Surprise Inventions

One of the most important resources needed for World War II war production was rubber. The government decided to ask companies to invent a synthetic rubber that could be made with non-restricted ingredients. In 1943, engineer James Wright was attempting that when he discovered something unusual.  Wright had combined boric acid and silicone oil, producing an interesting gob of goo.

Wright conducted a multitude of tests on the substance and discovered it could bounce when dropped, stretch farther than regular rubber, didn’t collect mold, and had a very high melting temperature.

Though perhaps not practical as rubber, the substance continued to be entertaining.  In 1949, the goo found its way to Ruth Fallgatter, an owner of a toy store.  Her company put globs of the goo in plastic cases and added it to her catalog. Selling for $2 each, the “bouncing putty” outsold everything else in the catalog except for a set Crayola crayons. After a year of strong sales, Fallgatter decided to drop the bouncing putty from her catalog.

Advertising consultant Peter Hodgson saw an opportunity. Hodgson borrowed $147 and bought a large quantity of the putty in 1950. He separated the putty into one-ounce balls and place them inside red plastic eggs.  He decided to name the goo “Silly Putty” and to sell each egg for $1.

Hodgson got the Silly Putty stocked at both Nieman-Marcus and Doubleday bookstores.  Orders for Silly Putty started pouring in. From there, there was no end to the popularity of Silly Putty. (

If you’re wondering why I am telling you the story of silly putty, it’s because it relates perfectly to how we arrived at hiring Kim Goodrich as our children’s pastor.

After our first attempt at hiring a children’s pastor failed, we looked around and said, “Now what?”  Well, sometimes diamonds are hiding in plain sight.  While our first children’s pastor was at school, we had some volunteers doing the leg work to establish a foundation for what would become our children’s department.  Kim had been instrumental in the development of the theme, the name, the decorations, the curriculum…you get the picture.  She was already doing the work of a children’s pastor, but didn’t have the title.

We didn’t know Kim at all when she jumped on our church planting team.  She had been attending Glad Tidings and working in their kids department when she heard about a church starting in her neighborhood.  Looking to cut down the commute time, she introduced herself.  It would take several months for us to discover what we had just gotten. 

Mark, myself, and Kris Gray sat in the office after receiving the phone call from our “former children’s pastor”.  We talked about our options and one thing was very clear…Titles are easy to give, but ownership of a ministry comes much differently.  It was clear that God was giving Kim a mantle of leadership in our church…ready or not, here it comes.

We called her that day and asked her to jump on board officially. 

Kim is out of the park when it comes to her artistic talent and imagination.  She is a chameleon in ministry, able to adjust to whatever the situation calls for.  Kim is probably the most moldable and teachable person I have ever met.  I would probably say that when she began this journey, she knew that she had to learn a lot of leadership lessons very quickly.  She spent time listening, thinking, and applying principles that she needed to be the best leader possible.

Just like silly putty, Kim can bounce when dropped, stretch farther than regular people, doesn’t collect mold, and has a very high melting temperature.  In other words, she is strong, flexible, energetic, and resilient.  She will be amazing in ministry.

I’m still in awe at Kim’s arrival on the scene of North Creek.  We didn’t know the magnitude of what was in our “test tube”.  However, when God took ahold of the situation, Kim became the bestseller we were looking for.  We got an unexpected and brilliant surprise when we were in the midst of mixing up our team.  I’m thankful that God gave us the opportunity and the wisdom to see the gold mine in front of us.


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