Welcome back to the Kidmin1124.com Volunteer Champion of the Week. 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 her Christopher Sykes, is (drum roll please):
1. What is your full name?
2. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Decatur, Alabama, USA
3. What church do you attend and serve at (please feel free to include the web address of your church)?
Parkview Baptist Church Decatur, Alabama
4. How long have you been involved in children’s ministry?
I’ve been most involved within the last three years, but I’ve volunteered on and off over the last 12 years.
5. What position(s) do you volunteer at in your children’s ministry?
Children’s Worship Leader
6. Tell us about your family (spouse, kids, etc.)
I’m a single mom of a 2-year old scottie/schnauzer mix named Zoey.
7. Any links you would like to share (blog, twitter, facebook, cmconnect, etc.)
We also asked Jessica to share her thoughts and wisdom on some selected questions. Here is what she had to say:
1. What is the most impactful book you have ever read in relation to your work in children’s ministry?
My children’s minister gave me “Family Driven Faith” by Voddie Baucham. I’m not a fast reader, but I couldn’t put it down and had it finished in two days. Voddie introduced me to new ideas and challenged some of my preconceived notions about the importance of faith within the family. Ultimately, the book ignited a passion within me to minister not only to children, but to the whole family. This book drove home the truth that, “What happens at home is more important than what happens at church.”
2. Many of us have a “favorite” or a “defining” moment in Kidmin. What was yours?
My defining moment happened two years ago when we led a special worship service at a church in Athens, Alabama. I don’t remember a whole lot about it, but I do remember struggling with the feeling that all I did was follow. I didn’t feel like I really contributed to anything, just did what I was told. After it was all over my children’s minister gave me a little note that I still keep in my wallet as a reminder. “You may sometimes feel like a follower, but you’re definitely a leader.”
3. As a volunteer, what is one thing you wish that all children’s pastors knew about their volunteers?
I know this is something all children’s pastors know, but volunteers need encouragement. Mass verbal thank yous are always nice, but it makes more of an impact when you say something specific to a volunteer who deserves praise. Be sure to share any ”wins” you hear from parents and children to your volunteers to show them they are impacting the lives of the children they work with. I have moments when I think it is all too much and I want to quit…then a smile, pat on the back, or a kind word from my children’s pastor keeps me going. Never underestimate the power of a positive word.
4. What do you do personally to achieve balance in your life?
Balance? Are you serious? I teach fourth grade and volunteer in children’s ministry. As for what I do to stay “balanced,” I make sure I leave work at work. If papers aren’t graded, they will be there tomorrow. Yes, I am single, but that doesn’t make my life any simpler. I do have to say, “No,” on occasion. I recently read a book called “Off Balance On Purpose” by Dan Thurmon. I highly recommend it for anyone who is like me and whose attempts to stay “balanced” only makes you more overwhelmed. After reading this book, I created my own personal mission statement and set my priorities accordingly.
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: