As many of you know ministry was never on my radar as a profession. I have been an educator for most of my adult life. I became a teacher because I watched my mom growing up writing lesson plans, cutting out patterns, and assessing children’s progress. Most of her career she was a director of a preschool. I have fond memories of going with her to preschool as a child. I remember many August weeks helping her sort art and school supplies for her preschool classrooms. Since it was a small school, my mom wore many hats: director, music teacher, librarian, nurse, and administrative assistant. She loved it. Children were her passion. I definitely got that passion from her; as I too, love working with children. Every day is different, and with each child you learn something new about children and yourself.
So why ministry you may ask? Well, I feel God has been nudging me to do something more, to challenge myself and to serve him more fully. As an adult chaperone I have enjoyed the mission tours and camps as much as the children and youth. Through these experiences I saw “thin spaces” or have had “mountain top experiences” with them. The summer of 2013 I chaperoned the youth to PASSPORT. The theme that summer was based on the story of Jonah. Honestly, I was running away just like Jonah, except I was running from God’s call to care for my ailing parents. I loved my parents, but at that point in my life I was mentally and physically drained from helping them. It was through that week with the youth that I learned that my caring for my parents was a gift and call from God not an obligation. I am so glad I took that call, because I do not regret sharing those last years with my mom and dad.
This past summer, again God spoke to me through my son, Matt. It was Matt that read the job description for the Children’s Minister position and suggested I should apply. At first I was like no way, I am not qualified. I am an educator not a minister, but as I had conversations with close friends and family, I began to see that maybe I could do this. Though I have only been a minister for a short while, I feel I have answered God’s call once again. I believe God calls us to step out of our comfort zone and take on new challenges that help us grow more like Christ. My wish as your Children’s Minister is to help children grow spiritually in Christ and, help them see how special they are and how they can serve God and others.
Written by Sandy Rooney