Monday, April 07, 2014

Gather With New Friends—or Spend QT With Old Friends—at OC14

Whether one of your goals at OC14 is to make friends, or go deeper with your team, we want to help provide opportunities for you to do just that. Below you’ll find some great options to meet other leaders in your tribe, as well as some designated time to hang out with those you know. It’s an action-packed conference, but these are great times to stop and have a conversation, debrief, or just chat over coffee. Whatever works for you, works for us.

7:00-–9:00 p.m.
Gwinnett Convention Center Room 2
Please RSVP on the same page that you select your breakouts.
Curriculum partners who arrive to OC14 by Tuesday night are invited to attend our annual Orange Specialists’ Meet and Greet. Starting at 7:00 p.m., this is a special time for you to meet with your Orange Specialist, network with other church leaders and enjoy some refreshments. We can't wait to see you there!

After Hours Gathering
9:00–10:30 p.m. (Immediately after the last session)

Thursday at Orange Conference is jam packed with amazing and thought provoking breakouts and main sessions.  So we thought, wouldn’t it be great to provide an awesome space to hang out, decompress and process all of the transformational things that have happened over the course of the day with other leaders?  

After the fun of the last session, plan on bringing yourself and your whole team to 12 Stone Church (the John Maxwell Leadership Center) for a laid back night of coffee, dessert and chill time.  It’s just down the road at 2050 Sugarloaf Circle, Duluth, GA 30097.

We’ll have comfortable gathering spaces for entire ministry teams, plus designated spaces for networking with other Preschool, Children’s, Student’s, Special Needs and MarriedPeople leaders.  So, no matter what brought you to OC, or whom you came with, we’ve got a place specifically designed for you to hang out and debrief.

Expect to see and network with familiar faces from each tribe there, too, like Sue Miller, Jim Wideman Ben Crawshaw, Amy Fenton Lee, Ted Cunningham, Ted Lowe and Doug Fields.

This is the best way to end your day and get ready for all that Friday has in store!
We look forward to seeing you there.

Be There or Be Square.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Been Too Busy To Blog...

Busy is one of the words that the meaning just keeps changing. 

Busy |ˈbizē|adjective (busier, busiest) having a great deal to do: So many times over the years I just thought I was busy and the next thing I knew I was really busy. I learned several years ago that one of the good things about being busy is that it forced you to prioritize what you can do and what others can do. 

Over the last few months I've not only had to prioritize my life and how I spend my time but I've had to also learn how to say no to certain things and my blog was one of them was this blog. So why did I need to say no to blogging so I could say yes to seeing my family, 25 flights, 5 conferences, 6 consulting visits, 2 infuse retreats and 3 different infuse groups. 

I'm having the time of my life but the key is saying no so I can say yes to right stuff. Over the next 2 days I'll work at home training a staff in Virginia, then lunch with my wife and then meet a new Kidmin for coffee to encourage him. I'll also work on my church in Oklahoma and finish my breakouts for The Orange Conference then I fly out for California to help another church. 

So what is making you too busy for the things you should be doing? What do you need to say no to and what do you need to say yes to? I'm walking out balance in my life, my health, and going through the doors God opens and saying no to the ones that aren't God. I made a promise in 1976 that if Jesus would open doors for me to minister I would go through them. He's kept His end of the bargain and I intend to keep mine. So blessed!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Infuse Contest Winners

Last week I had a crazy idea to run a contest to give a way $3,500 in reduces and a free infuse session. So after over 100 tweets not counting all the retweets, only 7 #kidmin folks took the time to follow instructions (which is very important to me) and send in a video. I was looking for a funny one, thinking someone would get all creative up in here to win the the grand prize. But instead I saw people who really wanted to do infuse, they wanted to grow but there was no way financially. I know the difference in people who are cheap and those who are in need.  Last week one of my favorite infusers Amber Baker twitter about a Jon Acuff post about the importance of investing in yourself.   (it's an excellent post and something I've been saying for years.) So last night before I went to bed I thought I would up the prizes and scholarships to $5,500. I woke up this morning after one of the best night sleeps I've had in a long time. (Almost 11 hours) and felt like the Lord said give more.

