New Stories and New Shoes

After being at Grace for a year or so and joining my first community group, I realized the importance of serving. It is through the active giving of my time, energy, and life that I allow God the opportunity to work in me. I was challenged by my community group leaders to find an area to serve at church. Being an elementary school teacher, it was just kinda obvious that I should serve in the children’s ministry, but I had to make sure it wasn’t with more second graders!

Downtown Grace was transitioning to our current building when I first began to serve, and volunteers were needed. I began to serve every other week with other members of my community group teaching two and three year olds. At first, the details weren’t very organized and kids were not consistently placed in classes. This was very frustrating for me. I like a nice, neat plan.

God revealed to me the importance of just being obedient and faithful in my serving. I was making it about me, and not about Him.

As the number of children increased Downtown, Melissa Bateman approached me with the opportunity to serve every week teaching three year olds. At first, I was a little overwhelmed with this idea, as serving and worshiping Downtown make for a long Sunday morning. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The relationships that I have built with the children each week are very special. Even on those rare mornings that I am tired and really want to find a sub, I leave my classroom blessed. My goal is to teach the children, but so many times God teaches me. I am constantly reminded of “child-like faith” and challenged to grow and simply to trust God because of who He is. The kids get it! I look forward to seeing each child and hearing about their week. They always come ready to share a story or show off their new shoes.

As we have been at our current Downtown location for several years, Grace Church Kids continues to grow and develop into an amazing children’s ministry. I look forward to my time with them each week and have grown to know some great families and volunteers. I am grateful for the opportunity to help create an environment and learning opportunity for the children and that parents feel safe to worship. Each week, parents consistently say “Thank You” for the time they are given to worship and learn while their children are cared for. It is through serving that I allow God to mold me.

– Jake Gambrell Downtown Treehouse Teacher