I feel like getting elevated!

It was a couple of years ago that I was invited to speak at Elevate Conference in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.

It’s one of those events that I feel like we are all on the same page. I think Canada and Australia are very similar in the needs and challenges that the Church faces so it was such a privilege to speak there!

I am back again, this time with my wife Beci and it’s gonna be great!

So even if you are in the US, or somewhere close, get yourself there and we can hang out.

MEETUP: If you are reading this and coming to the event, comment below with your name and I will buy you a coffee at a meetup sometime during the conference! Do it!

Elevate Conference 2015 | Wakerley Greeting from next gen on Vimeo.


CPC San Diego

For the second year in a row I made a quick visit to ole U.S.America to be a part of the CPC conference in San Diego.

We even took a stand along for our Hillsong Kids BiG Curriculum – which has now got a full year of School age material! (hillsongmusic.com)

It was awesome to hang out with Mike Vogel from Hillsong NYC and catch up with a bunch of people from the land of the free.

There is a lot to say about the conference, Michael Chanley is leading this in exciting and promising directions, and I can already see the impact here in Australia of their efforts to support the international efforts of children’s ministry!

So, check out incm.org to find out more, and for now you will have to watch the Orlando highlights video because the San Diego highlights does not seem to have made its way to the internets (Channers let’s get on it). 🙂

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That’s a lot of letters that really do make sense (New South Wales Children’s Ministry Network).

If you are an Australian pastor or volunteer working with kids, there is one network in Aus that can open your eyes to the wider Church around you doing amazing work. The mission statement fromt the website:

“We are a Christ Jesus-directed, active, energised, statewide network of people with shared vision for effective ministry with children that sees children become passionate and effective disciples of Jesus NOW.” 

To be honest the website is a barely functioning barren wasteland, but having been to a few gatherings here in Sydney the people involved are anything but!!!

It’s a group of very diverse people who all are reaching kids in significant way that I would ordinarily never get to interact with.

So if you are in the Sydney area and are not a part of this great network, then please download this flyer and leave a comment with your email so I can add you to the list of email getterers.

Paula & Mireia
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Toni VerdĂş CarbĂł via Compfight


CPC Sandy Aigo

My first ever CPC just happened in San Diego.

Here’s the thing.

When you come to a kids pastors conference in Australia, maybe only 25% of the delegates would be paid in any capacity. Now that lends a unique feel to a conference, and it is beautiful to see the volunteering, sacrificial attitude that so many people have.

So to get into a room with so many full time/family pastors/even preteen pastors was awesome!

Five things about CPC that were cool!

1. The Resource/expo/exhibit hall thing. It was massive! So many publishers and resource providers I totally geeked out and got every free sample I could possibly get.

2. Meeting my fellow bloggers. So I have been blogging for a lifetime in internet years now (9 years) and have never met many of the authors of other great kidmin blogs. It was great to finally meet them… and the great thing about it was realising we had so much more in common. They were on the same ‘wavelength‘ as me and connecting was really easy. So thanks @dalehudsoncm @mikefjohnson @samluce, @mattmckee, @kidologist, @jonathancliff, @jimwideman, + others I have just left out for sure.

3. Michael Chanley. You gotta question, @michaelchanley knows who can answer it. It was fascinating watching him negotiate and lead his first CPC… (I  love observing people in leadership positions – especially new ones)

4. The Lakewood guys. While I was at CPC my pastor @BrianCHouston was speaking at Lakewood Church and I was having lunch with Lakewood champion pastors @claytonhurst and @craigjohnson5 and talking about possibly the most important question for children’s ministries right now – special needs. (6 million kids in the US!)

5. My underground secret breakout session. So my breakout time changed from Thursday to Tuesday morning and no one really knew. I was talking about creativity and leadership and stuff and one of the 12 people who attended was Mike Johnston from Fellowship Church, creator of Elevate Curriculum and general all around long-term pastor legend was one of them. Oh man. What do you do? Well you just go for it! (I was an honour Mike, thanks for taking the time)

I will be posting the notes online from the session soon and the recording will probably be available from the INCM website.


A Big Deal

According to this infographic at openchurch.org I am kind of a big deal.

You can find me in the white global influencers list in the international section.

This is all part of a campaign to raise awareness and support for Open Church – a nonprofit Kent Shaffer is launching to empower global Church leaders to equip each other with ministry ideas and free downloadable resources.
In other words, a really cool idea!
Now I think that my place in the list has something to do with one Matt Guevara who is the Kidmin Ambassador for the movement. He may have snuck me on alongside my Senior Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston.
But I do see a huge disparity internationally with so many of the voices I am able to listen to coming from the U.S. I would love to read and hear from pastors working with kids in Asia, Europe and more even here in Australia but for whatever reason I just can’t find them.
As they say, “There is a huge race, gender, and geography gap among global church influencers…”
Anyway, I appreciate being on anyones list and really look forward to seeing this resource develop!

