Tuesday, February 27, 2007


(Sorry...the title of this post is a little misleading, for I do not actually leave until tomorrow. At any rate.......)

See...I really was here!

CPC '07 has come to a close. I have a confession to make: the last day is always the hardest for me. Being in the midst of 1700 brothers and sisters who share your passion for children's ministry, who have worshipped alongside of you, who have sat and learned next to you, who have not only shared a table for meals with you, but shared their ministries and their challenges and their visions as well...and then it's time to say goodbye. The resource center is dismantled, the stage comes down, the CPC staff boxes up supplies, and in a matter of hours, it's over. The Town and Country Resort becomes, well, another luxury hotel instead of the nerve center for impacting the lives and hearts of children across the country and around the world.

But I finally got to see the stage close up!

A continental breakfast was held in another room, so they had chairs set up for our closing general session.

And I guess the weather decided to highlight a few of my emotions:

It never rains in southern California...

Yup, there's a part of me that's feeling a little dreary right now. A little sad. But underneath, there is an excitement and readiness to take concepts, principles, and resources back to the kids at EPCBC. I leave tomorrow (I choose to skip the chaos of checking out the last day of the conference!), so in the meantime, I have the opportunity to let the lessons of the weekend settle in my mind.

So unless something dramatic happens or I just feel like making another entry, this will be my final report from (deep breath) The International Network of Children's Ministries' 2007 Children's Pastor's Conference. Wooo-hoooo!

Teacher Tim, signing off

Monday, February 26, 2007


Children's Pastor's Conference 2007 is hurtling toward the home stretch! And again, the learning experiences have been fantastic. This morning, we heard from the one and only Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales. He spoke about how God has taught him to lay his dreams and pride on the altar. This evening, we heard from prolific author and pastor Max Lucado, who painted a verbal portrait of the story of David and Goliath. To say it was a blessing is to use a word that I've used over and over again, but it was!

I haven't gone into a lot of details about other sessions...not that they were not good--just the opposite, they were spectacular. It's just that there is so much to absorb and a few typed words just can't sum it up. Tyrone Williams, Latika Garth, the fun of Dennis Lee, the incredible musical talent of the Annie Moses Band, Tommy Toombs...it's just all incredible. As things settle down a bit in my heart, I may share more. But for now, just take my word for it...it has been quite a weekend.

To get an idea of the dining hall where our general sessions have been held, here are a couple of pics:

The neat thing is the creative lighting, using projections on the walls. And the hang down screens at various locations help bring the action on the faaaaaaarrrrrrrrr away stage up close, along with professional camera work. The key word is "atmosphere."

Tonight wrapped up with the "Organized Mass Chaos" games. No, I did not jump in the fray (being the shy, reserved kind of person I am), but I did get a pic of the action:

Finally tonight, a company donated Biblical action figures to the conference. I know they are being sold at the CPC store and I've seen them in various ads, but this is a very generous gift from the folks at one2believe. The key feature of these action figures? They quote Scripture!

Only a doll named David

What is amazing to me is that David sounds a lot like Kiefer Sutherland, the actor who portrays federal agent Jack Bauer on the hit TV thriller 24. I'll resist the temptation to draw some comparisons between Jack and David (and for those who want some spiritual analogies from 24, I direct you to the book Jack Bauer's Having a Bad Day by Tim Wesemann).

Tomorrow is the final session. And if you've been reading along, please drop me a comment or two on this or any previous posts--I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


General session one is over...and what an incredible way to kick off the conferences! Professional story teller Stephen James kicked off the theme of "More Than a Story" with a dramatic telling of the story of redemption. Then the kids' group GOD ROCKS rocked the house with incredible Scripture set to music. Sadly, my poor little camera is not that good at capturing a stage from waaaaaaaayyyyyy in back. I'll try to get closer next time.

The session really kicked into gear with the worship team from Gateway Church in Texas. There is something about singing with a few thousand of your fellow kid servants in worship and praise. It's not that I don't worship when I lead kids...I do. It is still very meaningful and deep. But there is a level of worship that comes when you don't have to do anything except praise His name in song, along with others who are probably feeling the same way. I freely admit to suffering from allergies during the worship set (as did a few folks around me).

The keynote address was by Susie Shellenberger, who created the Focus on the Family publication BRIO. She spoke on the blind man healed by Jesus and pointed out how this man was now confronted witht the reality of Christ...no longer a story. She emphasized nailing down the basics of Jesus' lordship and salvation, and then trusting Him for the rest. It was a great message.

