Who am I? It’s a question we all ask of ourselves at one point or other in our lives; most of us would put this one right up there with Why am I here? or What is my purpose?
But often we forget to reflect on these seemingly simple questions once we’ve passed the development stage of our lives.
A rare few know exactly who they are from a young age, such as Wolfgang A. Mozart, Stevie Wonder, or Venus Williams, but for the rest of us, we must experience the journey of a lifetime to understand exactly who we are.
Jason Earls, a famous Christian comedian and actor with KiDs Beach Club at HOME!, made this journey long before he knew exactly where God would lead him. His journey is one of humble beginnings and humorous aspirations.
He described his early years, saying, “I've always wanted to do standup comedy sets, especially since high school, but growing up, my parents were and still are very strong Christians. In fact, my dad is a pastor. Both of my grandfathers were pastors. Even a lot of my uncles are pastors.” Jason jokingly concludes, “Even my dog is a pastor! We call him the Reverend German Shepherd.”
With his natural sense of humor and strong Christcentric family life, he was destined to have a great impact on the Kingdom of God. Even so, his confidence took a turn when he was in high school.
One day he came to his dad with a eureka moment. “I told my dad, ‘Dad, instead of going to college, I want to go to the improv and study to be a comedian.’ And my dad laughed! He was like, ‘Boy, you funny!’ So I thought, Well, that's the end of that.”
Soon Jason was off to Virginia State University where he met his wife and really got serious about his walk with the Lord. “I started teaching Bible studies on campus, and I felt like comedy had taken me down this long, dark road,” Jason said. “I needed to let it go. But one day I was just sitting outside... and I just felt the Lord say to me, Jason, I made you funny. You can use this. I want you to use it for me.
I realized that my God gave me a jovial persona and a lot of comedy naturally, and it kept coming out whenever I would teach. So I started doing skits and sketches and doing them at churches to help teach a Bible lesson.”
After this realization that his comedic abilities were hardly a “dark road” on his journey of discovery, Jason went to seminary, where he had another life-changing experience.
Jason described the event for us, saying, “I was taking Bible Study Methods by the legendary professor, Dr. Howard Hendricks. And we had to present a Bible passage, Acts 3, the gate called beautiful. I did it just as a comedic monologue, and everybody stood up clapping! Dr. Hendricks said, “Ladies and gentlemen, that is what I'm talking about!”
It was in those formative college years that Jason’s mission became clear to him. Once he returned home from college, his mother had a surprise for him in the form of his first gig. She was leading a women’s group and asked him to do a few of his skits for the ladies.
Jason responded with a Thanks mom, but I’m good, really. But after some thought, and Dr. Hendricks’ words echoing in his head, Jason agreed to use his talent for God, and he agreed.
After Jason had them rolling in aisles with his Biblical skits, a lady came to him and asked, “Oh, didn’t your brother come to my church to preach?” Jason said afterward, “That shows you how much comedy was detached from the church. It was actually me. I had been at her church, but she was thinking, ‘He can't be the same preacher guy.’ And so she asked me if I could come to her church to do a comedy event.”
Jason agreed, and the next time he was in his hometown of Dallas, she called him. She said, “Okay, we're going to sing, read a scripture, and pray. The rest of the two-hour program is yours.”
Jason was stunned! With only two skits in his repertoire, he was caught completely off guard. He knew he only had one option—prayer. He prayed that if this was what God wanted him to do that he would be given the inspiration, courage, and wit to pull it off.
As he dropped his last punchline at the end of the two-hour session, he was shocked once again. “The crazy thing was, as I finished, people were laughing!’ Jason says, “I'll never forget. I saw this old man on the front row, and I was thinking, I need to calm down because this man is going to hurt himself.”
Seven people came to the front of the church and received Christ as their savior that very night when Jason concluded. As he took his final bow and began to leave the stage, he was met with another surprise. The pastor's wife said, “Hold on, will all the pastors and local ministers in the building, come up here and lay hands on brother Earls?”
Jason froze, and his mind began racing as he thought, What kind of mess is this? I'm a seminary student. “I'm thinking there's only one reason they’d do this; I was just studying this; when they laid hands-on in the Bible, it was either to heal the sick or to commission somebody to go out in the mission.
I’m not sick. So... oh no! Don't do it.” They put their hands on Jason and prayed for his mission. Jason was confused, and to a good degree nervous. How could the talent he thought was the problem be his mission in life?
