Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

CMConference Recap

cmconferenceIn 2015, a new conference was launched. Some wondered if there was a need for a new conference with all of the current conferences that those in children’s ministry had the choice to attend. This conference was not launched by a publisher, but by a social network! CMConnect! People connected online, and this conference gives the members of CMConnect the opportunity to meet, encourage, and pray for one another in person! It is a conference designed to connect, serve and advance those called to Children’s Ministry. Those are the three aspects of the conference. Let’s take a look at each one briefly:

plus-icon-connectCONNECT - 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.
heart-icon-serveSERVE - When you are called to serve children, you are called to impact someone’s life for all of eternity. What you do matters and is essential for the health of the Church. It’s about living out your faith and answering a call to serve.
rhino-icon-advanceADVANCE - A connected group of people, passionate about a common goal, has a unique opportunity to create influence. Together, we can advance God’s Kingdom. Together, we can be one Church, advancing one message… Jesus.

The conference is there to serve you! If you see Michael Chanley (President & Founder of CMConnect) walking around and get the chance to talk to him, he will not let you go until he asks the questions, “How can we serve you and your ministry?” He has a heart to serve others and assist them, as able, in their ministry. You will leave the conference with a renewed desire to advance the Kingdom of God through your ministry.

For now, I want to focus on “Connect”. At the inaugural conference in 2015, I had the privilege to personally connect with many people. It may seem like I’m “dropping names”, but really I just want to share some of the connections you can make at the CMConference. The breakouts and general sessions were great time of refreshing and full of wisdom that I could take back to my ministry, but the personal connections with others with a passion to share Christ with children is priceless.

wpid-20150414_215226.jpgSome of the attendees who arrived early met at a local restaurant for dinner and then began wondering what we could afterward. It was late and some places were closing. Someone knew of a local indoor “high speed” go-cart track and so we went and ran a couple laps. Pictured here are the top four drivers.  It was a great time of fellowship and much needed “therapy” for all of us.

With generous time for lunch (food trucks are present at the conference for lunch) and dinner, there is ample time to connect with others. I had the privilege of having lunch with Jim Wideman learning from his wisdom and what God was doing in his ministry as he encouraged us.

Along with “local” leaders in children’s ministry, I had the privilege of meeting and talking to people leading ministries around the world. Pictured below are two of them:

Commander Bill with Andy Kirk, Director of Australian Christian Churches Children's Ministry (ACCkids)

Commander Bill with Andy Kirk, Director of Australian Christian Churches Children’s Ministry (ACCkids)


Commander Bill with Ragaee Danial, Middle East Director for CMConnect

Commander Bill with Ragaee Danial, Middle East Director for CMConnect


If you can only attend one national conference in 2016, look at the CMConference. It is affordable, it will refresh you, and it will help you connect, serve, and advance in your ministry when you return home. I hope to see you there.

For information about the conference and to register, please visit


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