I just got back from another amazing week at the CMConnect Conference. This is my third year in a row being a part of this unique kid’s ministry conference. Last year I wrote about my top 3 reasons to attend CMConnect Conference. Why do I keep going back year after year? It’s not because it is the biggest conference. It’s not because they put on the best “show” in their main sessions. It’s not because it is held in the best vacation spot.
The #1 reason I attend the CMConnect Conference every year is because of the people.
Now, I don’t mean the same people attend the conference every year, although I do know quite a few people I look forward to seeing every year. Whether it’s your first time at the conference or your fourth time, you almost instantly feel like you belong and like you’re with family. We may all be different in many ways, but we are all united in our goals to minister to and reach kids and families. You will meet people from every denomination, state, even other countries and there is something to learn from each and every one of them.
Breakouts are small enough that you can have interactive elements in the breakouts and truly get to know the people attending. If you want to ask the speaker a question they will likely hang back and answer all of your questions or even go to coffee/lunch with you. The breakout speakers are people just like you, in the trenches of kid’s ministry, and they really understand what you are going through. The speakers at CMConnect Conference range between a Kid’s Pastor at a small church and a major influencer in the kidmin world like Ricardo Sanchez and Ryan Frank. I love the variety of speakers who “get” kidmin from all different perspectives. You can be watching someone speak on the main stage or in a breakout one minute, and the next minute you are eating dinner with them at the after party.
Speaking of the after parties, CMConnect people love to party! Every night after the main session there is an after party at a local restaurant. Many of the main stage speakers will be there and it is like a huge kidmin takeover. We even have after after parties with lots of yummy ice cream and hysterical laughter.
You will find many great kidmin conferences to attend, but at CMConnect you will find the best people. I found myself saying “these are my people”. I found people who would listen to me, cry with me, laugh with me, talk ministry struggles, and pray with me. These are the friendships I will cherish and the people who will keep me going when ministry gets hard. A huge thanks to Michael Chanley and his team for making this conference possible.
I would encourage you to check out CMConnect’s ministry and pray about attending the conference next year! The date/location have not been announced at this time.