Mean John Comes to the Island

What began a few weeks ago with two glasses of coolaid, five minutes with my iPad, and a Bible story exploded this week:

  1. To eight glasses of coolaid (and turning some children away)
  2. Five children getting iPad time
  3. And about ten of them crammed onto my porch for a Bible story

Which is why I had a hard time refusing to welcome them today

It wasn’t supposed to be that way…in fact this afternoon was reserved for new people who had not gotten a glass of juice yet this week.  But instead I ended up turning them all away.

Now before you start thinking I’m some kind of monster…this refusal has to do with rules when you visit Mr. John’s house (adapted from earlier rules explained in a post two weeks ago).

  • You can’t come till after 3:00
  • ONE glass of coolaid will be provided for the first eight children, after that you will given water
  • The first five get tablet time, others will be given juice and a Bible story
  • When Mr. John says times up it’s up
  • NO FOOD!!!!!
  • And you must pay attention to Mr. John’s Bible story

Yesterday as the last child was starting his five minutes of Ipad time four other children came asking if they could play.  I explained they couldn’t, but invited them up to the porch for Bible story time.  This involves using powerpoint slides from Goodsoil Evangelism and telling them about a biblical event using my laptop.

I think having such a large group on the porch created a problem because the kids started pushing forward (trying to get closer to the picture) and some stood up to see it better which of course kept those behind them from seeing it.  Soon instead of listening to the story they were more interested in keeping other people from getting their spot and some light pushing took place…That’s when “mean John” made an appearance.

“Mean John” is what I jokingly refer to as the personality change that takes place when a group of children gets out of hand.  In this case it meant ending the Bible story early (they weren’t listening anyways) and telling them they couldn’t come back tomorrow.  I honestly don’t enjoy being mean john but it’s necessary to make sure those boys and girls knew there were some rules when they visited, and if those rules weren’t followed, consequences would come.

Sadly the question rarely is “will children see mean john?” but “WHEN will  they see mean john?”  This is usually decided by asking myself “what will happen if I don’t bring consequences now?

It didn’t take long to realize laying down the law was absolutely necessary because after two weeks I already had about ten kids cramming themselves on my front porch.  How many will show up when all the kids find out the crazy American gives out free coolaid?

So I sent the kids away

refused to let them on the porch

And even closed the door in the face of one asking for a glass of water

Because ministry without structure is just chaos

I don’t know maybe none of them will come back Monday (I doubt it) but even if they do it will be worth it because in the future everyone will know the rules for my porch are actually enforced.


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