Contagious 2014! event for children's ministry workers will equip, empower and encourage local church ministry


Children’s ministry workers play an important role in the life of local churches. Each year the North Alabama Conference Children’s Connexion team offers an event to not only strengthen local church children’s ministries but also to equip, empower and encourage the adults who play a vital role in the discipleship of our youngest United Methodists.

Contagious 2014!  will be Jan. 31- Feb. 1, 2014, at ClearBranch UMC. The training event is designed for children's leaders and volunteers in churches of any size. Conference Children’s Coordinator Liz Bowlin explains that the Contagious 2014! planning team has kept bi-vocational and volunteer children’s minister in mind as well as local church children’s ministry budgets.  The schedule begins on Friday evening and ends on Saturday afternoon. The cost to attend this high-energy event is less than $100 for first person from a church and only $15 for each additional person from the same church. The goal is for churches to be able to send their entire team of children’s ministry workers and volunteers.

One of last year’s attendees noted, “The music was energetic; the speaker was empowering; the breakout sessions were educational; and the cost was exceptional!   How do I register for 2014?”  

What will children’s ministry workers find at Contagious 2014!? The two-day event will feature team building, networking, worship, breakout sessions, VBS curriculum preview from at least two different companies, more than a dozen exhibitors and much more.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jim Wideman. Jim is considered an innovator, pioneer and one of the fathers of the modern children’s ministry movement. He has been a speaker, teacher, author, leadership coach and ministry consultant as well as worked in a local church for over four decades. Jim was born and raised in the North Alabama Conference but he currently oversees all the Next Generation & Family Ministries (birth through college) at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The featured speaker is Patty Smith. Patty is the unconventional church lady who inspires and motivates people to think differently about reaching kids for Christ. She’s the director of children and family ministries in the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church where she equips children’s ministry leaders in over 400 churches. Before moving to Tennessee, she was the senior product developer for children’s ministry resources at Group.

There will also be more than 30 breakout sessions. Topics include Social Media, Volunteers, Leadership, Family Ministry, Special Needs, Worship, Tween Ministry, PreSchool Ministry, Ministry Logistics, Mission and Outreach, Creative Ministries and Interactive Learning.

This year’s event also features two Early-bird workshops by the featured speakers.  These workshops are free for those who register by November 17.  Those who register after that date can still attend for an additional fee of $20 each.

For more information and to register go to

Register soon! If you register by Nov. 17, 2013, the cost is only $79 for the first registrant from a church and $15 for each additional person. This fee includes the early-bird workshops and Friday afternoon! (After Nov. 18, the registration fee increases to $99 for the first registrant but each additional person from a church is still only $15. However, the early bird workshops are an additional $20. )

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