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Our First Sunday as a Volunteer with HPUMC Kids

04.24.18 | Families Volunteers/Teachers, HPUMC Family | by Katie Ongena

Our First Sunday as a Volunteer with HPUMC Kids

    Church looks different through a child’s eyes. When Katie Beth began serving in her son’s Sunday School class, she got to see all of the incredible things her son was learning and experience the joy that church brings him.

    “Are you coming in my class today, Mommy?!” The excitement is palpable every time Jackson sees his dad and me in our HPUMC Volunteer t-shirts. He loves it when we are in his Sunday School classroom sharing the morning’s activities with him and his friends.

    How we got involved

    In all honesty, we did not share this level of excitement when we first signed up to volunteer in Jackson’s class. Rather, our primary reason for first signing up was because we felt like it was our turn to serve.  We started to feel bad when we saw the same parents in his classroom every week at drop-off, and we felt like the only ones in our Sunday school class who weren’t wearing the volunteer t-shirt once a month. Finally one day at work, I opened the Sign-Up Genius and got to work. I booked us for once a month for the entire school year and added it to our family calendar. Now we were committed!

    Sunday mornings

    The first Sunday in Jackson’s class was an unexpected and eye-opening blessing for me. I learned so much about what Jackson had been experiencing for years.

    Jackson’s excitement to show us where he played cars, played blocks, and colored was electric. We had the opportunity to interact with all of his Sunday School friends, some of whom we had never met. We led the children to music where I realized Jackson sang along to the "songs of the faith" that I didn't even know he knew! While in music, Josh and I looked at each other with remorse when we realized an offering was collected each week, and Jackson hadn’t had the opportunity to contribute before. Now we make sure he can!

    The hour went by very quickly, and we left feeling more connected to Jackson and his Sunday School experience.  

    Every week we serve, we’re left with a renewed sense of peace and excitement about raising children in the Christian faith. Watching these children get excited about Jesus and the music allows us to witness firsthand a “childlike faith.” What a blessing to meet and interact with Jackson’s church friends.

    We don't get to go observe their weekday school classes, but by volunteering in Sunday School, we get to help teach, play with the kids, provide a safe place where they feel comfortable, and witness their excitement.

    How you can make it work:

    As with most commitments, the hardest part of volunteering is taking the initiative to sign up. This is the very first step! It’s easy to overlook the HPUMC email with the sign-up page, but until we sign up, we will never make the commitment to serve. Once I finally opened up the Signup Genius, volunteering in the classroom became part of our routine.

    It’s important to remember that volunteers can still go and worship together in one of the many worship services before or after serving in the classroom. HPUMC’s children’s ministry blesses families with the childcare from 9:30 – 12:15 pm, allowing families the opportunity to participate in more than just one hour of Sunday morning programming. We volunteer in Jackson’s class at 9:30 am, and then he stays with his friends and teachers for another hour while we go to our adult Sunday School class at 10:45 am or worship at 11:00 am.   

    I’m so glad we have taken the opportunity to be more involved in our child’s faith development and Sunday School experience. While it often feels more like “crowd control” with 3-4-year-olds, I know sharing our faith together at this age is setting a foundation for the next steps in our family’s faith journey.

    Serve with HPUMC Kids!

    Did you know that it takes 250 volunteers each week to successfully run the Children's Ministry at HPUMC? HPUMC Kids is committed to helping children and parents become deeply devoted followers of Jesus Christ. We believe this is a partnership between church and family, and we want to partner with you so we can "Follow Jesus...Together!" We hope that you will prayerfully consider becoming a part of our ministry as an HPUMC Kids volunteer. 

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