“I'm just up here and making people laugh,” Jason said. “The next morning a pastor came by my parents’ house. And he said, ‘Young man, I saw something that I'd never seen before. I had never seen that many people in the church laughing that hard. In fact, I started going over CPR in my head, because there was an old man on the front row...I thought for sure he was going to have a heart attack.’”
So Jason returned to seminary with a new mission. He was determined that if he was going to be a comedian, he would be one of the greats, not just the church funny guy.
In the years after, he attended many different rallies, conferences, and events and became a well-respected Christian comedian. On a certain trip to Washington D.C., a driver picked him up to take him to the event. He turned around and asked Jason, “Hey, a comedian heard that you were coming and he saw your name on a flyer. And he called up to the church and asked me to put you in contact with him. So here's his number.”
Jason called him. The voice on the other end answered saying, “Hey man, you don't know me. I'm [John Doe].” Jason remembered him because he’d seen him on television on a stand-up comedy show! The man said, “Man, about two years ago, you went to a retreat. And a man came back and asked me if I knew you. I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Never forget this man's name because he's going to be something.’”
The man concluded saying, “I never forgot your name. I saw you on this flyer, and I'm asking you to come to this comedy show tonight to perform. There's also a guy putting together a television show. I think you should be a part of it.’”
The man put the producer through with Jason, and the producer agreed to hire Jason without so much as an interview. Years after he first had that notion in high school of being a professional comedian, Jason Earls is living that dream!
From mission trips to mega-churches, Jason has impacted thousands of people with his comedy on multiple continents. Fourteen years after that life-changing D.C. trip, Jason found a new way to demonstrate his skill and love for laughter when another series of conversations amongst friends, and friends of friends, provided him with a KiDs Beach Club Connection.
Jason has always loved ministering to kids, fathering his own six along with his loving wife, so KiDs Beach Club was right up his alley. On KiDs Beach Club at HOME!, Jason plays himself as a KiDs Beach Club volunteer who helps the kids with their struggles growing up in this modern world and encourages them while teaching valuable life principles.
“I love the fact that I'm using my creative comedic acting ability to not just encourage kids, but helping make disciples with these kids,” Jason says. “But here's the crazy thing. Not only when I'm on set, acting, and helping to disciple kids on the set, we know ultimately this is going to kids across the world who are going to be able to grow in their relationship with God!
Ultimately, I'm doing what Jesus told us to do, going into the remote parts of the world and teaching the Gospel, making disciples.
Although I have a lot more to do, it's these things that give you that life purpose of, ‘Lord, if you take me home right now, I've already got a few episodes that will forever be as long as they’re running it. Make an impact.’ The fact that my wife and I have been blessed with six kids, I know He's expanding the legacy every moment of every day.”
Jason Earls continues his comedic ministry in every aspect of his life. Those major questions of who, why, and what am I are answered for us all in the day-to-day life of any true Christian. Jason’s journey was one filled with constant company; his Forever Friend never left his side, no matter how confusing his path may have seemed at the time. Jason answers these simple questions simply when he says:
“God didn't give everybody everything; He gave everybody something. We can multiply His Kingdom and make His name great with whatever our something is.
It's amazing that something as small as an ability to make people laugh or engage people, that can help with what KiDs Beach Club’s doing. If God's blessed you with financial resources, you’re able to, just as the disciples did with a little fish and a little piece of bread, take this piece and watch as God multiplies that and impacts many kids.
You gotta realize that if one kid is impacted through KiDs Beach Club, when you impact that person you impact anywhere between seven to ten more people. If you impact one little kid, you're going to impact that child's mom, dad, and siblings; you're going to impact that child's teacher; that teacher will go home and tell their family about that child's relationships. And that kid sits around at least six to seven other kids. When you're supporting KiDs Beach Club, you're supporting one kid who's going to impact anywhere between seven and twenty more people!”
Our purpose is nothing short of the fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven! The gifts God has given you can have just such an impact as Jason’s. As Jesus told us in Mark 9:23, “All things are possible for one who believes!”
Published on Mar 15 @ 3:26 PM CDT
There are days where the Lord works in mysterious ways, and then there are days when He works in miraculous ways!
Today would definitely check both of those boxes for the entire KiDs Beach Club family, as we have just signed a deal with PAX TV to allow them to stream the first season of KiDs Beach Club at HOME! directly into your family’s home as well as families across the globe.
PAX TV will be a family-friendly channel, designed to broadcast light into darkness, whether in an individual’s soul or in an entire nation. They are dedicated to preserving the innocence of every child and adult alike who longs to enjoy a quality show without the constant barrage of secular ideologies of the day.
