When I was ten years old, a children’s evangelist came to our church for five days of meetings. I loved everything I saw. (I even figured out a few of his magic tricks and built them at home in our work shed.) At the end of the week, I told my mom, “That’s what I want to do when I grow up.” My mother’s response: “What’s growing up got to do with anything? You start next Wednesday.” And she put me in front of the kids at our Awana club and coached me through planning my first lesson.
I’ve been teaching kids ever since. Literally thousands. All over the world. And I’ve been equipping and encouraging those who minister to children through Kidology.org – all because of a mother who didn’t think I had to “grow up first” to get started.
My mom went to be with the Lord on Christmas Day in 1996. On her deathbed, she shared with me that in Bible College God had given her a vision for a worldwide ministry to children. Like David, who had a vision to build a temple that he would not get to build but that would be built by Solomon his son, she believed her vision was to be fulfilled and built through her son. And it pleased her.
She was the first “Kidologist.” Long before there was an Internet, she was equipping and encouraging those who minister to children, from Bethany Baptist in Chicago to Bellflower Baptist in California to Lorimer Memorial in Illinois to Moody Church in Chicago, and everywhere else in between. She was never well known, but her legacy lives on through every child I reach and every life I am able to touch. I must also include her sister, my Aunt Linda, who is pictured with her above and who was also a huge influence on me. She is now the Matriarch of our family. My mom’s ministry legacy lives on through my sister Melissa as well, who is pictured above as a kid next to mom dressed up for a pirate outreach. While she does not have an official kids ministry, she touches lives everyday by being a “big sister” to a needy girl, by befriending those going through trials, by loving every child who crosses her path, and by being the most awesome volunteer at whatever church is lucky enough to have her. I know, because I’ve had her as a volunteer in my own church, and WOW, what a volunteer she is!
I just needed to say, today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM, and thanks for making me a children’s pastor at age 10. I’m still at it! Thanks to you, your vision lives on.