2014 Group KidMin Conference

Yesterday I posted pre-conference FAQ’s and tips for Group’s upcoming KidMin Conference.  You can find that post here.

Today I thought I’d post a few of the most frequently asked during-the-conference questions along with my own personal tips:

FAQ’s

1. What food options are available?  There are a number of on-site and off-site food options.  Click here for more details.  You can also download coupons for the Convention Center’s food court here.

2. Where can I park?  Click here for a map to show you parking that is available at the Hyatt Regency and Convention Center.

3.  Is there a shuttle from the Columbus airport to the hotel?  Yes.  KidMin has negotiated a special rate with Columbus Coach for arrival and departure ground transportation to the KidMin conference hotels: $10.00 each way.  Those with reservations will be allowed to board the shuttle first. Shuttle rides will be available for cash purchase at the airport as well.  Click here for more details.

My Personal During-the-Conference Tips

  • If you are unable to attend a training session that you think would be beneficial to you or your ministry, purchase audio recordings.  Audio recordings of nearly all the training sessions will be available to conference attendees so that you can continue the learning at home. The only sessions we often do not record are pre-conference sessions, ministry conversations, those focused on technology, those sessions involve a lot of visual teaching and don’t translate well to an audio recording. General sessions will be available for purchase on DVD for all keynote speakers who have released recording rights.
  • Arrive to the general sessions early.  You’ll find freebies and fun waiting for you.
  • Again, make arrangements to meet up for coffee with your fellow kidmin’ers.  Allow some flexibility but it doesn’t hurt to pre-arrange meals or coffee with friends.
  • Check out the book and resource area.  An assortment of books, resources and vendors will be available.  Take time to walk through and pick up a few things.  Many vendors have freebies for you just for stopping by.
  • Relax on an over-sized Xorbee bean bag chair.  They will set up around the conference hotel for you to read, relax or catch up with friends.
  • Be flexible to get what you need: rest, connection/networking, and time to process.  The weekend is jam-packed with activity, so it’s important to move at your own pace and take the time to do what you feel is best for you.  Pray and ask the Lord for guidance.

Come back Monday for more tips!

**A special thank-you goes out to Rochelle Dorsey & John Guerra for allowing me the opportunity to post on Group’s behalf.

Keep the conversation going!  Check out what’s being said about the KidMin Conference on Facebook here and here & on Twitter here.   Use hashtag #kidmin14.  

2014 Group KidMin Conference

There is quite a bit of buzz surrounding next week’s Group KidMin Conference.  If you have read my blog for a while, then you know that i absolutely love this conference, which I have attended in Chicago (2011) and Columbus (2013).  I am looking forward to attending again this year!

I am connected to a few kidmin online groups and have seen a plethora of questions from conference-goers.  According to the conference organizers, here are a few of the most frequently asked pre-conference questions along with my own personal tips:

FAQ’s

1. Do I need to register for Pre-Conference training options in advance?  Yes.  These seven-hour intensives, which include lunch, are a great way to begin the weekend.  I did this year and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Add this to your conference registration for just $59 per person.  Click here for more details.

2. Do I need to register for the workshops in advance?  No.  Once you browse through the list of workshop options, you simply show up at the workshops you’d like to take.  Beware, however, that some workshops fill up quickly and close.  If that is the case, you will need to make another selection.  Tip:  Choose several workshops for each time slot in advance if you can so that you can quickly join another location.

Options include Deeper Learning Tracks (four 2-hour sessions), Half-Tracks (two 2-hour sessions) or 2-hour workshops.

Take a look at this year’s offerings on the website or by downloading the Participant’s Booklet here.

