Step up to the Mic and win registration to Group’s How 2 Conference!

Group Publishing wants your Children’s Ministry to win 2 registrations to their How 2 Children’s Ministry Conference!  From the people who bring you Children’s Ministry Magazine, as well as a wide array of resources for ministry to youth, children and adults, comes this generous offer!  Thanks, Group!

To make this fun and interactive, here’s how we’ll give these registrations, valued at $199 each.

Step up to this cyber microphone, and tell us your BEST children’s ministry moment.  It could be about why you’re in ministry to children, it could be an interaction with one of the kids or volunteers, anything that makes ministry to children the BEST to you. You get one entry into the drawing for posting your story here in the comments OR on your own blog/Facebook note.  You can get  additional entries for telling about the contest and conference on Twitter or via your Facebook status.  Remember to put a link here in the comments for each time you do that (and use the links in the top right sidebar of the blog to connect with me on Facebook or on Twitter so I can verify).

What one of you will win:

  • 2 registrations, valued at $199 each, to the How 2 Conference in 1 city of your choice. (click here to see dates/cities) Transortation, lodging, etc are not included.

What you have to do to win:

  • Initial entry into the drawing for posting your story here, your own blog or Facebook note linking to this post by trackback or link posted in the comments.
  • Additional entries for tweets and status lines on Facebook, connect with me so I can see them.
  • Winner will have to provide a valid email with their comment (not publicly), and be prepared to choose a date/location and give the names of the 2 people attending the How 2 Conference to get their passes.

All of this needs to take place between now, 9 am ET, Friday, Jan 9, and midnight ET, on Wednesday, Jan 14.  The winner will be chosen at random and posted here on Thursday, Jan 15.

So, step up to the mic and lets get this party started!

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11 Responses to “Step up to the Mic and win registration to Group’s How 2 Conference!”

  1. Sara
    January 9, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    I don’t want to be entered into the contest but I have a story to share :)

    Our preschool Sunday school class is so awesome. The teachers rock and the kids looooooove every minute of it. All the older kids are sad that they can’t be in that class.

    A few weeks ago we didn’t have Sunday school. We had a confirmation celebration with the whole church and we wanted the kids to be there so we canceled our regular classes. A couple of the preschoolers were heading down the hall for class and I stopped them to explain that there was no class. They listened to what I had to say, looked at each other and continued down the hall to see for themselves. I’m sure in their heads they were thinking “she’s not even in our class how would SHE know?!”

    They were pretty bummed to find out I was right.

    I love that they are so pumped for Sunday school. That means we’re doing something right. Big shout out to Gary Jock, Penny Jock and Karen Reyes our AMAZING PreK Sunday school teachers. Thank you for what you do! (what do I have to do to get into your class? I can get a note from my mom if that would help)

    :)

  2. Doug
    January 13, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    I am 5 months into my ministry position as Minister of Children and Youth. I am in children’s ministry now because, at this church, it seems that for so long the children have been the last people thought of. Basically, for years they just had an adult to “babysit” them while the adults and youth had things to do. I am excited about bringing an excitement about God to these children, and to show them that there’s more to God and more to church than just the same old Bible stories over and over again. I naturally tend to lean more towards the youth because that is who i have worked with before, so I am trying to seek God’s will in what direction he would have me to lead the children also.

  3. Jeff Greathouse
    January 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    A Whirlwind Adventure

    The pat month and a half have been a whirlwind for me. My children director resigned and I was “thrusted” into the role of her position and my current positionat the church ( youth and family ).

    We have tried to capitalize on the opportunity and are trying something very unique. We are having family sunday school. Families come together for sunday school.

    We have three segments. The first segment is individual families working on a project together to introduce the topic. The second aspect is large group time. This is where all families are together listening to the bible story. The third section is whrechildren have peer time to reinforce point on their level and the parents stay together and discuss how to take the topic home.

