Zombies Take Over #OC12

Matt Norman —  April 27, 2012

During the opening session this morning zombies took over the stage for a brief performance or Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It was great!!

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This session talked about the different need of children and youth  from preschool, through children’s ministry, into middle school and finally through high school.

Check out my notes HERE.

Matt N.

Navigating a New Church

Tonya Langdon —  April 26, 2012

Going to a new church is a nerve racking for many families. They are nervous, overwhelmed and are not sure where the sanctuary is, where they are supposed to go to drop off their children and how to pick them back up after service. For families who have children with special needs, changes churches are often a major undertaking. They may have experienced their child being rejected (asked not to come back), their child melting down from the crowds and sensory overload. Just getting to the front door of your special needs ministry maybe a quite an adventure for them.  Does your church make it easy for these families to attend church? What improvements can be made to help assist them?

Drive onto your church campus from the perspective of a parent who has children with special needs. How would they know where to park? Best way to navigate their way to the special needs classroom? Are there a lot of crowds or loud noises?
After speaking to new families so I could better prepared for them as newcomers, I found the following tips to be the most helpful:

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This was a discussion led by leaders from five different churches who shared their experience as they move beyond the walls of their building to reach out into the community and begin to love their neighbor as themselves.

Check out my notes here and stay tuned for a more in depth post with my complete thoughts on it.


Matt N.

Volunteers? Where are all the volunteers? At times we struggle to find volunteers to work within our special needs ministries. In yesterday’s workshop lead by Linda Martin, she suggests that in order to effectively recruit volunteers there needs to be an awareness of your special needs ministry. For many churches across the nation creating awareness that there is a special needs ministry within their church is challenging. When people within your church and community are aware that you have a thriving ministry that works with families and their children who have special needs, you will find those precious volunteers.

How do you create awareness of your special needs ministry?
• Ministry Fairs-great way to interact with people who may be interested in volunteering
• Share your vision and enthusiasm for your ministry with others. Others will be impacted by your passion.
• Catchy, attention grabbing bulletins
• Video spot during church announcements
• Facebook-this is a great tool! I have found 4 volunteers in the past week through social media
• Invite special guest or speakers to your church–Nick Vujicic, Joni Erickson Tada, etc…
• Draw people to your room–pictures, brochures, prayer boxes, bulletin boards
• Publicize special events that you are having in the bulletin
• Be active in the community–team walks, resource fairs, activities
• Foster relationships with agencies that will allow you to post your events on their site as a resource for families
• Wear shirts , buttons and hats that advertise your ministry
• Put a sandwich sign outside your children’s floor.
• Ask…simple ask people if they would be interested in working in your ministry.
• Ask your prayer team to pray for people’s heart to be stirred and to step out in faith
• Let your pastor’s what you are doing and what your results from your outreach efforts

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#OC12 Main Session 2

Matt Norman —  April 26, 2012

Be sure to check out my notes on this session. Craig Groeschel was AMAZING. I think that myself along with hundreds of other kidmin and uthmin leaders just got a new Purpose statement.

“We are called to unleash single minded, Christ centered, Biblcally anchored world changers.” Craig Groeschel.

Here are my notes.

#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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