Saturday, July 27, 2013



Presented by East 
Coast Christian Center, 
is a Nickelodeon-style 
party for kids in 
kindergarten through 
6th grade. And this 
year's event was 
particularly explosive! 

Located in Merritt Island, Florida, East Coast Christian Center has long maintained a commitment to the local community and beyond. From its annual outdoor Christmas on the Parkway celebration to serving Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of less fortunate to providing public basketball courts and operating a full-time food pantry as well as global missions work, ECCC reflects the true image of Christ (love, kindness and compassion) year 'round — with no strings attached — it's just how they roll. But my favorite annual ECCC hoo-ha is an event so hot, they have to reserve it just for the summertime.

KIDSPLOSION 2013 was an epic event!
(Photos courtesy of LeighAnn Johnson)
For the last couple of years, ECCC has set aside a few nights in July to throw a pre-back-to-school, Nickelodeon-style game show-type party. Known as KIDSPLOSION, the event attracts  kids from all over the county for a high-energy night of family fun.

This year, ECCC's 600-person capacity Parkway worship sanctuary was packed to the gills for each of the three nights. The second night in particular saw crowds spilling out into the front lobby and even filling the upstairs overflow rooms. Yes, this was one hot (free) ticket indeed.

The Blue Team once again was pitted against the Green Team in what's become a classic rivalry. Pudding was flung across the stage and toilet paper flew through the air, much to the delight of the young participants, and at least a couple of kids even went home mummified. Good stuff, to be sure.

But there was more to be enjoyed this year than mere fun and games.  Superstar VIPs such as popster Justin Timberpond, rapper 3 Chainz and Christopher O'Houlihan, the world's tallest Leprechaun all were on-hand to rock the KIDSPLOSION stage. And in the end, not only did the kids have a blast, they also  ALL received FREE backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies.

Okay, so it was three great nights of family fun and nearly 1,000 kids received some sweet swag. But you might ask, where was the payoff for the church? Were enormous offerings collected? Nope. ECCC never "passes the plate" during KIDSPLOSION. Was a fat cover charge collected at the door? Heck no! ECCC offers this event and the supplies as a FREE gift to the community. Did they successfully persuade hundreds of families to join the church? Ugh, really? Although they'd love to welcome all 1,800 attendees to the church permanently, many might not ever return. So where was the payoff? Well, simply put, nearly 600 kids gave their lives to Christ during KIDSPLOSION 2013. You see, at East Coast Christian Center, it's ALL about connecting with people and building the Kingdom, man. And in that regard, the payoff was HUGE!

Nearly 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies 
were given away FREE during KIDSPLOSION.
(Photo courtesy of Jake "The Snake" Kaufman)

So how do I know so much about a kids' event? Well, I'm the world's oldest 12-year-old — it's how I roll. C'MON!

-Christopher Long
(July 2013)

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