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I grew up a church kid. I went to Sunday School every week, memorized my Bible verses, was youth group president, went on mission trips – the whole nine yards.
My husband was raised on the opposite side of the country, and grew up in a different denomination. (I grew up Baptist. He grew up Wesleyan.) Thousands of miles apart in churches with different styles, we both experienced many of the same things…and I have a hunch that no matter where you went to church, you did too.
And yet, in spite of all of these wonderfully cheesy things, I remain a person who clings to her faith, loves Jesus, and loves her church. While I hope we’ve made some strides towards cultural relevance, I’m positive that in 20 years, my own four “church kids” will be able to make such a list. (Hey- if you can’t poke fun at yourself, what can ya do?)
So, sit back, pop in some Steven Curtis Chapman or Geoff Moore and the Distance, throw some cocoa in your dad’s Promise Keeper’s mug, and enjoy this trip down memory lane.
1. You know who Psalty is. *Bonus points if you can sing Bullfrongs and Butterflies and/or the “Arky Arky” song!
And now I’m singing, “The Lord told Noah, there’s gonna be a floody floody….get those animals out of the muddy muddy.”
2. You know what a sword drill is. (And that it has nothing to do with swords….or drills…)
Straight up – I challenge anyone – any day – anywhere. I was the master of sword drills. =)
3. You had a WWJD bracelet….or two….or ten.
4. You participated in a youth group “lock-in.”
5. You had a Precious Moments Bible. (Why must those children look so sad?)
6. You probably carried said Bible around in one of these…
7. You got excited when your Sunday School teacher put on a movie like this…
or this….McGee and Me!
8. You re-dedicated your life to Christ around a campfire at summer camp.
*Bonus points – You sang worship songs “in a round” around said campfire.
*Bonus bonus points – One of those songs was “Father I adore You” or “I Love You Lord”
9. There is a box in your house somewhere filled with cd’s by…
DC Talk (And now I’m singing, “God is Doing a Nu Thang“)
*Bonus points – Their song “In the Light” was likely life-changing for you and/or you proudly told people you were a “Jesus Freak.”
Jars of Clay, Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, and Michael W. Smith.
*Bonus points if you ever rocked out to “Flood” in a Christian mosh-pit, thought Will of Audio Adrenaline was hot, tried desperately to learn all the words to “Shine” by the Newsboys, and could full-on belt out “Friends are Friends Forever” by MWS this very minute.
(Cuz you know they are….if the Lord’s the Lord of them…..and a friend will not say never….’cuz the welcome will not end…)
(It’s totally hard not to type all those lyrics…)
10. Your mom just might have a little red vest or an ugly gray button up shirt hanging in a guest-room closet somewhere.
11. When I say, “Spring up oh well,” you automatically leap from your chair and yell, “Splish! Splash!”
12. Speaking of automatic responses…..When I say, “Hallelu – Hallelu- Hallelu- Hallelujah”, you say, “Praise Ye the Lord!”
*Bonus points if this involved some type of stand up/sit down/stand up game or some type of “which side is loudest?” contest.
13. In your mind, Jesus had feathered(ish) long brown hair, and was always wearing a white robe with a blue sash.
(I seriously just asked my husband (out of nowhere), “Quick – what color was Jesus’ sash?” His response (w/o missing a beat -“blue.” in almost a “duh” tone of voice.) =)
14. You quickly learned which church ladies made the good food, and which casseroles were to be avoided at church potlucks.
(And you always prayed someone brought macaroni and cheese.)
15. You can tell someone about your faith using jellybeans, “the wordless book”, or one of these….
16. Someone you know had a framed copy of “Footprints” somewhere in their home.
17. One word – flannelgraph.
18. You played some type of renegade night game, some type of game requiring you to spin around a broom and then run, and/or some type of “eat this nasty food as fast as you can” game at youth group or summer camp.
(*Bonus points if you packed special camo and/or clothes for night games when you went to camp, one of the foods you had to eat quickly was a Big Hunk or Charleston Chew, and/or you know the best youth group game ever….Four on a Couch.)
19. You proudly went to “See You at the Pole.”
(*Bonus points if you later prayed for the kids who mockingly played Duck Duck Goose while you were praying.)
20.You know all the hand-motions to “Our God is an Awesome God.”
And because I’m feeling like handing out more bonus points…(and because I thought of more than 20 things….)
*Bonus points if you ever went to a Billy Graham Crusade (Portland-’92 baby!), attended a 5 Day Club or VBS, know all the verses to “Jesus Loves Me”, ever declared you were “on fire” for God, kissed dating goodbye, and/or if your mom or grandma had a verse cross-stitched on something in your home.
