Twenty-seven years ago, I was working full-time in Christian radio but was not serving in any capacity at my local church.
My wife Rachel and I had four young children. Bethany, our oldest, was 8.
Each Wednesday night, we would faithfully attend midweek Bible Study. While the adults assembled in the main sanctuary, the elementary-age children assembled in an adjacent multi-purpose room where they held children’s church, which was called “King’s Kids.”
King’s Kids had been operating smoothly for several months, but one particular Wednesday night at about 7:10, the kids, including Bethany, filtered back into the sanctuary and sat down by their parents.
I asked Bethany, “How come you aren’t in King’s Kids?”
She replied, “Brother Snoogledorf, the leader, isn’t here.”
“Hmmm,” I thought.
The next Wednesday it happened again. And the next.
This went on for about six weeks. With each week I was getting angrier with Brother Snoogledorf (not his real name). I wanted to go to the church leadership to complain about their AWOL staff member who was causing my daughter to miss out on a chance to be ministered to at her level.
But then the voice of one of my elders rang in my ear. Dr. Arlo Moehlenpah (his real name!) had taught me a valuable lesson a couple years prior: “Before you go to the leadership to complain, consider volunteering to be a part of the solution.” He demonstrated this himself: this college professor was teaching the high school Sunday school class because no one else would step up.
I prayerfully mulled this over for a few days and then decided, “If it happens again, I’m signing up.”
And just like clockwork, the very next Wednesday at 7:10 p.m., here came Bethany and all the rest of the kids into the sanctuary.
I remember that I grabbed the pew in front of me, looked down at my feet, took a deep breath, and exhaled. The next day I went to the church leadership and signed up for Children’s Ministry. They exuberantly made me the new leader of Kings Kids, in place of Brother What’s-His-Name. That was October 1990.
I started out as a dad, not as some highly-trained expert. Instead of complaining, I chose to volunteer to minister to my daughter and her peers. Little did I know where that simple act of volunteerism would lead: 27 years later I’m still here, involved as ever in Children’s Ministry!
If you are thinking about complaining, remember the words of my dear friend Arlo: consider volunteering to be a part of the solution. Who knows? A wonderful new journey may be just ahead.
Brent Randall Regnart has served in Children’s Ministry leadership for over 25 years. He is available to conduct a Teacher Training or Children’s Ministry event in your church or district. He and his wife Rachel live in Stockton, CA. For an informational brochure call or text (209)601-4315 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.brentrandall.com.