As Children’s Pastor at NewSpring, I find myself jumping–at nearly break-neck speed sometimes–from one project to the next. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job and love working with some amazing people who make my job a whole lot easier. We are starting a building project for our nursery area and I am super excited to be able to use that new space to reach more kids & families in southcentral Kansas. There are a lot of discussions, meetings, and planning that go on throughout the course of a month to make it all happen. Also Judgement House is coming up in October and we start looking for volunteers right now to help with that ministry, which I oversee as well. So I said all that to say this….sometimes you can get so busy that you can miss some blessings that are right in front of you.
I was in the mode of “what is the next project to get after” and I got a message that one of my volunteers in KidzWorld wanted to talk to me. The two things that run through my mind when that happens are: they are unhappy with some segment of the ministry or they want to pitch a new ministry that we need to start. So I met this guy for coffee and for the sake of privacy we will call him Bob. (I love Bob the Tomato on Veggie tales) We ordered our ice coffees and I paid for his and we sat down. Then Bob said, “Thank you,” and started into his opening statement. “Mr Dan, I wanted to sit down with you face-to-face and tell you something that I have needed to say to you for a long time. (I’ve got to be honest, I was thinking this is going to be a gut wrenching conversation and I should have had this meeting in my office not in a public place!) He said, “I just want you to know volunteering in KidzWorld has truly changed my life.” I smiled like, “Oh, okay, good to know. How is your ice coffee?” But before I could even say a word he started to tell what it has meant to him to minister to kids here at NewSpring. He went on and told me how he has a great job, plenty of money, big house, nice family but came to church and then went home year after year without serving the church. Bob told me he was restless at home trying to figure out a hobby for himself because he was bored with life. He said, “My family loves each other, but pretty much everything we did was just for ourselves. So finally I got the courage up to fill out a volunteer application to help in KidzWorld and help engage kids on the weekend with the best news ever! To be honest I really thought I would not last more than a couple of weeks. But that hour each week has more impact on me than you will ever know. I saw in the kids a deep form of worship that I’d hadn’t experienced before. I was trying to make a difference in the kids’ lives, but their love of the Bible and God was impacting me and changing me. My life is so much more fulfilled because of what KidzWorld offers to kids, a chance to hear about the greatest story ever told and in a fun and engaging way. The staff you have ministering to kids is just amazing to me. Their passion to reach boys & girls with the good news is second to none. I know of six families that work at my company who have started coming to NewSpring and the first pitch I make to them is ‘your kids are going to love it!’ I have tears running down my face every time I see a kid get baptized at FX. If I can’t be there in person I watch online and am blessed to have a very small part in their stories. Or when I see kids getting greeted by a crazy monkey or a lovable dog, or see the little red wagons going through the parking lot, or hear the Adventure Avenue Praise Team as I walk down the hallway, I swell up with pride that I am a part of something that is reaching the next generation. I travel some and I hate it when I have to miss. But volunteering in KidzWorld has humbled and changed me a great deal and I just want to tell you ‘thank you’.” And then Bob leaned forward and said these words that hit me like a 90mph fast ball…”Volunteering is often pitched as ‘change someone’s life when you volunteer’, but it changed MY LIFE because I volunteered.”
I walked away from my meeting with Bob thanking the Lord for how KidzWorld impacted him and how much more I appreciate the ministry God has given NewSpring Church in Wichita and the eternal impact God allows us to experience. And if you are reading this and would like to volunteer at NewSpring Church go here for all the information you need. Who knows–volunteering could just change YOUR LIFE….just like Bob’s.
Thank you to all of our volunteers at NewSpring that make the weekend happen. We couldn’t do it without you!