My Personal Pre-Conference Tips

  • Have a strategy for attending workshops, especially if you’re coming with a group.  Here’s something to consider:  One person attends one of the deeper learning tracks, while other folks attend workshops that would support the particular learning track. This way, the information gained is not spread across every topic, rather everything their team learns can be applied to an overall concept or particular focus. After KidMin and your team has a chance to regroup, the information from all these workshops and learning tracks compliment and support the desires of the team. They go in with a plan, focus your energies, and leave with tools and concepts that can be applied immediately.
  • Download your Participant’s Booklet.  You will receive a booklet at the conference but downloading it in advance will help you to mark the workshops you’d like to take early.
  • Confirm your hotel reservations.
  • Confirm your transportation arrangements/reservations.  If you are flying into Columbus, it is recommended that you make reservations for the ground shuttle from the airport to the conference hotels.  While a reservation is not required, those with reservations will be able to board the shuttle first.  Click here for more details.
  • Download your workshop handouts.  This year, the handouts are in Word format, so they are editable.  Be sure to download the handouts for your alternate workshop choices, too.  Download the handouts here, using “surge2014″ as your log in code.
  • Make arrangements to meet up for coffee with your fellow kidmin’ers.  Allow some flexibility but it doesn’t hurt to pre-arrange meals or coffee with friends.

Don’t forget to pack:

  • Money/credit cards/checkbook
  • Business cards or pre-printed contact information (this can be printed on address labels) to pass out when networking
  • Light sweater or jacket, as rooms might be chilly
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Portable snacks such as energy/granola bars, trail mix, etc.
  • Electronic devices & chargers

Come back tomorrow for more tips!

**A special thank-you goes out to Rochelle Dorsey & John Guerra for allowing me the opportunity to post on Group’s behalf.

Keep the conversation going!  Check out what’s being said about the KidMin Conference on Facebook here and here & on Twitter here.   Use hashtag #kidmin14.  

 

I pray often that God will equip me to be the best leader I can be.  I take my role as a leader very seriously and want to honor God through my service.  I would say that, as the oldest child in my family, leadership comes fairly natural to me.  I often quote, “Well, somebody has to be in charge!”

Sometimes, however, I like to take a seat on the ‘back row’ and observe.  I don’t always like to be in charge, especially in casual, non-ministry-related environments.

Case in point…last month, we painted my daughter’s bedroom.  My sweet girl waited so patiently for many months’ worth of filled calendars and family obligations for her bedroom makeover.  We set the date; she selected her color scheme; she purchased accessories with her own money; she and my husband prepped the walls and purchased supplies.

One of the finished walls - she loves her teal and purple color scheme!

One of the finished walls – she loves her teal and purple color scheme!

But we were missing something: a project manager.  No one was in charge of the project!  This became frightfully clear after I watched my husband make three additional trips to the home improvement store when we ran out of supplies.

That recent home improvement experience brought to mind 5 reminders about leaders:

1. Someone has to be in charge.  Why?  Because:

  • It minimizes confusion.  Knowing who is in charge helps keep everyone focused and on task.
  • It saves time and money.  Because no one was in charge, we wasted time going back and forth to the store and spent hundreds of dollars more than we planned.  Some lessons you only learn once!
  • A leader will think through a plan – what needs to be done, who needs to do what, what supplies are needed, etc.

2. A leader is responsible for having a vision and keeping that vision in front of the team.  Remind people what you’re working toward and what it will take to get there.

3. A leader does not need to have all of the answers.  It is not a sin to say, “I don’t know.”  Not only does this keep you human and relatable but it also keeps you learning.  Leaders are learners.

4. A leader does not need to have all of the ideas – or the best ideas.  During our home improvement project, all of us had great ideas to make the project more enjoyable – and most of them did not come from me.  Very refreshing!

5. A leader needs to be their team’s biggest advocate.  As the hours went on and our bodies grew tired, I reminded everyone of how good a job they were doing.  I even sang to my family to keep the mood light!  (I know they appreciated that.)

As a kidmin leader:

  • Do you embrace and own your leadership role?  Do you accept your role as a gift from God?
  • Have you asked God for wisdom and discernment for your ministry?  Do you pray and spend time in His Word regularly? Are you in a position to hear what He’s telling you?
  • Do you have a teachable spirit?  What are you learning?
  • Are you humble?  Do you consider the ideas of others?
  • Are you your ministry’s biggest advocate?  Do those under you feel you fight for them?  Do you share all of the great things happening in your ministry?  Do you ask people to pray for your ministry on a regular basis?

Keep the conversation going!  Which of these points resonated with you the most?  What would you add to the list?