Author: Kenny Conley

I Wish I Had Known: Kenny Conley

I’ve been doing this a for a while now. While I got my degree in Christian Education, there were so many things I simply wasn’t learning that would help me in the day to day experiences of leading a children’s ministry. The best teachers for me have been through experiences and mentors who were further down the road than I was. When I think of the things I had wish I had know, two things immediately come to mind. Two things I’ve learned through years of experience, things that my friend and mentor Jim Wideman taught me about. Both...

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You’re Not Looking for a Curriculum

Curriculum can be a significant ministry challenge. Many kidmin leaders insist on writing their own curriculum. These people often believe that no one knows their kids like they know their kids, so writing their own curriculum is the best option. Others don’t feel it’s necessary to write their own curriculum, but they end up scouring the web for resources and piecemeal something together that addresses their specific needs. Some leaders bounce around from curriculum to curriculum. There are a lot of really great options out there with new options coming out every year. These leaders are eager to try...

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Book Club: Parent Chat

I’m in that season of life where I’m reading a lot of books about how to have difficult conversations with my kids. Unfortunately, I’m finding that it’s easier to read the books than it is to have the talks. Here’s what I’m learning about the talks: I’m a professional. I lead and communicate to kids for a living. I am equipped with all the right content. I have a small library of amazing resources. Yet I still struggle with having the conversations that my kids need. There are a lot of books that talk about sex, pornography, technology and other...

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Book Club

I truly believe that one of the best ways that we can grow is through reading. Every year I challenge myself to read more books. It really isn’t hard to work through some really great books if we just dedicate the time. I found that if I can just commit to reading one chapter a day, I could easily read 20-25 books a year. It’s really not that difficult. I also invested in an Audible account. Already this year, I’ve knocked out five audio books while driving around town and doing yard work. Seriously, reading is way easier than...

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Treat Yo Self

Fall means several things to me. cooler weather… apple cider & hot chocolate colorful leaves camping with the family and of course… the Orange Tour! For nearly a decade, I’ve attended the Orange Tour. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of regional training. Not every ministry can afford to take their teams to the big national conferences, but taking a handful of staff and volunteers to a local event is something almost every ministry can afford. I’ve attended a lot of regional trainings. I’ve even started my own regional training events. But of all I’ve attended, the...

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Blog Milestone: Post 2000!

This is ridiculous. I started this blog a little over nine years ago. The first post was a little strange and awkward. I knew I was supposed to start writing and so I did, not knowing who would ever read it. Three years later, I wrote my 1000th post (a ridiculous pace). However, I’m so proud to hit the publish button on this post, number 2000.  I’ve been a NextGen Pastor for nearly nine years. In a few more years, I’ll have been a NextGen Pastor longer than I was a Children’s Pastor. Over the years, I’ve thought about giving...

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Favorite Things: Wall iPad

If you know me, you know that I have a fascination with all things technology. I have a lot of fun with gadgets and screens, but I love it when they can be incorporated into ministry to make things better. Several years ago, I was visiting my friend Frank Bealer at one of the Elevation campuses. He was showing me their office environments and as I was walking through the staff break room, I did a double take. There was an iPad embedded in the wall. “Hey Frank! What’s this for? Why is there an iPad embedded in this...

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When it is Time to Go

Leaving is easy. It’s what people do, right? When things get difficult, it’s easier to go than it is to stay. It’s why the divorce rate is as high as it is. It’s why so many kids are growing up without one of their parents. It’s also why so many leave ministry far too early. As a pastor or ministry director, usually the best thing you can do for yourself and your church is to stay. So many good things can come of hard and honest conversations. Influence and impact is multiplied by the number of years one invests in...

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A Few of Our Favorite Things

Even in a very challenging environment, we all have our favorite things. We might have big plans for the mess around us, but there is always that room, resource or device that we absolutely love. Sometimes we come across these things on accident, we inherit them or steal/borrow an idea from somewhere else. Regardless, our favorite things give hope, inspire improvement and are contagious. Isn’t this why Pinterest is so popular? It’s a collection of favorite things that inspire the masses. I find that every time I visit another church, I walk away with a favorite thing. Maybe it’s...

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Rethink Staff: Creative Staffing Solutions

If you read yesterday’s post about generalists vs. specialists, you might have gotten discouraged. I get it, money doesn’t grow on trees. Most ministries are lucky to have one or two staff members, not teams of specialists that have the luxury of focusing on just one thing. Even at Gateway, I didn’t have teams of specialists. I really only had one. I had a Operations Director who oversaw all systems, processes, purchasing and facility/curriculum prep (I have the job description posted here). A few years later, I got a second specialist, but only by accident. We were making staff...

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