Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.12.29 PMi am thrilled with the opportunity to teach a half-track at group’s kidmin conference this year. i get to spend 4 hours (two 2-hour sessions) with amazing kidmin leaders grappling with truths to discover how to intentionally help kids grow in their faith.

our time together will be exciting, REAL, hands-on, fun and relevant. each creative activity we experience together can be applied back to the kidmin setting of each church represented.

if you are attending kidmin this week, i would love to see you in my session. below is the official half-track description.

helping kids grow in their faith: understanding kids

session 1: planting seeds in kids and nourishing the soil of their faith

session 2: pruning and replanting the fruit of a child’s faith
with growing an authentic faith in Jesus as our goal, come experience R.E.A.L. ways to reach children. learn how to present the gospel so deep roots are planted and encourage the study of God’s Word to cultivate faithful disciples. you’ll discover how to provide opportunities for kids to apply truth so they’re lifelong doers of the Word.

kid’s ministry is hard. it is incredibly rewarding, but equally messy. while i often dream of serving in a world of rainbows and lollipops, most ministry daystrench resemble more of a battlefield. no one knows that better than the kidmin leader in the trenches next to you.

i think that is one of the main reasons i love group’s kidmin conference so much. almost every session/workshop speaker not only has years of kidmin/ministry experience, but they are serving weekly in the kidmin trenches.

  • they get the weariness i carry, because they are also weekly trying to find a balance between serving and being still.
  • they know the hopes that are longing in my heart because they are constantly praying them for their kids and families, too.
  • those hunkered down in the trenches know ministry frustrations because they battle them on the front lines each day. they also know the value of laying down our battle plan and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead.
  • they weekly fight insecurities that remind them of their weakness and in turn are able to experience the strength of the Lord as they serve through imperfection.

so this year at kidmin i can’t wait to connect with many of those i stand shoulder to shoulder with in the ministry trench. whether it is full-time, bi-vocational, or volunteer i am excited to learn from so many that serve so faithfully.

gina mcclaingina mcclain is one of the wisest most humble children’s pastors i know. she can relate to the daily struggles of ministry while always keeping and pointing others to an eternal perspective.



brian haynes

i love the pastor’s heart of brian haynes. he absolutely oozes Jesus. i can’t fathom all the additional pressures that come with the title of senior pastor, but brian leads will a singular focus of the message of Christ and you can’t help but leave encouraged and challenged.



gloria leeas a single gal, i always leave time with gloria lee knowing i have kidmin friend the gets “my world.” we can laugh at the similarities we face serving single and rejoice in the fact that God chooses to use and stretch us right where He has us.



e.c. cunninghame.c. cunningham inspires me with his determination and ability to excel in transition. he truly makes the most of his assignment wherever God has placed him. he has such a positive attitude and sense of adventure.



Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 12.15.44 PMno doubt about it, mary sims is the real deal. she approaches her bi-vocational role with such a fresh wave of enthusiasm. she is transparent and encouraging and the love she has for ministry in evident in the moment you meet her. my only question is just how in the world does she do it all?



Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 8.25.42 PMi am almost certain that when it comes to kidmin you won’t meet a more authentic person than chris yount jones. her many years of experience and vast knowledge make her a wealth of information. but in my opinion, it is her weekly service in a preschool class at her church that makes her such an insightful member of the kidmin trenches.


oh there are countless others i can’t wait to connect with at kidmin ’14. i am just so grateful to know that even when our time in columbus is over and we spread back across the country and world, we are still shoulder to shoulder in the kidmin trenches.

i am blessed for the fourth year to serve with group’s kidmin conference.  not only does this unconventional conference challenge and minister to me as a leader, but i am also refreshed and inspired as i get a peek behind the scenes at what makes this conference tick. here are the top three things that have me cheering for kidmin 2014.

1504175_10153067875255476_4903827789263756318_o1.  the heart of the conference a couple of weeks ago i had the opportunity to attend some brainstorming sessions for kidmin 2014 at group in colorado. our charge from the very beginning was to make this conference Christ-centered and an intentional time of spiritual renewal for kidmin leaders. yes, amazing training is offered. yes, you will leave with many new kidmin friends and even more ministry ideas. yes, the speakers and bands are top notch, but what i love about this conference is that those things are not the ultimate goal. time spent in the presence and word of God is the heart of this conference. the kidmin conference “gets” that those in the trenches of ministry can also be some of the most spiritually worn and weathered believers. they understand that a speaker can’t radically change lives, but Jesus can. He is the center and goal of each session. what a sweet opportunity for all those that attend to spend much needed time with Him. imagine how our ministries will be impacted after a time of spiritual renewal for us leaders.


Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 9.37.06 PM2.  christy nockels not many worship leaders speak so directly to my heart and lead me so humbly to the feet of Jesus.  christy does each time she leads me in worship, whether live or by cd. actually it was her new album and a specific track on it, “already all i need,” that was played countless times in my hotel room last year at kidmin ’13. this song never fails to minister to me. as you watch a lyric video of this song (my favorite of her’s, well at the moment.) just think what a gift a time of worship led by her will be!

3.  kidmin pals the friends i get to spend time with at this conference make me better and my heart leaves full each year. i’m thankful for friends/leaders that serve weekly in their local church and truly “get” the ministry world in which we serve week in and week out. they are brilliant, humble, passionate, and just plain fun. i love that there is no difference between presenter and attender. truth is, we all want to serve our Savior and desperately need Him in our daily lives. i am so grateful we understand that no one has it totally figured out and finding 994342_10152599234615476_1365416645_ncommunity in kidmin is such a gift to help carry us through the tough times. oh how i can’t wait to worship, learn, laugh, grow, pray, and seek with old and new conference friends.  if you are at kidmin ’14, i’d love to meet and talk with you. contact me on twitter at twitter.com/dandibell.

if you are in children’s ministry and you need time at the Savior’s feet as much as you need ministry ideas and instruction, take time to check out the kidmin conference.  the early bird deadline is may 29, so don’t miss this opportunity to save you and your church some money.  you can learn more and register here. personally, i am counting down the days.

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