Waltzing Matilda

I have met over the last few years a large number of incredibly faithful kids pastors and leaders. A large percentage of the people who lead children’s ministries in Australia are volunteers and give a large chunk of their time to their local Church to see the ministry to children move forward.

I think these leaders have a HUGE amount to say to everyone involved in ministering to children. I am fascinated with the different forms that our little world of ministry takes on. Just last year a network that had seemingly languished here in NSW was resurrected and is finding it’s feet again. I have been able to be a part of a few of the gatherings and it has been such a blessing just to connect with leaders from other denominations across the spectrum of ministry in Australia. The Salvation Army people, Anglicans, Baptists and representatives from World Vision.

Now I don’t travel around very much except perhaps to the Kidshaper conference each year. But mainly I get to invite hundreds of pastors to the kids stream at our annual Hillsong Conference. So for me the net is a vital connection to leaders around this sunburnt land.

Maybe it’s the Tall Poppy thing in our culture – but my experience is that very few leaders in Australia a good at telling their own story.

There is so much God stuff going on with our kids in Australia I want to read some more about this, I want to hear more about this.

The most significant thing we have done in the last few years is start a preteen ministry. I wrote about it here: Re: Ideas for Children’s Ministry and have spoken about it everywhere I get the chance. What a WASTE if I had never shared the experience of starting this program and the blessing that it has been (I think I should talk more about it actually), and simply kept it to ourselves.

Right now someone is sitting on a story that will inspire me (or anyone) to greater effectiveness and new vision but they choose the path of least resistance and keep it to themselves. That’s not humble, that’s irresponsible.

<And Breathe…>

Here are some people telling the story of what God is doing in Aus:

Rob Bradbury is the Godfather Children’s ministry in Australia of has a new blog.

Children’s Ministry 1234 – The Planetshakers kids team

Brendon and Cathie Clancy – Kids worship leaders and pastors

Chris Neal – Keep writing Chris 🙂

Nathan Mclean – On Hillsong Kids staff at our Hills Campus!

Andrew Shepherd – 25 years in ministry and passionate as the day is long!

Funny Man Dan – My very own muffin of mirth keeping you smiling since 1984

Kathryn Macdowall – Hillsong Kids staff and the worlds greatest curriculum writer

Uniting Church – News from the Uniting Church in Australia

This was a pretty quick list and far too small. I am sure it needs to grow. If you know of others please leave a comment below and I will edit this post!

P.S. This is kinda like a part two of my last post Blogging Matters.


20 to Watch

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The latest edition of Children’s Ministry Magazine, as part of their 20th celebration features an article called 20 to Watch.

I haven’t got the print version yet (it’s a long boat to Australia), but just checked out the article online.

They wrote a particulary great sentence that sums up a big part of my passion about kids!

David wants the church to lead the way in innovative educational models for children. He has “a real hope for a revolution in the homes of our families” so there’s “a radical Christian counter-culture, not just a Christian subculture.”


I don’t think I could have said it better myself. We have an opportunity in this generation to revolutionise learning and engage our kids better than any other institution on earth!

It is really an honour to be a part of this amazing list. I moved to Australia with my wife Beci to attend Bible College and then go back to New Zealand, what God had planned is far above anything I could hope for or imagine. Two boys, a bunch of albums, curriculum, thousands of kids impacted over the years and to be part of this incredible Church called Hillsong.

So thanks to Christine and her team!

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Kidsong World Promo

We are once again ramping up for Hillsong Conference in July!

I love conference time each year… the air is crisp, the sun bright but ineffective, winter is all around and we all get precious little sleep as we present our annual conference to champion the cause of the local church.

KIDSONG 2010 promo from Hillsong Church on Vimeo.

So, Hillsong Kids team, we want to hang out with you and a couple thousand kids! Make plans to be there. Ministry leaders come along, if you are in the leadership stream we would love for you to be a part of our Children’s Pastors and Leaders electives!

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#napconf News

#napconf is the hashtag for this years Napkin Conference in Las Vegas.

Man I love it!

With a bunch of like minded people who care about kids – even more than that, the kind of of people who don’t get all freaky about going to ‘sin city‘… the truth is Jesus was all about being where the sinners were!

So the room is full of ‘My People’!

More than any other conference I have attended, I feel like this is a group of friends learning from each other.

Congrats digoxin online overnight to Pastor Justyn – the first day was sensational! Looking forward to the second day.

P.S. Nathan Mclean, Carlos and I went $1 Graveyard bowling at midnight at the Hotel and Mclean bowled 6 strikes in one game for a score of 160! A true 2am champion!