My name is Wayne Stocks. I am happily located in the central Ohio where the weather changes more frequently than a politician’s stance. I was going to post a picture of myself here on this page, but I decided that would destroy any credibility this blog may have. Instead, I’ve included a couple of pictures of my family on the bottom of this page.
So, here is a little about me. I am a devoted follower of Christ – a sinner saved by the grace of God.
I have a wonderful wife of ten years now. We are on a journey through life together, and I know that it is only by the grace of God that she is mine. I am a better man, a better father, a better person, and a better follower of Christ because of her. I am also the proud earthly father to four wonderful kids aged 16 (boy), 8 (boy), 6 (girl) and 2 (boy). They are wonderful gifts of God, wonderfully insightful, wonderfully educational, wonderfully independent, wonderfully unique and wonderfully rotten. :) I have learned more about God and life from my kids then I will ever be able to teach them, and they show up regularly in my blog entries.
God’s Ministry (I was going it to call it my ministry, but that wouldn’t be acurate!)
I am actively involved in my local church in the Children’s Ministry. I work with Kindergartners and First Graders on Sunday mornings. I had been a small group leader until very recently. I love the close interaction and bonding afforded by the small group setting and the chance to really have disciple type relationships with kids. That said, when we get too comfortable, God likes to stretch us a little bit, and recently I started doing the large group teaching in the kindergarten/first grade room on Sundays. I’m also actively involved in our mid-week AWANA program. Last year I worked with the three and four year olds, again as a small group leader. This year, I run the games for the kindergartners through sixth grade. I did games for Vacation Bible School this past summer and had a blast, so it was a natural (supernatural, that is) fit when they needed a new games director. It’s great to get to teach the Word of God on the weekend and let loose and just playing with and loving the kids on Wednesday nights. I like to think of it as spreading the Word of God on Sundays and living it on Wednesdays.
I have previously served in a room full of two year olds for a year and in a second grade room. Like my own Children, I have learned more about God in trying to teach those kids each Sunday than they have ever learned from me. I have found that in Children’s ministry, the process of trying to reduce complex theological concepts to the level a child can understand without sacrificing the truth and complexity of God’s revelation helps to bury those truths in my heart. I am constantly reminded of God’s call for us to exhibit faith like a child. Though I am willing to do whatever God calls me to, I am happy that he has called me into Children’s Ministry and pray that he will use me in the lives of those kids.
The short version is I did not grow up in church. After the birth of my third child in 2003, I felt drawn to investigate whether or not the claims of Christianity were true in order to make sure that I was in a position to teach truth to my kids. After much research and reading, I became a member of the family of God at age 30, and I haven’t looked back since. I have posted my entire testimony here on this blog at:
I originally posted my testimony in February 2009 as an open letter to my friends and family. You can find that post here:
What is this Blog About?
I am an avid reader (especially of my Bible). D.C. Talk had a song called “Jesus Freak” which my kids and I love to jam to in the car. I am essentially a “Bible Freak.” I love everything about it. I long for God’s revelation in his word. I read it, I read about it, I think about it, and I study it because it teaches me about my Lord. Because of that, many of my posts have to do with what I am learning from reading my Bible, and they are all, I hope, written from a Christian worldview. I also love that God has blessed me by allowing me to volunteer in Children’s Ministry, and I am passionate about that work. A lot of my posts have to do with my work in Children’s Ministry as well. I also occasionally post about my kids and family because I am a Dad, and that is what Dads do!
Why a Blog?
As I said, I love to read and study God’s word. I like to make lists and write about what I am learning as well. In the same way that teaching God’s word helps to sear it on our soul, I find that writing about it does the same thing for me. So, I decided that since I was writing out my studies anyhow, I may as well share them. Perhaps, by the grace of God, someone else may find them useful.
Why “Dad in the Middle?”
What’s up with the funny name? When I first launched this blog, I had trouble coming up with a name. So, I went with Wayne’s Random Thoughts. After some good natured ribbing from some other Children’s Ministry bloggers, I decided to give some more thought to the name. One of my favorite Christian songs is Casting Crown’s Somewhere in the Middle. In fact, I like the song so much that I did a little post about the biblical basis on the song in the Fall of 2008. You can find that by clicking on the name of the song above. I was thinking about just going with the song title for the title of my blog, but someone already owns the rights to somewhereinthemiddle.com, and I wanted to pick a name where I can migrate to a unique URL in the future if I like it. So, I needed something else. Dad just seemed like a natural fit. One of the many things God has blessed me with is four wonderful kids and the privilege of being their Dad. The little about me blurb on my blog has always read “I am a devoted follower of Christ, a husband, a father and a dedicated Children’s Ministry Worker” and Children’s Ministry Worker in the Middle just seemed too long for a blog title! So, I bought the rights to DadInTheMiddle.com, but for now this blog is going to stay Http://waynestocks.com.
So, that’s a little bit about me and this blog. I hope you enjoy it. If so, please leave a comment so I’ll know that someone else is reading this stuff! :) Happy reading!