I believe in following your calling.
My senior year in high school I felt a calling to volunteer some of my time at church. I have a passion for spreading God’s word. That Sunday at church my pastor, Andy Stanley, talked about giving back to the church and leaving your mark on someone’s life. I go to a very large church and the Elementary School Ministry, UpStreet, needed some more volunteers. I absolutely love children. I love teaching individuals about God and how much he loves them. Working as a small group leader is the perfect way to do both at the same time.
As I filled out my application to be a Kindergarten small group leader at North Point Community Church, I felt a sense of worth. I prayed about how I could impact young children and put it all in God’s hands. My phone rang and I looked down at the caller ID and a smile was drawn across my face. The weird thing was that I did not recognize the phone number. As I picked up, I was excited and confused. Why would I be so excited about a phone call. As the lady on the other line continued talking everything fell into place. I was asked to be a Kindergarten small group leader for ten little children. To be honest, I felt a little skeptical but I knew that God had a purpose and a plan for me.
The first Sunday of August rolled around and as I planned for the lesson one of the children walked in. A little boy with red hair, glasses, and hearing aids magnetized to his head sat in my circle. His name was Noah. Noah was very quiet but he had a wonderful personality once I got to know him. The rest of the little children walked in and were placed in their correct small groups. I had a wonderful mix of very unique children with big hearts. Each child was about to take a big step into Elementary School. The first Sunday small group was pure chaos but I continued to pray for each child. I knew if they only remembered one thing it would be that when you have no idea what to do, the best thing is to pray.
The rest of the year continued and I enjoyed teaching the children more and more. Sometimes things would not go as planned but I just had to sit back and laugh. How could I control ten Kindergarten kids all by myself? That is when I asked my little brother to help me. With two of us, it made managing the group much more productive. We made a game out of everything. The most rewarding experiences were hearing little James pray out loud for the first time, watching Anabell worship for the first time, Noah memorizing his first bible verse and Lauren surprising us with her knowledge of the bible.
I thought I was making a difference but to have each and every child’s parent write me and my brother a letter telling us what an impact we have made. James is the reason his parents come to church because it is his favorite part of the week. Noah has just become comfortable of going to church by himself. Sophie and Anabell talk about what how they want to stay with my brother and I forever. Each child became comfortable with worship and sang to every song. Sunday school was not a dreaded activity on Sundays, it happened to be what each child looked forward to each week.
It is the little things like those that make being a small group leader so rewarding. As I left our kids for college my little brother took over the small group. Hugging all the children goodbye was very difficult but going back to visit showed me just how much they love me. Each child was beaming when I walked in the door. The innocence children have is so powerful. I made my imprint on each of these children’s lives and it was very worth it.