And I’m still singing that song….”Yo! Who’s doin’ it?”
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Like this post? Check out my 20 Signs You Grew Up a Church Kid: Christmas Edition!
*This post was written from the perspective of a 32 year old baby of the ’80’s. Hopefully those in the generations before and after me will be able to relate to some of these things too. =)
*Please read through the comments, as many people have chimed in with their own favorite things – Some were simply not a part of my childhood (ie-Adventures in Odyssey and The Donut Man) or are just outside of my generation (ie- things like Sandi Patty and Veggie Tales.)
* I am LOVING all of your comments! Connecting with all of you and remembering alongside you has been such a fun journey for me. I never expected this post to resonate with so many. Thanks for stopping by and reminiscing with me.
I am 19 and I totally did everything on that list and I love it.
Anybody go to Ichthus Festival in KY? I got to see Relient K and hear Kirk Cameron. Such good times.
Love this list! I was laughing at so many.
Keith Green anyone? Anyone? “Manna waffles!”
I’m 41, grew up A/G and know all these too! I’m not sure the WWJD bracelets were out when I was in school but everything else…yes! And I agree Carmen was a big deal. Many human videos were made to his songs! I have such great memories as a church kid and many of the friends that I had back in Sunday school and in youth group are so my friends today. Thanks for the post. This was fun to read.
What about Petra and the start of Amy Grant and MWS. Then when Amy and Michael went secular!
When NIV came out?
What great list you gathered together!
I was actually Nancy in our church production of The Music Machine! Fun memory! =)
What about the song (with actions of course) Pharoah-Pharoah Oooooo baby let my people go -uh – yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Or how about
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love of all man kind as you would love yourself and Love the Lord your God…..
Anyone into Teenage Politics???
Oh my goodness! I am singing in my head, “We’ve got Christian lives to live. We’ve got Jesus Christ to give…” I think I’ll be singing it in my head all night! Thanks for reading!
Thanks for sharing your list. Good memories of younger days!! ( Some of I have been able to share with nieces and nephews and great- nieces and great – nephews too!!)
Bonus points if you were in a Psalty play?? Also can there be bonus points for being in Donut Man plays…twice? Who didn’t want to be a part of the Donut Repair Club?! “Life without God’s love, is like a Donut…there’s a hole in the middle of your heart.” (I may own two Donut Man DVD’s…and watch them still!)
T-shirts that had what looked like the budweiser logo but said “bloodwiser” this blood’s for you….christain marketing at it’s finest 😉 still have my jacket from carmen’s revival in the land concert and some petra cassette tapes…and because my name is charity, actually playing charity church mouse and being called that for. The. Rest. Of. My. Life. Good times….good go on forever…
Love this! Super happy to know others out there remember these.
I just wish churches’ children programs taught songs like this. Or even children’s chorus as a part of their program. These things will remain forever in their hearts like Psalty’s songs are still there for me.
Petraaaaaa 🙂 I had the cassettes as a kid, and all the CD’s now! And I loved Carman! And Psalty… wow, I didn’t realize us “church kids” had so many things in common LOL.
“Shut de door, keep out de Devil,
Shut de door, keep de Devil in the night….”
Thanks for reminding me! Fun!
Okay, I scored 100, plus all the bonus points. PLUS, I was at the ’92 Portland Billy Graham crusade and still have all the newspaper clippings somewhere in storage! I was in the choir. Great post and thank you for the plesant and very entertaining trip down memory lane. ?
“Just as I Am” is still the way I go to the Lord.
Now I’m stuck singing every last verse in my head.
My first car license plate in 1996 was “NTHE LYT” and I still have that plate! Love this post!
Bonus points if you knew which Adult Sunday school classroom always had leftover donuts. And you were sad if other kids got there first.
This one made me lol! Thanks for reading and responding Daniel! =)
Don’t forget “Antsylvania” or the Christmas play with “The year of the star”, and “what shall we name the baby?”!?
Oh my goodness!! Antshillvania I was the baby ant.
Anty: “I want to be independ-Ant”.
These are so good! Anyone else remember the VERY dramatic Total Eclipse of the Heart plays? Every time I hear it I picture the “demons” with the sin signs.. Drugs, sex, gossip, etc turning around. I was so proud when I got to play the girl who was rescued by God one year! Always giggle now when people sing this at karaoke!
I got 100 and I know about adventures in Odyssey and the Doghnut man. I am wondering if anyone has ever heard about circle-square?
