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 Tonya Langdon, is (drum roll please):
Here is some background information on John:
2. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Santee, CA, USA
3. What church do you attend and serve at (please feel free to include the web address of your church)?
Skyline Wesleyan Church, La Mesa, CA
4. How long have you been involved in children’s ministry?
5. What position(s) do you volunteer at in your children’s ministry?
I am the AWANA Commander
6. Tell us about your family (spouse, kids, etc.)
Married for 30 years to the most wonderful of all God’s creations (Tonya). 3 children ages 25, 19 and 12.
We also asked John to share his thoughts and wisdom on some selected questions. Here is what he had to say:
1. What do you know today that you wish you knew when you first started working in children’s ministry?
That sometimes it’s OK to say “no”, and not feel guilty about it.
2. What is the single greatest lesson God has taught you through your volunteering in children’s ministry?
That my greatest joy comes from serving others, without concern for any recognition.
3. What have you learned about leadership as a volunteer?
To find people who are good at something, and let them do it their way, instead of trying to inject my way into it.
4. 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?
I like to show them the eternal impact of them volunteering. I like to relate this story to them:
Someday, you’re going to be in heaven. You’ll get up, take a walk in the park, sit on a park bench and enjoy the Son-shine, the birds, the stream flowing, and the children playing. All of a sudden, you look up and realize you are surrounded by thousands of people, all looking at you. From out of the crowd, one woman will approach you. She’ll say, “you may not recognize me, but I want to thank you. You see, when I was 8, I went to your AWANA club as a guest with my neighbor. I enjoyed it, so I talked my mom into letting me go regularly, even though we didn’t go to church. Week after week, I memorized my scriptures and had to recite them to my mom so I could be sure I was ready to recite them to my Leader when club night came around. Her listening to me made her curious about this Jesus who was in so many of them, and she began reading my children’s Bible. The next thing I knew, she accepted Jesus and started going to church. Then she shared with my dad, her sisters and all the rest of the family, and they all accepted Jesus. They shared with others and, well, you can see the results all around us. If I hadn’t gone to AWANA, perhaps none of these people would have been exposed to the Gospel. But here’s where you come in. When I joined the club, you were my table Leader, along with 3 other little girls. Because you were willing to spend a couple of hours each week on Wednesday night to listen to a bunch of children recite scripture, I am here with Jesus for all eternity, and I and each of these thousands of people have you to thank for serving.”
5. What do you do personally to achieve balance in your life?
I have an appointment with God every morning at 5:30. I pray and read His Word, and get connected to Him. If I don’t get up, I know He’s sitting out in the living room, waiting patiently for me. I don’t want to miss Him.
6. As a volunteer, what is one thing you wish that all children’s pastors knew about their volunteers?
That it’s not a burden for us when you ask us to serve. It’s what God made us to do, and it’s where our gifting lies. We get a lot of joy from it.
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. We had to skip our post a couple of weeks ago due to lack of nominations, and we are in danger of having to skip in coming weeks if we do not get additional nominations. So, 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: