For many years now, CPC Conferences (through INCM) have been the gold standard for international children’s ministries conferences.  It is always so amazing to see thousands of children’s pastors converge in one location for a few days of life-altering ministry!  But in this day and age of so many different conferences, in so many locations, on every ministry topic why does CPC stand out? What do CPC conferences offer that you simply cannot find anywhere else? AND with a lot of churches in a budget crunch, and so many underresourced children’s ministries leaders, we have to ask “Is CPC conference worth the expense? “

These are great questions, and are worth a discussion. I’ve been to a LOT of conferences in my time, all over the country, and I’ve sent my teams to countless conferences. I’ve done local trainings, webinars, DVD teachings, and out of state “big events”.  So after experiencing so many different conferences, here is why I believe CPC is still your best choice  for trainings, networking and team building in 2015- in no particular order:

10. Laser Focus-There are a lot of conferences/trainings out there on every imaginable ministry topic- leadership, outreach, worship, discipleship etc. etc. etc. But if your passion and heartbeat is children’s/family ministry- if the faces of those kids and parents keep you up at night- then nothing beats CPC for putting all the best of everything right towards your calling.  Instead of finding one or two things that will benefit your ministry at a generalized conference, you will find that most, if not all, of the large group services, worship services, resources and breakouts will directly speak to, equip and impact YOUR ministry right now. There is a lot to be said about the effectiveness of that kind of focus- everything, absolutely everything, applies to your kid’s and family ministry.

9. Resources Galore- Last year, I saw several children’s leaders arrive with cash in hand to buy their curriculum, training materials, books, worship DVDs, and supplies for the whole year.  I do not know many events that offer the chance to go through THAT MANY vender booths, talk directly to the creators of many of the products, handle and examine the resources (as opposed to buying online)- all under one roof! And every single thing is for kid’s and family ministries! It’s like Christmas in January and February for kid’s ministry leaders.  I even saw a few teams that brought their senior leader WITH them (great idea!) to help them purchase most of what they would need for the next year all at once. Great idea, very efficient.  It also gets your senior leader in the loop, excited about the possibilities and increased vision for the family ministries area! Some booths also offer conference discounts that you can only get AT CPC.

8. The Speakers- I am personally so grateful, that the leadership behind CPC has made it such a priority to bring in quality, dynamic speakers each year for the main sessions.  Want to hear from the most successful and in-demand children’s/family ministry leaders? You’ll probably find all of them at CPC this year.  All in one place. And every single year, I and my team have been inspired, challenged and encouraged to let God use us in bigger ways! I took so many notes last year, that I ran out of paper, and had to write on random scraps of paper in my purse.  I still reread those notes several times during the year (some are tear stained).  The impact of those large group services goes on well after the conference is over.

7. The networking- The very best part of CPC conference is NOT the amazing services or breakouts- sorry.  The BEST part of the conference is the networking that happens organically among children’s leaders.  Everywhere I see children’s leaders connecting, exchanging ideas, praying together, commiserating….they’re exchanging emails and facebook info in the hallways, classrooms, after services, late night activies.  They are bonding over lunch! We are always better when we are working TOGETHER.  And one of the greatest things about CPC is that the conference organizers acknowledge that by encouraging and creating time for ministry connections. I have met some of the most amazing friends and ministry collegues at CPC!

6. College credit- Did you know, that CPC is one of the only conferences I know that has classes that count for college credit? Awesome right? I highly advise you to check this out on the conference website, especially if you are going or thinking about going after a ministry degree. All of us should we working to do better, to BE better at what we do. Because we have the greatest job on earth!

My next 5 reasons to come later this week- Merry Christmas to you all and a wonderful New Year.  I really hope to see all of you at CPC West and East! Register today!

Love Trisha