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Welcome to Grow

CDM’s mission is to strengthen the Church through connections. Through articles, podcasts, and resources we want to help connect you with people and tools that will help you in ministry.

Ministry to children can often feel lonely, but we hope this site will be a place that will encourage you and equip you for a lifetime of investing in the next generation. You are part of God’s covenant community and your investment in the little ones really does matter to God.

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GROW Virtual Conference – August 19-20, 2022

Theme: The Good Shepherd

Gather a group of teachers and volunteers at your church to participate in a
Livestream and recorded weekend of training.

Children and Worship: The Conversation of 2 Pastors

Children and Worship: The Conversation of 2 Pastors Part of our Grow Virtual Conference was a question-and-answer session between Stephen Estock and Josh Johnson. These two pastors discussed children and worship and the character of God seen in His name Yahweh. Please enjoy some of that conversation here. This is not verbatim, but represents the dialogue held that day. Stephen: I like [...]

Navigating Grief with Our Children

Navigating Grief with Our Children As parents, we often look forward to and even prepare for all the “firsts” in our children’s lives. Whether it’s first steps, first “big kid” bed, first day at school, or first job, we know those days will come. We anticipate them. We even prepare them for these “firsts,” coaching them through what to expect in kindergarten [...]

Missed Opportunities

Missed Opportunities You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deuteronomy 6:7). About twenty years ago, when I had several young children of my own, I remember a time that elicited tremendously judgmental thoughts (and words). [...]

Advent is Not Only the Beginning

Advent is Not Only the Beginning In churches across the world, the anticipation of Christmas is an exciting and busy time of year. There are cantatas to sing, children’s pageants to watch, cookie exchanges to bake for, “Secret Santa” to shop for, poinsettias and wreaths and boughs of evergreen galore. It is beautiful and hectic and, here in Michigan, cold and snowy. [...]

The Importance of Children Being Involved in the Church

The Importance of Children Being Involved in the Church When we think of serving within our churches, what sort of things immediately come to mind? A year ago, I would have given the easy answers. There are pastors, elders, deacons, ushers, greeters, maybe the set-up team, treasurer, secretary, Sunday School teachers, youth volunteers—a mix of staff members and the consistent volunteers needed [...]

Preparing for Advent

Preparing for Advent “Are we there yet?” my seven-year-old daughter will inevitably ask, a mere fifteen minutes from home in an hours-long trip. No, child, it’s still the beginning of the trip. You will have to wait. In the life of a child, the anticipation of Christmas—parties, presents, and candy—is the ultimate are we there yet? In the life of a Christian, [...]

Reformation Sunday – Plan Now To Make It A Big Deal

Reformation Sunday – Plan now to make it a big deal! “Who can tell me something about Martin Luther?” I asked this question in an elementary-age Sunday school class twenty years ago, and I still remember how surprised I was with the answers. Many of the children began to give me facts about Martin Luther King. They had studied about him in [...]

The Importance of Involving Kids in Church

The Importance of Involving Kids in Church My husband Tom and I have 3 college-age and adult kids.  A couple of years ago, when it was our son Joshua’s turn for a high school graduation party, we sat down and made a list of folks to invite.  We covered family, and friends, and were ready for “church people.”  “Ok. Who do you [...]





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