My family has been in the ministry since I was a baby. Well actually before that. My parents were in local ministries long before they went to Haiti. My mom was pregnant with me the first time they went to Haiti and so ministry in one way or another has always been in our lives.
While my parents were a driving force in my life – so was one other person. My sister. I learned two things early on from Lori. The first was the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing! LOL! My sister and I shared a room until I was in 2nd grade and she went off to college! We had a record player – yes that’s right – I said record player! My sister had Patrick Swayze on our wall and I’ve Had The Time Of My Life blaring out of the speakers!
The 2nd thing my sister taught me was how to minister to children. My sister went to Centre College and then onto UK. While she was at UK she took a local Children’s Director position at Broadway Christian Church. It was at that church that I was first introduced to real Children’s Ministry. On the weekends I would stay with my sister and watch her teach the children. My sister is far more creative than me. She was writing for Standard Publishing and Group Publishing before she finished college. She was holding training sessions for other ministers and volunteers all over the states before she was 25!
I was still pretty young when she worked at Broadway. It wasn’t really until she was the Children’s Minister at Northside Christian Church in New Albany that I not only understood ministry but I actually began to lead. My brother and I would drive an hour every weekend to New Albany. My sister started a band! Janeil played bass guitar and I played keyboard. Yes that’s right! We were in a band! Want to hear the name? We were called Tuff Luv! I’m totally serious! We had a singers and dancers and we thought we were the coolest cats around! We had professional photos made and traveled ALL OVER THE STATES performing at conventions and children’s conferences. She used our group to show children how to worship – really worship. And through that – she taught me what worship was all about.
We had all kinds of fun ways to interact with the children. We had Jesus Aerobics, Snake Walks, Line Dancing, Rapping, Dramas, Small Groups, etc. We were doing small groups LONG BEFORE that was the “thing to do” in churches! My sister had VERY creative ways to attract children to church. Once we got them in the door – we knew it was important to help them create a relationship with Jesus. Something that was deeper than the bright lights and loud music that lured them in.
My sister would teach the children to pray by having them repeat after her. So often kids don’t know what to say or how to get started. What she didn’t realize is – while she was teaching them to pray – she was teaching me to pray. While she was training us on how to lead children into a deeper relationship with Christ – she was actually leading me into a deeper relationship with Christ.
Her fingerprints are everywhere in my life. She unknowingly taught me how to lead a small army for Christ. It’s that training that allows me even now to lead the staff that followed us to the Mole. She laid the groundwork for me years and years ago.
So today I am thankful for my one and only sister!
For teaching me and leading me into a personal relationship with Christ!
Categories: Personal Stories