Their mission is quite simply to break the mold, just like KiDs Beach Club’s mission is to transform our public schools into modern ministries for Christendom.
Unlike many streaming services, we won’t barrage your TV with a boatload of content to binge in one sitting. Season One will include 16 episodes and will air once a week on the PAX TV streaming site.
Once streamed, every episode will additionally be available on the PAX TV video-on-demand channel.
In light of the many challenges we’ve faced over the course of the pandemic, this blessing comes as a great surprise in contrast to the crazy assortment of shocks we received last year.
PAX TV’s CEO, Nick Schroeder, is just as excited about this opportunity as we are. He says, “Kids’ programming is big on our hearts, and we want to make sure our children have good content to watch.
That’s what KiDs Beach Club at HOME! brings. We love the show for what it is, but we also love that KiDs Beach Club is an actual after-school program nationwide, providing God’s Word in our public schools!”
KiDs Beach Club founder and President Jack Terrell shares our excitement. “We are thrilled that PAX TV is coming alongside KiDs Beach Club to reach every boy and girl with the Gospel of Christ. We can’t be more excited to be part of this network’s lineup on its worldwide launch. Please join us in prayer that millions of children worldwide will hear the Gospel through these episodes and ask Jesus to be their Forever Friend!”
In a world full of streaming services, social media, and a million other things vying for our and our children's attention, we are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a beacon of light in the darkness with PAX TV!
Just like Jack said, we must be fervent in prayer that the Lord will use this incredible streaming service, and KiDs Beach Club at HOME!, to bring the light of salvation to every child of God across the nation.
All this and more is coming to your home device very soon!
Published on Mar 15 @ 3:26 PM CDT
One defining characteristic that makes KiDs Beach Club really unique is the awesome ability, character, compassion, and enthusiasm of our Surf Team Leaders. These heroes who engage the kids weekly in support of our mission are the heart and soul of the entire ministry. They don’t just inspire the kids though!
Their determination has inspired KiDs Beach Club to start an entirely new project we’re excited to introduce called Surf’s Up! – Experiencing God’s Forgiveness. This new resource will be offered to churches this spring as an all-new form of ministry.
What’s it all about?
Well, we took a five-week chunk of the KiDs Beach Club curriculum and used it as the foundation for this new week-long evangelistic Vacation Bible School handbook for our church partners to use. We’re knocking down the limits of the schools and letting our ministry spread to every child of any community.
Not only will this exciting new handbook help lead Vacation Bible Schools all over the country, but it is also a revolutionary concept as it is the first COVID-applicable Vacation Bible School curriculum ever!
Custom-designed to abide by COVID safety guidelines, Surf’s Up! is made to accommodate either large, socially distanced indoor and outdoor groups or small groups.
We will also be throwing in episodes of Beach Club at HOME! videos for each of the lessons. The host church will have the option to play the complete 30-minute video or download various clips that are pre-selected for easy use during the lessons. This will be especially helpful for our partnering churches who are still awaiting their full team of volunteers to return to their service.
Now you may think, This sounds great! But I’m sure it will cost our church a fortune to host our own Surf’s Up!.
To this we are thrilled to announce the price of Surf’s Up! will be FREE of charge to church partners who will commit to hosting an in-school KiDs Beach Club in the fall, provided the schools allow after-school activities. Click here to find out more!
Should any other church choose to not help support a KiDs Beach Club, or can’t seem to find the resources to help us in the aftermath of COVID, they can still purchase the entire package for $150 in the Surf Shop on the KBC website.
We hope you're as excited about our newest adventure as we are, and we hope to see you out there with us on the KiDs Beach Club scene joining us for our launch of Surf’s Up! – Experiencing God’s Forgiveness.
We would also like to wish a fond thank you to our many Surf Team Leaders and volunteers who have inspired so many, and we are looking forward to your helping us in our newest expedition.
Published on Mar 15 @ 3:26 PM CDT
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is:
What are you doing for others?”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Eleven years of service is a long time, whether it be in business, politics, education, or day-to-day parenting. For the KiDs Beach Club volunteers in Dallas, Texas, the past eleven years of service have been a whirlwind.
Rick Gustafson, Marty Earls, Zoe Williams, Roger Gongora, Cathy Moore, Rose Jones, Patsy Lange, Neal Oelke, Mable Jones, John Akins, and Geary Laird have all gone above and beyond to help make Jesus cool in their local school.
