No, I didn’t attend CPC this year. I explained why here. However, I must say that I was keeping my finger on the pulse of the conference all last week. I was constantly following the CPC twitter hashtag, texting friends who were there and peering in any way that I could. Believe it or not, I actually have some opinions about this year’s event. But, I need to share some background.
I first attended CPC in Atlanta back in 2003 (I think) and it was actually a great experience. It was the first time I had ever attended a Children’s Ministry conference and I learned a lot. Several years later in 2007, I attended again in Orlando. I wasn’t really impressed. I had fun and it was valuable time, but not as much because of CPC but because of the time I had with my staff. I figured that it would probably be the last year I attended CPC. The following year I went to Orange, mainly because it seemed to be the event that was attracting the leaders who were speaking to my heart and ministry.
About a year ago, I got a phone call from an executive head hunter. They were looking to fill the vacant role of Executive Director of INCM. The head hunter asked me a lot of questions about INCM and CPC. I was brutally honest, but I remember telling her that I had a lot of hope for CPC. I felt (and still do) that there’s always room for more voices in the world of kidmin and it was my hope that CPC could turn the corner and be a significant voice in kidmin. I was thrilled when they hired Michael Chanley (one of the people I recommended to the head hunter) because I knew that INCM and CPC had a fighting chance!
What I experienced last week at CPC (through blogs, tweets and texts) showed me that the CPC is not through. It appeared that CPC knocked it out of the park and was the voice of relevance and significance it had been for so many years (even if it lost its way for a time). Many of the keynotes and breakouts were conversations about things that really matter. I really wish I’d been able to be there. Next year I won’t have any infants in the house, so hopefully I’ll be able to participate.
Great job Michael Chanley and your INCM team! I look forward to seeing what ya’ll can take this thing to!
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