I know that many of us attend Children’s Ministry Conferences every year. CM conferences are a very valuable piece of our continuing education and they also serve as a point of encouragement. Attending a conference has multiple benefits for all of us who are engaged in ministry.
However, one of the things that I have noticed over the years is that I tend to see the same people at the same conferences year in and year out. While there may be some benefit to continuing to attend the same conference it might be wise to consider another approach. Today I want to share 3: reasons it could be beneficial to consider investing your conference dollars in something new.
1. Stretch Yourself – we are all naturally inclined to be attacted to people and ideas that fit our own paradigm. The danger here is to develop a myopic view of how ministry is done and what is effective. If we only hear from people who share our view point then where is the honest discourse about methods, tools and the future. This year make it a point to stretch a little and see what’s out there.
2. Expand your Network – we have all come to realize that there is great benefit in networking within the ministry community. However, when we continue to only attend the same meetings with the same people we are certainly limiting our potential. Several years ago I attended a conference that attracted thousands and there was no way you could get an audience with the host speaker. A few months later this same speaker was an attendee at a different conference where almost no one knew who he was and this led to an opportunity to meet him and have extended conversations with him. So get out and meet some new friends in ministry!
3. Get Out of the Box – when you have been engaged in ministry for several year it’s easy to get “in a box.” When things are going well it’s easy to get in a groove and just keep doing it that way. By attending a conference we’ve never attended we should be exposed to fresh ideas, new tools, and possibly “out of the box” thinking. How much could we benefit by intentionally having our paradigms and methods challenged? Get out of the Box!
Here are a couple of Conference Links for you to consider:
Seeds Conference March 2 – 4 Tulsa, OK $239
CPC – Children’s Pastors’ Conference Mar 15 – 18 San Diego, CA $475
The Orange Conference April 27–29 Atlanta, GA $255
CMTA Christian Ministries & Training Assoc. April 29 – 30 Pasadena, CA $80
CMX – Children’s Ministry Expo July 7th Lexington, KY $25
D6 Conference Sept 21-21 Dallas, TX $159
Kidmin Conference Oct 7 – 10 Chicago, IL $359
Kids Ministry Conference Oct 10-12 Nashville, TN $200
Check out Bible Stories for Children