In a few days I will be headed to Chicago for the very first Kidmin Conference hosted by Group. I am over the top excited to get together with others in Children's Ministry for this time of conversations and learning.
Several of my friends are speaking and I wanted to take this time to learn more about them and what they will be sharing at the conference.
Have you met Gordon West?
One of the things I love about Gordon is his passion to equip people around the world to reach and teach kids about Jesus. He and his wife, Becki, are the co-founders of Kidz At Heart International which is an organization dedicated to doing just that.
Gordon and Becki are popular conference speakers and writers known especially for their work in the areas of missions, preschool ministry, preteens, and volunteer team-building.
Here are Gordon's answers to my 20 questions:
Rollercoaster or merry-go-round?
---Definitely rollercoaster, but only with drops and loops, nothing spinning!
Do you like your own handwriting?
---If I go slow enough to write nicely, yes, but that's rarely the case!
What would your superpower be if you could choose one?
---To heal children and families from all types of illnesses
What is one of your favorite quotes?
---Grace, from Uganda, who told me personally that Ugandans always agree with Americans, because "they always think we're right, even if they know we're wrong"
What do you collect?
---Elephants and noisemakers
What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
What are your favorite smells?
Coffee or Tea?
What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
---Deep fried, recently caught, freshwater tilapia in Entebbe, Uganda
What are you listening to right now?
What career would you pursue in another life?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
---Weed eaters in neighbors' yard early on a Saturday morning
Mountains or Beach?
---Beach, but best beach is at the bottom of the cliffs on Oregon coast
What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story?
---My dad's about the ant taking a piece of food down in his tunnel, and then another ant taking a piece of food down in his tunnel, and then another ant taking a piece of food down in his tunnel...
What would you tell the 13 year old you?
---Hold on, in just a year you will meet the God who loves you and will change absolutely everything...in time
What is your favorite cereal?
---Raisin bran or homemade granola
What book are you reading now?
---The Deeper Journey, by Mulholland
What was your favorite toy as a child?
Where did you spend your last family vacation?
---Disneyworld, where else?
Gordon and Becki will be leading a Half-Track called Discipline Philosophy, Strategy, and Tips That Work at the conference and here is a little about what they will be sharing there:
In a world full of trendy gimmicks to get kids to sit still and listen, it's time to take another look at the roadmap. God has much to say about growing his kids into heirs of the kingdom. How does God's Word dovetail with what the experts tell us makes kids tick? How do we put it together to transform our classrooms from chaos to peace? Is it important for all our leaders to be on the same page? This workshop will be personally challenging as we look at how God is shaping us, even as we shape kids. It'll also provide you with practical tools to take home for training your volunteers, avoiding the most common discipline mistakes, and handling the "really big" issues of classroom management. Bring your questions and your Bibles!
They will also be leading a workshop called Outreach With Impact and here is a bit about what they will be sharing there.
How do you REALLY reach beyond the walls of your church to connect with unchurched kids and their families? What makes a difference? How do we keep them coming back? Are our programs doing the job or is it time for something new? This workshop will help you remove roadblocks--ones that keep kids out and ones that fence you in. Bring your best ideas to share!
Take a moment and talk with Gordon and Becki. I know that I definitely want to hear more about Kidz at Heart and reaching outside the walls of our church to impact lives. You can learn more about Gordon and Becki and from them on the Kidz at Heart website. You can also connect with Gordon on Twitter.