Read stories and listen to testimonials of how God is transforming lives at FAC.


In the Life of Adam Connor

"No one is too young or shy to be used powerfully by God."

Theodore Roosevelt coined the well-loved phrase, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” For Adam’s story, these words prove undeniably true. If you met Adam Connor today, you might be first struck by his lively brown eyes and quick smile. You might observe his instinctive ability to connect with children and set them at ease. You’d never know this talkative and energetic 13-year-old was once a withdrawn and anxious little boy.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Adam didn’t always feel comfortable in a children’s classroom. His early days in FAC’s preschool class were far from easy. One of his teachers, Gail Morgan, described the weekly scenario as a time of “automatic anxiousness” for Adam as soon as his mother, Michele, left him to attend church services. Little Adam would glue his eyes to the hands of the clock to await his mother’s return. He even kept his own watch to track time. “I’ve always had a watch with me,” Adam admitted. He remembers looking at his watch in kindergarten to pace out the events of the day. One of Adam’s teachers told Michele that her son should “take up a career in time management.” When Michele mentioned the amusing memory, Adam said, “Is that a career? Sign me up!” But it wasn’t always funny or easy for Adam. “I wasn’t very used to being away from my parents,” he said. There were plenty of weeks his anxiety reached a level that Michele had to be summoned from the church services.

“How many times did you get paged because of me?” Adam asked, with a knowing laugh.

“More than I care to admit!” Michele also laughed at the memory.

Adam volunteering in the Tree House on Sunday morning

But what would God use to change this shy preschooler into a different person? God used one of Adam’s natural gifts to bring him out of his shell with music. Adam came alive through song. As a four-year-old, Adam began singing in the children’s choir at FAC. Teachers couldn’t believe the change in his countenance, now so joy-filled, confident, and free. Music soon began to infiltrate Adam’s life as he was launched into a vast range of singing opportunities. Adam was cast as the Captain in FAC’s production of “L.O.S.T But Now I’m Found,” an adventurous island musical. Adam sang solos for the performance, embracing his prominent role. He also starred as Simba in his school’s production of “Lion King” as a singing lead.

“No one is too young or shy to be used powerfully by God.”

But God didn’t stop there. He continued to push Adam further to use his voice. A school teacher noticed Adam’s talent. She encouraged him to pursue a program with the prestigious Philadelphia Boys Choir.

Adam recalls, “At school apparently my music teacher thought I was good at singing. She recommended a couple kids to audition and I got in.” Adam spent the next couple years in the cadet program of the Philadelphia Boys Choir. The high-level training marked a highlight for Adam, but God had even more in store. Adam’s voice would soon take him beyond American shores and into Europe. He auditioned and was accepted into another choir with the First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown. Adam’s choir traveled to Denmark, leading him to perform in many different churches across that country. His first impression of the new country was, “Everyone rode their bikes. There were no cars!” On further reflection of his experience in Denmark, Adam said, “It was a lot of fun.” His eyes lit up. “We sang ten concerts at different churches so it was a Christian-based thing.”

Adam’s musical abilities were not something he kept for his own benefit. Although he grew up in a Christian home, as Adam matured, he grew to embrace the Christian faith as his own. He notes, “[My parents] were Christians, and they really impressed upon me the faith. I feel like my faith has grown over the years, and it’s become my faith rather than my parents.” As God continued to change him, Adam began to get involved more heavily in church, including singing in youth choirs and performing on the Middle School Worship Team. Beyond singing, though, Adam was drawn to children. God used Adam’s past experiences as an anxious preschooler to give him a special sense of compassion for children, especially those who might feel uneasy or uncertain. Because of this special connection, Adam decided to serve in children’s ministry.

Now Adam has been serving children for three years. When asked what his favorite age to work with was, he replied, “I really like it all.” He went on to say that he appreciated the relational aspect of children a little bit older. “Sometimes it’s interesting when the kids can really voice their opinions.” He likes to get to know them personally to put them at ease. Adam said that working with children has helped him connect on a child’s level. “Sometimes you think that it’s obvious some of the things that you’re saying for the kids,” he said. But then he reminds himself, “‘Well, I’m not five! I’ve known this for seven more years than you!’ It’s going to be different for them. You’ve got to really lengthen your explanations to them so they can get what you’re saying.” Adam admits that this has been a patience-stretching road. With a laugh, he turned to his mom and said, “You can relate to this. Sometimes I’m not so patient. So I feel like [working with children] really helped me.”

Adam’s much-loved presence is well-known by young children and teachers alike. You can’t miss the enthusiasm in his movements and the dedication in his attitude. Committed, confident, and friendly, the once-shy child now draws shy children to himself like a magnet. The tasks he does in the classroom may be simple, but the kids connect with his heart. “I might pass out papers and all that stuff. I try to make friends with the kids so they know me sort of even if they don’t know my name. That’s what really matters in there.” Adam now works alongside the teachers he once sat under.

Adam with his parents, Bob and Michele Connor

When asked if he had a favorite thing to do with the kids, Adam replied, “I know it might not be as related to Christianity, but playing with them. That’s where you really get to bond with them. And then that carries over to when you’re actually learning about the faith. It can be easier to impress it upon them if you know them better.” Without knowing it, Adam was living out Roosevelt’s quote. He was showing the kids he cared so they could absorb the faith he knows. Kids will open up to Adam over a coloring page because they know he’s not just passing time. He really cares. He was once in their place.

While he continues to actively serve in children’s ministry, Adam doesn’t stop embracing new opportunities to serve. Next on Adam’s service radar is “The Philadelphia Project,” a missions outreach with a group from his school. “Over the summer, I’m going to go to a college campus, and we’re going to do a bunch of different projects including helping kids. My learning how to work with kids is going to benefit me while I’m there,” he said with a smile.

What’s next in store for Adam? Only God knows. But one thing’s for sure. God has great plans for Adam’s life. So the next time you pass by a young teen, remember Adam’s story and that no one is too young or shy to be used powerfully by God. And if you happen to pass by Adam along a hallway at FAC, remember that he’s not only a musically-gifted, energetic, time-keeping, pasta-loving, children’s volunteer. He’s a masterpiece of God at work in a young life. †
Teenagers and/or parents and younger children, if you would like to volunteer in Children’s Ministries, contact Kristi Peterson, kristip@myfac.org.