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 yours truly, is (drum roll please):
On a personal note, I would like to say that Pam attends and volunteers at my church, so I have seen first hand her hard work and tireless dedication when it comes to working with kids. In addition to her work with kids, she has a lot to offer in terms of wisdom to those of us who work with God’s kids every week. That wisdom is evident in her answers below.
Here is some background information on Pam:
1. What is your full name?
2. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Westerville, Ohio, USA
3. What church do you attend and serve at (please feel free to include the web address of your church)?
New Life Church in Gahanna, Ohio
4. How long have you been involved in children’s ministry?
5. What position(s) do you volunteer at in your children’s ministry?
- Director of Awana T&T Girls Club (grades 3-6)
- Large-group/Small-group Teacher for Kids Church (grades 2-5)
- Vacation Bible School Leader
6. Tell us about your family (spouse, kids, etc.)
My husband and I just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary in September. God blessed us with two wonderful sons who serve the Lord, along with their spouses. We have four precious grandchildren – ages 4 years, 2 years, 8.5 months, and 8 months. It is such a joy to share a love for Jesus with our family, as we seek to follow Him.
We asked Pam to share her thoughts on 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?
I didn’t realize, when I first served in children’s ministry, what a tremendous impact we have on the lives of so many children. Our words, attitudes, and actions can point them to Christ or can turn them away. God has given us a wonderful opportunity to encourage the kids, have fun with them, listen to them, and train them to serve God and other people. One of my sons had a lot of energy as a child. My spiritual mom said to me, “That energy is not a bad thing. We just need to channel it in the right direction. Those kinds of children make great missionaries!” That son has a tender heart for Christ and serves Him in various ministries. So, instead of avoiding the children who present more of a challenge, let’s guide them in the way they should go.
2. What is the single greatest lesson God has taught you through your volunteering in children’s ministry?
Over the years, I have learned that it is all about God. He is worthy of all of our praise and honor. Everything belongs to Him and He controls the entire universe. Every lesson should point to Christ in some way. In the past, I would get really nervous, being up in front of the kids. Then I realized that I was thinking about myself and my “presentation.” If I focus on God and study His Word, then He helps me to convey His message. I can do much more than I think that I can, because I can do it in God’s strength, instead of my own. It is more about obedience than ability.
3. What have you learned about leadership as a volunteer?
A good leader utilizes the strengths and abilities of others, rather than trying to do everything himself. In Children’s ministry, each volunteer is valuable, just as each part of the body was designed for a specific purpose. “…God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” (1 Cor. 12:18) God has given each of us different gifts that can be used to reach people with the good news that Jesus loves them and died for their sins. When we cooperate as one body, we can serve together in unity to minister more effectively to the children.
4. Can you think of a situation or a child that had a real impact on your own spiritual development?
One of my neighbor girls came running to get me one day, when her parents were gone and her brother had a severe allergic reaction to a beverage. I will never forget how scary that was. The boy almost stopped breathing, and we had to call the Emergency Squad. That experience will always stay with me, as a reminder that life is short. We need to make the most of every opportunity that God gives us to love and care for the kids around us. We only have a few years with them. Will they see Jesus through us? What a blessing it is, when the light bulb pops on in their minds and they begin to understand God’s love and forgiveness.
5. What is the biggest challenge you think kids face today? How can children’s ministry meet that need?
Kids are bombarded with worldly messages every day. We need to help them sift everything through God’s Word so they can make wise choices. Even religious videos can be confusing to young children. I once was teaching about Moses. One little tyke would not believe what the Bible said in one passage because that is not what happened in a movie he saw about Moses. It took awhile to convince him that God’s Word was the authority, not what the world says. We can present the Scripture in fun ways, but we need to be accurate and teach the truth from the Bible.
To Children’s Pastors and Others who would like to nominate a volunteer for Kidmin1124 Volunteer Champion of the Week:
We are looking for additional nominations for future Kidmin1124.com Volunteer Champion of Week recipients. 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: