Archives For Conferences

This article was also published yesterday at Dad in the Middle, but I wanted to let our readers here on Kidmin1124 know about the special discount on this conference being offered from now until August 15.  See below for details.

I don’t get to go to a lot of children’s ministries conferences.  Between finances and, oh yea, my other full time job, the opportunity just doesn’t present itself very often.  That’s why I was excited earlier this year when Michael Chanley told me that the International Network of Children’s Ministers [INCM] was planning on bringing a brand new conference to Columbus, Ohio.  Well, finally the time has come, and INCM announced the inaugural:


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Tonya Langdon —  May 15, 2012

I was blessed this year to be able to attend the OC12 Conference in Atlanta, GA for the first time. Wow, what an amazing conference! With 100+ workshops to choose from including eight that help us to minister to children who have special needs or learning differences! As the Special Needs Facilitator for Skyline Church in La Mesa, California I was excited to learn new ways to serve these families more effectively.

One of my favorite workshops was Meaghan Wall’s “How to Create a Special Needs Ministry Environment”. In this workshop Meaghan gave us great ideas and concepts to make our classroom environments a place where the children are safe, sensory needs are met and where they are able to learn about the love of Jesus. She helped us to learn and consider everything that a family with child/children with special needs encounters from the time they drive onto the church property to the time that they leave.

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In her Orange ’12 session on training special needs volunteers, Linda Martin shared about Nehemiah as he led the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. That session started me thinking on how much this applies to all volunteers. There doesn’t seem to be any indication that Nehemiah was a builder before he was a cupbearer and the people that he was leading and directing to build the wall weren’t builders either. Chapter 3 identifies some of the people building as goldsmiths and perfume-makers. God took people who were willing to engage in something away from what they knew and understood and were comfortable doing and enable them, thru Nehemiah’s leadership, to build a wall that would allow the inhabitants of Jerusalem to live their lives without fear in the city of Jerusalem.

As volunteer kidmin, we can often feel as if we have been called to serve and/or lead people who are out of their comfort zone to a place that is out of our comfort zone! It’s not an easy task. But the reward is worth it. To build a ministry where children and families can find help to live their lives in a vibrant relationship with their Creator is a noble goal. Many days, it can be seen as an unattainable goal. But, like Nehemiah,we can say, “The God of heaven will give us success”. When we keep God as our source, He will give us success. The key is to keep our focus on God. Yes, we will find help from other leaders and quality resources, but our ultimate success will come from God.

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#OC12 Wednesday Recap

Matt Norman —  April 26, 2012
So, this is what Wednesday looked like. Be on the look out for more in-depth posts on some of this stuff.

The dynamic workshops I attended today will enable me to better minister and meet the needs of children who have developmental or behavioral differences. The classes that I attended are:

  • Using Technology for Special Needs presented by Meaghan Wall,
  • Multi-Sensory Rooms presented by Karen Pool,
  • How to Create a Special Needs Environment presented by Meaghan Wall
  •  How to Train and Retain Special Needs Ministry Volunteers presented by Linda Martin.

These ladies were incredible!

Imagine how we can use IPads to minster to tweens and teens with special needs, to provide special areas for children who need a sensory “time out” or how to find volunteers who want to work with kids with special needs (okay, once you have them then what?). Over the next several days, I will be sharing what I have learned in those workshops and to encourage you in your special needs ministry.

Bloggers suite at #OC12

Matt Norman —  April 25, 2012


This is where I am blogging from. Can you say luxury suite. #OC12

If we look back at our spiritual lives we can all see that there were certain times in our lives where things changed for us. Times when our spiritual maturity took a significant step forward. This session was about identifying those times. Led by Taka Iguchi, this session did a great job of laying out the things that happen to all of that at least have the potential to lead to spiritual growth.

As a Children’s Pastor I listened to this talk with two thoughts in mind

  1. How do I identify these moments in the lives of the children and families in my ministry?
  2. What can I do to create these moments.

To find out what these moments are you can heck out my notes here.

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Ok, below are my notes from this great session with Jim Wideman. Say tuned as I post my notes throughout the day.  Also check back tonight as I post a recap from the entire day.

How To: Staff For Growth

I’d love to here your thoughts on these notes.

Check back for a full post on this session.

Good morning #OC12

Matt Norman —  April 25, 2012

I wanted to try the WordPress app on my phone so here is a test post. Stay tuned as I give live coverage of the Orange conference.

#OC12 Day One

Matt Norman —  April 24, 2012
So, I am in Atlanta. It is kinda hard to believe that I am actually here. To think that just a few weeks ago attending the Orange Conference was just a dream, now here I am. The pre-conference starts tomorrow and the networking has already begun. When I got off the plane Joe McAlpine was waiting for me at my gate. After a long walk to get our rental car we proceeded to get to know each other while getting lost in Atlanta.

     Side note, the funny thing about GPS, it only helps if you actually follow the instructions it gives.

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