As this ministry evolved, I realized I would have to limit it to twenty select candidates. So I put it out there, and much to my surprise, twenty people signed up to be a part of the first group. I saw from the beginning that every one of those original twenty had different reasons and expectations for being a part of Infuse. When I told my family that I was going to select twenty kidmin folks from all over the country and teach them by conference calls and a special website, they thought that was great. But when I told them they were going to come to our house two different times for a retreat here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, they thought I had lost my ever-loving mind.
“How are you going to make sure they are not weird?” I remember one of my daughters asking. After I explained the application and video interview process, they all relaxed; but I could tell before, and even during that first retreat, my family trusted me and trusted God, but it was a real step of faith for them to see how all this was going to work out.
Sure enough, the first retreat came and went, and I was surprised at my family’s responses. We were all sitting around processing the events and happenings of the last few days, and to my surprise, the same daughter who asked me how was I going to be able to tell if they were weird said, “Dad, by far this is the best thing you have ever done to help people!” It was just amazing. At the time of this writing, I am just completing my twelfth retreat.
After I did that first retreat, I was so pumped I decided to start a new Infuse group every six months. This is how I roll. If one group is good, having two or three or four groups is better. I am such a relational guy I just didn’t want to say no to the relationships I had formed. So one year turned into two, and it was so hard for me to not add on a third year. But the cool thing is four of the original twenty are helping me coach the new groups.
Fast forward to today. I have now come up with a balance of coaching and offering Infuse only from September to February each year. This allows me time to concentrate on the other aspects of Jim Wideman Ministries like writing books, speaking, etc.
As I do life with these amazing kidmin leaders God brought together, I’m beginning to realize they have taught me as much as I have taught them. This iron-sharpening-iron stuff really works. So I started discussing with my second-year Infuse 1 participants what our next step would be—writing a book.
You should have heard all the excuses I got.
“Who’s going to buy a book written by everyday kidmin folks like us?”
I said, “Everyday kidmin leaders who want to learn practical steps just like you do!”
Once they calmed down, they started answering the main question I posed to them: what are the two greatest things you have learned while walking with me these past two years that you wish you had known before Infuse? As the answers started to flow, I asked them to break them down into three categories:
Why is this important?
What do you do to practice this truth?
How do you lead or manage change to bring this to pass in your ministry?
Order your copy of KIDMIN LEADERSHIP here at JWM at a special reduced price.