This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving.
DAY #21: My Customers
Back in 1994 when very few people knew what the “Internet” was, I got an idea for a website: The KidologyWeb:
I was already calling myself “The Kidologist” in my workshops as I sought to equip and encourage children’s workers to approach children’s ministry from the perspective of a child:
By 1996 the first “Kidology Handbook” was published:
VERY FEW people remember when Kidology.org (before I had that domain!) looked like this:
OR when you clicked into it and saw crude pages like this:
Only hundreds were lucky enough to BE on the Internet surfin’ kidmin back then! (And only a few bought the “Life Time Memberships” I offered back then when I needed to raise some money to buy some much needed Microsoft FrontPage software, and yes, they are still members!)
More remember the next version of the site: Kidology 2.0 (which I called it long for “2.0” was hip)
It had the infamous “frames” that if you navigated just right, would give you frames within frames within frames, which could be kinda fun…
If you were a member then, prove it by putting int he comments the “Secret” entrance you clicked on to enter the Member Area before I had usernames and passwords… it was kinda funny!
Then, due to a huge answer to prayer and grant (told about in my Thankful for Steves post) I was able to hire a real web developer, Ken Kinard, who built me my first real website, with a database driven backstage and got use set up with credit card processing and memberships with usernames and passwords.
Kidology.org finally had a webite platform we could really build on. Our rapid growth soon meant transitioning to a more robust platform and even another complete redesign and before we knew it it was time for yet another complete redesign and platform change… as we went from hundreds to thousands of members and became the leading destination for children’s ministry content on the Internet.
We incorporated as a non-profit ministry in 2000 and by 2006 I had gone full time. That paints a much smoother picture in one sentence that the story is – but anyone who has lived life or founded a ministry knows, no road is smooth, but God is faithful when we continually seek him through the ups and downs on the journey.
Our websites have changed… our logos have changed… staff have come and gone…
One thing has remained the same… OUR CUSTOMERS! They come by the hundreds, indeed by the thousands, every day… looking for ideas, for resources, for encouragement, for training, for jobs, for connections, for friendship, for a wide variety of things… things that can’t all be found anywhere else all in one place… and even when they can be found somewhere else, they know they can find it there, but starting here! Because like Miracle on 34th Street… we will direct you to where you need to go.
So far this month, as of this blog post, we’ve have 1,157 new FREE Basic Members sign up on Kidology.org, and that’s just THIS MONTH so far… I’m blown away by how many children’s ministry workers come to Kidology.org. I remember when 1,000 members was the entire ministry of Kidology! (And when we thought we’d never hit that number.)
It is humbling and amazing and such a blessing that this is my employment now. That I have the privilege to get up each day and serve you.
I am thankful for getting to work at home near my family, to get to travel to minister to children, and to get to meet some of my customers when I am out and about serving.
MY LIFE MISSION hasn’t changed since I was nineteen when God gave it to me: To reach and teach as many children as possible with the Good News of God’s Love, and in the process to Enlist, Equip and Encourage others to do the same.
THANK YOU for allowing me to use my God-given talents to bless you and serve you. I stink at a lot of things, but that I get to do what I love, is because of my customers.
There is a saying:
LOVE WHAT YOU DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
My customers make that possible. I am thankful for them today.