    This contest could be an avenue for me to strengthen my children ministry skills as we begin to add other components of our children ministry and streghten our partnership with parents.

    As an indiviual overseeing all avenues, I cannot take a look at all conferences without assistance from other avenues and this could be an avenue.

    We, as a church, are very excited about the potential of briding the gap between children, youth and families.

    Jeff

  4. Michelle Rogers
    January 13, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    I love the fact that as a student minister, my job includes children’s ministry. I have had some really cool opportunities to be with kids and their families, and to have some unique ministry opportunities with them.

    One of my most memorable was the time I went to the hospital to congratulate some new parents and see their baby (who was barely an hour old.) I got to hold the baby before the grandparents did because I was “the baby’s minister!” Another time, I was doing a children’s sermon on the platform and was talking about how I had skinned my knee by falling off of my bike. The little girl sitting beside me pulled up my skirt to look at it—-It was a good thing I had on a slip! Needless to say, I wear pants to church nearly every Sunday now!

    My current church is in a military town, and I’m having lots of opportunities to be with families who have a spouse/parent deployed. I’m learning about the unique needs and challenges of these families and helping my church develop ministries to help meet those needs. I’d love to have the opportunity to attend a children’s ministry conference and pick the expert’s brains!

    Michelle Rogers

  5. Jill A. Smith
    January 14, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    I love the unexpected honesty of working with children and how the simplest things they say can be the most profound.
    One Sunday in late November during Junior Church I gave each child a paper leaf and asked them to write on it what they were most thankful for. I explained that I had made a “tree of thankfulness” and we were going to put our leaves on it. As I was giving the directions I was passing out the leaves. When I finished talking one little girl raised her hand and said, “I have too many.”
    In my adult brain I assumed she meant she had too many leaves. So I told her to give me the extras.
    “No,” she said, “God has given me too many things to be thankful for. They won’t all fit on this leaf.”

    I would be grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference, be refreshed and reminded that just being in Children’s Ministry means “God has given me too many things to be thankful for.”

  6. Mary Beth McCandless
    January 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    Here’s the link to a story I wrote for our church newsletter a couple of years ago – it is still a highlight of my work with children!

    http://www.etownpres.org/FPC_Website_files/07-01%20FPC%20Newsletter.pdf

    Here’s a copy of the text (the photo on the site is precious :) )

    The Back End of the Donkey

    At the end of October I talked with the nursery children about what “characters” they would be playing in our “Advent-Christmas Program” (commonly known as a “Christmas Pageant.”) To the delight of our three
    and four year olds, they would get to be the animals! I asked what animals we would need and we finally
    got around to sheep, maybe cows and chickens, and a donkey. The girls were easy: they all wanted to be
    sheep. The boys were more of a challenge.

    Danny and Cameron(both three years old) said “DONKEY!” at the same time. For some reason I quickly responded “Well, you (randomly pointing at Cameron) can be the front, and you (randomly pointing at Danny) can be the back. How’s that?” They both thought that was a grand idea and got back to their playing.

    In the weeks to come as we practiced songs and talked about costumes, Cameron and Danny never forgot about being the front and back of the donkey. Even when given other options, they both seemed quite intent on carrying out this assignment.

    The morning of the program I found out that Danny actually wouldn’t be satisfied with what he was wearing until his father, Chris, called Cameron’s mom, Ellen, to make sure that he and Cameron would “match”.
    Thankfully Ellen had two turtleneck shirts that were the same and offered to bring the extra with her for Danny.

    Christine, their Sunday Church School teacher, had made ears for the sheep and donkey along with a donkey tail. Once costumes were being put on, “Miss Christine” asked Danny if he wanted ears too (having considered that he might not really understand that
    being the “back of the donkey” would mean that he only had a tail and not ears.)

    This seemed to really bother Danny who looked at me, then at her, and then back at me with a concerned look on his face. I stooped down and told him that if he wanted to have ears like Cameron’s, he could, but that he didn’t have to have ears. He then plainly said, “No, I am the back of the donkey!” His tail was promptly pinned on, his smile reappeared, and all was well.

