Like so many of the missionaries, I do not personally know Taylor. He has commented on various blog posts and follows me on Twitter. Taylor is one of the “new breed” of missionaries and he is focused on outreach in the region he serves. If you’ve ever been to an Awana Bible Quiz, or Games event, then you may know how much work goes into organizing them. I have personal experience as I have organized Bible Quizzing in an area for a couple of years and assist now on a regular basis (but not in Taylor’s region).
As I always do, I asked Taylor some questions and below are his responses.I enjoyed reading Taylor’s response to the interview and I’m sure you will as well. My prayer is that this will help you get to know him and his ministry a little bit better:
How long have you been an Awana Missionary?
I’ve been on the field as a US Missionary since May 2008. This week makes it three years! I earned my Citation Award in 2003 but started Awana as a 2nd Grade Sparky, and have only missed one semester of Awana since then (due to a college internship). I’m also the youngest US Missionary currently on serving on the field (though I hope someone else comes along and takes that title before too long)!
What area do you serve? We serve in Texas in the “North Texas” region of the state as Outreach Missionaries. Our family lives in Denton, TX, just north of the DFW Metroplex.
# of churches under your care: Along with two other North Texas Missionaries (Jo Ellen Ballard–Development and Kelvin Gunnells–Church Care) and our Texas Lead Missioanry (Brad Iverson), the four of us serve about 500 churches. About 250ish of those are in the DFW Metroplex. However, it’s over an 11 hour drive from one end of our area to the other!
Fun Facts: Favorite food, favorite sport, something interesting people don’t know about you, etc…(whatever info you want to share):
Probably the most fun fact about our family is that I (Taylor) married my family’s babysitter (Meredith). It’s a long story, but Meredith is 5 years older than I am and used to babysit for our family when I was 11 and she was 16. Our family moved away the following year, and God brought us back together in 2008. Like I said, long story, but crazy what God will use to bring people together! 🙂 Our son Timothy is 18 months old and baby #2 (boy) is due in early October!
I’m a big College Football Fan (Texas Tech Red Raiders!), enjoy playing tennis, spending time with friends, and anything fun. Meredith enjoys quilting, animal husbandry, and spending time with Taylor–especially beating him (or trying to beat him) at Settlers of Catan. Timothy enjoys playing “baseball’ with dad and making animal sounds.
Why are you an Awana Missionary?
Bottom line–God called us to the ministry! We have a passion for the local church, US Missions, and seeing teens develop into Godly men and women. It’s a challenging but rewarding ministry, and we continue to pray for God’s wisdom on how to best serve the local church here in the US.
Share something God is doing in your ministry:
As Outreach Missionaries, our focus is on Awana events, such as Bible Quiz and AwanaGames. By God’s grace, we’ve seen several kids trust Christ as Savior at these events, floundering Awana Clubs become re-energized, and churches have the opportunity to connect with parents. We’ve seen a big boost in our 24-7 Ministries participation in Texas, and that is something we really hope to continue to build on.
What advice would you give to a local Awana Commander or Leader?
Most of them know the normal advice–pray, share the Gospel clearly, and continue to be an advocate for the Gospel, your church, then Awana in that order. I’d say if you remain true to that, everything will fall into place.
I’d also challenge Commanders or Leaders who aren’t involved in Outreach Events to take the opportunity and just “go for it”. Your club will benefit in ways you can’t imagine, and God will really grow your ministry and excitement in your local club!
Finally, stay connected with your local missionary. You don’t have a better resource in helping equip your church in its mission!
How can we specifically pray for you over the next month?
The biggest ones are for Meredith and baby #2’s health and development over the next several months. Pray we prioritize and balance correctly our spiritual walk, our family, our ministry, and ministry “work”, especially as a young family. Pray for wisdom in planning Awana Ministry Conference and Outreach Events, and that we will follow the Lord’s leading on how to best serve Him in this ministry, and that He will bring kids and parents to trust Christ through events this next year.
Ministry website(s): www.awanatexas.org
Awana missionaries receive no commission on products sold, they rely solely on gifts and support from individuals and churches. To learn more about Taylor and his ministry and to see how you can support him, click here…
Awana missionaries are 100% faith supported.
To learn more about Awana Missionaries and their roles, click here…