Mr. Blake–that was his name. And to my eight-year-old son, he was Mr. Awesome!

Wait, let me back up a little bit and tell you our story . . .
My middle son is absolutely fabulous, not that I’m biased! I grew up around girls, have sisters, and had no idea what raising a boy would be like. And boy, was it wondrously different. Pierce has always had a ton of energy, and when he was about five, I realized that energy was not dying down anytime soon. I was on staff at a church as the Kids Pastor, so my children were at church on Sunday mornings—every week, rain or snow, in sickness and health, in good times and bad—you get the point. Around the time Pierce was in Kindergarten, one of his teachers realized his energy wasn’t going anywhere either, maybe only up. She was what I call a “girl teacher.” She had little girls of her own, who sat still and wore pretty bows, and did exactly what they were told. And she liked that. I mean, who wouldn’t? So, when my five-year-old, later to be diagnosed with ADHD, son walked in to her class, he was not going to be her favorite. Every week when I would pick him up she would give me a run down of the day: every wrong step, every time he didn’t sit and listen, and every moment he couldn’t stay in a straight line. The whole list. Fortunately, Pierce seemed to be fairly oblivious to her frustration.

Later I realized I could put him in a different class. So, I set out on a mission to find the right Small Group Leader for Pierce. That is when I found Mr. Blake. There are not enough words to describe the amazing Mr. Blake, but he truly was the perfect match for Pierce. When Pierce couldn’t sit still, he and Mr. Blake walked. When Pierce wouldn’t focus, Mr. Blake would gently guide his attention back to the group. When I picked Pierce up, Mr. Blake told me, in front of Pierce, how great he had been. Mr. Blake made Pierce feel like he was a winner, like he was loved, like he was the greatest kid because of how God made him, not in spite of it. Mr. Blake gave a gift to Pierce that I will never forget! He gave of his time and energy to love my little boy. We are no longer at the same church as Mr. Blake, but every time we drive by Pierce still says, “Hey, remember Mr. Blake?”

Thinking back about our Mr. Blake experience reminded me of a quote Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Isn’t that so true? My hope and prayer is that you have a ministry filled with people who are givers. A ministry filled with amazing volunteers who know this truth. People who want to love on the pretty little girls with bows who sit still, and the Pierce’s of the world who aren’t so still and quiet. More importantly, I pray that you see their value. Without these volunteers, where would we be? Our Kids Ministries could not exist without them. The Church could not exist without them. When you find a Mr. or Ms. Awesome, be sure to let them know just how incredible they are.

“Small Group Leaders help a kid know that they have worth. I hope that when a kid talks about Church, he or she doesn’t talk about the building, but the people who have influenced their life.” – Terry Scalzitti, Lead Pastor of Ocean View Baptist Church

Help your volunteers feel inspired, celebrated and empowered by spending a Saturday morning with us at LIVE TO SERVE, a unique event for preschool and children’s ministry volunteers. Join us in Birmingham, Nashville, Cincinnati and Norfolk this winter. REGISTRATION OPENS TODAY! Register today only to receive our Prioritizing Family series, plus a chance at some amazing prizes. For more information, please visit