Now that I have been back in snowy, cold MN for almost 24 hours, I thought I’d sit in my warm house to write about warm FL (to where I’d really like to go back!!). I have been blessed to attend my first ever Children’s Pastors’ Conference. It was amazing! I have never seen so many children’s workers together in one place. There were almost 2000 people registered for the conference. It was held on beautiful Corodado Springs Resort, Disney World. (This was also my first ever visit to Disney – for which I received a fun little button!)
Packed into 4 short days were: 7 Disney meals, 6 Breakout sessions, 5 Main sessions, 4 resorts to look at (there are more than that, but I only got to peek at 4), 3 fabulous women to travel with, 2 shopping sprees to downtown Disney and 1 Magic Kingdom after 4 pm pass!! And a whole lot more besides.
The breakout sessions included Dealing with Anger in Children; Challenge number one: nurturing your own child’s faith; Charting new territory – how to implement creativity in your ministry; Reaching your ministry into the local public school; Ministering to the child of divorce; and the Goal of discipline is self-discipline. Some were better than others, one or two even reaching the fabulous stage. I have much to ponder – more for my personal life and family life than so much at church. But that’s where it all needs to start anyway, right?
The main sessions were also hit or miss, though it was always fun with Theater Off the Cuff being the emcees. They are a pair of Christian comedians that did a great job introducing worship leaders, speakers and just generally being zany in front of 2000 kids’ pastors. We heard messages from Phil Vischer (from VeggieTales fame) and Elisa Morgan (from MOPS) as well as a few others. My favorite was on Friday, our team chose to have lunch based on the speaker. We heard from a woman at Disney on How Disney Does Creativity. That was a fabulous one!
I am very grateful to our children’s pastor, Wendy Dean. She is such an amazing woman. Before the conference, she contacted the coordinators to tell them of my situation. Let’s just say Disney (and CPC) does things right! I had three gift bags full of things waiting for me in my room. Each one is so special. Val and I were able to stay in the most amazing room! And then, on Thursday, the evening speaker invited me to come up on stage and had all 2000 kids’ pastors pray for me. Now THAT is a humbling experience. I did then, and I still do ask that God would use my situation to reach into other people’s lives. I hope that my story was able to help someone else at the conference.
As the days continue to roll by, I hope to implement just a few of the things I learned at this conference. I got books, notes, printed materials and more to occupy my thoughts on how to improve Rockpoint Kids. My fear is that life will crowd in on all the excitement and passion that has been stirred in my soul for having an excellent kids’ ministry. Together, our team has committed to doing something with what we just soaked up. I don’t want to drop the ball on this.
Later posts will show some of the fun I had sandwiched in between all this learning. But’s that’s for later posts.