One year ago today, I started on a journey that I wasn’t sure about. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to come to Keys for Kids Ministries. But, let's face it, it's not the expected path for a missions-minded veteran journalist, is it?
A little backstory on my career: I started off as a radio announcer on a Christian radio station in Flint, Michigan. It was a part-time mid-day host position that led to a full-time position at WMPC Radio in Lapeer, Michigan.
While God used all of my “life’s moments” to bring me to Keys for Kids Ministries one year ago today, WMPC was key. That’s where I received the experience I needed to launch into a new career at Mission Network News, now owned by One Way Ministries. Over nearly 20 years of ministry there, God allowed me to meet people, develop strategic partnerships, finish my education, and begin networking with other ministries. Those experiences are (in part) giving fuel to our quest to reach more kids and their families with the Gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide (not just North America).
As I celebrate my one-year anniversary at Keys for Kids Ministries, I'm grateful for the many doors God has opened in these short 12 months. Not all of these are completed yet, but they’re underway. Here they are in no particular order:
• Launching the $206,000 Keys for Kids Growth Initiative fundraising campaign to do the following:
1. Create a development strategy (done, and tweaking)
2. Create an organizational strategic plan (almost finished)
3. Update our technology infrastructure (done)
4. Board development (in process)
5. Update our websites and mobile app (keysforkids.net almost done, app update started)
6. Create a marketing strategy for online store/Keys for Kids devotional (done by Sep.)
7. Expand our radio affiliate network (underway)
8. Provide resources to improve the Keys for Kids Radio feature, our full-time radio station (keysforkids.net), and Parent Minute (underway)
• Premier of Parent Minute radio program (Jan.)
• Premier of Keys for Kids :60 (Jan.)
• Welcoming Zach as the new host of Keys for Kids Radio 4.5 and :60 (Nov. ’15)
• Hiring theological reviewers for Keys for Kids devotionals
• Launching Keys for Camps (Jan.)
• Launching Keys for Kids International (a strategy to translate one year of Keys for Kids into the top mega languages)
• Launching Keys for Kids StoryTellers to deliver Keys for Kids in audio through a solar-powered mp3 player in English (MOU signed Aug. Launch: Oct.1 – other languages will follow).
• Updating our Spanish Keys for Kids devotional (designed, ready for print)
• Greek, Macedonian, and Mandarin (simplified) translations of Keys for Kids (seven months completed)
• Arabic translation partnership (negotiations nearly finished)
• Updating our social media strategy
• Launching KeyNews (our almost-quarterly newsletter)
This is A LOT! But the good news is that you and the wonderful team we have here at Keys for Kids are the people God is using to accomplish this great work. Our future is so bright, and it's making a difference.
We received this note from Andrea: "Thank you for providing the most practical, engaging family devotionals! I was saved listening to Children's Bible Hour as a little girl and now my kids get to receive the same quality material! A few years ago, during family devotions, our son accepted Christ as a result of Keys for Kids materials!"
The great news is that we have even more ideas. I was telling our team last week that I wished ideas came with funding. Then someone quickly pointed out, “If they’re God’s ideas, He’ll provide the funding!” And they’re right.
What are some of those ideas? Some of them are more like dreams, so don’t hold us to them:
• Create Keys for Kids online Bible games for our mobile app
• Animate our Down Gilead Lane Christmas special
• Animate Zach, so he can read Keys for Kids to younger kids in person through our mobile app
• Dramatize the daily Keys for Kids 4.5 and :60 radio programs
• Buy or take ownership of a terrestrial radio station (AM or FM) to air Keys for Kids Radio full time.
• Put Keys for Kids Radio on XM Radio
• Animate 168 episodes of Down Gilead Lane
• Open self-sustaining Keys for Kids offices on each continent to distribute devotionals all over the world.
You’re probably wondering, “How can we pray?”
Here’s how you can pray:
1. Pray God will give the Keys for Kids leadership team wisdom as we strategize over the next three to five years. Our short-term strategy for the next year is so important. We believe God is going to do great things through Keys for Camps and Keys for Kids StoryTellers. These programs could mean exponential growth in the number of kids and their families receiving the Gospel.
2. Pray God will provide new regular, ongoing donors to fund these needs. It’s going to require significant investment to not only launch these programs, but sustain them. The good news is, each program is designed to be self-sustaining.
3. Pray God will protect the team from evil. Satan doesn’t like the fact that we’re trying to reach kids today to help change our culture’s tomorrow. We believe that as kids come to Christ and grow in their faith, their Christian worldview is what will change our culture.
Let’s face it, Keys for Kids is needed more today than ever before. Many young people (even in our churches) are biblically illiterate. Eighty percent of today’s youth are looking for some kind of spiritual truth. They will find some kind of truth, but will it be the Truth--God’s Truth found only in God’s Word? We believe Keys for Kids Ministries could be the tool God uses to change the hearts of today’s youth for godly leadership tomorrow.