Last week-end, I attended the International FOCUS Conference in Greenville, South Carolina. FOCUS is a conference put on by the National Children’s Leaders Association. The NCLA is the children’s ministry association for the Church of God Denomination out of Cleveland, Tennessee. I attend this conference every year and for the last three years have had a booth and have taught a workshop. This year I taught “Kids Entering the Presence of God”.
I enjoy this conference every year because it has the best of the best in Children’s Ministry there. I also love that every year there is someone different at the conference. This year featured people like Aaron Reynolds, a children’s ministry consultant who is the author of many books including The Fabulous Renovation of Sunday School. Another keynote speaker was Tammy Melchien who serves as Kids’ City Champion at Community Christian Church, a multisite church with nine locations in the Chicago area. She challenged us with a message about connecting with God. Tony Sutherland, children’s worship pastor at Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA, led praise and worship and taught a couple of workshops.
There were many other great workshop leaders there including my friends: Darren Casteel (Professor Doodad), John Tasch (Tasch Ministries International, Pat Holland (Let Us Teach Kids), Lance Colkmire (writer of Kid Konnection curriculum, editor at Pathway Press, and children’s pastor at South Cleveland Church of God), Donnie Turner (children’s pastor at Princeton Pike Church of God), and Phil Harris (family ministries pastor at Lawrenceville, GA Church of God).
One thing I also love about FOCUS is meeting new friends. I enjoyed getting to know Eric and Ashley Barnes from Real Perspective and Teri Mullen from Kid Konnection. I also loved meeting the international children’s pastors including Vicky from the Philipines.
FOCUS does have a great international flavor with guests from Romania, the Phillipines, and Mexico as well as missionaries from Ecuador. They also have a track of Spanish-speaking classes.
I’ll have information on my blog as next year’s conference rolls around. But I wanted to share that this is a conference well worth going to.