A Sabbath Rest and A Spiritual Battlefield (My Plans for the Future)

Wayne Stocks —  January 18, 2011

BeachI am posting this article simultaneously on both Dad in the Middle and Kidmin1124 as this announcement affects both sites.  It is with both a heavy heart and an excited anticipation for what God has next for me and my family that I make this announcement.   After much reflection, even more prayers, and soliciting the advice of some godly men and women, I have come to conclusion that it is time for me to step away (or at least draw back significantly) for a season from my online ministry activities.  Allow me first to explain why, secondly to explain what my new plan is and finally to explain what I intend to do with this season in my life.

Over the last year or so, I have been dealing with some health issues related to my back.  While acknowledging my complicity in what led to the problems in the first place, numerous brothers and sisters in Christ have helped me to understand that these issues may very well have been some sort of spiritual attack resulting from my online ministry efforts to equip and encourage those who are dedicated to helping guide kids into the Kingdom of Christ.  Thanks to God, our great and heavenly Physician, those issues have largely passed now with only minor lingering issues.  Once those health issues were miraculously healed by God, I was able to spend more and more time with my wife and family, and God began to make something abundantly clear to me.  Where I thought I had achieved balance in all of my activities, I found that my life was actually way out of balance, and my family was suffering for it.  I began to sense/realize that my family was also likely under spiritual attack, and I had been largely ignorant of, and oblivious to, it.  Over the last several weeks, I have wrestled with whether or not stepping away constitutes giving in and giving up in the spiritual battle.  Through prayer and seeking the advice that I mentioned earlier, I am confident that stepping away, while not easy, is the right thing for this season of my life.  God ordained the family as an important part of His plan, and my first priority must always be to protect my family and to find the balance that will allow me to effectively minister while not sacrificing the long-term health of my family.  While I was initially hesitant about making this decision, God has through a series of events and circumstances made it abundantly clear to me that this is the appropriate, right and god-honoring decision for both me and my family at this time.

So, here is what I am planning to do and what you will see from me online.  I have been contributing articles to Ministry-to-Children.com.  Tony Kummer has been gracious in allowing me to reach a vast audience through his sight, and for that I am extremely grateful.  For now though, unless clearly prompted otherwise by God to write something, those articles will stop.  Dad in the Middle was where I first started writing online, and has really been the vehicle through which I have made a large number of great contacts in children’s ministry and otherwise.  It is near and dear to my heart, and has been a vehicle to process my thoughts and share them with an audience of readers.  I will miss is greatly, but my intention is to a break from writing there as well.  Some articles are already scheduled and those will continue.  If I feel prompted to write short articles from time to time about my kids or what is going on at church, I might do that depending on time availability – but you will not see new content very often on that site either – not nearly the 7+ articles per week that I have averaged for roughly the last couple of years.  I have already promised some people that I would review their books and other products on the site, and I will keep those obligations.  I may also post some additional reviews over time as I find it to be a great way to keep track of what I am reading.  That said, you will likely not see the type of in depth articles that I have enjoyed posting for the last several years during this time of Sabbath.  Most regrettably, I have decided to suspend the monthly Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol, which while it is one of my favorite features of the site, consumes an inordinate amount of time.

As for Kidmin1124, I fully believe in the mission of this site which is to build a community of people to help equip and support volunteers and those who lead them.  We have assembled an amazing team of gifted writers who I learn from almost every day.  In addition to writing for the site, I also serve as editor.  One of our writers, Jared Massey, has graciously agreed to step up and fill in as editor during this time.  Jared is an amazing guy with a passion for kids, and I have no doubt that he will do an amazing job in this role, and Kidmin1124.com will continue to tick along as a valuable resource for all volunteers and those who lead them.  Again, I may still write an article from time to time as led by God, but my activity will be significantly reduced.  For this time at least, you are more likely to find me in the comments to articles than writing them myself.  I am still working out the details with Jared, but you shouldn’t notice any significant change in Kidmin1124 with the possible exception of the weekly newsletter.  My plan is to continue to host the new 1 hour long Kidmin Volunteer Radio Program every other week.  We have just started this new opportunity, and want to follow through on that.

Lastly, I should address what I plan to do with all that extra time.  That is simple.  I am going to renew and refresh my relationship with God. I am going to pray more and read more and listen more to God.  I am going to seek him more fervently and pause to listen for his response.  I am going to hold my wife closer and kiss her more often.  I am going to find ways to woo her and show her just how much I love her.  I am going to play more games with my kids, read to them more often, and watch cartoons until I can’t stand it anymore.  I am going to fight my spiritual battle on the most important battlefield of all – that of my home and family.  My activity in the local church will continue as usual – perhaps even more fervently.  As with all the battles we face, I am grateful and confident knowing that I have the All Powerful Creator of All Things on my side.  If God is for me, who can be against me?

I am still very very passionate about reaching kids for the Kingdom of Christ and helping others do the same in whatever way I can.  That will not change – though the form that takes will be altered for a little while.  I will not drop our of sight entirely.  This community, and the people I have met, are too important to me for that.  Right now, I don’t know how long this Sabbath will rest, but I trust God will let me know when the right time to come back is.  For those who have read this far, I thank you for being a loyal reader, for being a friend and for motivating me to be the man that God created me to be.  Your continued prayers during this time will be greatly appreciated.

Wayne Stocks

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Wayne is married to a wonderful woman and has four kids whom God uses to teach him on an almost daily basis. He is blessed to volunteer in a wonderful children's ministry at New Life Church Gahanna. He established Kidmin1124 for those who give their time to kids and feel passionately about children's ministry. When he isn't working on Kidmin1124, he maintains another blog at WayneStocks.com and contributes articles on a regular basis to Ministry-to-Children.com.

3 responses to A Sabbath Rest and A Spiritual Battlefield (My Plans for the Future)

  1. Wayne, will be praying for you as you continue to do what God has called you to do. I know that you will be all you can be for your wife, family and the people you minister to. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Staci,

    Thank you for your input and your prayers. They are very much appreciated!

  3. Blessings to you and much fruit!