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The Kidologist's Salvation Testimony

Membership Level Guest

Author/Source: Karl Bastian

Topic: Testimony

Learn how a Children's Pastor who calls himself "The Kidologist" came to Christ as a four year old, received his call to the ministry as an elementary age boy, and headed into children's ministry before founding

The Kidologist's Salvation Testimony
(And Call to the Ministry)

I was raised in a Christian home, the son of a Baptist minister. Both of my parents not only taught me the truths of Scripture in word, but demonstrated their faith through their actions. My home was one filled with joy and constant reminders of God's love for us. As early as I can remember, I loved Jesus as my "bestest"; Friend.

At the age of four, my mother went into the hospital to have my sister, Melissa. I was sent to stay at a lady named Candy Crowell's house. While outside playing on my Big Wheel, I met up with some older boys who began to have some fun teasing and picking on this new little boy on the street. (me)

Soon, I was back inside crying on Candy's shoulder. I can still clearly remember explaining to her how "when I grow up, I don't want to be mean like those boys." Candy explained to me the only way to be sure that I would be a loving person was to be sure that I had Jesus in my heart. People without Jesus in their life often are mean and selfish because they are living for themselves and not for God.

Candy helped me to see that the sins I commit are the same to God as the meanness of those boys. I realized so clearly that I needed God's forgiveness as much as those boys I thought were so bad. Candy told me that all I had to do to receive God's forgiveness and to have Jesus in my life was to admit to God in prayer that I was a sinner, tell him I was sorry, and ask Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. I already believed in Jesus, his death and resurrection, but I had not given my life to him.

So there at Candy's house, at the young age of four, I gave my heart and life to Jesus so that I might grow up to be a loving person who lived for God and not just for myself.

I have never doubted that on that day I was saved. But as I grew up in the church, I began to learn more and more what that decision truly meant! The Lord gave me a love for His Word that I am so grateful now that I had. Many Sunday School teachers and children's workers encouraged me and challenged me to memorize God's Word and to study it every chance I got.

As the years went by, I began to feel that God had a special plan for me, different then most of my friends who wanted to be baseball players, computer programmers and business men. I could think of nothing more satisfying than to serve God all the time! But, how, I did not know, until the Vacation Bible School when I was twelve years old. Barney Kinard, a children's evangelist who is now a close friend, came to our church and brought "Barney's Barrel."; I so enjoyed his puppets, stories, jokes, magic tricks and way with the kids. I was ready to make a decision, but I didn't know what that decision should be. At the final closing decision time, I listened intently.

The first option was to accept Christ. I had already done that. I'd wait for the next option. The next option was to rededicate my life to God if I had not been living for Him like I know I should. That too, I felt didn't fit me. I wasn't perfect, of course, but I felt I was doing the best I could. How could I commit to do better than my best? I would wait for the next option. But the third option never came. The invitation was over as was the week of "Barney's Barrel."

However, I was not done. I was ready to make a decision and since none of choices offered fit my need, I made up my own. It was really quite simple. I decided on that day that I was going to be like Barney. I was going to grow up and yet, still be a kid. I was going to learn to do puppets and magic tricks and tell great stories. I was going to be funny and yet able to tell about Jesus in a way that kids would listen. I didn't see Barney again for over ten years. I met him in college after I'd done hundreds of programs like his and traveled to many cities and countries being like him. Today we are close friends, and I still try to be like Barney, as Barney is trying to be like Jesus. Which is O.K., since even the Apostle Paul told Timothy "imitate me as I imitate Christ."

I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I were not saved and serving the Lord. The Lord has blessed me with a beautiful wife, who is a perfect partner in serving Him. He has blessed me with wonderful opportunities to serve Him all over the globe; places I would never have gone otherwise. He has blessed me to be able to meet, minister to, and love so many children not only in the churches I've served, but countless other churches, ministries and places.

If I could change one thing about my life, I can't think of what it would be; I don't even think I could have accepted Christ any younger. I would wish only that I would still be able to walk as close to God as I did as a child, that I could spend as much time in God's Word as I did as a child, and that I could remember all the verses I memorized in Sunday School and Awana. Though tempted like any other, I envy nothing the world has to offer because God has given me everything, because He has given me Himself!

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