Yesterday was our monthly children’s ministry networking lunch. Two weeks ago, I and another kidmin champion drove an hour and a half to another district’s children’s ministry networking lunch. I learned and discovered several things that will be game-changing for me. I always do!

Two weeks ago… I learned how a QR code might be the answer to offering free registration links to VBS and other special events for our families who receive assistance through Backpack Blessings, Food Pantry, and other outreaches from our local church; Nerf Wars; planning scheduled 18 months out; low birth years; upcoming Children’s Ministry Institute dates for 2020.

Yesterday… We talked Christmas Eve family programs with silhouettes, cowbells, bags, headbands, musical dramas, and themes; Safe Sanctuary and updating staff policies for staff hired under the age of 21; fall festivals in October; Hoedowns in November; nursery staff; organizational science; job descriptions; recreation ministry; fall retreat registration hard deadlines; 2020 Wonderfully Made events where we can share the event with smaller churches and diverse locations; profiles for volunteers (in response to a speaker from Catalyst Conference); and so much more.

I can’t imagine having to come up with every new idea, re-inventing the wheel for every event, or doing ministry well without the input of other voices and experiences. These folks are the most creative people I know and I need face-time with them. Table life with them. We are better together! Just this last weekend, three of our churches gathered for the first annual Family Campout sharing kayaks, meal duties, tents, cabins, water, s’mores, communion on Sunday morning (clergy camped, too!), hikes, games, lingering beside a campfire or the lake.

There are several of us who share events like the Family Campout on a regular basis. What’s next? The Friday before Christmas is an early-release day from school so we’ve planned a Christmas Faith Field Trip. Five of us will take our 3rd-5th graders to meet up at Red Top Mountain for putt-putt golf, play, and some caroling practice. Then on to one church to prepare food boxes. We’ll all deliver food boxes to families in an area which receives summer lunches in a flash mob of Christmas carols. Then we’re off to pick up hot-dog or pizza-slice dinner at the local Costco to break out in song again. Really! Costco on the Friday night before Christmas! Next stop? Festival of lights in a town nearby. Afterwards we’ll all finish the night at another church for hot chocolate and reindeer games before each church heads home. We’ll basically be covering our entire district from 2-10pm. One of the kidmin leaders was even able to secure a grant to provide for the food items for the food boxes. Yeah, we’re better together.

Who are you sharing life and ministry with?

“One of the factors of the most resilient is meaningful relationships.” David Kinnaman, President of Barna Group, from a 2019 Catalyst talk, “Faith for Exiles”