The success of the children’s ministry at Mariners relies heavily on the support of parents and other volunteers dedicated to helping out in the classroom on Sunday mornings, during midweek programs and at summer camps and special events. The difference these ministry partners make in the spiritual lives of our children and their friends is critical. And the blessings the volunteers find in serving God and the children of Mariners is tangible.
Linda Meyer and Pat Thompson each volunteer for the Wednesday evening Breakout program, a set of grade-specific small groups for children in third through fifth grades that meet during the school year. “The basic idea is to make the Bible fun,” said Pat, who leads Grade 3 and has a long history working with children in children’s ministry as well as public after-school programs. “We have a time of games, a time of worship, a lesson and then a group time that is focused on gauging what the kids are learning and how they are applying what they learn as they move from knowledge of Christ to action,”
Linda, who leads Grade 4, says she doesn’t feel particularly gifted in working with children but decided it was important to support the Christian education and enrichment programs that her 10-year-old daughter attends. And she’s glad she did. “It’s a challenge to be here every Wednesday night, but when you serve you get so much back,” Linda said. “It’s fun to watch the children learn, grow and experience the Bible.”
Pat, who did not accept Christ until she was in her mid-30s, believes it’s important to introduce children to Jesus as early as possible. “As soon as I found the Lord I asked for direction and Jesus led me to Children’s Ministry, even though I had no experience at all with children at that time,” Pat said. “Since then He has given me a heart to see that there’s no child who has to wait to know who Jesus is.”
Linda enjoys the challenge. “Working with the children places me where God can challenge and keep molding me,” she said. “We’re talking to the children about how to do life with God in it. I love that I can be very open with them when I share something about my life. And they respond. I love that I can see the change.”
To learn more about investing in children at Mariners, contact Children’s Ministry Director Kaitlin Gehret at email@example.com 650-726-5959.
By Dan Page, Volunteer Storyteller