Each month, we’ll follow Ward member, Cindy Ziemba, on her adventures around the volunteer globe. Did you know there are over 100 unique roles filled by volunteers each month? Cindy will share the good, the surprising, the challenging…the authentic experience behind a wide range of volunteer roles at Ward Church, all serving to connect people to God!
Where does a busy executive of a company find joy in serving? If you ask Terry, her answer is in WardKids ministry, with 3-year-olds, where she has been almost every weekend for the past 39 years.
I had the delightful experience of shadowing Terry for a Sunday. Granted, I spent years in Kids Ministry so this was familiar, but I will admit it has been a long time since I’ve dealt with a good-sized group of 3-year-olds.
The experience started with an email from Jeanette Krueger, Director of Early Childhood Ministries at Ward. A read through the email, and I had a good idea of what to expect for Sunday morning. The focus of the day was “God Made Me,” and the verse, one of my favorites for children, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14.
Terry had activities ready in the room as children arrived, and they were able to enter into play right away. The WardKids team had a bin prepared for us – inside were instructions and supplies for a variety of quick and easy, grab and go activities designed to help the children interact with the focus of the day.
One child was having a hard time separating from his dad, but Terry swooped him up and got him busy working on a coloring page that he could give his daddy at the end of the morning. Her strategy was amazing, and I’m guessing she can manage a board of directors with ease. I joined a group of boys engrossed with cars, and encouraged them to build garages with Duplo blocks. While they did so, we talked about how they were designing and building, and how God had also put each one of the boys together while still inside their mommy. They caught on right away. “God made my bones!” “God made my BLOOD!” My prayer is that this early understanding will impact their identity in coming years.
From activity time, we took the children to another room for story and music. Loretta did a masterful job talking about how God created us, and kids were engaged trying to count the hairs on their own heads. The children enthusiastically joined in during song time.
Back in the 3-year-old room, kids sat at the tables and did an activity from the prepped bin that they could take home with them, and then had a few animal crackers for snack. It was about that time that parents started showing back up, and kids excitedly showed what they had made.
Several parents thanked us for our care of their children, including one family whose children were attending for the first time. Often, for such families, what happens in the preschool wing is even more important than what happens in the worship services. That’s what Terry understands, and why she so faithfully serves there. Plus – being with a group of 3-year-olds is surprisingly fun.
Questions for Cindy about finding your spot on one of the many serve teams? Visit ward.church/connect/serve/church or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org