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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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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 the phrase you used in your talk: “Tiny voices saying true things.” It is a blessing to have children among us in the service. How can we respond to parents who say, “I don’t think my child [...]

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 or from their boss at the local fast-food joint. But there are some “firsts” we’d rather not think about until it happens. Like the first time our child gets a cavity or breaks an arm. Or worse, [...]

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). While driving to church, I looked over and saw a fancy SUV equipped with the fairly new technology of flip-down video screens. Two young children had their eyes glued to the screen, watching a cartoon.  I thought [...]

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. In the hustle and the bustle, we hear about this Advent. But what is it? I’ve read that. I’ve heard that. What does it mean? Why do we need to add something more to this season? I’m [...]

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 to make the events from Sunday morning worship to weekly teaching times run smoothly. Many times, these positions are held by adults. This isn’t a bad thing, of course. Adults have experience, can have background checks for [...]

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, Christmas is the foreshadowing of heaven. It is our great dress rehearsal for the return of the King and the feast of the Lamb. As we journey through Advent, we want to use the excitement of Christmas [...]

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 school. Most of them were unaware that there was an important man in history named Martin Luther. This major event in human history is rarely being taught to the next generation. In the Dark Ages of the [...]

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 want to invite from church?” I asked.  “I don’t know,” he said.  “I don’t really know anyone from church.” While “I don’t know” is a standard answer from a kid, and it turned out he knew a [...]

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