CMConference – Come For the Conference, Stay for the Party

childrens-ministry-conference-logoNext week, I have the pleasure of speaking at the very first CMConference in Louisville, KY. I’m presenting a workshop called Kids in Crisis: How to Minister to Children from Modern Families on Thursday at 2 P.M. (in room 212). Here’s the workshop description: “Today’s modern families are different, and the church needs to keep up with those changes. In this workshop, we will define family, look at how family has changed, and explore the impact of the modern family on faith and how your church should adapt.”

If you’re anywhere close to Louisville (w/in 300-400 miles), you need to come. The conference starts Wednesday afternoon (pre-conference activities are available) and officially runs through Friday night. The line up of speakers is top notched (present company excluded), including people like Jim Wideman, Michael Chanley, Beth Guckenberger, Andy Kirk, Karen Rhodes, Linda Ranson Jacobs, everyone’s favorite aussie David Wakerly, the Bonnie Deroski, Yancy Richmond, let’s not forget Bo Harrington and many many more. In fact, you can see the whole lineup at and the schedule at

I’d love to connect with you if you’re coming, so make sure to comment below, email me, find me on Facebook or Tweet at me to let me know!

Read More

A Free Gift for Under Resourced Children’s Ministry Workers

I know it’s a cheap trick to throw the word FREE in the title of your blog post to get people to read it, but hey whatever works. In this case it actually is FREE though – no strings attached.

I wanted to take a second to let you know about an opportunity to attend a brand new children’s ministry conference for…wait for it….FREE! You may have heard that Michael Chanley and the good people from CM Connect are launching a brand new conference this coming April 15 – 17 (that’s 2015) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Children’s Ministry Conference is going to be a one-of-a-kind experience for many reasons – not the least of which is that I’ll be speaking. On top of that (like you need more, I know), there will be nationally and internationally known speakers whose goal is to equip you at this conference “organized in a church and for the Church” and “designed to meet the specific needs of those attending and to solve problems you face in your church.”

Due to the generosity of some of the Conference sponsors, Children’s Ministry Conference is now offering a limited number of free registrations. Here is some more information from Michael:

“We want this blessing to go to serve churches in need. It’s not an unlimited offer; so, please, if your church will cover your expenses then we ask you to not use this limited code. If you can’t afford to cover your own travel and lodging, please let someone else take advantage of this opportunity. However, if your church is going through a hard season, your budget has been exhausted or you are under-resourced, this is definitely for you… just act quickly before the free passes are all gone!”

Read More

The Orange Flaw Follow Up

Orange peeledI knew when I published The Flaw in Orange Thinking yesterday that there would be some push back. I was prepared for that. I welcome it because the post was primarily intended to get a conversation started, and I think at least to some extent it’s done that. That said, in hindsight, I would have changed a couple of things to make my point more clear.

1. It was not an article about numbers.

I spent too much time in the article on the idea of 40 vs. 3,000 hours which wasn’t the main point. What can I say? I’m an accountant. I like numbers, but the point of the whole exercise wasn’t to diminish the impact parents have on the spiritual development of their kids. In my ministry to children of divorce, I see the spiritual impact of children not having those faith role models to rely on. Parents are important. Parents are critical.  My goal was simply to point out that there are also other influencers on a child’s faith (beyond the church and parents), and if we’re coming up with a comprehensive plan to minister to families, we need to consider those influencers both from a standpoint of faith development and the great commission. I would have cut that section down or made the point differently.

Read More

The Flaw in Orange Thinking

orange_PNG766If you work in children’s ministry, you’ve likely heard about the “Orange Theory.” Basically, the idea is that when the church and parents work together in the discipleship of their children, the impact on their spiritual development is multiplied. In is a principal and theory that I (for the most part) agree with. In the past though, I have raised a couple of concerns regarding the implementation of that theory:

  1. I believe many churches, in sincerely trying to implementing this theory, have swung too far back towards parents and abdicated the responsibility of the church in discipleship. In other words, to correct was is perceived as overstepping into the arena of parents in terms of teaching and discipling children, the church has overcorrected and adopted a “that’s the parents’ job” mentality. In so doing, many children (including those whose parents are not interested or not involved) may be “lost in the cracks”. Again, this is a problem in implementation, not in theory. I am not an “Orange hater.” 🙂
  2. Building on that, I believe many churches in an effort to implement an orange way of thinking have focused on the traditional two parent married biological family of the norm and/or assumed discipleship works the same in all types of different families. Again, kids and whole families get left out in the cold when this mistake is made.

Recently though, I have noticed what I consider to be a very significant oversight (or at the very least weakness) in the orange theory. Consider the following typical video for “selling” this theory and focus in particular on how parents and the church are portrayed in the video:

Read More

Engage Conference 2014 [What Are You Doing Next Week?]

engage logoNext week this time I will be on my way to Mechanicsburg, PA for the Engage Children’s Conference. This is my third year going, and I am more excited than ever to get the chance to speak to children’s ministry and youth ministry workers and leaders about the need for ministering to kids from modern families.  This year, the five workshop track I am leading is called (wait for it…):

A Generation in Crisis – Ministering to Children from Modern Families

Here’s the description:

Read More

Charge!…Cynthia Crane [Kidmin Conference 2014]

Are we concerned enough with recycling our hearts?

You are not a “Justa…..” anything.

You’re job is big, but spend less time building a program and more time listening to how God is speaking to them and through them.

About Cynthia Crane: As a veteran children’s minister, Cynthia attends and serves at Beachpoint Church in Fountain Valley, California. She offers insight and ideas for how to reach kids in meaningful and energetic ways in conferences and camps across the country.

Read More