Fellowship of the Sword

Story of OZ

Oz Web_1

Who is Oz?

“That little kneeling guy on the window sticker, what IS that?” People ask that question all the time; now’s a good time to answer it.

He’s been around since the very beginning.

So, In the beginning…

FTS needed a swoosh. Like Nike. Only spiritual and deep. Jennifer Hagemann, Creative Consultant at the time, went to work on it. The staff (at the time) prayed over her at the conference table (at the time, the kitchen table) in the office (at the time, the Henderson’s house). This was early in the ministry, remember? Nothing fancy, just faith. So the staff laid hands on her, praying for a filling of creative energy and a vision for an FTS swoosh. And off she went.

The little guy came as a concept drawing that illustrated “complete vulnerability and complete surrender.” When she recalled the original purpose and message of the figure, Jennifer said that he is “not a sign of weakness. He is on his face, totally surrendered, oblivious to any distractions and ready for anything. But he is not weak.” She continued, “This position is a purposed one. You don’t just fall into this kneeling and surrendered position. It is not by accident. You have to purpose yourself to be in that position. When you kneel, face down, you do so with full intent.”

Right after the design was introduced, people who saw it saw one of two things: they either saw a kneeling, undistracted, surrendered figure, or they saw the word “oz”. “What’s Oz?” was a common question. Someone asked a board member, “Have you been to Kansas?” It was like one of those drawings where you either see Jesus or a ball of yarn, but once you see Jesus you can’t see anything but Him. And so the little figure got his name: Oz Man.

Not too long after that, Paige Henderson was preparing for a Bible study. She was studying Psalm 8:2, when she stopped to do a word study:

Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes,

The Lord has ordained “strength”.

When she looked up the word “strength”, guess what she found? THE WORD FOR STRENGTH IS “OZ”! Only it’s pronounced “ohz” and not like the place the tornado blew Dorothy. God had completed the picture with His Word! People weren’t seeing anything random at all. There was meaning! It was God! “Oz” means “boldness, might, power, and strength.” But it is the strength that comes from infants and nursing babes, both pictures of weakness and vulnerability! Jennifer, the designer of Oz, knew nothing of this word! Now, that’s a good story, isn’t it?

So Oz stayed. It is a word AND a figure and they mean the same thing! Nothing random, nothing accidental – the creative hand of God.