It’s been almost a month since I and several of my colleagues attended CPC East in Orlando. There are still 3 orange bags, 2 boxes, and 3 tables (yes, furniture) that are along the wall in our kitchen filled with goodies that were shared, won, gifted, or gleaned; all resources to further our cause to minister with children.

CPC2014BWe go down a day or so early to catch up with friends in the Lord and glean from one another our challenges, and celebrations over the last year. We laugh, we take notes from each other, and we eat. This year we even chose to have afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian. We spoke of the power of modeling level 5 leadership, purchasing science materials from Steve Spangler, and using Blessing Balm (chapstick) on the back of a child’s hand to offer a weekly blessing at the end of class.

Pre-Conference focused on self-care with Beth Guckenberger, author of Reckless Faith. My personal summary: God has an adventure for me and my kids, and if I can extract the precious from the worthless, then I can be His spokesperson. (Jeremiah 15:19) There is nothing I can do that can take me out of the game; no story He can’t redeem, and He does make all things new. Moses was 80+ CPC2014Dyears old when he walked up and down a 6,000 ft mountain repeatedly to bring others to the summit. The whole bible is filled with COME and GO.  We come to the Lord, but then forget to go back into the chaos to escort others into the Kingdom.  We forget that God has more than just my chapter in His hands.

These are my personal summaries of CPC 2014:

I can still lead when I am limping.  Just as in the story of the 10 lepers, all were healed.  Only one came back.  Only one was thankful.  That one was made whole. – Harvey Carey

Story is king.  If you work with kids, you have to tell a good story with a character changing into something better (redemption.) – Matthew Luhn

CPC2014CJoseph embodies the young person we want our kids to be.  There is no greater challenge for kids and adults than to decide where wisdom comes from.  It comes from God (2 Corinthians 5:17.) Ministry with children includes a focus on respect, wisdom, and grace.  Grace is the greatest social skill we can teach little people. – Larry Fowler

Have I built in space in our teaching schedule to celebrate? – Dawn Heckert

CPC2014AWhen grace becomes touchable it becomes costly.  An abstract grace has that new car smell.  Touchable grace smells like dirty diapers and vomit.  Every orphan’s story begins with a tragedy. – Jedd Medefind

Why network and collaborate with others?  Even on my worst day, I could be someone’s best hope. – Craig Johnson

There are many who serve children in the world in ministry who have nothing but a call on their lives.  Advancing Native Missions helps to filter those global missions that are safe and legit. – Bo Barredo, Alex Mitala, Joji Barredo.  The UMC community has ministry around the world and if it’s water scarcity, hunger, or orphanages that tweek our hearts, we can go to Advance to find a place and a people to support in partnership with the United Methodist Church.

CPC2014EThe rest of my notes include: What 10 scriptures do I want my kids to know before they go to youth?; I’m paying WAY too much for Sunday School curriculum; great large group games and illusions (magic tricks) to practice for object lessons; some local scarcity opportunities to take my kids to this summer as day trips; and a recipe for a fabulous Broccoli Cheese Cornbread.

Children’s Pastor’s Conference 2015 is in Chattanooga, TN.  The purchase of my discounted ticket was approved by text.  And I am so grateful.  Attending this conference is like drinking from a fire hose, so I made sure to send a Mickey Mouse postcard to my Staff-Parish Relations Committee thanking them for investing in me and our ministry with children.  I hope you’ll join us next year!

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. – Proverbs 1:5