Global Ministry Celebrates 30 Years
February 10, 2010
SAN DIEGO, (christiansunite.com) -- While growing-up in a suburb of San Diego, Steve Karges dreamed of becoming an international evangelist.
"I wanted to reach the world for Christ," said the founder and president of Children's Ministries International, Inc., which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. "I believed Jesus commanded me to 'GO' and I wanted to obey."
When Steve was in elementary school, he would sit under a tree during recess while the other kids played and read a book about evangelism. At home, Karges would listen to a recording of the sermon "You can be a Soul Winner" over and over again.
As a teenager, Karges began to focus specifically on children's ministry.
"When I was in high school in the 1970s," Steve said recently, "I volunteered to lead the children's church service at the non-denominational church where my dad was the minister. That's when God planted the seed in my heart to make children's ministry my full- time vocation."
While Karges was attending college, he served simultaneously at two small churches in San Diego County for nearly three years. At one church, he taught Sunday School, led children's church and was in charge of two youth groups on Sundays. For the second congregation, Steve led after-school Bible clubs for kids on Mondays and Wednesdays.
"Resources were limited, but I learned so much about children's ministry during those early years," Karges said.
"I also had the privilege of serving at the Billy Graham and Luis Palau Crusades in San Diego. Those were great experiences and I learned a lot about mass evangelism," Steve continued.
Shortly after his first mission's trip to Australia in 1979, Karges started his own ministry at the age of 22. On May 16, 1980, Children's Ministries International, Inc. was born.
"Our vision is to advance ministry to children at home and abroad," Karges explained. "And CMI's mission is to glorify God by training leaders and partnering with His global church to evangelize and disciple boys and girls around the world."
Children's Ministries International, Inc., now in its fourth decade, has proclaimed the gospel over the years through radio broadcasts, children's crusades, sports outreach, "Weekend Kids' Retreats," leadership training, overseas evangelism and advocacy for children's ministry.
"There are two-billion children on earth under 15 years of age," Steve concluded. "And two-thirds of these kids do not know Christ. It's time for Christians everywhere to rise-up and meet this challenge."