I want to first take the opportunity to thank all of you who have congratulated me on my new position. I have been overwhelmed with NewSpring’s kindness as so many of you have gone out of your way to welcome and encourage me with this new adventure. I could not be more excited. So as I begin this adventure serving families of children with special needs, I will do so in “The NewSpring Way.” That is, recognizing we are all about the people outside the doors of our church… and relying on the skill of great volunteers.
Pastor Mark often talks about the people outside the doors of NewSpring that need our love and attention. One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting new families at the check-in station and being with their children through the end of each service. I love watching their faces as we drop off kids to different environments and they understand how each one is designed with their child in mind. I love being able to talk about the programs or accommodations that we offer that were designed for their child who has exceptionalities.
Secondly, I truly do believe that NewSpring is great largely due to its culture of volunteering. Volunteering has been a great experience for my family. One of the best things that it has done is connect our family with other people like us. It truly shrinks a huge church so that you feel connected as you see familiar faces in the crowd.
I am blessed to be able to work with amazing volunteers in our special needs ministry. I have incredibly patient volunteers that love telling the Bible story five times because their ADHD child has the attention span of about two minutes before they are distracted, yet a minute later wants to know how the story finishes. I love that I have volunteers that want to partner with the parents of autistic children in developing a structured and predictable worship service so their child can learn and thrive. They take a genuine interest in their complicated lives and share the parents’ concerns as needs arise. This is a community of people who want to share God’s love with a unique population, and experience huge smiles and happy hearts along the way.
NewSpringers are blessed by the “worship one, serve one” motto, as volunteers are passionate not only about their serving, but also their worshipping. As a NewSpringer and God follower, I share in this passion. Luke 1:74 says “We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without FEAR, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.” My worship reminds me that I have been rescued from my enemy and fears. God calls us to courageously love others. This is an action of pouring out God’s kindness and generosity to those outside our building doors. This is the way of the NewSpring volunteer.