The first main session focused on the first point of CMConnect. As you may have guessed, it is CONNECT.
CMConnect.org was started 7 years ago as an attempt to connect those who serve in children’s ministry together. CMConnect now has over 12,000 members, people who serve in children’s ministry, connecting with one another. We should not be alone, we should be making connections with others in children’s ministry. Though making those connections online is important, there is nothing like connecting with people face-to-face. With that in mind, the CMConference was “born”. From the CMConference website, we see what they mean by CONNECT:
When an event is born from an online network, you get an enhanced opportunity to connect to one another. You experience genuine community with people who care about you and your ministry… people who care about helping you connect to God.
The resounding theme from CMConnect is that “we are here to serve you”. They have a true desire to connect with you and help you in your ministry to children.
In the first main gathering at the CMConference, the focus was on CONNECT. We heard from Andy Kirk (National Director Australian Christian Churches Kids) and Jim Wideman (Executive Pastor and Children’s Ministry Coach). I want to share just a small part of what the shared.
Andy Kirk reminded us that we need to be connected to God. Sometimes in ministry we can feel self-sufficient, not needing God. There are times when we may teach a lesson without Jesus by our side. Teaching in our own energy (ouch! I’ve done that!).
We need to serve one another and we need to begin in the church. So often the church is where the greatest conflict grows. If we cannot love those in the Body of Christ (the church), then how can we love those in the community?
We were reminded that we need to abide in the Vine (Jesus). That we are the branches that bear fruit for Him. At times, we may think that we are the vine and Jesus is the one who should bear fruit, and when He doesn’t meet up to our expectations, then we cut Him off. We need to be connected to the Vine, Jesus, and when we are, then we will bear fruit, we will serve, we will be bringing Heaven to Earth.
Jim Wideman spoke shortly after Andy. He shared that many seem to be looking for that “magic pill”, that “silver bullet”, that one thing that we can do to reach kids, to reach parents, to have that perfect ministry. The truth is that there is no “magic pill”, it is a process and we need to change our thinking.
Jim shared from Philippians 4:8 reminding us that we need to think on things that are pure, things that are just, etc. It is easy to focus on what we “don’t have” and forget what God can do with what we He has provided.
We need to focus on the why we do things, we need to be in love with the Word. The Word is why we do what we do, and if God has called you to do something, then who are you to say that you can’t do it?
It is a process connecting with people. As you go through this process, enjoy each season of life. Each one is special and is preparing you for the next.
Stay connected to God, and work to connect with people. Love the Word and let it flow through you be serving others. That’s what will be the focus of the second main gathering, serving.
How well are you connected to God?
How well are you connected to others?