Monday, February 27, 2012


"I played my drums....for the One Who saved me!" And with the crashing sounds of the GoFish Guys and stage effects worthy of a rock concert, the 2012 Children's Pastors' Conference opened its first general session.

More on that in a moment, but first...

It rained today (Monday, February 27); which, as we all know, is perfect for driving the freeway system in southern California in a double decker tour bus. But that did not deter our hearty souls from starting our morning at 8 a.m. to visit three churches--two in Orange County and one in San Diego itself. Friends Church in Yorba Linda is a 100 year old church that looks like they have defined the word, "Innovative." Three stories and a basement through which run what appears to be endless hallways, but the attention to every detail can be seen in every room and station. Next came Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, a church which has adopted a warehouse with great effect, creating eye-popping rooms for the kids. Our last stop was College Avenue Baptist Church, a historic church in San Diego that does amazing things with their environment on a low budget. One thing I noticed as I was sifting through pictures is that all three churches were very good at signage, letting folks know where they were going. Very important for first time visitors.

Later that evening was general session one. Some of my colleagues from the Rogue Valley Children's Ministry Network were there and we were able to sit together at a group table. We ate, we laughed, we joked. And then the lights dimmed and BOOM! The GoFish Guys opened with "I Played My Drum" (which I first heard as part of their version of "Little Drummer Boy."). It was a powerful way of launching the session. We were treated to an overview of the vision of INCM by new Executive Director Michael Chanley. I have to confess being one of the few who has not heard the incredible vocal talents of Yancy, but her performance really showcased those talents.

In an unsusual twist this year, Michael Chanley sat on a couch (yes, you read that room furniture!) and interviewed Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales and What's In the Bible. And then, following some hard driving worship from the combined talents of the GoFish Guys and Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, we were treated to a message by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship and speaker at the annual Harvest Crusades. He spoke on the prodigal son and how prodigals can return to the Lord.

Opening night at CPC sets the tone, and it would appear that the tone has been set well.

"Oh I like to ride in a double decker bus..."

Museum display? Nope...bulletin board display at Friends Church

Example of signage pointing to kids registration at Friends Church

Signs at Rock Harbor Church emphasize security

Lunch at Rock Harbor Church

Simple, yet creative stage design at College Avenue Baptist

What do you call the College Avenue Children's area? Follow the signs!

THIS is how you paint a kids area and label the office! (College Avenue)

This is OUR table! (another example of effective signage)

Rogue Valley Children's Ministry Network at CPC 12

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