The Dounut Man was the best! “Life without Jesus is like a donut, like a dohhhhnut, like a donut. Life without Jesus, is like a dohhhhnut, cause there’s a hole in the middle of your heart…..life without Jesus is like soda without the bubbles, life tastes flat and full of troubles.”
The shirts that said
GOD IS LIKE
COKE gave a reason! Ect
If you stayed after church on communion Sunday to drink all the grale juice out of the little cups. Bonus if it was Welch’s.
Basically all of these. Do I get even more bonus points for the fact that I’m no longer a Christian, but I still rock out to Jars of Clay and Newsboys as well as Jennifer Knapp, Petra, and P.O.D.?
…”no longer a Christian…”? No such thing. Are you baptized? Come on home, Meredith. I’ll be praying for YOU! Love
This is why non Christians aren’t interested in Jesus.
YES to all of these. Also, “True Love Waits.” And Carmen concerts. Lots and lots of Carmen concerts. And matching t-shirts for Every. Youth group. Activity. Ever. So many t-shirts.
I remember getting “new” clothes from the missionary barrel….C&MA in GA.
All of that might as well have been written in another language… lol I went to worship every Sunday (bible class and 2 separate worship services) and bible study every Wednesday and none of that blog made sense to me. I also teach bible classes for kids, and with the exception of the “Arky Arky” song that we sing in the 2/3 yo class, I know nothing about any of that… What is Psalty? I can’t figure it out
I am 42( for a time reference!)…we did Psalty plays every year. I attended a parochial elementary school. Remember them well!
Bullfrogs and Butterflies was on Agapeland…..by Berry McGuire…. Not Psalty….
Signs you grew up a Catholic kid:
1. Church every Saturday night or Sunday morning
2. Sunday school, with your parents running the program
3. CYO – meetings, camping trips, fundraisers
4. Rosary every night at home during Rosary month
5. Statue of St Christopher in your grandma’s car
6. Other grandma telling you to “Offer your suffering up to Jesus” when you complained about something
7. Wondering what the funny cross was still doing in the chapel on base when you went there right after the Protestants had finished
8. Arguing with the confirmation class teacher over whether you have to wear pantyhose to confirmation
9. Getting to wear a veil for first communion
10. Wondering why you couldn’t have junior-high orchestra rehearsal on Wednesday nights
11. Being gobsmacked and totally impressed with your Baptist friends’ ability to quote the Bible. Any part of it. Accurately!
12. Feeling totally cheated with the music once you started going to friends’ churches with them – to Presbyterian, Lutheran, or Episcopal services – and discovering that not everyone sings the crap that Marty Hagan and David Haas writes – some denominations still sing the grand old hymns
Psalty’s Sing along, etc. Fun stuff. Oh, and the Catholic Churches DO sing the great old hymns! God bless you all.
Right there with ya. . . Love it! I’m older than you at almost 40 and almost all of that resonated!
What about Al Denson and Dawson McAlister concerts, and Mike Warnke
I loved church. My beasties were at my church not school. I sure wish my son felt the same way. He’s very indifferent.
I totally forgot about Al Denson! I loved Dawson McAllister Live! I loved remembering all of these things! Anyone ever see Music Machine and Benny’s Biggest Battle??
Herp derp derp derp derp derp derp…
These are totally bringing back memories & making me smile!!!
My sisters & I did a rehearsed dance at my wedding to Shine! Love the newsboys (those ones anyway – they have different members now).
Love this! And yes- I struggle with the Newsboys now too – thinking to myself they’re half Newsboys and half DC Talk. =)
I’m one of the moms with the grey shirt and red vest hidden away somewhere. I was a leader and have a great granddaughter who is now a cubbie! Know all the words to the songs! Fun.
I’m 22 and on board with 95% of the stuff you mentioned (only ever did VBS not church camp). Currently on a mission to track down all that amazing stuff from my childhood, particularly songs, to share with my kindergarten class and eventually my own kids in the not do near future. Why is so much of the current stuff just not as good? I had totally for gotten about Psaly! ?
My favorite show was Story Keepers, anyone remember that one? I managed to find the whole DVD set at a rummage sale. I also love AIO and hope to one day have the entire radio and animated collections. While I did not have a grey Awana shirt (one generation too late) my mom has her old leader one, I completed my Citation, and have been a leader for 9yrs. This is my 15th year serving in children’s ministry and I love it so much.
Btw, does anyone remember an upbeat “silly” song from the early 2000s with a chorus of “go go go, go go gotta go, go go walk away”? I have been trying to find it but can’t remember any other lyrics