These eleven volunteers started their KiDs Beach Club in partnership with Bush Elementary School and Brookhaven Church. As time passed, news came that Brookhaven was selling the property of their church and moving in a different direction—literally. Brookhaven was moving their church to a new location and just couldn’t find the funds to continue partnering.
As they looked for new options to keep the ministry going, they were relieved when they discovered the new church, Royal Haven Baptist Church, which purchased the Brookhaven property, actually agreed to support the club after seeing the impact of their ministry.
Only three years into their adventure, they had already changed church partners and had over thirty kids regularly attending, with another twenty kids coming as often as they could. Every Tuesday, the volunteers would teach and play games with the kids, but their work didn’t stop there.
They aided the church’s food delivery program, bringing food to over 1,500 different people. Annually, the team would help the kids buy Christmas presents for their parents and loved ones. The joy of giving became a highlight of the year for the students, families, and volunteers alike, as they enjoyed this fun tradition of celebrating the Advent season.
Unfortunately, after ten years of adventures and fun with their students, the team met another colossal roadblock in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bush Elementary was quickly shut down in response to the growing virus, suspending all in-person meetings throughout the 2020 semesters. But the volunteers wouldn’t let this stop them.
Finding solutions in their assorted respective strengths, Rick led the team to maximize their talents and make sure this COVID-Christmas would still be one to remember—pandemic or not. Marty, who was also on the church staff, looked into how the church was safely distributing food via the food program and brought the idea to the team of using the same system to get the presents to the kids and their families. They would sanitize and safely distribute the gifts in a drive-in style experience in the church parking lot; the plan was safe, fun, and just in time for Christmas!
The whole team found ways to get the presents in the weeks preceding the event, but in the meanwhile, they also continued helping teach KiDs Beach Club online.
One week in early December, Rick concluded a lesson and asked his students a question. “I told them I was going to say a short prayer,” Rick said, “and if they wanted to trust Christ as their Lord and Savior to raise their hand when I was finished. Then they could pray silently with me if they made that decision. While everybody kept their heads down and eyes closed, two of the kids, a girl and a boy, both raised their hands!”
Members of the team reached out to both their families to make sure that the kids were serious. They discovered the young lady had made a profession of faith with her parents that very night, right after KiDs Beach Club! The entire team was ecstatic knowing their little friend had been saved.
The young boy, Alex, was much harder to reach, and the team began to grow concerned. God still had a plan, however. When the day for the presents to be given finally arrived, Alex and his family were the last car to pull through the parking lot.
The entire team watched as Rick took the present to Alex and his mom. “I mentioned that he had made his profession of faith a couple of weeks before, and she seemed to be aware of it,” Rick said. “And I said, ‘I would like to ask him a few questions if you don't mind.’ And she said, ‘No, go ahead.’
So I said, ‘Alex, when you made the decision to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why did you do it?’ And he responded saying, ‘Because I wanted God in my life every day.’ And I said, ‘That's a great answer! Now that you've made that decision, what do you know for sure will happen someday?’ And he said, ‘I will go to heaven to be with Jesus forever!’ So I said, ‘Well, you just made the most important decision that you'll ever make in your life—an eternal decision.’”
With the ups and downs this team has experienced over the past eleven years, one might expect them to give up, reschedule, or maybe even say, better luck next time. But they have endured.
Today they again face uncertainty with the news that Bush Elementary will no longer be housing their mission. Even so, they press on with the same determination as they had on day one because they know, just as many of their students now know, that God is with them. He is moving mountains, partners, and even pandemics that shut down the world, to move His Kingdom.
As this KiDs Beach Club looks for a new school in the area to continue the ministry, it makes those of us who are unsure how to proceed in the wake of COVID ask ourselves: What am I doing for others? If these champions for Christ can put their best foot forward week after week for over eleven years, maybe I can too!
The truth is you absolutely can. Now is the time to face the world and declare as John the Baptist declared in the wilderness in Matthew 3:2, “...the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
These eleven volunteers from all walks of life accomplished what many would think to be impossible, but just as Christ said in Mathew 19:26, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
So the question now is: What impossible things will do for His Kingdom?
Published on Mar 15 @ 3:26 PM CDT
In the wake of 2020, two phrases have been repeated almost daily: unprecedented times and the new normal. The first references the bizarre events which rocked the medical, social, and economical scenes seemingly out of nowhere; the second is the idea that since everything has changed, we will experience a new normal. But what is this new normal we see emerging out of the ashes of COVID-19?