    If I were a betting woman I’d be willing to wager that few people actually want to be the back end of the
    donkey. That is a shame since the front end without the back end is pretty useless. On the morning of
    the program, I was sharing Cameron and Danny’s story with some women in the kitchen. Laura, a mom who used to do lot’s of work with preschoolers in our church, remarked something to the effect of “Things would really be different if all of the “back ends of donkeys” were as happy about it as Danny!” We then concurred that the world and the Church would be
    better places if everyone approached their work in that way.

    Truth is, everyone is the “back end of the donkey” sometimes. It’s how we approach that “role” in life that makes the difference! Thanks, Danny, for reminding us.

    December 2006
    Mary Beth McCandless
    Coordinator for Family Ministries
    First Presbyterian Church, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

  7. Leena Prindle
    January 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    My entry is posted on my blog here: http://formingfaith.blogspot.com/2009/01/im-entering-ymxs-friend-patti-gibbons.html

    I also announced on Twitter and Facebook. :)

    Peace.

  8. Dj
    January 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    I had one of those times when you were so excited that one of your kids “got it”. We were having our annual Christmas program musical with our kids and we got to a part of the program and decided to be a little experimental. One of adult leaders asked one of the kids in front of 300 adults what the true meaning of Christmas was all about and this 6 year old boy summed up the Christmas story and how Jesus came to die for us in the most amazing way ANYONE could explain it.

    I even had a little tear running down my cheek! It was just awesome!

    Posted on twitter and facebook, too.

  9. Doug
    January 14, 2009 at 10:58 pm #

    I posted above, but I have now also posted on my blog, twitter, and facebook.

  10. patti
    January 15, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    Thanks for entering Doug, Jeff, Michelle, Jill, Mary Beth, Leena and DJ! Your stories are great! I’ll email you after the random drawing in the morning, and post a new post announcing your awesomeness then as well!

    In case you wonder, I’m using the list randomizer at http://random.org to pull your name out of the (cyber) hat (if you blogged/tweeted/facebooked for additional entries, your name was on the list that number of times).

  11. JoNathan
    January 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    On Saturday nights we have what we call “Saturday Night Live”. It’s the night that bring all the kids together and have church. It’s the night we bring out the lights, smoke, bubbles and all that fun stuff.

    Tonight was different though and I knew before service that something was out of whack. God was wanting something. We started praise and worship and the kids got into the music but they didn’t get into God. This has been something that has been happening a lot lately but tonight was it’s end.

    We had gotten to the worship part of the service. The kids froze. We were playing a very simple song “The Night Song” by Hillsong Kids. Pastor Sherlena was singing and worshiping but the kids weren’t into it. They were frozen. Cold. God told me to stop everything. I signaled to the sound booth to cut the song and Pastor gave me the mic. At this point God fell on me like a wet noodle. I started to sob. (Kids need to see this sometimes) A peace hit the place like never before. I told the kids, God just wants to hear that you love Him. He loves you and tonight He just wants to hear you tell Him you love Him. I watched as the presence moved through the sanctuary touching the heart of the kids. Some kids immediately reacted by closing their eyes and tears started flowing. Some still didn’t ‘Hear it’ so I had all the kids close their eyes and we started the song over. The power of God flowed through the sanctuary. There was no doubt that EVERYONE in the room felt the Power Of God.

    Sometimes we try to make everything so big and complicated. God just wanted to hear “I Love You”. That’s all He wanted to hear tonight and because we are so set in our program (not just the leaders but also the kids) we sometimes miss out on what God really wants to Hear or do. God’s not a complicated God. Just three simple words “I Love You”.

    When was the last time you just sat and told the Father that you loved Him? Just went to Him to tell Him that. No other petitions. Just spending some intimate time with Him.

    JoNathan Fietzer
    http://www.jonathanfietzer.net/

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