In April, Taylor Reams, the children’s pastor at the Erlanger Campus, and I went to a three day conference in Atlanta called The Orange Conference.

There was a sea of 8,000 Children's and Youth Pastors and volunteers, all with a common heart. Spending time with them, and Taylor, made me feel like we were really part of an army fighting for the same common goal. We heard crushing testimonies from adults who were once just like the children we minister to. They thanked us for being the difference in their younger lives, helping them to grow and rise up to their calling.

At the conference, it was not uncommon to walk by an orange mohawk, tutu or pom-pom antenna headband. The second night's agenda mostly consisted of a dance party, with a lit up beach balls flying all over the stadium. These are the kind of people pastoring your kids... Isn't that fantastic!? They don't just stand there and preach from the pulpit. They climb into the worlds of the kids they teach. Most times, they don't teach with words, they teach with action. Getting involved in individual ways to meet these kids in the middle of their unique week; not just Sunday. The people I stood next to those three days are my heroes, and I can think of no greater honor than to be part of that crowd of loving goofballs.

I left the conference feeling completely inspired and empowered, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. Vacation Bible School (VBS) season is this month. It is the time of year that we push to reach out into our neighborhoods, meeting new kids and giving them an experience that gives them a little taste of God's love. It is my heart’s desire that through this program we are able to give them little bits of Jesus to help carry with them through their very unique challenges that they encounter throughout the week empowering them to step into the purpose God has for their lives.

I'm ready to dive into their world. Will you come with me?

Dena Ashcraft
River Campus Kids Leader