I first started serving at our church’s Friday night children’s program in 2013. At the time, I had only been married for about 1 year to my husband, Preston, and although I was initially hesitant to give up my free Friday nights, I always knew I wanted to serve in the children’s ministry. I really enjoyed getting to know the girls in my class and enjoyed teaching them God’s truths.

 

Serving as a Mother

 

In 2014, I got pregnant with my firstborn, Paxton. After he was born in 2015, I wasn’t sure how having a baby would affect my ability to serve. Would I be too tired to come to church on Fridays? Would the baby get over-stimulated and tired from being at church so late in the evening? Who would watch him while I served? Despite these uncertainties, when the new church year was approaching, God tugged at our hearts and we felt encouraged to serve again on Friday nights.  I returned back to the girls and Preston returned as a float with the boys. Since Preston was a float, he was able to keep Paxton with him throughout the night. Though some of those Friday nights ran late, Paxton adjusted and he would often fall asleep in the baby carrier while Preston was leading games with the boys. We realized that although Friday was a long day for us, we enjoyed serving and God made it work.

 

From One Child to Three Children

 

When the AWANA Children’s program started at our church, we were thrilled that there would be childcare for Paxton.  Then, God really threw a curve ball at us. We found out early in 2017 that we were expecting twins! This was uncharted territory.  We really had no idea if and how much our lives would change with having two babies at one time as well as an opinionated and busy toddler.  However, this time around, we were pretty certain we would return to serving at AWANA. When our twins, Logan and Felicity, were 4 months of age in January of this year, we returned back with our new minivan to serving on Friday nights. We’ve worked out a system where we come about 1 hour earlier, have dinner together as a family at church, and then leave the kids in the warm care of the nursery staff.  We’re so grateful for those who take care of the kids so we can serve. They’re often carrying or wearing the babies so that they can get some sleep during the evening.

 

Reasons Why I Serve

 

Although having 3 young kids would have been a convenient and understandable reason to bow out of serving on Fridays, we honestly really enjoy it. I enjoy seeing the girls in my group learn God’s word through doing their workbook and memorizing verses. I enjoy seeing them cheer on their team during game time.  I pray and hope that the time we invest in them will bear fruit now and in the future. An additional reason that we serve is to be an example for our kids. I think it’s good for my kids, even at this young of an age, to see their mom and dad come weekly to serve in the church and prioritize it. My hope is that our actions can be an example and encouragement to them as they get older and understand what it means to be a follower of Christ.

 

Follow the Call of Christ

 

In Deuteronomy 6:7, it says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” We have a unique opportunity to be in these children’s lives and to help instill the Word of God into their hearts forever. As you’re reading this, consider coming to be a part of these children’s spiritual journey, engage with them, and be an example of living out Christ’s commandments.

Florence serves as a team leader in AWANA along with her husband, Preston. They have three children.