I’m always intrigued the origin of things. Why we say certain words or how names come about. What’s even more interesting is when you see the origin of something new right before your eyes. A handful of children’s pastors saw the very thing happen almost three years ago… the birth of “Kidmin.”
At this point, the term kidmin is still catching on, but I suspect that will change in the coming years and perhaps more people will refer to children’s ministry as kidmin as opposed to… well, children’s ministry.
For those of you who are new to this blog or the greater “kidmin” conversation, let me tell you how this whole thing got started.
I first became involved in children’s ministry as a four year old… back in 1981 and ever since then, I’ve been involved in the ministry either as a participant, a junior volunteer or as a ministry leader. From my perspective, ministry leaders began referring to children’s ministry as kid’s ministry about 5-10 years ago. It seems to be a more casual term, probably more appealing to the older kids in the ministry who prefer being called kids as opposed to dear little children. In the last 5-7 years, I met more and more people referring to themselves as kids pastors, referring to their children’s program as kid’s church and beginning to use the term “kids” in their ministry environment names.
Step forward to 2007… the birth of twitter. I knew one or two people on twitter in the early days, but it wasn’t until the winter/spring of 2008 that people in ministry really started to use twitter as a way of communicating. It was a great way to follow ministry leaders from all around the nation… and world.
Then something changed in February of 2009. For almost a year, hashtags were growing in popularity as a way of categorizing tweets. This allowed people to follow specific conversations, even among people they did not follow or know. I remember experiencing the superbowl on February 1st in a way that I never had before. I was supposed to go to a church party, but with a sick wife, I stayed home to enjoy the game. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the game through a fun conversation of dozens of ministry friends on twitter. It was more fun reading everyone’s color commentary of the game, commercials and half time show than just watching the game alone. The superbowl hashtag made following this conversation so easy.
The next day, @johnincolorado (John Mullis) sent me a message asking me if Children’s Ministry had a hashtag. He was one of the folks in the conversation during the superbowl. I was unaware of any exclusive hashtag, so I threw out the question on my blog here.
Be sure to read the comments. You’ll see the birth of kidmin there. Several suggestions were made such as kidsmin, cmin and even a simple CM. As the comments came in, kidmin seemed to stick. Interestingly, several other ministry leaders who didn’t necessarily comment on this post began adding the hashtag to their tweets and before the day was over, #kidmin had been adopted. Within weeks, we were referring to Children’s Ministry as kidmin as well. That’s how it all started. I must say though, I’d wish I could actually see the first tweet containing #kidmin, but twitter doesn’t make tweets available to search past a few weeks.
Since then, at least one book has been published using the term and even a conference. I remember Chris Jones saying that Group named the new conference Kidmin because, “That’s what you guys call children’s ministry now.”
So, there you have it. It was interesting to see this new terminology evolve and will be interesting to see how pervasive it becomes in the coming years.
Hey, don’t forget to help us celebrate kidmin’s third birthday. Go here for details.
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