My wife and I, along with our daughter, Hutson, moved to Minneapolis from Atlanta five years ago. Our previous church didn’t have a dedicated staff that led Sunday programming, so it was very volunteer-based, and we helped teach Sunday school alongside some other parents. Through that experience we saw how our investment impacted and enriched the lives of those little kids. But the benefit was really reflected back to us! As they would grow and learn and be so excited about Jesus and God’s Word, we realized they were teaching us.
When we started attending CPC, we wanted to get our footing to see where we fit in here. We started slowly, just volunteering a couple of Sundays each semester. And then that grew a little bit, and we tried doing it once a month. And then Kathleen [Selje, Director of Kids’ Ministries] asked if I would be a part of the P-Link team (a parent advisory team). Being a part of that team gave me so much more exposure to what is happening in the youth and children’s programs—far beyond what happens on Sunday mornings. When you come on Sundays and you see what happens, it is so impressive. But I was blown away when I got involved and saw what takes place for the youth of this church every day of the week.
This year has been both my daughter’s first year attending Club on Wednesday nights and my first year serving. I am a large group leader, responsible for the 3rd-5th graders. I make sure we’re keeping on time, that small groups are running smoothly as the teen leaders walk the kids through the curriculum, and I help to keep all of those pieces coordinated. The teens I work with are so dedicated and amazing—the younger kids look up to them and respect them so much. A ton of work goes into creating what Club is on Wednesday nights. It is no small task! It has made me so appreciative of the staff to recognize all the care and love they shower on our kids.
My daughter has loved Wednesday nights—she’s hooked! At home, my wife and I see Hutson singing the songs and doing the dances that help her memorize Scripture. To see those types of things manifest themselves in her life outside the four walls of this church—and then to see them taking place on an almost daily basis—has been really powerful. She’s also started to develop a community at church. So when she is in her small group, she has connection.
What I’ve learned while serving is that God can use regular people if we’re willing and available. I am a very imperfect person, and Jesus has been able to use me as a part of His ministry. But the other way He’s really made a difference in my life in the last 18 months is just how much my community within the church has been enriched. Not only has it grown in size, but relationships have gotten deeper. This church is now a home. Being able to invest in kids and to develop relationships with others has been amazing.