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Guest Post: The Homeless Blogger @KennyConley: Kidmin for Free

Hello friends. My name is Kenny Conley and I’m the homeless blogger. What does that mean? Well, I have a blog over at 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.The Homeless Blogger: Kidmin for Free

I had an interesting conversation with some incredible kidmin leaders while at the Kidmin Conference in Chicago. It revolved around new resources and the pricing around them… namely when they’re free.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves free resources. I do. When I find something that is free, I’m going to pass it along. I think the kidmin monster that has come to life in recent years is when people expect everything to be free. I think that this is a dangerous path, one that leads to disappointment.

Here’s the truth. Nothing is free. Everything cost something. Either it’s going to cost you or it’s going to cost the provider, but it’s wrong to think that something is free. No, there’s always a cost.

You might ask, “but what about great products and services like gmail, evernote or other services like that?” Well, you’re getting to use something that someone else is paying for. Either through advertising or premium services. Again, it’s not free. There is always a cost and someone has to pay for it.

Here’s the clincher. I was leading a breakout at Kidmin about innovation and technology. There was a lively discussion about how hard it is to find relevant video tagged by content. For instance, if I’m teaching on a particular topic, it would be great to be able to go to one site and find every video made about that topic. The consensus of the room was, “I’ll pay for something like that.”

I know that budgets are tight and we often have to rely on cheap or free resources to make ends meet. However, most of the people I’ve met who are producing kidmin resources are doing so because they belive in kidmin, not because they’re trying to get rich. Many are trying to make ends meet just so that they can get the next product or service out.

So, I’d really encourage us to not “expect” kidmin for free. Know that someone paid a price to provide it. Either someones own money or time spent away from their own ministry or family to fuel a passion. If you literally can’t afford it, I’d contact the provider. More often than not, I’ve seen them bend over backwards to make it happen. Remember, they’re not trying to get rich, just get good resources into our hands.

I think I have more to say about this topic, but maybe when I get back home on my blog.

Thanks Matt for hosting my post. I’m sorry for snoring so loud and waking you and your family up. I’m going to see a doctor about that. Look for my next post by following my tweets at

See past homeless blogger posts at the following sites:
Small Town Kidmin
Jenny Funderburke
Sam Luce
Dustin Nickerson
Brain Dollar

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5 Responses to Guest Post: The Homeless Blogger @KennyConley: Kidmin for Free

  1. Dr. G. at #


    Very thought provoking post. Full disclosure…I’m a senior leader in a ministry organization committed to making available all of our products and services for free. You sent me back to 1 Corinthians 9 to see what Paul had to say about all this.

    Our team has spent much time and energy seeking to understand the KIDMIN world-our ability to fulfill our mission largely depends on how well we serve children’s pastors. Here’s the “elephant in the living room”…The church has abdicated the responsibility to adequately fund and resource children’s ministry leaders and teams to do the work you’ve been called to do.

    You’re right…nothing is free and everything ultimately costs something. But churches find money and resources to pay for things that senior leadership values. It’s tragic that leaders in children’s ministry and family ministry who are called to cast vision beyond their local churches have to establish some sort of money-generating enterprise to make a reasonable living and fund their larger ministry initiatives. And it’s tragic that the pastors and volunteers doing God’s work in the trenches have to scratch and claw for resources.

    I went to the Orange Conference in 2010 as a Board volunteer with our SP, XP, Children’s and Middle School pastors. From time to time, the folks on the main stage would toss free resources into the crowd. I saw folks lunging and crawling on the floor to grab the stuff being given away. I was horrified. I can’t imagine my embarrassment if a staff member or volunteer at my church who sacrifices to serve my kids had to crawl on the floor to get resources.

    We give our ministry away because very few churches would be able to pay for what we offer and because we’ve been given (in Paul’s words) a sacred trust. We can’t not do what we do.

    I would hope that your church would see enough value in what you do to provide you with dedicated time and financial resources to allow pastors and volunteers from churches with little money to come to the conferences your team puts on. How cool would it be if Matt’s church saw the value in freeing him to create tools for other churches to use in supporting and resourcing families- in the same way the guys at Lifechurch saw the value in allowing everyone to have lots of free Bible tools on their smartphones and iPads?

    Rest assured that God values what you and your peers do in KIDMIN even though I have no idea why He’d allow money to get in the way of your ability to share your gifts and talents with ALL of His children.


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