Thursday, May 21, 2009

Serving in Children's Ministry

Thanks to all the volunteers we've had in Grace Children's Ministry this school year. With over 800 children that participate regularly in our programming, we have many opportunities for every one of you to be plugged into an area of service that has a meaningful impact in the lives of children and parents.

Well over half of the 550 volunteers have served in Children's Small Groups, from Nursery through 4th Grade. Teaching Biblical truths in the context of community is a central part of who we are at Grace, from young children to students to adults. You Small Group Leaders have made the impact that God wanted you to have, through your consistency and love.

We have had over 100 volunteers serve in a Big Group setting, either with music, in drama, or running A/V equipment. You Big Group volunteers have made the impact that God wanted you to have by modeling and leading in what worship in community can look like, and by teaching Biblical truths in creative ways.

Of course, our Children's Welcome Team has been cruicial in providing a secure and welcoming environment for families at Grace Church. Do you know that we have at least 25-30 first time guest families (who have at least one child in our programming) visit every month? That is at least 60 new people who come into our Children's Center (on either Pelham Road or in Powdersville) every month! Thanks for reaching out to them and helping them know that their children will be ministered to.

If you are not currently serving in anywhere on campus, we do want to encourage you to do so. I think this is important for us parents for several reasons:
  1. Minister to guests. With so many guests visiting Grace Church every week, we want to create an opportunity for their entire family to be equipped and loved on. Our staff is not focused on doing ministry so much as equipping others like you for a life of ministry.
  2. Connect with others. By serving, you have the opportunity to meet other adults who are serving. Serving together on a team is a great way to connect and form deeper relationships.
  3. Know our programming. While we provide take-home materials, there is no better way to know what your child is learning than you being involved in the programming. It gives you a more full insight, to help you engage the heart of your child with Biblical truth.
  4. Discipleship issue. We know that Jesus called His disciples to a life of service and sacrifice. He never asked His disciples for a little bit of their time. He asks for us to give Him our entire lives, putting others' needs above our own (Philippians 2:3).
  5. Example to our children. Another reason for parents to serve is to be an example for their own children. I recently heard a college-age son say that for all the great instruction he received from his parents, what sticks out to him most is the life of discipleship that his parents lived out. He said that his parents "walked the talk," and that has been what shaped him more than anything else.
I know that serving regularly is not always easy, especially if you have young children, but I would like you to consider that maybe what is hard on our kids is actually what is good for them. For example, I think that for my 2-year-old to go home exhausted on Sundays (barely eating any lunch at all before taking a nap) helps him begin to understand that his own comfort should not be the most important thing in life. Him being tired is his way to sacrifice for the church body.

If you are interested in getting plugged into service, to have the opportunity to be used by God to minister in a meaningful way, and to model serving the church body, please email me at Even if you don't want to serve in Children's Ministry (though we'd love to at least give you the opportunity to Jump-In without a long-term commitment!), I will pass your name on to the appropriate person.

-- Joey Espinosa

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