I’ve been wearing this t-shirt for 14 years now.
Actually, I've outlived the washing-machine-lifespan of a few of these shirts. Between the sticky hands, runny noses, puppet fuzz, and my own sweat from running after everyone, you can imagine how many times this shirt has been through the wash.
To many people, it’s just a black polo with a bright logo. But to me, it means so much more.
To me, it represents servanthood. It is a constant reminder that my life is not my own. It may look like I’m serving children (and I am) but I’m also serving Jesus Himself. And there is no greater honour.
It represents growth. I am not the same girl I was when I first put on this shirt 14 years ago. I will never forget my first day in Kids Church. I was a shy, fearful 13 year old and I had no idea the journey I was beginning. But God knew. And people believed in me. I grew up in kids ministry. And then, I grew up in kids ministry. I’m still growing up, learning how to love them the way God does. In fact, I don't think we should ever stop growing up.
It represents generations. My mom wore this shirt before me, when she served in the Toddler nursery. We came early and stayed late, waiting while she handed the babies back to their families and cleaned up after class. Sometimes I was bored and I probably complained. But still, I was watching her. Today, our team has many families serving alongside each other, and many others have found a family by serving on this team. From the bright eyed 13 year olds just starting out, to the seasoned “grandparents” and everyone in between. Just as it should be.
It represents individuals. Each one who wears this shirt has a name and a story. I would say “ordinary people”, but I don’t think there is such a thing. Each one is unique and valued. Each one loved by an amazing God. Each one simply willing to bring who they are to serve. You know who you are, and to you I say THANK YOU.
It represents team. There are over 115 people who wear this t-shirt; 34 people on any given Sunday. We watch each other stumble through new experiences and learn from them. We cheer each other on, and we build each other up. We are at our finest when we are together. May we never underestimate the value of this team, or assume that the team is full! We have a lovely stash of new t-shirts waiting to be worn in…
So as you can see, it’s not really about the shirt at all. Still, I can say with confidence…
This is my favourite shirt.
- Heidi Fleming, Koinonia Kids Director