I began promoting Tadpole Tails products at the Children’s Pastor’s Conference in San Diego in March and then at the Children’s Ministry Expo in Lexington last July.
My number one question was, “Why the cute tadpole?”. The second question was, “Do you sell preschool curriculum?” I actually began wondering if I chose the wrong logo for this venture. I don’t believe I did.
First of all, our products are all about transformation and frankly tadpoles are way cooler than butterflies. I wouldn’t be caught dead manning a booth with a cute butterfly in the background! Secondly, kids, even older kids, don’t mind cute…in fact they think cute is cool. For example, kids love the Geico Gecko and they aren’t even the target audience. Phil Vischer, who I have tons of respect for, picked a very cute Jellyfish as the logo for his latest venture, www.JellyTelly.com.
Finally, the most important reason I chose a tadpole was it summarized why I want to invest my very best into every product we sell. You see, I had first-hand experience with tadpoles that never transformed into frogs. Years ago, my children received a Grow-A-Frog kit and were very excited to see the tadpoles turn into frogs. This excitement quickly wore off and those little swimmers were abandoned to the corner of our kitchen. As the water evaporated out of their tank, I became involved. I kept them alive by filling up their water, but as the weeks and months went by, I began wondering if they were ever going to turn into frogs. After doing some research (yeah I just googled it) I learned that tadpoles needed warm water and food. So, only after I added a heat lamp and tadpole food, did these little swimmers turn into little hoppers. I learned that transformation only happens when we are intentional.
Tadpole Tails exists to help “big people” help “little people” grow spiritually strong. If there are kids in our lives, whether teaching at church or parenting at home, we are in the transformational business whether we like it or not (see Matthew 28:19-20). The question I asked myself, after letting those little frogs hop free in my backyard, was, “Do my children have everything they need to transform into spiritual hoppers; I mean spiritual champions?” As a children’s pastor, I also asked that question about the many children God brings to my church week after week. Sadly I wasn’t sure the answer was yes. You see, I’ve been exposed to the statistics. Between 50% and 80% (depends whose study you look at) of the children in church will abandon their faith when they go off to college. Since I’ve been ministering to children for over 15 years, these statistics aren’t just numbers, their faces. I’ve seen children, wonderful children, who were excitedly participating in my classroom for years, leave the faith and go over the deep end. I won’t describe the stories here because frankly they are too depressing.
These days, I am not faithfully pouring water and food into a tank full of tadpoles. I am pouring all my energy and creativity into developing curriculum and tools that communicate God’s love and truth to today’s children in powerful ways they understand. I certainly don’t want to contribute numbers to a terrible statistic. I want to build into every child God brings my way, not to mention the ones He put under my roof, so that they flourish spiritually and transform into fully developed disciples of Jesus Christ.
So, if you’re interested in this type of transformation, embrace the cute little Tadpole knowing that inside there is a strong frog just waiting to hop out. And by the way, we do hope to be providing preschool curriculum in the future.