WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW CHANGES THAT ARE HAPPENING IN OUR CHILDREN’S MINISTRY! One of the main changes that we’ve made is to our name. WE ARE NOW FORERUNNER! (Woohoo!) You may have known that our children’s ministry was previously called “One Way”…but you may not have known why! Let me tell you a brief little story that will help explain why it was called One Way and how we got to where we are now. You’re gonna be like, “Oooooohhhhhh!”
Some of you may remember that before “One Way”, there was “YJC” which stood for Youth/Juniors/Children. Our children’s pastor at the time was Pastor Kenny Johnson. One day, Pastor Kenny decided to check out different churches and their children’s ministries to get a few ideas and some inspiration. While doing this, he came across one church and sat in on the children’s ministry service. During class, the subject came up about whether or not Jesus was the only way salvation. Unfortunately the teachers in the class didn’t affirm that Jesus was the only way. This really got Pastor Kenny thinking about the spiritual condition of children in Christian churches everywhere. Turning away from sin and turning to Christ alone was not being taught to the young people. After he was done visiting a few more churches, Pastor Kenny came back with a resolve that the children in our children’s ministry would have a knowledge of the basic essential of our faith. And the children would definitely understand that there is only ONE WAY to have a relationship with the Father and receive salvation – and that “One Way” is Jesus. He created a One Way logo that looked more like U-turn sign with the arrow pointing upward. This U-turn was a symbol of repentance. I can remember him explaining it to me. “You turn to God!” And there you have it! That’s how One Way got its name and its logo.
During this time, our youth ministry operated under the name “Vanguard Youth”. This name was given to the youth ministry by Pastor Flowers when he was over the youth ministry. The word “vanguard” means: the group of people who are the leaders of an action or movement in society, politics, art, etc. The tagline for Vanguard Youth was “Leaders of a Movement”. After Pastor Flowers transitioned out of the youth ministry and into more of an Associate Pastor role, the name stayed until about 3 years ago as I was serving as the youth pastor. I was reflecting on the youth ministry, what God put in my heart and what God put in Pastor’s heart when he started the ministry. I went through the original Vanguard manual that Pastor created when he started Vanguard. After some prayer, the Lord began to show me the common theme in my ministry vision and in the original vision of Vanguard. If everything could be summed up into one bible character it would be John the Baptist. This was confirmed to me when I heard Pastor say that the scripture that he was called out of the military and into ministry with was Luke 1:17. It says, “and he (John the Baptist) will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.” John was called a “FORERUNNER” to Jesus. Forerunner means “one who goes before another”. The word Forerunner kept the same theme of “going before”, “leading a movement”, “discipleship”, “connecting parents to children” and more. When I became the leader over the entire children’s ministry, I went through the same process as I did for the youth ministry. Forerunner kept with the same theme of repentance and turning to God – that was the main message of John the Baptist. Plus it just made sense to keep all of our children and youth ministries under the same name.
And there it is! The story of why (and the process of how) we changed the name to Forerunner. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I enjoyed typing it lol! I’ll be sharing with you the foundational ideas of what we stand for at another time. (Hint: they are all drawn from the life and ministry of John the Baptist.) I hope this shed a little light on where we are as a ministry! Ok, I think we’re done for now. Don’t forget to check back for more updates!
Thank you for reading!