Why I’m going to the CM Leaders Conference and You Should Too!

I don’t get to go to a lot of children’s ministries conferences.  Between finances and, oh yea, my other full time job, the opportunity just doesn’t present itself very often.  That’s why I was excited earlier this year when Michael Chanley told me that the International Network of Children’s Ministers [INCM] was planning on bringing a brand new conference to Columbus, Ohio.  Well, finally the time has come, and INCM announced the inaugural:



The CM Leaders Conference is being help September 13-14, 2012 (that’s a Thursday and Friday) at Grove City Church of the Nazarene in Grove City, Ohio (which is a south-western suburb of Columbus).

It is definitely exciting to have a conference so close to home, but that is not the only reason I am going.  I believe in what INCM is trying to do.  In the last year, they have released five initiative which are guiding what they do at INCM.  Those are:

  1. Impart God’s truth to this generation
  2. Provide a safe and relevant environment
  3. Communicate with families
  4. Network with a community of leaders
  5. Pray for the international children’s ministry community.

This conference is one of the means through which they hope to accomplish those initiative.  I appreciate that, as they planned this conference, they did not just sit back and say, “let’s do another conference.”  Instead, they really tried to hone in on what leaders in children’s ministry really need.  And, I have to say, I think they’ve hit the nail on the head.  INCM has identified three arts essential to successful leadership.  Those include:

  1. Develop – walking in faith, developing self, developing others
  2. Lead – casting vision, creating strategy, navigating change
  3. Disciple – identifying leaders, training them to serve, releasing them to lead

As I listened to Michael Chanley talk passionately about these arts, I realized that they really are a wonderful framework for talking about leading other people.  This conference, designed specifically for leaders, is built around those pillars.

Beyond all that, there is of course the draw of having a chance to network with other children’s ministers and learn from some great people.  The speaker lineup for this year’s event is impressive and includes:

  • Steve Adams
  • Brian Dollar
  • Margaret Feinberg
  • Phil Vischer
  • Marie Kuck
  • Denise Muir-Kjesbo
  • THE Bo Harrington
  • Craig Johnson
  • Brad Tate
  • Larry Fowler
  • Mike Johnson
  • Sam Luce, and
  • Michael Chanley

INCM has asked a team of bloggers to attend the conference and blog about what we experience and learn about these three arts.  I am excited to be part of that team.

If you want to come, and why wouldn’t you, do three things:

  1. Go to the CMLeaders page at INCM and register.  Use the discount code “waynestocks” (no quotes) to receive 50% off your registration between now and August 15.
  2. Let me know so that we can connect during the conference.  I would sincerely like to meet you.
  3. Promise me that you will not participate in any plan to leave pumpkins (smashes or unsmashed) at my personal residence. (Note: I recognize that this means nothing to practically all of you reading this, but it is a significant issue).

1 Comment

  1. In my humble, yet somewhat biased opinion, I think this is the greatest post of all time. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement, friend. Looking forward to seeing you in Columbus!