A Message from Henry Zonio

Henry Zonio, blogger at elementalcm.com and children’s pastor had the following to say about Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity:

Do We Really Need Another Kidmin Conference?

It seems like I see more and more conferences pop up all the time. It’s not that I’m against conferences, but, really… do we need another one? It’s not like there is anything new or revolutionary being said at them. More and more, I find myself going to conferences to make connections and expand my network… which according to Seth Godin is a good thing (and, hey, if Seth Godin said it, then who am I to argue?). It would be nice, though to gather together with others in kidmin to discuss and explore new frontiers in children’s ministry. I may have watched too many episodes of Star Trek as a kid (The Next Generation is, by far, the best of the series!), but I have to believe that there are places in children’s ministry we can “boldly go where no one has gone before!”

A few months ago, my good friend Amy Dolan, told me about this guy, David Csinos, who was putting together a conference in 2012 that would explore the implications of emerging and missional thought in the church on children’s and youth ministry. I can’t tell you how excited I was. If you’ve followed Elemental CM for a while, you know that I am passionate about finding a missional approach to children’s ministry… something that goes beyond the educational/informational paradigm that has dominated children’s ministry for the past century. I’ve also found it disturbing that much has been done in the adult arena to address the seismic shifts happening in how we do church, yet very little has been done to effectively change how children’s ministry is done at those churches in the emerging and missional church worlds!

That brings me to my excitement about a new conference coming to Washington, D.C. May 7-10, 2012! Check this out from the official site for the conference:

“Something is happening in the church. A new kind of Christianity is taking root and growing across the globe. New forms of ministry, worship, and community are emerging. Questions are being asked. And change is happening.

But amidst these changes and shifts, children and youth are being left behind. Innovative approaches to ministry with adults are emerging around the world, but little critical reflection and attention has been given to how to nurture young people within a new kind of Christianity.

In May of 2012, leaders, ministers, volunteers, parents, and students will gather in Washington, DC, USA to spark conversations about youth and children within a new kind of Christianity. They will talk about innovative practices, critical issues, and controversial topics like violence, racism, interfaith dialogue, and sexuality. They will emark on a journey together to engage in life-giving ministry with young people. And they will blaze a new trail for the 21st-century church.”

Also take a look at this video from Brian McLaren about CYNC:

Check out the official CYNC site to keep up-to-date with what’s going on with the conference as well as ways to get involved and register! Also, be sure to check out and subscribe to David Csinos’ blog and follow him on Twitter. (He’s a pretty cool kidmin guy!) Lastly, if you haven’t already checked it out, be sure to pick up David’s new book, Children’s Ministry That Fits. This book should become required reading for everyone in children’s ministry or anyone who has an interest in helping children connect with God. If you can’t afford the book, do like I did and ask your public library to buy a copy 🙂

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