Creating a Grace Culture within Avalon Kids

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           Children’s Ministry is as challenging as it is rewarding. Like having a child of your own, the process of having a baby is grueling, but once you have the child, nothing in the world could ever take his or her place. Just like becoming a parent, serving in Avalon Kids will grab your heart and never let go.

            Serving as a Team Member in Avalon Kids comes with great responsibility.  It may be one of the greatest responsibilities one can pursue. We are responsible for the kid’s well-being, both physically and spiritually, and that is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. We are constantly asking ourselves, “Are we showing the love of Christ to each and every child that walks into our doors? Are we creating an environment that is engaging and fun so that each child can learn about Jesus on his or her level?” The answer must always be yes. 

            So why serve? The why is simple. To show love in action. A few years ago, my wife wrote a beautiful letter and I want to share it with you:

 

There was a six-year-old little girl that started to attend Avalon Kids. Her mother brought her to church every Sunday, along with her younger sister, faithfully. It wasn’t long after that her father began to join them. Each Sunday, she was greeted by smiling faces and open arms of people that weren’t her biological family, but would one day be her Kingdom family. These individuals were there each Sunday just like this little girl, and they even developed a relationship with not only the young girl, but with her little sister and the parents, too. With every Sunday that passed, the little girl learned more and more about the love of Jesus Christ, not only through expression of song and dance, or even Bible verses and lessons, but through the kindness shown by those that came each Sunday to love her for that hour. It wasn’t three months later that she felt a strong calling by Jesus to accept Him as her Lord and Savior. She was so adamant that she knew Him so closely and wanted everyone to know that He lived in her heart that she wanted to be baptized that very day when the baptismal wasn’t even filled. She would eventually be baptized just a few weeks later on Easter Sunday. Her relationship and walk with Christ continued to grow as she grew. She became more confident in her walk and expressing her faith with support from other volunteers. She started to lead praise and worship, she helped others to pray to receive Christ, and she even helped her own baby sister in her walk with Christ so that she, too, would hear His calling on her life. This child has been influenced by so many volunteers in the Families Ministry, and would undoubtedly not be on this journey nor have the footing she does without the investment these individuals chose to make. I cannot stress the impact you WILL have on a child or teen’s life if you listen this calling on your life right now. God is calling you to move. More like pushing you out of your seat, lifting your hand to grab the Next Step card in the seat pocket in front of you (I just had to say that). I myself started volunteering about five years ago in Avalon Kids. I started off only volunteering every other week, but on the weeks I didn’t volunteer, I found myself missing “my kiddos”. And let me tell you, there was never some miraculous event that happened in any child’s life because I changed a diaper, or because I cleaned a booboo, or even because I danced like a goofy grown up to the songs. But what has happened are lasting memories and bonds that I know in my heart will never be forgotten and building blocks have been laid for a foundation to be built upon as these children grow and mature in their relationship with Christ. I no longer volunteer with children as I have moved on to the cool kids (Avalon Students – aka the youth), but I still have little ones that run up to me filled with excitement shouting “Ms. Dani, Ms. Dani! I know my memory verse!” and they immediately recite it for me. My heart swells with pride and joy, and it’s at that moment I’m reminded why volunteering is so important.

 

Volunteering isn’t rocket science, guys. It’s simply love in action. And sometimes that love in action is simply keeping kids alive and injury free – no joke. But most days it’s doing what is both the most complicated, and yet the simplest expressions of love. It’s a hug, a high five, a coloring sheet, a sticker for doing a good job, gold fish and juice (those folks are the true unsung heroes), changing a dirty diaper, singing alongside kids and teens during praise and worship, playing games, chatting it up with a teenager to see how their week has been, lending a shoulder to cry on when life gets hard, praying with the kids and teens, but most importantly reminding them that they ARE LOVED – by you, by their family, by the church, by their teachers, but never ever more than GOD.

You matter. What you do matters. Every Sunday is someone’s first Sunday and quite possibly their first interaction with someone who can show them the Love of Christ. As a parent, we HAVE to be willing to step up and step into this role. We cannot sit idly by and leave it up to someone else. You and I must be a part of these kid’s lives. Not just today, or tomorrow, but every day. So, what’s your next step? Today, you have the opportunity to be a change in someone’s life. Think about that one person who took the time to show you the love of Christ and then be that person to one of our awesome young ones in Avalon Kids!

 

To get connected and take your next step, email brian@avalonchurch.net to get started!

 

I love you all!

 

Brian Tatum
Children’s Pastor

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Avalon Church

Avalon Church, 1467 Georgia 20, McDonough, GA, 30252