Kidmin Blog Madness – Making It Work For You

The last couple of weeks have been fun.  Tony Kummer has been running his annual Kids Ministry Blog Madness competition, and both Dad in the Middle and Kidmin1124 have done reasonably well advancing to the second round (the sweet sixteen if you will).  Frankly, I don’t see either advancing to the final round, but there is still time to vote if you are so inclined.  I’ve had fun with my “shameless self-promotion” tour throwing off any sense of decorum and engaging whole-heartedly in some friendly competition and banter with some great children’s ministry bloggers.  As fellow writers at Kidmin1124, two of the first people to support that vision and sign on and people I consider friends, I’ve also been extremely excited to see Commander Bill Gunter and Jared Massey (Small Town Kidmin) do really well.  Both look like they have an great chance to advance to the final round next week which would force me to make a tough choice!  The real winners in this whole competition though should be the children’s ministry community at large.  There are some (many) awesome kidmin blogs out there and this competition features the best.   So, I am officially announcing my retirement from campaigning for votes (I think I’ll spend all that extra time hugging my wife and playing with my kids Smile), and I wanted to take a few moments to highlight the other blogs left in the sweet sixteen.  If you haven’t already checked them out, make sure you do today.  And, don’t just read the most current articles, dig around a little.  I’ve no doubt that the articles posted at these sixteen blogs will surpass in wisdom and advice an entire library of children’s ministry books.  There is not one blog in the field that I don’t read several times a week, and there is not one that has not in some way had an impact on my ministry and my life.

Leader 2 Leader (Jim Wideman)

imageI can’t think of anyone who has influenced me more through their writings and presentations than Jim Wideman.  If there is one blog that I look forward to reading more than any other, it is this one.  Whether Jim is talking about leadership or volunteers or parenting or (hopefully soon) grandparenting, I soak it all up and am blessed by every entry.  Brother Jim, I know, had been a mentor to thousands of people engaged in children’s ministry, and I eternally grateful for his heart for those who serve kids.

Lemon Lime Kids (Amy Dolan)

imageAmy Dolan is one of the nicest most unassuming people I have come across in the online kidmin community.  She is a gifted thinker, presenter, and writer and covers topics as diverse as leadership, creating better meeting environments and non-traditional families.  Her passion and her drive are evident in everything that she does.  Plus, she wrote our very first guest post on Kidmin1124, and we couldn’t be more grateful for that.

Kidmin1124 (Me and a bunch of other people)

imageKidmin1124 grew out of my passion for equipping volunteers, but it is so much more than me.  We have a team of 16 writers (all volunteer and bi-vocational) who are equally passionate about reaching volunteers and those who lead them.  We haven’t been around for very long, but I have been personally blessed to have the opportunity to serve alongside some wonderful people and, hopefully, to be a blessing to others in the kidmin community.

Roger Fields

imageI like Roger Fields.  I’ve never met him, but from his writings and blog posts I feel like I know him.  I’m pretty sure we could sit down over a drink and have a great conversation.  Whether Roger is demonstrating his intellectual sense of humor or diving deep into the hard discussions surrounding children’s ministry, his insights will get you thinking and likely spur you to action.  Plus he seems to like lists, and you’ve got to love a guy who likes lists!

Kidologist.com (Karl Bastian)

imageKarl is the granddaddy of all kidmin when it comes to internet presence.  I’m pretty sure his first children’s ministry site was hosted on a hacked pentagon computer when he was eight.  Regardless of how it all started, he been at it a long time.  I haven’t had the chance to meet Karl in person yet (though I hope to rectify that soon), but I am glad that I have had the chance to interact with him some online.  I appreciate his drive to equip those who serve kids and relate to his passion for calling fathers out to be better dads.

 

Justyn Smith

imageWith all of his kids, it’s amazing that Justyn still finds time to blog, but somehow he does.  And, we are all better off because of it.  Whether he is addressing mediocrity in children’s ministry (as he is in his current series) or the branding of the children’s ministry at his new church, the one thing I noticed about Justyn’s posts is that there is always a nugget to take out of each article even if you think it doesn’t relate specifically to you.