Let's recap a minute my first full time Children's Pastor's Job was at a church of 1,400 for $50 a week. My budget for Children's Ministry not counting Sunday School Curriculum was $500 per year. God taught me at that church I could trust Him. (He paid for the birth of my daughter when we had no maternity insurance, dress shoes showed up on my desk in my size when I needed them and the parents of my puppet team bought me a 17 passenger Dodge Maxi Van and gave it to me and it was orange.) At every church since God has showed me He knows how to get blessing to me but He asked me to let blessing also go through me and to sow my seed before I look for a harvest. (You can't harvest crops where no seed has been planted!)

Just over 5 months ago I felt the Lord directing me to resign the best paying job I've ever had in the ministry and the first thing I started doing was sowing seed and getting it in the ground. I sowed cash,I sowed time and ministry into other ministries and I sowed some guitars to some folks who needed not wanted a great guitar. I have found in 40 years of following Christ that you just can't out give God! Yesterday I prayed and asked God for a 4 wheel drive pick up truck to leave in Oklahoma and to lead me to the right one. Today I heard give more and call it truck seed.

So I'm going to obey God...

I want to thank the 7 kidmin folks who sent in your video. I appreciate the kind words you had to say about me and the confidence you have in me as a leader, mentor and coach.

I have decided to award not 1 but 2 full scholarships

Congratulations to Corey Jones and Jen Burks!

But that's not all

Tom Bump, Layne Parrish, Ben Gurczynski, Wendy Schulz, & Jason Smith will each receive a $1000 scholarship as well.

So thanks for playing as well as learning with me. I'm excited.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Want to do Infuse for free?

Seven years ago when I began my Infuse coaching and mentoring program I had no idea that this would be the most fruitful and effective way to train leaders that I have ever been a part of. Infuse is more than just another conference or event. It's doing life together for 6 months with a group of people who want what you want, to be a better leader. If you want to be able to not just learn facts but be able to walk out what you learn in a fraction of the time of learning it on your own the hard way then infuse is for you. 

Each session I have given free spots to folks that Jesus has brought across my path. Sometime they've been from a conference or event I spoke at and God told me to sow into them. Some have been people who have reached out to me by email, twitter or facebook and God said bless them. The other day as I was praying I felt the Lord said "Give another session away in a contest." So that's what what I'm going to do, here's how you can enter.

1. Tweet this message between now and February 14th
"@jimwideman is giving away free #kidmin stuff including an #infuse session."
For every tweet and retweet I'll enter your name in a drawing for free books and resources as well as a few $500 infuse scholarships.

2. Email me a video telling me why you would like to do infuse and why you should be selected. It's that simple!

Please make sure your leader is in agreement with you being a part of infuse, they will have to submit a recommendation if you are selected. You will also have to complete an application.

You can find out all the details of infuse here. If you are chosen you will be responsible for your own transportation and lodging to and from the retreats and all expenses except the $1,500 fee.

So what are you waiting on? Let the game begin! I'll anounce the winner on February 15th, 2014.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

A blog post from a current infuser...

Here's what one of my current Infusers Susan Wanderer posted on her blog. This is what Infuse is all about! (And yes there is still room in both groups for 2014)

Imagine you are called out... called out on your junk... the junk you don't do well at all. Your weakness, your frailty, the places you feel most bare and vulnerable.
You know, the areas you love to talk about and brag on... the highlight of your life. Your great-play reel. (Pardon the sarcasm.)

I was called out on my junk... By the Patriarch in my field of employment.
I've read his books, seen him speak at conferences and respected the inspiring way He leads. It's obvious why this was truly the best-day-of-my-life. I was even wondering why I didn't buy a round of tequila for everyone (except for the fact that I don't drink tequila)... i'll choose a round of Georgetown Cupcakes instead! (which is actually part of the problem in itself)

Here is the story
This year, I participated in a 6 month coaching and mentor experience called Infuse. As a part of Infuse, we attend 2 retreats.

