Welcome to the Kidmin1124.com Volunteer Champion of the Week. Thanks to a rush of nominations, we are happy to bring back this weekly feature here on Kidmin1124.com. There are thousands and thousands of volunteers who turn out each weekend and selflessly serve children in churches around the globe. They do not do what they do for recognition or accolades, but at Kidmin1124 we would like to shine a light on some of these volunteers as a way to say “Thank You!” So, each week we recognize one volunteer from the world of kidmin who goes above and beyond in their service to God’s kids. Our hope is that this segment will provide some well deserved recognition to individual volunteers. More importantly though, we have asked these Volunteer Champions to share some of their insights and experiences with us so that we can all learn from their wisdom. This week’s recipients, based on a nomination from Barbara Graves, is (drum roll please):
Here is some background information on Jenny:
2. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Woodstock, Georgia U.S.
3. What church do you attend and serve at (please feel free to include the web address of your church)?
4. How long have you been involved in children’s ministry?
5. What position(s) do you volunteer at in your children’s ministry?
Preschool Team Leader
6. Tell us about your family (spouse, kids, etc.)
Michael is my husband and best friend of 25 years; my daughter Ashley is age 21 and a junior at the Ohio State University; my daughter Jessica is 16 and in her sophomore year of high school. We also have 1 cat, 1 fish, 1 bunny and 2 hermit crabs.
7. Any links you would like to share (blog, twitter, facebook, cmconnect, etc.)
We also asked Jenny to share some thoughts and wisdom on some selected questions. Here is what she had to say:
1. What do you know today that you wish you knew when you first started working in children’s ministry?
Simple is better elaborate doesn’t mean children are being effectively trained.
2. How have the needs of children changed today compared to when you started?
They are growing up more quickly with the exposure to multi-media. The need is to reach them earlier. The need to present the gospel in way that relates to them.
3. What is the single greatest lesson God has taught you through your volunteering in children’s ministry?
Personal time with God through prayer, fasting and reading the word will overflow into your volunteering.
4. What have you learned about leadership as a volunteer?
We are a team!
5. How did volunteering so much affect your own children and family (good and bad)?
Balance is something we try to aim for but has not always been accomplished. It has been an awesome experience that our family has been able to participate in ministry together.
6. Tell me about a mistake you made while serving in children’s ministry and how it changed you?
My mistake was putting the work of the ministry before my relationship with God.
7. Can you think of a situation or a child that had a real impact on your own spiritual development?
A missionary child named Katie was home on furlough with her family and her openness to pray out loud in front of others has helped me to do the same.
8. As a volunteer yourself, what advice would you give to a new or young children’s pastor who needs help learning to recruit or retain volunteers?
Communication is the number one key. Ask, seek and knock and then reiterate the vision over and over.
9. Have you ever struggled in communicating with parents of the children you teach? Do you have a best practice to offer?
Yes at times we have struggled with this. Parents are busy and we don’t want to waste their time so we try to be strategic in how we communicate. The #1 thing we try to do is to connect with the parents in a personal/sincere/intentional way. Know their names, look them in the eye and communicate with them about their child with phone calls, e-mails, facebook etc. Parents are the primary faith- shapers of their child and we want to help empower them.
10. As a volunteer, what is one thing you wish that all children’s pastors knew about their volunteers?
Ask us what we think!
11. What is the most impactful book you have ever read in relation to your work in children’s ministry?
The Wordless Book
12. Please share the “best” way you have ever shared the gospel with a group of children. What age group?
I believe the best way to share the gospel to preschoolers is to have all the senses engaged.
To Children’s Pastors and Others who would like to nominate a volunteer for Kidmin1124 Volunteer Champion of the Week:
We need your help! We are looking for additional nominations for future Kidmin1124.com Volunteer Champion of Week recipients to keep this segment going. If you have a volunteer, or know of a volunteer, who really goes above and beyond, please e-mail their name, e-mail address and brief explanation of why you are nominating them (a sentence or so) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your help to make this series a success. Prior
Recipients of the Award:
Prior recipients of the Kidmin1124 Volunteer Champion the Week Award include: