The Best Part of My Visit to the CM Expo (Part 2)

Yesterday, I started my list of people I met at this year’s CM Expo in Lexington, KY last Thursday and Friday.  The people I met, and conversations I had, really were the highlight of my trip, but I just ran out of time to write before I could talk about everyone.  With that in mind, I will try to keep my descriptions a little bit shorter today!  So, here we go with the remainder (and/or next part) of my list.

5. Matt McKee (@MattMcKee).  Matt recently moved from the Cincinnati area to Atlanta to help out the ReThink Group and work on his new undertaking – R04R. R04R is a technology company formed to design applications for the IPhone and Android phones for churches and other organizations.  Frankly, I think the work sounds fascinating, and I enjoyed having a chance to talk (even if only very briefly) with Matt about his new company and about his work with ReThink.  Matt is a nice a guy and clearly passionate about what he is doing these days.  On the down side, he did come and sit at the table with us during the Yancy show with the best smelling Arby’s sandwich ever even though we hadn’t had lunch yet, but I can probably forgive him for that.  I can’t wait to find out what Matt is doing next.  I only regret that we didn’t have more time to talk about church signs. 🙂

6. Bob Singleton is the founder and president (and everything else) of God’s Kids Worship.  I recently had the opportunity to correspond with Bob related to my review and giveaway of some CD’s on Dad in the Middle.  I had an idea from that correspondence what type of person Bob would be, and I wasn’t disappointed after I met him.  Bob has a passion for reaching kids through music, and he is really good at it.  My wife and I spoke to Bob and his wife (a fellow numbers person) for quite a while on Thursday night.  I enjoyed learning more about his time working on Barney, how he works with kids, and the research he’s done in the area.  The products, which Bob almost singlehandedly puts together, are top notch, and it was a blast just having some time to chat with Bob and his wife.

7. Yancy (@yancynotnancy).  I didn’t actually get a chance to spend any time chatting with Yancy, but I did finally have an opportunity to see her perform.  I was going to take the family last December to a Christmas concert she was doing here in December.  I don’t remember exactly why, but for some reason we weren’t able to make it.  I’ve used her music at church, and after seeing her perform at the Expo, I understand why so many people are drawn to her.  She has a very warm personality and beautiful voice.  Most importantly though, it is clear that she is singing to kids because she has a heart for kids.  Whether it was a two year old tugging at her leg or a nine year old running up out of nowhere to give her a hug, she was always warm and and engaging.  I can’t wait until her new album comes out later this summer, and neither can my seven year old daughter.

8. Tamera Kraft (@TameraKraft).  I had a chance to stop by the Revival Fire for Kids booth briefly and talk to Tamera Kraft and her mother.  We didn’t get to talk for long, but it was nice to have a chance to say hello and to talk to someone else from Ohio.

9. Tina Houser is the editor of K! Magazine.  She was swarmed with people throughout most of the Expo, so while I did get a chance to say hello, I didn’t really get the opportunity to speak with her.  I did however get to speak with her husband who was a full-time pastor until just recently.  Unfortunately, his name escapes me at the moment, but I really enjoyed talking to him about children’s ministry and getting his input on the importance of that ministry from the stand point of a senior pastor.

10. Commander Bill Gunter (@CommanderBill). Commander Bill is one of the writers for (one of the original four), and he was high on my list of people to meet and talk to.  I got meet Commander Bill and his lovely wife early during the Expo, and we ran into him several times thereafter.  Above all else, I was amazed by Bill’s tremendous amount of knowledge about Awana in general.  I am convinced that you could ask Bill anything about Awana for the past 25 years, and he would be able to answer.  On top of that, Bill is a great guy, and I enjoyed the chance to get to know him in person.

11. Marty Martin (@KidologyToGo).  I have been reading about Marty’s plans to quit his full time kidmin position and take his family on a two-and-a-half year RV trip around the country for the last several months.  When the announcement came out last Wednesday that he would be doing it for KidologyToGo and presenting seminars along the way, it suddenly all made a lot more sense.  I admire his passion and his willingness to follow God’s call, and it was a pleasure to spend 10 minutes chatting at the Expo.

12. Jason Martin (@TheJayMart). Jason Martin is the children’s pastor at Lifechurch in Swansea, IL.  Unfortunately, prior to the Expo, I only new him as the short haired @TheJayMart on Twitter who I have interacted with from time to time.  So, when I was sitting on the couch with a Jim Wideman and a gentleman with long hair from IL, I never made the connection.  In fact, it wasn’t until @TheJayMart sent me a message telling me it was nice to chat on the couch that I finally put two and two together (with the help of my wife who is lot better with faces than me).  Jason is a great guy, and I enjoyed chatting briefly with him.  He also has a great family.  He was there with his wife and three daughters who cracked both my wife and I up as they took over Yancy’s performance at the Expo.  I’m looking forward to getting to know Jason better both online and hopefully at future conferences.

There were a few people I didn’t get to see.  Somehow or another, I managed to miss Michael Chanley (@MichaelChanley) who was there on Thursday which was a little bit disappointing.  I’m not sure whether or not Michael was there on Friday.  If so, I didn’t see him.  I saw Roger Fields (@RogerFields) several times but he was so busy hosting that I actually felt bad about the prospect of interrupting him. I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded, but it’s one of my quirks about not being a bother to people.  I got to meet Terra Harrison (@blitzchicky) very briefly with Tony Kummer after the Expo was actually over.  Roger and Terra did an awesome job (along with some other great people) of putting this whole thing together.  I will make a point to meet them both next year!  Which brings me to my next bit a good news – the days for the 2011 CM Expo have been set – July 7 & 8, 2011.  Mark your calendar today.  The first one was great, and think the second one can only get better!

Thanks to a great group of great people who helped to make my CM Expo experience a wonderful one.


  1. Roger Fields |

    Wayne, I'm sorry I didn't stay put long enough to talk to you. You can stop/interrupt me anytime. I appreciate your tweets and blog. Next time I'll make a point of connecting with you. Thanks for blogging about CMX.

    • No problem. You looked like you were pretty busy most of the time. Thanks to you and Terra for putting on such a great event. I can't wait to see what you do with it next year!

  2. Thanks Wayne. I to wish we had more time to hang and next time I'll buy you some Arby's. 🙂
    My recent post What can you say about the McKees by Rob Carpenter

  3. What a cool crowd, eh Wayne? People that are in love with God and in love with kids… what's not to like?

    It was great hanging with you & your wife. Let's do it again.

    • Bob,

      We enjoyed meeting you and your wife as well. I couldn't agree more with you about the people. There is just something cool about being in a room with a thousand other people who share your passion. I think what you're doing with God's Kids Worship is awesome, and if there is ever anything I can do to help you out, please don't hesitate to ask! Hopefully we'll get a chance to chat again sometime soon.