Afterwards, I toured the Resource Center and ran into an old friend

I first discovered Jana Alayra's music at my first CPC in 2003. Our church daycare loves it! So I was determined this year to get some more Jana Alayra music for our ministry and who should be working her own booth? Jana herself. She was kind enough to pose for a picture (and in reality, this is only the second time I've met Jana). I'm looking forward to listening to her new album.


Here I am, reporting from San Diego, California for the first official day of the 2007 Children's Pastor's Conference. Though weary in body, my soul is soaking in the many blessings of this trip.

Before the first general session begins, CPC offers a variety of pre-conference seminars and activities. My favorite is the church tour, in which we get to travel to different churches to glean ideas about decorating, set up, and procedures. I especially was looking forward to this year's tour because it included a stop at Shadow Mountain Community Church, home of my alma mater! It was great seeing the place. My last visit was three years ago, when the children's building was still being constructed. Of course, when I attended college there, the sanctuary and many of the buildings were open lawns. But it was still neat being able to point out stuff.

Here are pictures of the church tour to the three churches we visited this morning:
21oo Greenfield Drive...my home for nearly four years!

Shadow Mountain Community Church

Mountain High Kids Building...next to sanctuary

The main stage in the lower level of the MHK building

Colorful hallways invite kids

This is the exit to one of several slides located inside and outside of the building. Just drop yer' youngin's in the chute and zip...they're there! Just kidding...

A talking, animatronic bear keeps watch from on top the ranger station

The inside of the ranger station, where visitors can get badges and other info.

One of the Mountain High Kids classrooms

Next stop: Skyline Church

Neat props decorate hallways. They looked like the same props that were in the main children's church room last time I visited. They are! The main children's church room is undergoing some decorating and renovation...so the previous props are being used elsewhere.

A Skyline classroom (note paintings on wall)

Check in counter (security is very tight)

The entrance to Skyline's children's church area (under new design)Our final stop on the tour was likely the most impressive of all: Mission Valley Church of the Nazarene. This is a mid-size church that is in the middle of a construction project. They are meeting in their fellowship hall while their sanctuary is being built (above)

Several of the classrooms have murals and paintings with a creation theme...cumulnating in the children's church room that says, "And then, God made us!" The impressive thing? This mid-size church, with the aid of paint, creativity, and volunteers upgraded their entire children's area for less than $5000!

So the CPC tour ended. I came away with some fresh ideas and also some common truths: no matter how big the church, problems of getting enough volunteers, organization, and flexibility are universal! We're all in the same proverbial boat.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Here I am in beautiful San Diego, California for the 2007 Children's Pastor's Conference! As I shared in a previous post, I've been looking forward to this for some time. And my journey to southern California just makes my presence here all the sweeter.

No, the above pics are not San Diego. They are pics of what we woke up to on Thursday in southern Oregon. Like all good travelers, I checked on my 9:00 a.m. flight before arriving at the airport two hours early. And all was good....until I got to the airport, where the nice lady at the United counter put up a placard that said all flights were cancelled for the morning

Rogue Valley International Medford Airport, where construction barriers are second only to snow and ice for pedestraian obstacles.

God is awesome and still in control...I not only got to spend a little breakfast time with my wife, but there were two very important, time sensitive matters I needed to attend to...I would have missed them if I had left on schedule. Praise the Lord!

The very nice lady rescheduled my flight for the afternoon on whatever was available. Unfortunately, it included a five hour layover in San Francisco! So I read, I wrote, I watched people, I walked (not exactly a chipper walk when you're carrying a briefcase and laptop), and I waited, and waited, and waited.....

When I finally got to my destination, it was after midnight (only eight hours later then my original itenerary!). After a quick call to let my wife know I had arrived, I got ready for bed.

The next day, I was reminded why this was San Diego:

Town and Country Resort...my home for the next few days.

Just outside my room...partly cloudy and blue

After finally figuring out how to set up the wireless connection for my laptop (which is way cool) and taking a walk around the humongous Fashion Valley Mall, it was time to sign in to CPC.

The banner says "Welcome Home." For the last two years, the California CPC has been held in Anaheim (I think because of renovations to the Town and Country). Now the CPC has returned to San Diego. It's like I never left!

The theme this year is "More Than a Story." And if getting here was half the proverbial fun, I look forward to what's more!

I look forward to your comments as this adventure continues.