He's TOM, I'm DAIN
and we started a
AND IT'S A REALLY GOOD THING!
SUNDAY SCHOOL. Tom here. I was a teenager the first time I heard the term Sunday School. "Who came up with that awful name," I asked. You see, school was a very bad word in my mind, and Sunday wasn't much better because all through my childhood I was forced to endure boring two-hour church services. With a pipe organ that only played in Latin, I think. So putting the words Sunday and School together was guaranteed to see me running the other way!
But then I met Pastor Von, a youth pastor who got it. His motto, and now mine: "It's a sin to bore kids with the Bible."
That should be your motto too! Your job, if you work with kids, is to present Christ to them in a way that combines the Bible's profound and life-changing truths about Christ with kid-level fun. If you do this successfully, you will reach the great treasure all children's workers seek: Kids who know and love the Lord, who walk with him forever.
THAT'S WHERE THE CHRIST'S LOVE AND MAJESTY CONCEPT COMES IN. Think of this as your treasure box of wisdom, ideas and resources that will amplify the fun factor for you, your volunteers and the kids you work with, all while doing exactly what Christ told us to do: Make disciples. I hope you'll take a look!
If you want to know a little bit more about me, read on...
Since I was five years old I knew I wanted to be a cartoonist. After becoming a Christian at fourteen, I wanted to be a Christian cartoonist. My first job was working for an amazing group of people at Youth Specialties. Wayne Rice, Mike Yakonelli, Denny Rydberg, Ben Patterson and others. These people taught me so much, especially how to laugh. Right up my ally! Eventually YS published some books by me; from there I became a Zondervan author and did some things for Regal as well. Long out of print!
The reason my books are no longer in print is because, after becoming the Managing Editor of the Youth Department at Gospel Light Publications, I had the opportunity to help start a church on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where I have now been for more than thirty years.
The church took all my time. I had accomplished my goals as a writer/illustrator, so it was an easy decision to become a churchman. Imagine my horror when it was decided that I should run the Sunday School! Those two words again!
But I was determined that, after years on the mainland volunteering with youth and even becoming a youth pastor at one point, it was time for me to develop something called Christ's Love And Majesty. I've spent more than twenty years doing so, long enough to see a generation or two of kids go through the program, proving for all to see that it works and it works great. The Christ's Love And Majesty Concept is aimed at children; hopefully we can take it up into the youth realm before too long.
Explore the website. Learn about the Christ's Love And Majesty Concept. And let me hear from you!
I asked Dain to join the CLAMcentral gang because, as one of the pastors at our church, he has always been super supportive and enthusiastic. He has that spark and energy that ignites others to greatness. Everybody loves him! Dain brings great communication skills which we will put to good use here on the website, in some of our videos and eventually on the road. Here he is...
Hey Everybody! It’s me Dain! And yes, Tom is right in what he said about me, I am really enthusiastic! That’s why I use so many exclamation marks! But seriously...
My earliest childhood memories of church are twofold: wearing shoes that hurt my feet and BOREDOM. My friends and I would wait impatiently for the lesson to be over so we could run out into the courtyard and get our Sunday allowance of one foam cup of Hawaiian Punch. When we finished our punch, we'd put the cups upside down on the ground and smash them with our feet. This created loud pops that echoed off the courtyard walls. And THAT, dear reader, was the absolute highlight of Sunday school for me. I abandoned church the day I was finally released from the obligation to go to Sunday school.
Fast forward about twenty years, and I attend my first ever church service at Kauai Christian Fellowship.
Tom and the other leaders were determined that church would never be boring. I will never forget my first impression that morning. There was an incredible buzz of excitement. People wanted to be there, they actually wanted to be at church! I remember thinking, “What, are the Beatles gonna be playing this morning?” Well, it wasn’t exactly the Beatles, but once the music got going and the people sang and clapped, I could see that this was a very different and very attractive way to interact with God from what I had been exposed to before.
I was completely sucked into the life of church, where I discovered the joy, and the absolute excitement of a life in Jesus Christ.
When people comment on my great “enthusiasm” for the Bible, and knowing Jesus, my response is always “How can we NOT be excited about the fact that we can KNOW the Creator of the universe, and that He LOVES us?” Apparently this kind of enthusiasm is attractive--they made me a pastor!
When Tessie and I started a family, our kids absolutely LOVED Sunday school. In fact, if we were out of town and visiting another church, they would complain “I wish we were at OUR church!” When Tom persuaded me to join in, I saw bunches of kids having a blast. But the best part of all, and honestly this was a bit of a surprise, was how much the kids were learning about the Lord.
Now I know that sounds obvious. “Isn’t that what Sunday school is supposed to do?” But what surprised me was how much the kids (mine included) were learning about the Bible. At one point I was bemoaning to Tom, “Man, the kids in CLAMcentral know more about the Old Testament than many of the adults I’m preaching to.” And I meant it!
But learning about God in a fun and exciting way is just the tip of the iceberg. As a pastor, here is what I found most compelling about CLAMcentral and why I jumped right on board when Tom asked me to get involved with the ministry:
I've observed that many adult Christians have a skewed impression about God and what He is like. They either feel that God is so loving that He has no standards, no authority, and no real concern about how I live my life; He's just there to help me when I need it, or they think that God is a scary taskmaster impossible to please. They feel weighed down by the guilt of their sin, and thus scared into obedience. They constantly try to prove their worthiness for Christ’s sacrifice, hoping to earn His approval and thus a slot in Heaven.
That is what makes the Christ’s Love And Majesty of CLAMcentral so appealing. Tom perfectly balances the love and the authority of Christ to give kids an accurate view of God as presented in the Bible, and why our lives are so enriched and fulfilled by following our amazing Savior!
And to top it all off, now that my kids have become teenagers, I am so overwhelmed by the fact that they totally get this. Here at Kauai Christian Fellowship we are raising a generation of kids who have a healthy faith in God. I hope that you will be intrigued enough to give CLAMcentral a chance in your church. You just might find yourself described someday as….enthusiastic!!!