. We are seeing an increasing trend of churches who pay the top person over children’s ministry more and more. In some cases, the children’s pastor is one of the top paid people on staff, higher than the student pastor, worship pastor or small groups pastor.

Now any study that suggests that salary solution needs a closer look for sure! :)

There is a lot more helpful information to be found in the report, check it out!

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I Like His Punchline

Ran into this little gem online.

It kinda sums up corners of the internet that claim a monopoly on truth.

There is barely a reason for me to comment on intrigue and controversy in the Church/ministry world being a #kidmin blog, but also because I have any personal relationship with those involved… put it this way, there is usually 50 reasons not to post and only a few reasons to write something. Those numbers need to reverse for that to be validated.

I present Emo Philips:

Emo Phillips

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Christian Education?

Help me out here.

I keep seeing the phrase Christian Education when people are talking about ministry. It’s mentioned in the same breath as Sunday School, or classrooms and curriculum and other words that seem to be borrowed from academia.

Is this something to aspire to?

In my brain we are trying to be the Church to the world. Putting the banner of Christian Education overhead seems to really ‘muddy the waters’ of what we are trying to achieve.

Or am I missing something?

 

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I’m a GURU!

According to Frank Bealer the Family Ministry Pastor at Elevation Church in North Charlotte, West Carolina, OH 90210… (or somewhere like that) I am a GURU!

On his excellent new blog he has written a number of posts with a video interview with a bunch of pastors around the world. It was a privelidge to be a part of these hangouts, and I encourage you to check them out!

A Conversation With Some Family Ministry Gurus

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

We are joined by:

  • LifeChurch.tv (Allyson Evans)
  • Hillsong Australia (David Wakerley & Nathan Mclean)
  • Elevation Church (Frank Bealer)
  • Kids R Us (Andy Kirk)
  • NewSpring Church (Cherie Duffey)
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Shameless they said!

Yeah, one of my hats as a kids pastor is overseeing the creative output of our Hillsong Kids.

The great thing about that is it helps our own ministry and Church campuses grow and lead kids. But also I get to release resources into the ‘wild’ as it were. We are in that season right now with a brand New Big Curriculum ready at the gate for its time in the spotlight. But it’s also hard to talk about without sounding like a shameless plug… but I can say what I like on my own blog right?

Here’s what we know so far –

  • It’s a 9 week curriculum
  • It includes elementary/primary and preschool/toddlers (first time)
  • It’s all about Faith, Hope and Love
  • It will be physical (DVD) and digital (download)
  • Large group/small group (same format as previous curric.)
  • Over 7 hours of media content! (this kinda blew my mind when we added it up!)
  • New website

Here’s what may be announced (wink, wink) –

  • Maybe there will be new worship music from Hillsong Kids?
  • Possible there will be a song to celebrate birthdays in your ministry?
  • I have heard that there may even be animated characters?

But seriously I am very happy with this new series and know that you will love it!