Confirmation of His Plan
The Letter of the Day Is ... by Jerry W. Storz
On November 10, 1969 preschool education became a reality with the introduction of the PBS television series, Sesame Street. As an upper elementary student, I remember catching a glimpse of Muppet characters introducing the letter of the day or the Word on the Street. It wasn’t too long until I heard kids in the school hallways using the phrase, “the letter of the day is…” or “the Word on the Street is…”! This preschool television show influenced the world in incredible ways.
As I think about the influence that television series and its characters had on the preschool world, I can’t help but think about the influence that those of us who have been called into ministry can have. What is it that drives this influence? Is it the letter of the day, “I” for influence? Could it be the letter “C” as in calling? Maybe it comes down to the letter “P” for passion! Let’s take a look at these three letters and see how they relate to ministry, not only to preschoolers, but to elementary, preteens, and families.
The letter of the day is “l” for influence.
Who are you influencing with your ministry? Recently, I had the honor to attend the memorial service of one of my children’s ministry heroes and influencers in my life, Dale VonSeggen. Dale was the owner and founder of One-Way Street, Inc and Creative Ministry Solutions. He also was instrumental in starting the International Network of Children’s Ministry (where I had the privilege to serve on staff and to network and train thousands of children’s ministry leaders through conferences and seminars). Dale’s life verse was, “I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the furthest corners of the earth” (Acts 13:47b). Dale brought that light and message in a fun and creative way, and influenced many!
The letter of the day is “C” for calling.
I love reading in Scripture that Jesus called 12 ordinary men to help Him spread the good news to a lost and hurting world. I was recently challenged by the thought that perhaps it really wasn’t adult men that Jesus called to be His disciples. Mitchell (2010) believes it is possible that some of the disciples were under the age of 18. I love that Jesus is still calling men, women, boys, and girls to bring the good news to a lost and hurting world. As Paul reminded Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in faith and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12). Are you equipping the kids in your ministry to respond to God’s call on their lives? Are you giving them opportunities to serve in your ministry? Yes, it’s all about influence and calling!
The letter of the day is “P” for passion.
What is your passion? Why do you do what you do in ministry? We all love getting kudos for a job well done. Those times easily motivate and keep us passionate for ministry. But, what about the times when ministry doesn’t go right? When the volunteer doesn’t show up or call to say they won’t be there? When the kids on the back-row refuse to participate in worship or any part of the ministry you spent hours preparing? So, the big question becomes is there a difference between passion and calling? Chung (2019) states, “A good thing comes, a God thing comes and stays. A good thought is a momentary passion that fades in time. A God thought will grip your heart and as time goes on the desire continues to burn with a greater passion.” I think God is looking for ministry leaders who have a calling and a passion.
Stayed tuned for the next letters of the day! We have 23 more letters to go and one never knows how God might use those letters to confirm His plans for your life and ministry!
By Jerry W. Storz, EdD, NBC Faculty and Program Director of Leadership and Ethics, and Christian Educational Ministries. Article published in Entre Niños – Edition 24, May 2019 (www.entreninos.com)