Grace Church Kids has some amazingly dedicated volunteers. And if you’ve been anywhere near the Tree House (preschool) side of the ministry you will most definitely recognize this smiling face. Meet Shelley Sems. Our friend Shelley is a great model. Not only because she is tall and beautiful, but because she also models true servant-hood even when seasons of life are hard. Here are her answers to a few questions we threw her way. Her words may encourage us all to dig a little deeper and serve a little more.

GCK: How long have you been serving in children’s ministry?
SS: 12 plus years.  I know I was serving when I was hugely pregnant with my first child in the nursery but I don’t remember how long I may have served before I was pregnant.  Lol!  How’s that for a great memory?

GCK: What made you decide to start serving?
SS: I love children. I knew there was a need. Before I was ever a believer, I felt a nudge to serve, to place others before myself. When I became a believer, this was a huge calling from God for me (Mark 10:45). Funny thing though, after I had my second child, I decided I needed a break and thought I “deserved” it since I had a second baby.  God said “NO.” It was abundantly clear to me that to not continue serving was direct disobedience to God. I came up with every good excuse why I didn’t need to be serving. I just had a baby. How would my two small children nap being at church so long? How could I get everybody up and out the door on time? How would I have the energy to care for all those kids when I was so tired myself? God said, “I got it.” The really awesome thing was that He did. God didn’t need my wisdom and logic. He needed my willingness and love. I obeyed. I served. God blessed it all. And He has continued to bless it through all these years.

GCK: What is your favorite part of Sunday morning?
SS: I love being able to “be still” when going to early worship with my husband then going to “be energized” on our hall of 2-3 year olds. I love seeing the kids excited, their parents free to worship, and all my friends who serve alongside me on our team. We really have a great thing going!

GCK: What, in your opinion, is the most important part of your role as a coach?
SS: Hmmm, I never really saw myself as a coach. In fact, I’m not totally sure how I became a coach. At any rate, I am energetic. I do love kids. I do love loving people. I do love the simple truths of lessons with children and their honesty and their hearts to love Jesus. I don’t sweat too many situations as I have truly seen that when God is in it, He is on it. I am blessed with a GREAT TEAM! I guess the greatest part of my role is maybe being able to encourage our team and hopefully for them to also realize God’s mighty hand working all the time, keeping our focus on what God has called us to do each week.

GCK: How has serving in children’s ministry impacted you and your family?
SS: My oldest has recently come of age to serve with children. He has been eager to help and to “shepherd” the younger ones. It’s early to tell, but my hope and prayer would be that my children would want to serve out of the outflow of love that they have through and in Christ. Our family “serves” together at the end of service as the kids help stack chairs in the “little kid” classrooms.

GCK: What is a unique fact about your family and your time at Grace?
SS: All of our kids were born here. Grace Church is all we know.  😉

GCK: Why should someone consider serving in children’s ministry?
SS: You think you “serve” to be a part of blessing others. The truth is, through serving, you are the one blessed. Children’s ministry is dynamic. It’s exciting. It’s unpredictable. It’s transparent. And God is all in it. It’s a great way to jump in and let God work and reveal His truths through the eyes of children. It’s a great metaphor to the Christian walk too: dynamic, exciting, and often unpredictable.

We couldn’t ask for a better coach than Shelley. She is thoughtful, encouraging, dedicated, and just plain fun! The teachers on her preschool hall are well taken care of. They have a great coach who makes teaching easy for them and cheers them on. GCK staff appreciates the enthusiasm and commitment that Shelley brings every week to the children and volunteers of Grace Church!