Swift Creek Stories: Raising the Next Generation

It seems like the one area within the church that can never have too much help is serving one of our most vulnerable and impressionable groups: our children. Sometimes when there is a call to serve the children, it's easy to dismiss. Maybe it’s because we are not interested, simply don’t want to, or think someone else will fill the gaps. But why is that the case?

When it comes to nurturing the next generation of faithful Christ-followers, making disciples is the final command that Jesus himself has charged us with in Matthew 28. We can begin to “go and make disciples” by serving our children on a regular basis.

Within our own church, many faithful men and women have taken the call to serve the “least of these” to heart. While it would be my absolute delight to highlight every man and woman who pour out their hearts in this ministry, I would end up writing a book instead of a blog post.

However, I want to use this post to say a huge “thank you” to those who grasp the immense value in caring for those who truly can give you nothing but hugs in return.

Two women who serve alongside many faithful volunteers each week are Rachel Lewis and Lisa Simons. For each of these women, their experiences with children’s ministry influenced their journeys to Christ.

As a teenager, Rachel’s now husband incessantly invited her to youth events at Swift Creek. Reluctant to say “yes,” Rachel finally agreed to get Adam off her back, but that night she ended up surrendering her life to Christ. This event could never have happened without the countless volunteers investing in those students.

Though Lisa was raised in a Christian home, she decided to do her own thing as a young adult. When she and her husband, Steve, had their first child, Lisa knew she needed to get back to church and make Christ the foundation of their home. That is when they joined SCBC nearly 20 years ago. Having childcare available was a lifesaver for Lisa, physically and spiritually.

Both Rachel and Lisa experienced life changing moments through their experiences with volunteers in children’s and youth ministry. Now they get to be a breath of fresh air for other parents who are in the early stages of parenthood.

 Rachel Lewis (left) Ezra Young (right)

Rachel Lewis (left) Ezra Young (right)

Rachel served in children’s ministry for nearly 13 years, and she currently serves in Wednesday night AWANA in the toddler class. “The biggest benefit for me is knowing that their parents are being fed with the Word while I care for their kids.” Rachel says serving children is the best because they come willing and wanting to learn about Jesus.

Lisa has continued to serve in the Infant 1 classroom for an incredible 17 years! One of her favorite things about serving in Infant 1 is meeting new families and knowing that she is perhaps making an eternal, spiritual difference in the lives of those families.

Lisa says, “I think the biggest benefit of serving children is providing a positive environment that families are comfortable leaving their children in so they can attend their Connect Groups and worship service.”

 Lisa Simons

Lisa Simons

Each week they get to watch children learn new skills, soak up cuddles and hugs, play games, and provide a safe environment for children to be themselves. As a parent myself, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity these women have provided my family and so many others so we can grow and invest in others.

Please hear this, dear church member. Lisa wants to remind you that God gives you the patience and understanding to serve in any capacity, especially with children. Everyone, both men and women, are capable of serving and investing in our children because, as Christ-followers, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, teach us, mold us, and use us to mentor these children.

If you aren’t currently serving in any capacity at SCBC on a regular basis, there is an opportunity for you to make a difference in the next generation of this church. We are commanded to build up our church body, though it may look different from Rachel and Lisa. You can serve in a number of ways within the children’s ministry, even if it is once every month. To learn more about childcare or to serve your church body today, please contact Preschool and Children's Events Director Janelle Collazo at janelle.collazo@swiftcreekbaptist.org.

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