Her name was Lois Flynn. She was director of the children’s department and she greeted me at Sunday School every Sunday morning at Hephzibah Baptist Church during my elementary school years. There were other ladies on her team: Mary Partridge, Helen Ramsey and Margaret Turner. They knew it when I was absent and I missed them when I couldn’t be there. They sent birthday cards, checked on me if I was sick, and I feel certain they communicated with my mother if ever my behavior was not quite up to par. We read Bible stories, studied teaching pictures, used crayons, scissors and glue, consumed boxes of vanilla wafers, and we sang about Jesus a lot. They wanted to be sure I knew who He was. I loved these ladies and they loved me.
Our preschool and children’s ministry at Lakewood is blessed with an amazing facility, incredible resources and an awesome team of volunteers that is committed to partnering with parents to lay spiritual foundations in the lives of our kids. These three important elements add up to success, but I know my staff agrees that the volunteers are the most valued part of the equation. We have volunteers who serve each week, some who serve once or twice a month, others who serve once a quarter, and then there are those who serve when they can or when we call. They are all appreciated equally, but we need more adults who are able to serve each week.
We need a minimum of 67 adults every Sunday. Currently, we have 36. So, every week, to obtain that needed minimum number of adult volunteers, we contact, schedule and remind those who serve monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or periodically. This exponentially increases the time it takes for the Kids Cove staff to secure an adequate number of volunteers and then, communicate health and safety procedures, classroom schedules and curriculum instruction. It is a challenge. It also means there are some classes of children who are cared for by different adults each week.
Typically, our recruitment plan has been to enlist consistent weekly volunteers to serve for a full ministry year, which is: August through July. I would like to ask you to consider something different. Instead of entertaining the possibility of serving an entire year, I invite you to join our Kids Cove team for one of three shorter ministry serving seasons: Jan-May, June-July or Aug-Dec. If more adults would be willing to serve weekly for a 5-month or 2-month season, it would greatly increase our effectiveness in giving the best possible care and creating significant learning experiences for our children.
Kids Cove provides for infants through fifth grade at 9:30 and 11:00 am on Sunday mornings. We need a larger number of consistent volunteers at each hour, but the need is greatest at 11:00—especially in preschool. If you are a college student, a parent, an empty-nester, a grandparent or an adult of any age with no kid experience but have a heart to serve, I invite you to join me in Kids Cove on Sunday, December 4 for Coffee for the Curious to explain these new serving options. I will host sessions at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. in Rooms E and F, which are across from Cove 3. If you can’t join me December 4 you can call or email. We are looking for 31 new adults to serve weekly beginning in January.
Lois Flynn and her team understood the responsibility of laying spiritual foundations in the lives of children. I first learned about Jesus from my parents, but these ladies consistently made sure I knew it was important to hear about Him outside my home. It’s still important. We wouldn’t ask you to serve if it weren’t. I look forward to hearing from you.