Our first retreat was made up of 26 Kids Ministers from all over the country. Jim Wideman was our incredibly kind & gracious host. For two solid days we were allowed to soak up the wisdom of this Kids-Ministry-Legend and his 40 years of ministry experience. We asked question after question after question to our mentor, who we all deeply admire so much. He never tired of the machine-gun style questioning. Jim always answered in his southern-drawl with honesty, deep sincerity... and a dash of wit & humor. Then the final question came before lunch... One of the men asked "What can we do to be better leaders?"
I grabbed my pen, in anticipation for what I was about to hear... I was sure he was going to explain the greatest leadership secret of ALL TIME. Something that would propel my leadership to heights unknown!
Here is how Jim responded:
You will be a better leader and people will respond to you better if you:
1. follow through
2. drop the weightWait, what?! Follow-Thru & Drop-Weight.
Seriously? This is the answer?
Two solutions... And they both stung...
1. Follow Thru... as in, I Don't.
Really, I am truly awful at this. My personality is bent towards ideation and creativity. I am a dreamer. Much to my delight and dismay, I spend much of the 24 hours I am given each day, dreaming of new ideas: for work, for my family, for any situation I see.... I dream.While it is exciting to be an ideator... it is also frustrating.
I absolutely, 100%, don't see details (if you say that with the voice of the sixth-sense guy, it sounds more daunting: I don't see details). It's maddening.
Thus, I have a horrible, bad habit of: Follow-Thru-Falling-Thru-The-Cracks.
It's one of my least favorite qualities about myself... And it was just pointed out. Joy.
2. Drop the Weight
At first I didn't think I heard Jim correctly... so I asked the guy next to me to repeat it... Which was awkward in itself... Simply because he was....
...the SKINNIEST-MAN-EVER. So I, the largest-woman-in-the-room ask the skinniest-man-ever to repeat what Jim just said. With the amount of non-eye-contact my fellow kids minister was giving me I then realized I had heard correctly.

I think Jim felt the need to rescue the skinny boy answering the fat girl's question so he repeated: DROP THE L-B-S. It was as if I entered a movie... it sounded like he said it in a really low tone and in s-l-o-w-m-o-t-i-o-n. I heard it very well this time.

And my heart sank. To a deep pit. The main thing I have struggled with since childhood had been said. The. Main. Thing.
I met up with a dear Nashville-friend of mine before my flight out the next morning. My eyes were burning with tears as I re-told the follow-thru & weight story of my weekend.
Tackling those two areas is like trying to undo 40 years of habits, bad choices & mind sets. It's not: Good morning! Lets drop some weight today! (Although, I do say that EVER SINGLE DAY to myself).

After the last several months of reflection, prayer, Bible Study & talking with confidants... I realize I have GOT to formulate a plan. I have GOT to live in obedience & freedom.
I have two choices:
1. Change. Put a plan in place. Allow God to be strong in my weakness. Do the hard work. Watch God move in Supernatural ways.
2. Stay the same. And in one year... I could have the grand opportunity to be more unorganized with follow through & even heavier than I am now.
So, 2014 MUST look differently.
I am putting a plan together... Praying I will actually follow-thru...
I'm a BIG talker... It's time to be a responder.

Thank you, Jim Wideman. Even when the truth hurts, you say it. Your heart is genuine. I am grateful for Infuse & for your ministry... for your honesty, passion for people & dedication to the Kingdom. The weekend spent at Infuse was a turning point for me. 2014 is going to be challenging... So Thankful God is strong.

I am so proud of Susan! It is the greatest honor of my life to do infuse. The next group Infuse 8 starts March 2014 the next one Infuse 9 starts September 2014. I'd love to have you be a part of infuse if you are serious about seeing real change in you!
What are you waiting for? Let 2014 be a year of no excuses!