Orange Conference:Blogger’s Lounge!!!

So I have been asked to be a part of the Blogger’s Lounge at the Orange Conference this year in Atlanta, GA. I went last year with our Children’s Staff at Brookwood and it was incredible. Besides all the stuff you will see everywhere else, there is an extremely important reason for you to go. It’s called connection.

You can connect with people from all over the world who are in similar situations with similar experiences. God has given us an opportunity to tap into one another in more ways than possible. This is a way that you can take advantage of: This year there will be a Blogger’s Lounge. It’s going to be an incredibly awesome way to meet and greet some people that are making a big difference where they are: Here’s the latest list of everyone that will be there.

Carlos Whittaker – Production Director, Buckhead Church, GA
Twitter: loswhit
Blog: ragamuffinsoul.com

Jon Acuff – Creative Writer, GA
Twitter: prodigaljohn
Blog: stuffchristianslike.net, prodigaljohn.com, 97secondswithGodcom

Ben Arment – Director, Catalyst West Coast, GA
Twitter: BenArment
Blog: benarment.com

Brad Lomenick – Executive Director, Catalyst, GA
Twitter: bradlomenick
Blog: bradlomenick.com

JC Thompson – Elem. Production Director, Brookwood Church, SC
Twitter: jcsonline
Blog: jcsonline.wordpress.com

Kenny Conley – Next Generation Pastor, Gateway Church, TX
Twitter: kennyconley
Blog: childrensministryonline.com

Matt Mckee – Pastor of Students and Children, Horizon Community Church, OH
Twitter: mattmckee
Blog: mckeelive.com

Jonathan Cliff – Children’s Pastor, Trinity Church, TX
Twitter: jonathancliff
Blog: jonathancliff.com

Sam Luce – Children’s Ministry Director Mt. Zion Ministries Church, NY
Twitter: samluce
Blog: samluce.com

Gina McLain – LifeKids Pastor, LifeChurch.tv, OK
Twitter: jabberfrog
Blog: jabberfrog.com

Chad Swanzy – Student Ministried Pastor, Gateway Church, TX
Twitter: theuprisinglive
Blog: chadswanzy.blogspot.com

Rick Smith – Youth Speaker, Seminary Student, TX
Twitter: Rick_Smith
Blog: rickwsmith.com

Anna Meadows – Associate Youth Pastor, LifeChurch.tv, OK
Twitter: anna_meadows
Blog: annameadows.com

John Saddington – Creative Web Director, North Point Ministries, GA
Twitter: human3rror
Blog: human3rror.com, churchcrunch.com

Wednesday Wisdom: Follow Up on a Comment

I wrote about the future of children’s ministry last week and absolutely loved where people’s minds got to go through the post.

I got a follow up comment from paulthinkingoutloud. Go back and read the comment here

Paul brought up an excellent point. This is been something that I heard alot about a few months ago throughout the CM world. The “memory verse”, everyone knows about it and it is an incredible tool that is probably not being used in the most effective way right now. I think Paul is right that scripture memory is very important. We know that the Word of God doesn’t come back void and I think that those that don’t like rote memorization of scripture aren’t giving God’s word enough justice to let it permeate mind and spirit of those that digest it.

However, I don’t think that the most important thing is scripture memory. The most important thing is getting kids to know Christ in a personal way. A way that leads to development and growth and I think that scripture is a part of that but that can’t be our end goal. Paul is also doing things to promote spiritual development in the home with his children. This is very key. I am not a parent so I cannot fully impart meaningful knowledge on parenting and guiding kids in their spiritual development as a parent. But I do know that parents need to be the ones leading the way on leading their kids in Christ.

It’s funny how parents want to be an influence on a kids life in seemingly every area except the spiritual one. And yes that is a blanket statement because not all parents are like this. But I think the next big step in Children’s ministry really has little to do with kids and more to do with parents. How can we get the parents to be the ones leading the charge in seeing their kids to know Christ?

How can CM connect with parents in a way that provides meaningful resources to them that helps them in their spiritual leadership roles? How can we provide a forum to allow us to know where parents are missing the mark? How can we create a partnership with parents that allows us to be the secondary spiritual leaders in their kids’ lives?

This is a big issue in the next step of CM. Let me know if there is a way out there already or if you’ve got something to add to the discussion.

And thanks to paulthinkingoutloud for the push to remember the scripture when we are teaching kids and not just the relationship. (both are extremely important)

Children’s Ministry of the Future???

I got an email from a friend today asking what I thought about Children’s Ministry and what it will look like in the next few years. I will just copy what I wrote and really want to know your thoughts:

We are always thinking about this here at Brookwood. I think that a lot of the people are missing the boat on looking for the next program or the next teaching method to really revolutionize Children’s Ministry the way that the Large Group/Small Group setup did in the 80s-90s.

I don’t have an answer for that. But I tend to think something totally different. I think that Children’s Ministry of the future has more to do with equipping kids with the tools to “do” ministry. It is something that student ministries are very good at and on top of that our culture is becoming more and more of a creative culture. Meaning that we create our own content. This trend will be seen very soon through Elementary age kids.

From Greeting, to tech, to drama, and worship. This will begin to become the forefront of Children’s ministries around the country. Kids will begin to shift from “the place I go on Sunday” to “My Church that I am a part of”

We need to be ready to develop and harness their ability to create. There is a big potential for problems because of the way that schools are set up. A lot of them are behind the curve on giving kids a balanced view on gifts and abilities. Academia or physical education seem to be the only outlet. If kids begin the discovery process earlier then it is possible for the school to see more and more problems and more and more kids looking for another outlet for their gifts.

I think that will be the biggest shift. Some others that we might see include doing away with the Large Group/Small Group model altogether. A possible decrease in large events in favor of smaller connection type events. And music that begins to work with Student Ministry in leading The Church in worship.

I hope this answers some questions and maybe will give you a few things to think about. Thanks man for the opportunity to dump on you and give you a few thoughts.

I am so extremely weirded out that God lets me talk about these things. Believe me I thought it would be years before I got to an email like that one. For all of you involved in CM what do you think the future looks like?