NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: I’m so excited today to have a guest post from the author of Children’s Ministry Online, the number one kidmin blog on the internet two years in a row on the ministry-to-children top 100 list. Kenny has been a real encouragement to me and is a great friend, so I’m happy to give him a place to blog while he is “homeless.” Here’s Kenny.

Hello friends. My name is Kenny Conley and I’m the homeless blogger. What does that mean? Well, I have a blog over at childrensministryonline.com (BUT DON’T GO THERE). My blog is very sick with a nasty virus. Since she’s sick and slowly getting better, I don’t have a place to post new articles. I’m at the Kidmin Conference in Chicago and like always, I’ve got something to say… I just don’t have anyplace to say it. So, thanks to some good friends, they’re giving this homeless blogger a couch to sleep on and letting me finish off the carton of ice cream in the freezer.

So, I must tell you… I’m in love with conferences. It really doesn’t matter which one (I don’t think), as long as there are people there willing to learn, grow and share. Yesterday, Group Publishing kicked off the Kidmin Conference… the Unconventional Conference and it’s been amazing so far. What a blast I have had.

Up to this point, everything has been amazing. Group has outdone themselves by providing a very high quality and highly engaging environment, going overboard to create spaces for people to talk, connect, heal and grow… not just soak up tons of information. We’re just getting started and I’m anxious to see what else is coming.

For the past 4 years I’ve been very active at the Orange Conference. I love Orange and I’ll be back again and again. I love the relationships, both new and old that are made every year. However, Kidmin has been an opportunity to connect with some of my pals from past Orange Conferences as well as an opportunity to meet many more people who I haven’t yet connected with anywhere else.

So, in the last two days, I’ve gotten to spend hours and hours connecting closely with new and old friends. Kidmin has done a great job creating killer environments for connections and relationships. Here’s what I’ve learned.

If you come to a conference just to learn stuff, you’ve wasted some money. Knowledge without relationships will only get you so far. I think that everyone who attends a conference needs to go with a plan to meet and connect… I just think that it helps that Group builds some of that in. Some people don’t always take the effort on their own.

Thanks Jared Massey for hosting my post. I hope you don’t mind that I finished off all the chips in the fridge. Look for my next post by following my tweets at twitter.com/kennyconley