Just Showing Up
I use to not really like kids. (If you think you’ve accidently clicked on the wrong blog post, you didn’t. This is, in fact, for Team Summer!) I mean, they were fine to be around and I was super glad that other people had them, but when they were in my care, I had no idea what to do. So when a friend asked me if I wanted to join Team Summer in 2012, my gut reaction was “Ummm, no.” But, she asked me to think about it and I told her I would. After some polite nudging on her part, I decided to give it a try.
What did I just get myself into? I don’t know how to talk with kids and even more so, teach them about Christ! What if they ask a question I don’t know the answer to? What if they don’t like me? What if they really don’t like me? These were just a few of the things racing through my head when I nervously turned in my availability sheet.
On my observation day (a day that new volunteers come to “check out” what Base Camp is like and to find out what age range or area they want to volunteer in), I hung around the back of the room, just watching the other leader. I felt very out of place. I noticed a kindergartener girl, whose first time was that day as well, sitting by herself. I walked over and asked if she wanted to color with me. She looked up, said yes, and we walked together over to the crayons and grabbed our favorite colors. We spent most of the morning filling in daisies and tulips and chatting about our favorite animals and what we ate for breakfast.
Nothing crazy happened that morning. There was no revelation, no skies opening with angels coming down. Though, that would have been really cool. But, I don’t think it went to waste either. Jesus took that time to show that little girl church can be a safe place, where people care about her. And he took that time to show me his heart for kids and how just being there can make an impact.
Flash forward five years and (to my utter surprise) where could you find me on a Sunday morning? Coloring, dancing, and telling kids how much Jesus loved them. I started in the K-1st room and when I met a group of rowdy, joyous, and silly kindergartners, they captured my heart. They asked tough questions that I didn’t even know how to navigate, but they didn’t need me to give a perfect answer for them. Just to say “I don’t know, but let’s figure it out together.” I decided to move up with them as they got older and was their leader up to their last year in Base Camp. I kept showing up every Sunday morning because knowing they were finding out who Jesus was was always worth it.
I’m not saying that this’ll be your experience. I hope maybe it will, but I know it probably won’t and that’s OK. But, it’s absolutely insane how much God can use our meager best to show his glory. He doesn’t ask us to have all the answers, be the most fun leader, or be the best dancer. He just asks us to show up.
We want to our give our Base Camp volunteers a break for the summer, but we need your help! Be a part of Team Summer.
Laura "L.J." Judy is the Designer/Photographer for Summit Church. If you have any questions for her about Team Summer, how to get involved creatively at Summit, or just to say "hey, the looks and images around this place are top notch, thanks." you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.