KidMin Conference – General Session Takeaways

Yesterday I posted a few ideas for next steps following this year’s KidMin Conference (you can read that here).  Today, I thought I’d share some of my general session takeaways.  Be warned…my notes are not lengthy.  (1) It was a little dark in the general session room for me to take many notes and (2) I was really taking everything in and tried to just be present, especially after the phenomenal worship times.

FRIDAY EVENING GENERAL SESSION

I was not familiar with Roddy Chong prior to the conference but boy did his story resonate with me.  He spoke about being chosen by God and the many doors that God opened for him that he never imagined being opened.  He shared about traveling with well-known singers (Shania Twain & Celine Dion).  His story resonated with me because I, too, have seen God open many doors for me that I NEVER thought would happen for me.  It is really humbling to see God work in unimaginable ways.  Roddy also spoke about the need to not be defined by your mistakes.  That’s a good lesson for everyone!

The Skit Guys are a KidMin Conference favorite!  I always enjoy them!  They do a beautiful job of blending comedy and thought-provoking challenges.  One question they tossed out was, What are you afraid of?  They challenged us with this:  God chose you before it all began.  If he did that, He has a plan for you.  You have nothing to be afraid of.


SATURDAY MORNING GENERAL SESSION

Greg Baird spoke on Saturday morning and he did not disappoint.  I follow Greg on social media and also enjoy his blog posts, so I knew I’d enjoy hearing from him.  He referenced Ephesians 6:12, which says:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

  • We are not superheroes.  We are in a battle.  When we are in ministry, the target on us becomes bolder to the enemy.
  • We cannot surge [SURGE was this year’s theme] ahead if we cannot stay on the battlefield.
  • What keeps us from surging ahead?
    • We simply try to survive (Acts 20:24).  It’s not about me – it’s about Jesus.
    • We get distracted.  Our ministries need to be about Jesus.
    • We focus on the wrong danger (things like numbers vs life transformation, families falling apart, etc.).
    • When we do these things, we do ministry in our power.
  • What do we do to combat these things? (Zech. 4:6)
    • Instead of trying to survive, trust God.
    • Instead of being distracted, immerse yourself in God’s Word.
    • Instead of focusing on the wrong danger, focus on your relationship with God.

Greg closed with a quote from Phil Vischer:  “Impact does not come when we are pursuing impact – impact comes when we are pursuing God.”


SATURDAY EVENING GENERAL SESSION

Jon Acuff spoke on passages from Isaiah 30.

  • Give God our expectations.  God will never be handcuffed by your failures or unleashed by your successes.
  • We need to learn how to be present.  Sometimes our lives are so loud we miss God’s whispers.

I didn’t attend Sunday morning’s session (I was having breakfast with a friend) or Monday morning’s session (I was headed home).  I did attend Sunday evening’s session with DeVon Franklin but I was too busy agreeing with him to write stuff down!  Sorry!

Were you at the conference?  What were some of your takeaways? Let me know by commenting below!

 

Preparing for Lent

Lent begins in a few days, on Ash Wednesday (March 5th).  Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, is when we mark the time Jesus was sent into the wilderness.  While there, He prayed and prepared for what was ahead of Him.  Likewise, the season of Lent can be presented to children (and families) as a time to pause, pray and prepare for what lies ahead of us.

We have been busy getting things ready for our children and families.  Here is what our plan looks like:

Family Devotional

Each year, we provide family devotionals for Lent.  In the past, we have provided one devotional for preschool families, one devotional for younger elementary families and one devotional for preteens.  What we discovered, however, is that most families gravitated to the preschool devotional so this year we scaled back and provided the same devotional for ALL families.

Many, many families preferred the preschool devotional because it had:

(1) a daily reading – our families mentioned that having a weekly reading vs a daily reading didn’t have the same effect.

(2) a simple prayer

(3) a progressive craft/activity.  Having a visual was very appealing, especially for preschoolers and early elementary children.

This year, we selected this devotional (and it’s corresponding mobile) for our families.

Ash Wednesday Service

We will provide childcare for our evening Ash Wednesday service.

Communion Class

We will offer a 3-week Communion class for 2nd-5th Graders and their parents.  The class will help children understand what Communion is and why we partake.  They will also be given a chance to ‘practice’ Communion and meet with an Elder to ensure they understand the information they have received.  They will take their First Communion on Sunday, April 6th.

Family Easter Egg Hunt

Planning is underway for our annual Easter Egg Hunt.  We are looking to add a few new elements to the free family event this year.  I am excited to see it all come together!

Palm Sunday Prep

We ordered palms for Palm Sunday.  We’re thinking of having the children parade this year.

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If you are looking for ideas for your ministry, here are a few suggestions:

Children’s Ministry Deals – curriculum, free downloads and games

Kidology – lessons, games, object lessons, idea forums

What’s in the Bible? – resources for parents

Worship House Kids – music, countdowns, videos

Guildcraft – art & craft ideas

**Be sure to also check out my Lent/Easter Pinterest board for additional ideas.

If you are looking for ideas for your own spiritual growth during Lent, here are a few suggestions:

Bible Gateway – a variety of devotion options provided

Margaret Feinberg’s Lent Challenge – read the New Testament in 40 days

How is your ministry preparing for Lent?  How will you feed your soul during Lent?  Share your ideas below!