3 reasons you should attend CM Leaders Conference

September 13-14, 2012 marks the beginning of something new.  It is the first ever CM Leaders Conference (CM=children’s ministry) .  For any of you involved in children’s ministry, you understand that your ministry is different from any other ministry in the church.  You face many difficulties and issues that are unique to children’s ministry.  While it would be great to attend a general ministry conference, CM Leaders Conference is not only designed specifically for those of us involved with children’s ministry, but will go a step further to discuss the leadership aspect within our ministry.


Michael Chanley and his INCM team (International Network of Children’s Ministry) are behind the new conference.

“Everything INCM does stems from our purpose statement: serve | serve | serve. Simply put, we exist to serve God and to serve those called to serve His children. The CM Leaders Conference exists to serve the church by training those called to serve in Children’s Ministry in the arts of leadership specific to our calling.

This new event builds onto the Five Initiatives we launched at CPC:

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.”

“Beyond these five initiatives, to lead in Children’s Ministry, one must master the art of leadership. We believe there are three core areas of leadership development essential to a healthy Children’s Ministry. We find these core skill sets evident in ministries demonstrating evidence of God’s blessing. The study of these arts begin a process of leadership and growth in areas with specific challenges to anyone serving in Children’s Ministry.

Three Arts Essential to CM Leaders:

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”

You can hear Michael Chanley being interviewed on CMConnect radio about the conference here: http://bit.ly/P6A81Z (Leadership podcast)

Children’s ministry is so much more than a Sunday morning baby sitting service.  It is more than putting on a good show for the kids and teaching them good morals.  It is about creating and leading a team whose responsibility becomes ministering to children and their families in a relevant way.  This conference is designed to do that.

If you ask me, there are 3 reasons for you to attend:

1.  The quality of speakers:  There are so many great speakers scheduled for this conference.  The leadership and insight that will be shared from names like Michael Chanley, Sam Luce, Bo Harrington, Craig Johnson, Larry Fowler (from AWANA), Brian Dollar and others is incredible.  If you do not recognize the names, these are great children’s ministry leaders with lots of experience. Some are local children’s pastors, some are national speakers.  No matter what size church you are from, or what ministry challenges you face, I believe you will walk away from this conference having learned something relevant to your personal situation.

2.  The focus and style of the conference:  It is true that there are conferences that are specific to Children’s Ministry, and they may have a break out session on leadership among many other breakout sessions.  CM Leaders is unique in that it is an entire conference designed to deal with the leadership of our ministry.  The size of your ministry doesn’t really matter.  This conference will talk through practical principles that reach across the spectrum and will be relevant to churches of all sizes.  The speakers will share and teach from personal experiences in a large group setting.  I anticipate this conference to answer questions like

“How do you build a team?”

“How do you stay relevant?”

“How does one develop as a leader?”

“What does leadership look like for one called to children’s ministry?”

“How do we disciple an entire generation to have a personal walk with Jesus Christ?”

3.  Wayne Stocks lives in Columbus and will be at the conference.  If you don’t know Wayne, he has worked hard to resource children’s ministry workers and volunteers through a radio program on CMConnect.org and his several blogs.  He also has spearheaded a blog specifically geared toward ministering to children of divorce.  Wayne is responsible for my twitter account, and has been a great friend.

Really though, conferences like this are great for networking and meeting new people.  Just by attending you have something in common with everyone else–you place a high value on children’s ministry.  There is much value in having real conversations with people who share the same vision and purpose.  I have learned so much through meeting and asking questions of people who are in similar situations.

If you are involved in children’s ministry, this conference should be on your list of priorities.  Of all the children’s ministry conferences, I am glad this is the one I get to attend.

Let me know if you are coming.  I would love to connect while we are there.

Here are a few links to some of the sites I mentioned:





4 Responses

  1. Ron,

    Looking forward to meeting you. Glad you are going to CMLeaders!

  2. Thankful for an affordable and nearby children’s ministry conference! I look forward to what the Lord has for us all.

    • Lisa, glad to hear you will make it! From everything I know about this conference, it is going to be GREAT. I can’t wait

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