Steady Growth

Submitted by Evermore on Fri, 06/05/2020 - 11:06am

It's been a full year since I stood before our congregation and was commissioned into my role as Children’s Ministry Director. I think back to the then twenty-one-year-old version of myself. I can feel all the emotions I had in that moment rush through my body again. Joy- that the Lord had given me direction and called me back to my home church. Confidence- that God would walk with me through all the failures and mistakes to come. Fear- that I wouldn’t be what everyone wanted me to be. Unworthy- to lead children in a crucial time of their walk with God. Despite all my mixed emotions, I made a promise. With tears in my eyes, I looked out into our full sanctuary and made this promise:

“To everyone at Evermore I promise this will not just be a job to me. I fully and deeply believe that this is my calling and a passion that God has been cultivating within me for years. I desire to invest in your children’s lives. To listen to their questions and encourage them to dig deeper for answers. To view them as the church of today, not the future. To love them as if they are family. To equip and assist you in molding their hearts after Christ. To fight to keep my passion fueled, not becoming burnt out. I dedicate myself to seeking the Lord’s will for this ministry, for the volunteers and for your kids.”

As I read those words through tear filled eyes, I saw many of you wiping tears as well. In that very moment God told me, “They are in this with you.” I knew I wasn’t walking alone. I knew I had your support and encouragement. I knew you weren’t waiting for me to fail; you were cheering me on to succeed. I have that promise hanging in my office and each morning before I start my work day, I read it again. I hope that at this one year mark I can say I’ve kept my promise. I hope you would agree.

It has been a year of steady growth in leadership, ministry, humility, grace…so many things. The Lord has walked with me even on the days I thought I could do it all on my own. You all have walked with me from day one. Your kids have been gracious as I learn how to lead well. I’m thankful that God is patient with us as we learn. He doesn’t expect us to become experts in a split-second. He gently guides us into steady growth. Just when I think I’ve learned all I can from an experience, He pulls more lessons out of it. As the weeks and months went by, I didn’t feel like I was making much progress. Here I stand as my now twenty-two-year self and think back to those mixed emotions from day one. I still find so much joy in where God has called me. I’m still confident that God walks with me. Fear still finds a way to creep in every-now-and-then, but I’ve learned I don’t need to be what you all want me to be. I’ll fail, I’ll let people down, I’ll do things differently than what some people would like. But I’m here to be what God wants me to be. So, if I’m failing to meet your standards, but walking with Christ…I’m not really failing. I know I’m unworthy of leading your kids, but I know God is worthy and He’s with me.

I know full well that alone I will fail miserably. But there hasn’t been one moment where I was alone. Some days I look at my to-do list before I open my Bible. I start my tasks before I’ve talked with God. I push towards accomplishing something tangible before I accomplish things in my heart. Those are the days I feel alone. Those are the days I put my flesh first. Those are the moments where the Lord whispers, “I am here with you” and “They are in this with you”. Those are the days I need reminded that my role is about the people, not the task.

That last reminder has been more valuable in the past two months. Without people in our church building it was easy to get lost in my tasks. I would fly through my to-do list and wonder why I was feeling so empty when I was accomplishing so much. Because it’s about the people, not the task. That has been my biggest lesson from year one of ministry. It’s one I’ll continue learning for years to come – because God is all about steady growth. And He’s not finished with me yet.

Memories from my first year:

  • Hanging up a tapestry from Dani’s Haitian shop (Petite Palm) and notes of encouragement from the congregation: a reminder to strive to be the kind of woman in ministry that Dani was and that you’re all standing in support of me
  • Helping to lead VBS in my second week as a staff member
  • Praying over the Sunday school classrooms: for the kids, teachers and families
  • Having a front row seat to the Christmas program as the kids all lifted their arms in worship of the One True King: by far my best moment
  • The new EvermoreKids entrance ramp being completed!
  • Monday staff meetings and MiCasa lunches: my co-workers are true blessings 
  • COVID making me learn to lead in an entirely new way
  • Becoming the leader of YEC: the kids told me “you’re more fun than those old people” little did they know those “old people” are my parents. Sorry mom and dad 😊

Thank you all for supporting me through my first year. I’m walking humbly into year two!

-Katie Schrock