As I continue to dig through the stack of goodies from International Network of Children’s Ministry Network’s Children’s Pastor’s Conference (CPC) Orlando, the process of the Certification was a great way to keep me focused on the “how” and “when” to implement some of what I had learned. CPC stackOne of the requirements was to attend pre-determined sessions and write a short essay in response to 5 questions. To encourage some accountability, this is what I submitted:

1. What have you learned about the First Initiative: Impart God’s truth to this generation? What are some next steps for implementing this in your ministry?
An intentional purpose, process, and pathway is expected to move toward the goal of spiritually healthy children.
Next Steps:
(1) Determine and write down what a spiritually healthy child looks like which is developmentally appropriate.
(2) Evaluate and adjust the 2013 WC calendar to incorporate more “Belonging” opportunities as we intentionally balance opportunities for belonging, worship, growing, serving, and sharing opportunities.

2. What have you learned about the Second Initiative: Provide a safe and relevant environment? What are some next steps for implementing this in your ministry?
Although the pre-determined session did not address safety, it focused specifically on relevance. When kids are having fun, their minds are open. Be aware of what’s culturally influencing my kids and leverage it.
Next Steps:
(1) Plan a “What if…” retreat or meeting with my Children’s Council.
(2) Download Todd Henry’s “Accidental Creativity”
(3) Take a 1-hour “vacation” each week to hear the voice of God and ask for His hand in the creative process.

CPC Certification3. What have you learned about the Third Initiative: Communicate with families? What are some next steps for implementing this in your ministry?
I was reminded that ALL parents want the best for their kids. I must intentionally be communicating that we are providing the best to their kids and that we love their kids. I should be telling my parents how glad I am they are bringing their kids to Sunday School or CLUB345 or church or whatever they are choosing as the spiritual priorities for their family.
Next Steps:
(1) Set some “easy wins” for my parents with multiple opportunities to start in the calendar year.
(2) Celebrate when anyone reads anything I put out there.

4. What have you learned about the Fourth Initiative: Networking with an community of leaders? What are some next steps for implementing this in your ministry?
It is up to me to shore up ALL my networks: family, staff, servants, professional. I currently coordinate several Christian Educators networks for the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, blog, and mentor new KidMin Directors…but there are more networks within my KidMin world.
Next Steps:
(1) Become involved in networking outside my denominational and state boundaries.

cpc logo5. What have you learned about the Fifth Initiative: Praying for the international community? What are the next steps for implementing this in your ministry?
There are men and women servants proclaiming the Good News of Jesus all over the world and I can be a part of that. Our church is engaged in our 2013 theme of “Go into the world” based on the Great Commission as written in Mark 16:15. It is my heart’s desire that my students experience God and not just know about Him that comes through local and international mission opportunities. The number 1 way disciples move toward maturity is “time in the Word.” The number 2 way, by far, is “outreach”.
Next Steps:
(1) Post global maps throughout the church, especially in the classrooms with students.
(2) Provide global maps in Bible Bucks store for students to purchase and use at home.
(3) Pray for kids and workers in an area we see on the maps in the classrooms during our prayer times (child-directed).
(4) Invite global servants to speak to my students monthly.

My plate is full, but I don’t want to get to heaven and find out I have been great at the wrong thing…making disciples.Cpc Cert

If you see me at the networking groups, on facebook, or Starbucks, hold me accountable by asking me where I am on my next steps.  I’d love to talk with you about it.