Archive for February 2, 2009

Stepping Up

February 2, 2009

The following post contains no sugarcoating and is stated with much passion and boldness.

Each Sunday, 94+ volunteers arrive at Carmike Cinemas in Cartersville, GA to help pull off something we call KidVenture – Oak Leaf’s elementary and preschool ministries.  It’s an amazing group of people that sacrifice a ton because they care about kids and families and care about the mission of Oak Leaf.

Overall, we have very good volunteer numbers.  Most Sundays are well staffed and there are only minor holes to fill.  Our volunteer Coaches do a great job of preparing throughout the week.  Recently, though, we’ve experienced shortages in more than one service….and yesterday was rough….which leads me to this:

If you are a parent that attends Oak Leaf, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are a young couple with no kids, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are involved in Fuel (middle school, high school), YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are single, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are divorced, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are a grandparent, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you have tons of experience with kids, yet you say you’re “retired from working with kids in a church”, YOU need to come out of retirement and jump back in the fire.
If you have no experience working with kids, YOU need to be bold and help out.
If you’ve been making lame excuses for not wanting to enter the “danger zone:  warning – toddlers ahead”, YOU need to get over it and start serving.

Did I cover everybody?  🙂

Here’s the deal:  Every Children’s Pastor I talk with struggles with this – Recruiting enough volunteers for kid’s ministry.  Every church has this problem.  But here’s what I wholeheartedly believe about OLC:  WE ARE NOT LIKE MOST CHURCHES!  I’ve never been part of such a volunteer lead/driven kick butt church.  I’m convinced that we should rarely struggle in this area.

Don’t misunderstand me, though.  When we have only 7 volunteers for 12 slots, that’s not your fault – it’s mine.  Perhaps I’ve spent too much time on the details of Sunday morning and not enough on building relationships and bringing new people in.  However, I want you to realize this:  Many people are sacrificing a ton so you can attend every adult service EVERY Sunday.  Some volunteers pull double duty and miss “big church” for weeks and months because we are short on volunteers.  This should not be.

Two more quick things and then I’m done.  🙂

1.  I’m not going to sugarcoat the type of work you do.  Working with preschoolers (and sometimes elementary) is HARD.  Not only that, but we do it in a portable environment.  That makes is VERY HARD sometimes.  Kids will try to escape.  Your patience WILL be tested.  Parents may not appreciate you all that much.  But remember this:  As with most things in life, the more difficult something is, often times the more rewarding it is.

2.  Serving in KidVenture is rewarding.  Daniel’s recent POST (click on post) alludes to that.  And sometimes it may take months to see a “payoff”.  And sometimes the payoff may be a child finally having a good Sunday…one in which they don’t bite you.  And other times the payoff will be seeing a child understand a verse for the first time…or being at church for the first time in their life…or ultimately seeing a kid profess Christ as their Savior.  Being involved in that is extremely rewarding!

So, I need you to step up.  I need you to serve.  We do 4 services in a movie theater.  That’s crazy.  That’s fun too.  I’m not going to burn out a hand full of people.  I’m going to recruit a MEGALOAD of people to help.  That’s the way it should be.  YOU need to step up and help.  Not out of guilt, but because you are missing out on a blessing if you don’t.

What is your next step?  Click HERE to fill out an application and then email me:  jonathan@oakleafchurch.com

Thanks, I look forward to chatting with you soon!