When COVID-19 shut down KiDs Beach Club inside schools last spring, we had no idea where God would lead us as we watched the world turn upside-down. We began forming our new plan of KiDs Beach Club at HOME!, but we also started to hear the stories of exactly what this new normal would entail for us. Our volunteers were continuing to find creative ways to inspire their students and community. They have worked throughout the pandemic to serve others as Christ first served us.
As more and more of their inspiring stories poured in, we decided to share a few with you, our friends of KiDs Beach Club, so you could also see the way God has continued to move through this amazing team of dedicated Christians. Here is a small collection of stories of how our volunteers are continuing the mission of making Jesus cool, not just in school, but in their whole community:
One of our church partners and volunteers, Jamie Brooks, wanted to demonstrate the impact we can still have through his testimony of how their club has endured. “The big questions our church has faced are similar to what KiDs Beach Club is facing now: Do we give up because we can’t do things the way we used to? Or do we imagine safe and responsible ways to continue offering opportunities?
Like you, we’ve chosen the latter. This summer before we began having small groups on the church campus again, I drove around the metroplex telling Bible stories in the park with the families in each community. So, praise God! He is not surprised or overwhelmed by our need to be responsive in the midst of a viral pandemic, but He has been abundantly faithful to inspire, to protect, and to flourish His Kingdom.”
Gerry Andruszko, a veteran volunteer, wished to encourage us by saying, “It has been a strange year. Since my students were moving on to the 6th grade, I made sure that they could keep up with our activities during 2020. I do keep in touch with my KiDs Beach Club students at Eisenhower Elementary through one of the classes, and our Sunday School class continues to supply Christmas gifts and stockings for them.
We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back into schools, to give hugs and high fives, to share character words, to memorize scripture, and sing God’s word. God is in control, and His timing is perfect, so until then we will keep on keeping on!”
Volunteer Douglass Brown has put this time to good use helping others in other ways, saying, “Since KiDs Beach Club was put on hold, we’ve had church members and non-members who just call up because they’ve lost their job, or have quarantine without pay, seeking how they can make it until help comes. We worked with distributing the food from the Farm To Families Food Program. That was 8 weeks of distributing tons of produce all in the Name of Jesus!”
Kyle Terwilliger of First Presbyterian Church Arlington says, “We have been sending cards, making phone calls, stopping by houses, doing drive-thru events, outdoor, socially-distanced activities, and are constantly trying to figure out better ways to keep in contact with the kids and their families. I am thankful for what we are able to do.”
Lynn Sandberg related her and her husband Bob’s sentiments, stating, “Bob and I are missing KiDs Beach Club very much! We have been involved with two ministries for the past year and have enlisted volunteers to pray daily for our educators. We also have been ministering to the 60+ widows in our church. We are praying that the Lord opens the door for KiDs Beach Club to open back up again.”
A former Surf Team leader, and forever member of the KiDs Beach Club family, Judy Braswell, says, “By the time schools here resumed last fall, our church decided to no longer partner with KiDs Beach Club to the dismay of students and volunteers alike.
As I began to serve as a substitute teacher, some of the KBC kids talked about missing it. I miss it too, but God has given me opportunities through substitute teaching to connect with and encourage many more students than just our former KiDs Beach Club kids. Thank you for the great curriculum that leaves kids wanting more. May God bless KiDs Beach Club and expand its impact despite the current challenges.”
Carol Baker shared her story after the shutdowns in Tildenville Elementary School, Orange County, saying, “We have continued to pray for each child in our club and have kept in touch by sending letters to them. We still look at the 43 Bibles now placed in their homes, and know God will protect and encourage every one of them and their families.”
Arlene Holland offered us words of encouragement, saying, “Our KiDs Beach Club in Burleson prays for you all every day at 3:00 P.M., about the time we would have been starting clubs. We pray for His protection over you all and this ministry. We pray for wisdom in moving forward; for each school that has opened up for us, at least to this extent; for churches to be ready to join us; and for the lives of the past, present, and future students and families, that they might see Jesus in us. We are blessed to be joined with you and KiDs Beach Club.”
After the ups and downs of COVID, we stand looking upon this new normal, and we don’t see a landscape of fear of confusion, but of hope.
As Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 1:3, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are indescribably thankful for every one of our great volunteers and their determination to serve Christ—and the kids of KiDs Beach Club—no matter how crazy the world has become. Their inspiring stories have given hope to the entire KiDs Beach Club staff as we carry on our ministry and bring the light of scripture to all those we meet!
Published on Mar 15 @ 3:25 PM CDT