Mr. Leon's Boys


In the course of many Safe Sanctuary training sessions the question has been raised, “Given the 2 NON-RELATED adult rule, should husbands and wives serve together?”  My answer to that question is a resounding YES!  Not only are men of God needed as role models for our children, but godly marriages need to be observed by our children.  According to scripture (and Safe Sanctuary policy) married couples are counted as ONE person.  Applying the two adult rule means you must add a third body or employ a floater. But by all means, pair husbands and wives together as often as possible!

I recently witnessed this plan in action at my own church where our children’s director is actually a team – Jennifer and Leon Manning . 

 From my perspective they share the role equally, both planning and preparing, one teaching, one "tech-ing," etc.  But the best part of watching this team is seeing the young boys who flock to Mr. Leon’s side and literally hang from his neck.  (One day he’ll be too old for such sport but today, he “wears” these boys proudly!) Some of these kids come from solid two parent homes, but many do not have that blessing in their lives.  Some of them are being raised by grandparents and have never even met their father.  For them, Mr. Leon has become their only positive male role model.

 Recently, during a Wednesday night meal, Mr. Leon stood to gather the “troops” and head to class. Five or six boys followed behind him like little pups. Later that night, Mr. Leon led a game involving jelly beans that tasted like skunk spray, stinky diapers, and more gross stuff.  Boys (AND GIRLS!) jumped up and down to be chosen by Mr. Leon for the opportunity to eat these things!!  But, I don’t really think they wanted to taste skunk spray; I think they wanted to impress Mr. Leon! 

As I watched this phenomenon, it occurred to me that this is the way of Christ – loving, challenging, teaching -in such a way that others seek to follow. And as they follow, they seek to “impress” Him rather than the world. I want my following of Christ to be as innocent and free as these boys who follow Mr. Leon.  And I want to be among the ones jumping up and down for the opportunity (even though it may seem "gross" to the world) to impress my Master.

Thank you, Mr. Leon, for the example you are to our boys.  And thank you for the challenge I received while watching you serve! 

Is there a “Mr. Leon” in your church?  I challenge you to post his name and your church name here, and then send him a note of thanks for the example he is setting and the lives he is changing!

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