Have you ever read through the entire Bible from cover to cover? It’s no easy task, but Garrett, a 5th grader from Treasure Island, just completed it!
Last year his small group leader, Ian, presented a challenge to all the boys in his group: read the Bible from cover to cover. Garrett eagerly took the challenge head-on and got to work. Ian promised a prize to any, and all kids who were able to finish it and, recently, Garrett proudly accepted his gift, a Costco sized bag of Jolly Ranchers.
Garrett is already begging his mom to allow him to become a small group leader in August after he moves up and into 6th grade. Ian plans to circle back to Kindergarten, and Garrett wants to be sure to secure his spot assisting Ian.
His mom shared with the Treasure Island staff just how much her son loves his leader and how great of an impact Ian has made in Garrett’s life.
At PC3, we say all the time that relationships are KEY to life change and we mean it. This simple story speaks to that fact. Ian has shown up consistently to pour into the boys in his group, he has challenged and encouraged them in their faith and he’s built an incredible foundation of trust which gives him a great deal of influence.
This story fills our heart with JOY! What a powerful reminder of the influence our family ministry volunteers have each week and how they lead and love on each child that walks through our doors. If you would like more information about how you can impact the next generation by volunteering in our family ministries, visit What’s Next on Sundays or click HERE.
Treasure Island is a special place. A place where kids can come and have fun while they learn more about God and His word. I have children of my own and they absolutely love coming to church because of Treasure Island. There is music, dancing and crazy challenges. While large group is super energetic, the fun doesn’t end there. In the classroom, the curriculum carries the same excitement to engage each child in learning about Jesus. There are games, puzzles, coloring activities and more. A lot of time and energy goes into ensuring there will be enough supplies for each child, during all the services.
Thankfully, we have a group of weekday volunteers who help make this possible. We have some who come to set up and clean up the rooms, others edit the curriculum, or make copies, and some pick up supplies to work on from home. Charlie, Ann, Jocelyn, Barney, Mary Ann, Connie, Kutila, Mary and Jim choose to lean in and in doing so; they are not only helping children grow in their walk with Christ, but they are also growing in their own walks.
This collaborative group has been meeting for some time, years in fact. They come together to cut, tape, color, and bag anything and everything needed in preparation for Sunday’s curriculum. Every Wednesday morning, they meet together in the kindergarten room in Treasure Island, and throughout the day even move over to help in Grow Zone, when needed. It’s both wonderful and hilarious to see grown adults seated in child-size chairs, as it really sets the scene for what happens around the table as they work.
Actually, they don’t view it as work. Work is something you do because you have to; this special group truly enjoys serving together. Do you want to know how I know? Laughter; it bounces off the walls. The only requirements needed in order to hang with this group are that you can make a joke, take a joke and, most importantly, that you can laugh.
They are a tight-knit group that not only serves the church, but one another as well. They do so in numerous ways, one being the simplicity of fellowship. At one time, the group may not have been so close, but being together every week, for a majority of the day, can change that. They catch-up in conversation by asking how the kids and grandkids are doing, how that dinner event turned out, and they even share recent snags about their HOA.
But this crowd shares more than words. They help one another. There was one woman in particular who had joined the group and was having some problems with her Visa, making her trip back home a challenge. The group was there for her, meeting one-on-one or together as a whole, to care for and support her. Another member had fallen and broken his hip. Driving was not possible so they took turns driving him to the store, his doctor appointments, and anywhere he needed to go. They call to check in on each other and when someone is sick, they are always there to help.
Not only do they come together in the difficult times of life, but also in the celebrating. They enjoy special outings together, like lunch or dinner or going to see a movie. Last year, they even organized the first annual Christmas party. How important it is to take time and rejoice over the gift of community. That is what this weekday volunteer group has become: their own community.
This group is an inspiration. While they are having fun and leaning in, they are also providing a life-altering service. It’s not just cutting words from a paper and placing them in a bag; it’s giving a child the chance to memorize scripture. Nor is it just a game with lots of components and pieces to organize, its bringing the bible to life and allowing the children to participate. This group and their work all came to be because they made the decision to lean in.
There are needs everywhere, none too small. These individuals saw a need and, for many reasons, had a desire to help. Some felt lead to give back to the church, which has helped them in so many ways. It’s amazing to see that in their giving, they are truly gaining. That is the beauty in trusting God. When we decide to lean in, learn more and take steps of faith we are able to see some of God’s best blessings.
Story Written By: Mandy Hughes