As a high school teacher, I certainly never imagined myself as part of the EKids team at Energizer; if they haven’t hit puberty yet, I am thoroughly out of my comfort zone! However, somehow, I have managed to find myself serving down there every now and again. This is a development in my life which can largely be attributed to the powers of persuasion of our new Kids Pastor, Claire Morse, who, oddly enough, until recently felt very similarly to me about Kids’ Church!
“It is constantly surprising me. It’s a role I have never imagined myself in and I am really enjoying building relationships with the kids and their parents. I’m enjoying the surprises that working with children brings and am really loving the way their hearts are so open to hearing about God and learning about faith. I also love watching shy or nervous children come down for the first time and slowly relax and unfold as they learn to trust us. It is a huge learning curve taking on a ministry area, but it is a really fun one.”
Claire is a long-time member of Energizer Church; she’s been on the journey with us for 21 years and has grown in many ways through being part of the Energizer family.
“Over years of serving in a variety of areas, I’ve developed so many skills that I have used in my professional life as a teacher; I have learned confidence and hopefully some good people skills!”
Although these things have been useful and important for Claire, they are not the lessons which she regards as the most important. Honing our skills is one thing, but revelation is a deeper level of learning: “We serve God because he loves us and he asks us to. It is not about us, our egos, our ambitions, our self-esteem – anything; we are called to be servant hearted because our Jesus was a servant king, who taught us to not to want to be served but to serve.”
It’s no wonder Claire has recently turned her attention to the more miniature members of our congregation, having recently acquired (given birth to, that is) one of her own, the delightful Ellie! Having some time out of the classroom to be with family and friends has given Claire the breathing room to reflect on her role within the church and rise to the challenge of leading an important ministry area. Her perspective on building the church for future generations both inspires her team and reassures the parents of the children in EKids.
“Obviously for those of us who grew up in Sunday School, we have memories which are foundational to our faith. Some of the songs and the stories we learned 20-30 years ago are still impacting our belief systems and have helped shape our view of God. This is a huge responsibility and privilege to be able to help introduce children to the foundations of our faith.”
Although Claire claims that she “still doesn’t know how to work with primary school aged kids” and allegedly lacks patience at times (I’m yet to see evidence), she does admit that EKids is providing opportunities to use and develop her spiritual gifts, in particular teaching, discernment and encouragement. Anyone who has seen Claire in action downstairs on a Sunday morning would have to agree wholeheartedly, and probably add a few gifts they have observed to that list!
If you love the idea of helping to create those memories which will become foundational to the faith of the next generation, why not jump in and join Claire and her team! Everyone is welcome to give it a go and you definitely don’t need to know what you’re doing to get started (trust me!).
Claire’s advice to new team members: “Be prepared to be surprised. On the surface, Kids’ Ministry can seem like a bit of a thankless task, but it only takes a few weeks to build relationships with the kids and to make friends with the other leaders and you will feel part of a really significant, colourful and never boring ministry. Plus, Terrence makes us really nice coffees. Also, learning to whip and nae nae with five year olds is a memory you will laugh at for a really long time.”
If you need a dance lesson or two from our kinder-aged EKids, have a chat to the Connect Desk on Sunday about joining the team!
Written by Jen Grubb