Orange Leaders

imageOrange Leaders is another collaborative blog like Kidmin1124.  It brings together some of the most well known names in the world of children’s ministry who support the notion of orange – that the church and families working together can have a greater impact on kids than either working alone.  The articles are always top notched, and I have become acquainted with a number of new bloggers by first seeing their posts on the Orange Leaders blog.

Commander Bill Gunter

imageAs far as I can tell, Commander Bill Gunter is the most knowledgeable person in the world about Awana.  While many of his posts deal directly with Awana, there is also plenty there that can, and should, be applied to children’s ministry in general.  Bill is a passionate bi-vocational children’s pastor who takes time to share his wisdom with the community.  He is also a regular contributor to Kidmin1124.

Sam Luce

imageSam Luce and Kenny Conley in may ways blazed the trail in kidmin blogging.  They were doing it back before most people were, and they were two of the first blogs I discovered when I started searching.  In my mind they are inseparably linked. Both blogs offer the wealth and wisdom of experience from their authors.  Sam and Kenny both write on a wide variety of topics from technology to theological issues to the nuts and bolts of children’s ministry.  Both blogs are clearly in my “must read” list.

Dad In The Middle (Me again)

imageI am amazed and humbled that Dad in the Middle even made it to this round.  Despite all the other places where I blog, Dad in the Middle is still “my baby.”  Despite my partial hiatus from blogging, I can’t wait to get back to Dad in the Middle soon.  The fact that enough people thought enough of the blog to vote it into the second round means a lot to me!

About the Children’s Department (Lynda Freeman)

imageIf I’m being honest, this is the newest blog in the group of 16 to me.  I didn’t really discover About the Children’s Department until a few months back.  I “met” Lynda online in the forums and chat room of CMConnect.org.  She always had an answer or some insight to share, and I thought to myself, “I wonder if she has a blog.”  Let’s just say, I wasn’t disappointed when I found it!

Small Town Kidmin (Jared Massey)

imageLike many people, I found Jared through an article that Kenny Conley wrote.  I found out later that Kenny was prompted to write that letter because Jared had taken the initiative to call him up with some questions.  That is the kind of guy Jared is.  He doesn’t like it when people talk about his age, but when I say he is young it is a badge of honor.  Rarely have I met someone as passionate about their ministry as Jared.  Even more rarely have I met someone that passionate who isn’t even in full-time vocational ministry.  Never have I met someone so passionate with a full-time non-ministry job who is also that young.  Jared is a deep thinker and constantly looking for ways to improve his ministry and that is evident in his writing.  Like Commander Bill, I am also partial to Jared because he is a fellow writer at Kidmin1124.  In fact, when I floated the vision for Kidmin1124, Jared was the very first one to jump on board.  For that, I am forever grateful.

Free CM Stuff (Andy Johnson)

imageWhat else can I say about Andy – he gives away free stuff.  I think his blog is one of the single best sources for kidmin who are trying to stretch budget dollars (and who isn’t?).  I have also thoroughly enjoyed all of the campaigning Andy has done this year for the competition.

Children’s Ministry Online (Kenny Conley)

imageI don’t want to give Children’s Ministry Online short shrift.  It is one of the premiere blogs out there today, and I am an avid reader.  You can find out more about my admiration for this blog under Sam Luce above.

West Coast CM (Anthony Prince)

imageWhenever I go to Anthony Blog, I always imagine him sitting on the beach in a lounge chair writing his posts – it must be the name of the blog.  That said, his articles are packed with information and insight.  I have always been a fan, but I remember the day (I think it was a weekend, but I might be wrong) when I turned on my computer and read a heart felt post about the death of one of his friends.  That kind of openness and transparency is hard to achieve and one of the many reasons I follow West Coast CM.

There you have it – 16 great blogs that you need to check out.  Vote if you’re so inclined, but you owe it to yourself to at least check out these blogs!

2 Comments

  1. But if you had to encourage people to vote for just one blog, it would be Small Town Kidmin, right? (As one can see, I have not discontinued my shameless self-promotion and I am not withdrawing from the campaign).

  2. Thanks for your kind words Wayne you are always such and encouragement. I appreciate it.

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