Goodbye Kev

IMG_0069Editors note: With the completion of my school ministry and a “farewell tour” for Kev IV my inflatable Kangaroo last week I wanted to write him a fictional letter of thanks for being such a huge help to my ministry.

KevDear Kev,

Please don’t be offended as I put you in storage along with your Great Grandfather (Kev Sr.), Grandfather (Kev Jr.), and Father (Kev III). The truth is nothing has done more for my ministry (except for the Gospel) than a collection of inflatable kangaroos.

The funny thing is it all started as a joke in 2009 when my Aussie friends presented your Great Grandfather to me (while singing the Australian national anthem off-key). The idea was to take random pictures of Kev Sr. and put them on Facebook while in the States on furlough.

Somewhere along the line I decided to start taking your Great Grandfather to Churches with me while presenting my ministry. I’ll never forget the night a little girl walked up to me and asked in a very quiet voice, “can I sign him?”

The rest was history

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Truthfully I started bringing Kev Sr to Churches because it was fun.

  1. To see the expressions on people’s faces when I walked down the hall with an inflatable kangaroo under my arm
  2. To see children’s eyes light up when I pulled him out of the car
  3. And to see motorists do a double (or triple) take when I let your Great Grandfather ride shotgun

 

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But I started bringing him for a different reason…to create a relationship with people.

The awesome thing about being a Missionary is it allows me to share my burden for Australia with people all around the United States. The bad news is I often only get to see them once, and we usually only spend one service together (around an hour) which of course isn’t enough to develop a real relationship.

The thing is I want to have that kind of relationship with people

  1. One that shares the bad news as well as the good
  2. That allows them to become an active part of my ministry
  3. That interacts with them (finds their needs, and ministers to them when possible)
  4. And leaves room for the random or ridiculous experiences of life to be shared

Thankfully with Social Media it’s possible to have this kind of relationship. The problem is getting the contact info from people so that relationship can be created. The sign up sheet for updates would always be on my table, but it seemed as if it wouldn’t gain much interest.

Eventually I realized that there needed to be something that created a bridge between that service, and a relationship that would continue outside of the Church building using Social Media.

Over the years your ancestors (and yourself) have been that bridge. As people signed their names on a kangaroo with sharpie it was more than just something fun…it was the beginning of a relationship.

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Now don’t worry buddy even though the farewell tours over you aren’t being “put out to pasture” just yet. We have a Vacation Bible School coming up next month, and I just know those kids won’t forgive me if Kev IV doesn’t come along. And even after that there’s always going to be a need for me to create those deeper relationships.

Besides…I still love seeing the looks on people’s faces the first time they see you

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