Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kidmin 2012 - Psst! I'll let you in on its secret

Kidmin 2012 ReGroup Family Portrait 

Psst!  I'll let you in on a secret about Kidmin 2012.

And you can trust me this secret is fact because I just returned from the Kidmin ReGroup at Group Publishing where we took all our ministry conference dreams and put them into the Kidmin 2012 design.

Here's the secret. You can keep it to yourself or you can share it with every Kidmin person you know and love. It's totally up to you.

Kidmin 2012 might look, sound and read like a conference, but it's going to feel like a Family Reunion.

We might as well call it, the Kidmin 2012 Family Reunion and this is why.

  • It will be a gathering of people with a singular connection - each participant, workshop leader and keynote speaker is passionate about ministry to, with and for children.
  • Those who attend will be surrounded by people they've know for a long time as well as people they've only heard stories about, but never got to meet face to face. You know - like your siblings and that second cousin first removed you've only met on Facebook that's always up to something amazing. 
  • They will be plenty of special activities and events to keep everyone engaged, but no one's going to mind if people just hang out, connect and reconnect or get to know each other. It's all about being together and learning from each other. Kinda like discovering juicy family secrets, but these secrets are good ones meant to be shared.  
  • It will be a celebration with great music and worship time. But the music will be much better than Uncle Fred's acoustic guitar and off-key tenor.  Check it out...  http://group.com/childrens-ministry/kidmin-conference
  • It is being planned by people who "get it"! Matter of fact, every person at Kidmin ReGroup is an active Kidmins who took time out of their busy ministry life to gather and plan for Kidmin 2012. They might as well be family, because they know Kidmin life, challenges, what makes them unique and what makes 'um tick... and blow up, too! Like a family reunion, they plan around likes and dislikes...It just wouldn't be right NOT without Grandma's banana pudding (YUM!)or with unsweet ice tea. (YUK! ) 
  • The planning is a labor of love! ReGroup Kidmins divided up the planning task and focused on their individual ministry passion... Service, Connections, Prayer, etc. to make sure everything, and I mean everything, points us to Jesus, the REAL head of this family, the object of our love and our raison d'ĂȘtre. 
That's enough bullet points for now.  I think you get the picture, so consider this your invitation to join us  http://group.com/childrens-ministry/kidmin-conference

Speaking of pictures, I'm thinking we're going to need a really tall ladder and a 360 lens to take the Kidmin 2012 Family Portrait!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Respecting our elders

I spent a lot of time with my parents this past month.  While my Dad suffered a stroke, I speed up to Greensboro to be by their side.  My experiences watching over and standing by as my parents went through so much got me paying attention to good manners -  specifically respecting our elders.

During the past few weeks, I've observed the best and the worst behavior.  At times, I was at my best and my worst behavior, so I want to be clear.  I know I am no paragon of virtue.  Surely, I need to list all my shortcomings in book form ....or a series of books. I know I've got no room to brag.

But enough about me.....

Through it all, I was struck by how people chose to treat my Mom and Dad. To all those angels who treated my parents with dignity, kindness and great respect, I thank you. I never expected making eye contact, listening without interrupting and talking in a normal cadence and tone of voice to be worth noting, but it is because of those that didn't.  I must say....

  • I wanted to tell the people who assumed my father was senile and talked about he instead to him,  gray hair doesn't equal dementia.  
  • The dismissive and patronizing responses and over use of the word we, as in "We wouldn't want to fall, now would we?", left me wanting to ask the idiot asking if balance was my Dad's issue or one they shared? 
  • And to the lady who took an undeserved and misplaced authoritative tone with my Mom, adding finger pointing for extra emphasis, I wanted to say, "Wait a minute, there.  Put that finger down before I show you the one beside it,"

Honestly, I was just too offended and afraid I'd make things worse by calling them on it.  Could their disrespect warrant me calling them on the carpet with an indignant WHAT is the matter with you?  But I didn't say a thing.

I simply watched and learned.

  • I learned pointing out someone's lack of manners is bad manners and probably won't change them.  
  • I watched and noted our own bad behavior DOES change things in others.  Those of us witnessing bad form get a bad impression of the offender.  
  • I learned how people treat their elders is one way to gauge a person's integrity and character.  Think about it. If they are openly disrespectful to elders, imagine what they'd stoop to when one's back is turned.  
  • I realized respecting our elders is a gift we give those with more life experience than ourselves. We have much to learn from our elders, if we watch and listen. 
  • Respecting others, regardless of what THEY do, in turn, trains us in patience, grace and humility and maintains dignity and peace.   
I learned all that by simply paying close attention to my parents' gracious responses and reactions to the offenders. They simply endured it, dismissed it and moved on.  

Like I said, we have much to learn from our elders. I'm so thankful I was watching and listening to mine.

  






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