Thursday, February 23, 2012


In a very short time, I will be heading off to my 7th (but not in a row) Children's Pastor's Conference in San Diego. This is somewhat bittersweet, as my church leadership recently changed directions in such a way that I was somewhat forced to resign from children's ministries. So I'm heading to CPC without the CP part (the church had already paid for me to go before the changes, so I still get to go!).

I was thinking about this year, and how my expectations will be different without a local church on which to try out all the new stuff. But the more I thought about why I go to CPC, the more the same reasons I go every year still make sense to me.

*Refreshing. Contrary to popular perception, children's ministry involves long hours of hard work. Everyone needs a break and CPC gives me just that: a much needed, much appreciated departure from the routine. When I arrive at the resort in San Diego, often the first thing out of my mouth as I gaze at the impossibly blue sky is a sigh of relief.

*Recharging. Electric razors, cell phones, and children's ministers have one thing in common: they all need to be plugged in from time to time for a healthy dose of new energy. I don't know how to say this, but CPC vibrates with energy. Whether it is like-minded people who share the same struggles as me, or the bustling Resource Center that makes me wonder how I ever got along without some of this stuff, or the workshops that inject new ideas and concepts, or the general sessions that lift me up, CPC buzzes with what I need to keep going another year.

*Renewing. There are so many levels to this. I think of things like renewing my spirit--there are times I can just lock myself in my hotel room and pray and study and meditate on God's Word, or cry out to the Lord during worship in the general sessions. Or there is renewing my mind--learning new ideas, new ways of doing things from men and women who are smarter than I am about certain things. Or there is the renewing of relationships: over the years, I have come to regard my fellow conference attendees as family and CPC as one giant family reunion.

*Rewinding. I hate it when I'm trimming the lawn and the line on the spool runs out or gets out of whack. Sometimes, the line of my ministry runs out or doesn't quite feed out the right way. CPC helps me diagnose the problems, then gives me the right tools to wrap my proverbial thread tight enough to feed out and benefit the kids and families we serve.

*Recreating. Okay, that sounds like a stretch, but really, recreation is just that: re-creating. And I will fully confess before all assembled: CPC is FUN! Sure, I'll impress the "powers that be" with tales of "classes" that start at 8:00 a.m. and sessions that can last until 10:30 or 11:00 at night. But honestly, I don't think I ever laugh as hard as I do at CPC or smile as broadly or weep as profusely or just plain enjoy myself as much as I do when I'm at this conference. It's San Diego in late winter, people....what's not to enjoy?

Is it worth it? YES. Even for someone who is between ministries. See you in San Diego!


  1. Praying CPC will be all of this and more, Tim. Also, praying you will find your new calling soon.
    Blessings, friend...

  2. This is my first CPC conference...and I have been doing childrens ministry for a long time...starting my 36th year! I am very excited to see what God has in store and to spend some time with some like-minded...or is that crazy... childrens pastors!!