The first time I heard it I didn’t think much of it. “What is kidmin?” Seemed like a normal question.
I didn’t notice the question was a trend until our team was in Hong Kong talking about Children’s Ministry and one of us asked a question about “kidmin” in our friends church. Their first response was a look of confusion… “kidmin?” They didn’t understand what the phrase meant.
It’s become increasingly normal with my friends in the U.S. to substitute Children’s Ministry with kidmin. However, it creates a language barrier with others I’ve connected with internationally. When I was in the Middle East I had to explain what kidmin means. In Australia, they get it if they are on twitter… but, most of my friends there said it’s kind of silly. At a recent event with some Children’s Ministry leaders from France, Denmark, Philippines, England, Lebanon, South Africa and various other countries, none of them used this phrase. The english guys actually poked fun at the term and said they think “Americans are a bit different, if you know what I mean.” I don’t think they meant it as a compliment.
So, I did some poking around using Google translate. I was curious to see if the term even translates to other languages.
I pretty much confused Google translate. It found no way to translate kidmin to any other language then yiddish. In yiddish, apparently, the translation of kidmin is germination.
So, I thought, let’s try a common phrase one might use in conversation. “I am a kidmin” translated to yiddish is איך בין אַ קידמין. Translated back to english it says, simply, “I am a germ.” Great… so, basically when CMConnect says it is a “free kidmin network” it translates to a “free GERM network.” Nice… that should go viral.
In arabic, where Children’s Ministry is thriving under remarkable conditions, the phrase, “I am a kidmin” becomes انا 1 kidmin. This translates to “I 1 kidmin” … whatever that means.
Maybe we should rethink how we have begun to use a shortcut terminology developed for ease of use in the twittersphere and if it makes sense in real life? The hashtag #kidmin works great in the twitter world where it was developed. It was fun to be part of the conversations when it was developed. However, it is causing confusion when it comes to connecting with others who are serving in Children’s Ministry. Unless, of course, you’d like to tell people you work in “germination.”
What are your thoughts? Am I over thinking this? Is this facepalm worthy?