Okay, so he didn’t really steal from me. He probably stole the idea from the same people I stole from. Back in 2006 I was sitting in a room with other youth pastors brainstorming when one stood up and shared how his church hosted a special needs prom every year. They called it Joy Prom. In that instant, about a dozen other youth pastors (including me) vowed to start one in our own city. As I continued to minister over the years I helped start Joy Proms in Jackson MS, Shreveport LA, and now Columbus MS. It’s always one of the highlights of the year as our high school students throw a prom for the special needs community.
So I was surprised, then shocked, then ecstatic to hear in the news recently that Tim Tebow’s foundation is coordinating 45 simultaneous proms in different cities this weekend for the special needs community. Tim was inspired by seeing a special needs prom at a local church last year. Who knows? It could have been one of the dozen whose genesis started in that room back in 2006.Either way, I applaud Tebow for leveraging the platform given to him to shine a spotlight on others and bring honor and dignity to a very special group of people. I also look forward to Mt Vernon’s annual Joy Prom taking place April 25. If you don’t have something like the Joy Prom in your community, consider starting one. It’s a ton of work, but more than worth it!
Here’s a typical letter we get in response to the Joy Prom. Here are the lives we get to touch:
I just wanted to thank you all for the work you did on the Joy Prom. My stepson Phillip was a participant Saturday night. His mother and I were with him and were amazed at all the work, effort, love and sacrifice you made for Phillip and the other special adults to whom you ministered through this special event. A very special thanks to Lauren, Phillip’s date, and the other amazing young people who chose to be compassionate rather than “cool” and took an awesome “image risk” Thank you for all you do and God bless you.