No, the conference hasn’t started yet. Long time readers of this blog (and those who know me and have heard the story) know that I try to book a “travel day” to avoid missing the pre-con check in. Plus, the extra time gives me a chance to become acclimated to everything (southern California is very acclimatable—and don’t look up that word, it’s likely not a real one).
I’m blessed this year to have two children’s ministry conferences in a short amount of time. On March 5 was our regional Rogue Valley Children’s Ministry Conference, put on by the great folks of the Rogue Valley Children’s Ministry Network. We brought some of our children’s ministry volunteers as well as some our daycare workers for this day of equipping and encouragement. The keynote speaker was the one and only Karl Bastian, founder of Kidology, one of the largest online resource networks for children’s ministry in the country. Karl and I have been internet buddies for a long time. We’ve bumped into each other at the San Diego conference on various occasions. He is a true servant, as authentic as they come, and I’d have to say one of the many influences on my own children’s ministry. His presentations are still being referenced and used by our team. Thank you, Karl, for your ministry in Oregon earlier this month (and though I’m not signed up for this particular one, Karl is doing an entire pre-conference session on Kidology at the San Diego CPC).
Karl and me clowning around
Our team for RVCMC '11
So here I am…a little over a week later, at the (deep breath) International Network of Children’s Ministries Children’s Pastors’ Conference (CPC for short). This is my 6th trip (though not in a row). The leadership of my church graciously allowed me to go this year, for which I am grateful. Like a lot of children’s ministers, there is a unique joy and energy that comes from serving kids, a joy and energy that sometimes defies human logic. But even the strongest of batteries needs regular re-charging. CPC does that. Plus, quite frankly, the last 30 plus days have been a tad bit more stressful than usual (I’m working on a blog entry about that as well). I won’t be so dramatic as to cry out in anquish “I need this conference!”, but it’s pretty close. I’m thankful for the down time, where I don’t have to be or do anything or be anywhere…I can just “veg out”, “be a flake,” etc. And I’m thankful for the actual conference coming up…the workshops, the general sessions, the opportunities to network, the resource center. I will benefit greatly in more skills and ideas. My church will benefit. My co-workers will benefit. And the kids will benefit. So CPC 11 is here. And so am I.