Ministry Teams at NMC: KidMin
By NMC - May 5, 2016
Posted in Children's Ministry, Stories from NMC
So many incredible people serve on Ministry Teams at NMC. This month, we want to share the stories of just a few of them. Thank you to all who serve so faithfully! We are so grateful for all you do.
Phil and Sheila Lehman
Phil and Sheila Lehman have served in the nursery for over 20 years. Their roles as volunteers have looked different, but their heart for ministry has remained the same. As young parents, they felt at ease knowing they could leave their children in the hands of loving men and women, and they deeply appreciated the sacrifice of volunteers. Today, they no longer have young kids, but they love serving parents of young children in a way that was so meaningful to them.
Each week during second hour they greet parents and their kids as they walk into the Zoo. Often this is the busiest hour, and they love it. In the hour they have with the kids, they play, read Bible stories, sing and eat snacks.
For Phil and Sheila, the most meaningful moments have come as they have gotten to know families. Having worked in the nursery for many years, they have held and played with many kids from the same family and interacted with their parents. They’ve seen generations of families walk through the doors of the nursery and have learned how to love them in special and unique ways.
When they talk with those hesitant to serve, they remind them that serving others is never a regrettable decision. Although it could take a while to find the right niche, there is deep value in serving others. It creates relationships that may not have otherwise formed and from those relationships, a new community can form. For them, serving is simply another way to love others well in relationship.
Phil and Sheila have never regretted their continual decision to serve. As they learn from and follow Jesus, they know this is something He continues to call them to do, and they do it with glad and sincere hearts.
Ritch and Heather Diener
When Ritch and Heather Diener’s kids were young, they decided to jump into ministry. Wanting to serve where their kids were, they have moved to new ministries with them. Currently, they serve in the Aquarium on Wednesdays.
Wednesdays begin with lots of hugs and high fives and memory verses. As leaders, they help kids remember their verses, helping to reinforce Scripture in their minds. They move into a large group time for worship, Bible stories and games. The rest of the night is spent in small groups where they work on projects and verses, talk about the kids’ weeks and pray together.
Although each Wednesday is built around routine, it is relational in focus. Ritch and Heather have loved forming relationships with the kids and watching them grow in the Lord. These relationships keep them tied into their Ministry Team, and they feel grateful to be a part of these kids’ stories.
Sometimes these kids’ stories get messy, but it’s in those moments that the Dieners find meaning in their work. They remember one child in particular who went through a rough time. Ritch and Heather felt burdened for him, and as a family, they chose to pray for and encourage him. Over time, God allowed them to see the transformation He was doing in that child’s life, and it reminded and continues to remind them why they invest in young lives.
Clara Mahoney didn’t feel qualified to teach kids, so she decided not to get involved. As she sought the Lord, though, He began to remind her that He is biggerthan her inadequacies and insecurities. He reminded her of the gift of the Holy Spirit and promised to always be with her. With faith, she began to serve fourth and fifth graders on Sunday mornings.
As their teacher, she not only is given the opportunity to teach them the Bible, but she also is given the chance to walk alongside them in life. The most meaningful ministry moments have come when a child hands her a note about a prayer request or when students tell her about their weeks. She has the opportunity to watch them grow in so many areas of their lives, and that gives her such joy.
Each Sunday, she spends 20-30 minutes with students, teaching them how to study the Bible. She begins with a game or a conversation to help kids ease into the lesson. As they dive into the Bible, she asks them lots of questions about what they are reading and asks them to dig deeper into its meaning. For her, she wants students to gain a rich understanding of what they believe and why they believe it.
This is what motivates her to continually serve. She has been given an incredible chance to step into kids’ lives at a time when they are beginning to transition into their preteen years. As they are bombarded by things outside of church and their families, she is grateful to teach them biblical truths.
When she talks with those who are hesitant to dive into a ministry team, she reminds them that God is big enough to use them as they are. As we rely on the Holy Spirit, He guides and directs us, even in the areas where we serve. If we are fully surrendered to Him, He will blow us away as we serve Him and others.
Thank you to all who serve on the KidMin team. Whether you change diapers on a Sunday morning or lead a small group on a Wednesday night, we are grateful for you and for the ways you serve.
If you would like to get involved in KidMin, click here or stop by Ministry Team Central on Sunday morning in the Grand Hall.