After introducing the Kidmin1124 Volunteer Champion of the Week a couple of weeks ago, we had to take a break last week to participate in Orange Week 2.0. We’re back this week with our second Champion Award.
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 Amy Fenton-Lee from The Inclusive Church Blog, is (drum roll please):
Here is some background information on Steve:
1. What is your full name?
Steven L. Testerman
2. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Cumming, GA, USA
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?
About 6 years
5. What position(s) do you volunteer at in your children’s ministry?
For Kidstown (our Kids Sunday School and Church program, I serve as co-host and a skit actor. For our midweek Awana program, I am a puppeteer, Games Leader and teacher. I also serve as Den Leader for Cub Scout Pack 1129 which is sponsored by First Baptist Cumming.
6. Tell us about your family (spouse, kids, etc.)
I have been divorced for many years, have 2 sons that are business partners and Church members, and 4 grandkids ages 3 to 8.
We asked Steve to share his thoughts on selected questions. Here is what he had to say:
1. What is the single greatest lesson God has taught you through your volunteering in children’s ministry?
There is nothing more important in my mind than the young kids who are our family, kids of neighbors and kids of friends. I’ve traveled half-way around the world to minister to people, and while this is important and somebody needs to do it, I am called to work with the children in our own community. There are needs everywhere, but one person can only do so much. You have to prioritize and choose your passion.
2. How has volunteering affected your own children and family (good and bad)?
My own sons are volunteering now and bringing in kids from the neighborhood. This also serves as an example for my grandkids and sons.
3. What is the biggest challenge you think kids face today? How can children’s ministry meet that need?
Alcohol and Drugs are a scourge of our society and almost every family is touched by it somehow. If we can help ground kids and give them a set of friends and an example to follow, then maybe they can say “no” when the time comes.
The ages of 5 through 10 are when kids make the most important decision of their lives – to follow Christ! It is great to see this happen and to be a part of helping them in making this choice.
4. Please share the “best” way you have ever shared the gospel with a group of children. What age group?
I have a story that I have told to my grandkids that they received very well…
As I explained to my grandsons Will and Jake in the simplest terms I could muster….”God and Jesus were talking after making people and they saw all the evil things that they were doing. God said “it is not in my nature to be able to tolerate evil but I must be fair and just …. I must punish people for what they are doing and when they disobey. This is because in all fairness evil must be punished”.
And Jesus said to Him…”But Father We love these people, just like any mother or father, loves their children…but even more. Please don’t punish them, but instead punish me, make me into a man and send me to earth to live as a man and to tell people about you. Then you must charge me with all of man’s sins and punish me with death, in this way people who believe in this sacrifice that I make; can be acceptable to you”
God cried when he said, “ok, this is how it has to be. So be it.”
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: