Kristen's story

“Initially, I became involved with youth group because my son was involved. Parents were encouraged to sign up as helpers with Sunday school. As an elementary school teacher, specifically kindergarten, I was very apprehensive since middle school was not my training. I volunteered to sit in the middle school class as a shepherd. I made connections with this class, and when a permanent leader was needed, I volunteered to help. I found that this was something that I could do and continued to make connections with the youth. The connection I have made with the youth is so strong – especially the middle schoolers.

What keeps me returning as a volunteer with youth? The youth, the adult leaders, and the church staff! Being a youth volunteer, I help these students discover their faith journeys. This is such an important thing to do! These youth want to make a difference for the best. They are all so amazing in wanting to make our world a better place by being the hands and feet of God.

I felt the most connected to God when I accompanied the middle school students on a mission trip to Chattanooga. I was very proud of our youth during this trip. They worked hard and did so many things outside of their comfort zones. If the kids could do that, then I could do the same as an adult. They set such a great example of following Christ. On the last night, we participated in a worship service where the leaders washed the youth’s feet. We were asked to pray for our youth and share ways we witnessed our youth grow that week.

Anyone can volunteer. It can be in a large or small way, and you do not need to be an expert to work with our youth. All you need is to have a good attitude, be a good listener, participate and try new things. I hope people will see that anyone can help out – no matter where they are in their faith journey. I hope I have encouraged the youth to continue their personal faith journeys and keep on their journeys once they have graduate and begin lives on their own.”