We are starting a new monthly blog series called "Meet the Volunteers" today. The intent of this series is to introduce you to people serving in various ways throughout our church body, people you may know well or not so well, so as to give us all an opportunity to learn more about each other, learn from each other, and be mutually encouraged in God's gracious work through us, as instruments in His hands.
This month's volunteer being interviewed is Chris Dove, who teaches Sunday School in our 4-yr-old through 3rd grade class:
Chris: I have been attending 3RGC with my husband, Mike and our family for about 14 years, since it's beginning. We have had the joy of watching the Lord grow the 3RGC family, from its birth!
What are some of your favorites hobbies/things to do with your free time?
Chris: I enjoy, the outdoors, reading, knitting, sewing and anything that involves spending time with our 7 beloved grandchildren, Caleb, Luke, Emma Grace, Hannah, Nathan, Elijah, and the last, but not least of our tribe, Benjamin!
How long have you been teaching children's Sunday School classes?
Chris: I have had the honor and privilege of serving in the children's Sunday School ministry, in one form or another, for a total of about 27 years... The Lord and the kids have taught me so much, although, I must be a slow learner because He has not permitted me to graduate yet! I am confident that the Lord has me right where I'm supposed to be and I am perfectly contented to be spending another year with the 3RGC K-3rd graders!
What makes you most excited about children's ministry?
Chris: Children's ministry is my passion, so I could come up with quite a list of what I find exciting about it, but if you want to know the thing that is MOST exciting, inspiring and encouraging, the thing that keeps me coming back week after week, year after year? It's the privilege of having a front row seat every Sunday morning, enabling me to witness the incredible, "Teachable Moment"! That fascinating moment when a child "Gets It"! That moment when, "the light comes on" and they come to a true understanding of a biblical truth, concept or doctrine, as a direct and most intentional intervention of the transforming power, of God's Holy Spirit! To have the opportunity to witness and experience the Lord lovingly and purposefully working in the hearts and minds of our 3RGC children week after week is a joy indescribable! It's what motivates me to press on, and it gives me goose bumps every time! Exciting things are happening, in, through and around the children's Sunday School ministry at 3RGC, and I consider myself blessed to be a part of it!
What responsibility does a church's children's ministry have in relation to the responsibility of parents themselves?
Chris: This is an excellent question and I'd like to answer it by sharing a few excerpts from a paper written by, David Michael, at, Children Desiring God Ministries, entitled, A Vision for Child and Youth Discipleship, A Philosophy of Ministry to Parents and Children. His explanation is excellent and believe it is in line with the philosophy and teaching of 3RGC. If you'd like to read more, go to: http://www.hopeingod.org/document/vision-child-and-youth-discipleship
David says," The Bible consistently and explicitly lays upon the parents the primary responsibility for teaching and modeling God's truths to their children. It is crucial that there be a clear understanding of the primary role parents have in the training of children, so that the biblical responsibility given to parents is not ignored and laid on the church."
"Since it is primarily the parents' responsibility to teach their children the ways of God, ministries to children and youth are provided to assist parents in that role, and not take it from them. When children are entrusted to the care of the church, the church should seek to provide faith nurturing programs that fit their needs and support home-based training."
"Church programs for children and youth can, help, strengthen, confirm and reinforce what parents are teaching, but should never be the primary or substantial vehicle for teaching children."
"At the same time, however, we must remember that we are the extended family of Jesus. As such, we must support and encourage each other, especially those who come from unbelieving families. We must endeavor to become for children and their families the extended Family of God, where support, encouragement, teaching and training are a regular part of life."
Jesus said, "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me." Mark 9:37