I sank into my favorite spot on the back row, a hot cup of coffee in hand. Deep sigh of relief. My mind flashed back to the previous few hours before. The arguments over who was wearing what outfit, who left the milk sitting out overnight, or who was going to clean up the mess the dog made.
Sunday mornings around my house are not exactly peaceful.
My husband is a pastor, so he’s out the door early to head to church—this leaves me with four kids who are tired from the previous week and all of us are a bit on edge.
There’s something about a Sunday morning that makes everyone lose their minds.
But the reward is always worth it. The 90 minutes I drop my kids off in someone else’s care so I can sit and drink an entire cup of hot coffee, worship, pray, and be poured into.
It makes the fights, the donut crumbs in the backseat, and the extra messy house all a bit lighter.
It makes it a million times more encouraging knowing my kids are not just with a babysitter, but they are under the care and teaching of adults who love them and teach them about Jesus.
You matter when I drop my son off, and he runs into the arms of Zoe—his favorite teacher. When my daughter wants to go to two hours of class because she wants to make sure she sees all her favorite teachers, you matter.
And when another daughter is embraced by Aleah, a mom of boys who gets a little time to love on a girl and I know how much they both cherish that time together, you matter.
So these children’s ministry leaders aren’t just glorified babysitters, they are mentors, friends, and a guiding light that our kids need outside of the home.
This past year, my oldest applied for student council at her school, and she had to write an essay and talk about what a leader looks like to her. But did she write about me or her dad? No, of course not!
She wrote about Stephanie—her small group leader at church.
Someone who is always there with a smile, a hug, great advice, and a safe place to land if she needs it. And I wasn’t one bit upset about not being chosen. I was thankful.
You Deeply Impact Lives
Kids need mentors and leaders in their lives who offer a place (outside of mom and dad) to be a guiding light. There will be a point when our kids do need that safe place to land, and it won’t always be with us—their parents.
It will be someone who has poured into them, built a relationship with them, and created a bond of trust and security. And as parents, we are so incredibly grateful for that.
On Sunday mornings and beyond, we need you. We need you to be the one to rock our babies so we can take care of our hearts on Sunday mornings with our community.
We need you in the late-night hours when our teenager needs a trusted friend to talk to, because you were the one who answered their tough questions in Sunday School.
And we need you to be on our team.
The work you do goes well beyond those brightly colored hallways, the rocking chairs, and the ping pong tournaments.
I can still tell stories of the Zoe’s, the Aleah’s, and the Stephanie’s of my childhood who introduced me to Jesus, taught me about the depth and beauty of Scripture, and helped set me on a path to walk in my own faith.
Thank You SO Much
I want to say thank you, from the deepest depths of my tired and weary heart. The work you do gives this mom a chance to breathe, knowing my children are finding a safe place in you. And that means more than you’ll ever know.
You are selfless, you are compassionate, you are a champion of tiny humans. If I’ve learned anything as a mother, it’s that the Holy Spirit that lives in me is the same Holy Spirit that lives in children.
God doesn’t shrink down His power, grace, and mercy for children—as His Word says, “He’s the same yesterday today and tomorrow.”
I believe He’s also the same in the sanctuary as He is in the brightly colored hallways, the classrooms with broken crayons, rambunctious kindergarteners, and smelly preteens.
Keep up the good work, because the work you do helps us moms breathe, thrive, and walk even deeper with our Savior.
We need you.
Is there a mom in your life that you want to walk alongside? Kara-Kae James knows how overwhelming motherhood can be. As she writes in her book Mom Up, “When we come to the place where we think that we have failed—this is the moment when God’s Word and motherhood intersect.”
Discover more about Kara-Kae James’ books and Thrive Moms today.