Excitement overflows this week



Every year, the International Children’s Ministry group hosts a Children’s Pastor’s Conference, or CPC, as it’s called by all who attend. This week, the conference is in Orlando. I’ll be presenting a couple of breakout sessions.

I get so excited to present to children’s people. The adrenaline starts flowing before I ever arrive. Children’s pastors are the most fun people on the planet. One never knows what is going to happen in a workshop, the hallways, or the main sessions. Plus, the exhibit hall is filled with craziness. Every minute, there is something going on in the exhibit hall. It might be balls being tossed in the air or a small group dancing and moving someone’s new DVD. Laughter is heard throughout the exhibit hall.

One can see a lot of hugging, high fives, and fist bumps and even hear shrieking when people see others they met last year. Over the years, many of us have become close friends as we’ve met and stayed connected. Others have found each other on Facebook on children’s ministry pages. We’ve never met in person but now have the opportunity to do that.

Lest you get the wrong impression, children’s pastors are passionate about bringing the love of God to children. Make no mistake; there will a lot of prayer for one another and the children in our ministries. It’s not unusual to see a couple of people surrounding others and lifting them in them in prayer as you walk down the hallways.

Two Breakouts

This year, I’ll be presenting two workshops. One workshop is on emotional concussions. If you’d like to see what this workshop looks like, read the article, Do you have kids who have experienced an emotional concussion?

The second workshop is “Creating a Welcoming and Safe Place: Gender Identity and What Each Child Deserves.” Prayers for this breakout session are appreciated. It is a very difficult session to present because there are so many emotions connected to this issue. The purpose of this workshop is to educate church leaders and children’s people about gender confusion, so they will be prepared to understand the many issues the gender-confused child feels. We’ll also discuss how to answer questions other children might ask about issues surrounding gender confusion.

Why do I continue to submit proposals to present at children’s ministry conferences?

Even though both topics I’ll be presenting on are difficult to prepare for and to discuss, I think children’s people need to be aware of the many issues kids in our world face every day. It takes hours of research and work to pull off a one-hour breakout session. So why do I continue to submit proposals? It’s really very simple.

  • I get to meet some of the most fun people in ministry.
  • I get renewed and rejuvenated.
  • My soul gets stretched—think “deeper and wider.”
  • I learn new things, and I get to see what products are available to help my church do a better job of ministering to the little people in the world.
  • My love for children and the Lord is strengthened.
  • I get a lot of hugs. (Okay, this may be a little selfish, but hey, I love those hugs.)

Children’s ministers and directors have a lonely job

Doing children’s ministry can be lonely in some churches. Many times, children’s ministry is the last line item on the budget. Some people in your church, ministers included, think all you do is babysit those kids. It can be frustrating and stressful. All of us need a pick-me-up every now and then. We need to be encouraged by like-minded people.

Ask any children’s persons, and they will tell you working with children is the most important ministry of all because we influence the next generation of Christians. Without effective children’s ministers and ministries, there will be no church of the future.

I would be honored if you would remember CPC in your prayers this week. Pray the Lord take over my workshops and people hear what the Lord wants them to hear regarding their own ministries. Both of my workshops are about emotional-safety issues involving children. Pray the Holy Spirit be every present in each breakout, the main session, and even the fellowship with one another.


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