One of our values at Gateway is serving, and we are so thankful for our Kidway volunteers at North Main. Today I would like to introduce you to Jeremy and Sarah Sickmiller. Check out what they have to say about serving in Kidway at our North Main campus.
How long have you attended Gateway?...been a volunteer in Gateway’s Next Gen Ministry?
Jeremy & Sarah have attended Gateway for 11 years and have been serving on and off in the Next Gen Ministry for 8 years.
In what capacity do you volunteer?
Jeremy – Kidway, Greeter, VBS, Security, Café
Sarah – Kidway, Greeter, VBS
Why did you initially volunteer to serve with kids/youth?
Sarah was going to school to be an elementary teacher and being around children is something I have always enjoyed. She asked Jeremy to serve with her when they began dating and have been serving together ever since.
What do you enjoy most about serving with kids/youth?
Sarah – When I began serving, it was an act of service to answer God’s call, but I had no idea just how much I would be served. Childlike faith is real and prominent in our Kidway ministry. It is amazing to watch the children get excited about Jesus. The longer I serve the more connected I feel and part of the church family.
Jeremy – I feel when serving with kids/youth, connections with those kids and families start to grow and help to create more of family in Christ. I have really enjoyed seeing kids grow, both physically and spiritually over the past 8 years of serving.
Do you have a favorite ministry memory of working with students at Gateway?
Sarah – I would say this Easter weekend was one of my most enjoyable moments. I loved watching the children sing up front during their song “Resurrected.” Then at the end of class we brought the preschoolers in to watch baptisms, as one of their friends was being baptized. I had two 3 year olds standing in front of me. One little boy turned to another and said, “Silas belongs to Jesus!” and they both start clapping and jumping up and down. Such excitement from little souls, and it sparked great conversation when we brought them all back in about baptism.
Jeremy – One of my favorite memories is when this certain kid comes into the classroom and yells, “Jermy.” Just the joy that is in this kid brings joy to my soul. I truly wish that I would be able to find this type continuous joy that comes with this kid’s childlike faith.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not connecting kids to Jesus Christ and to one another?
Sarah – I attended Bible Study Fellowship here in town with Levi during the week. We are also part of a life group that we thoroughly enjoy. In the summer, we love to be outside and do a lot of canning and gardening. Most importantly, we love to spend time with family. I am so blessed to live in close proximity to my parents and grandparents so always get to spend Sunday afternoons and evenings together, and time during the week as well.
Jeremy – I really enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors, especially in the summer. I enjoy taking bike rides, wood working, working in the garden, and having campfires. No matter what, we always do stuff as a family.
What would you say to someone who has been feeling a tug to serve, but who hasn’t taken the plunge yet?
Sarah – In Kidway, you will go into it thinking you’ll be doing a service, but indirectly you’re served. I was at a retreat recently and a speaker said, “God chose your children to be born at this time in the world in this generation.” Sometimes I get discouraged when I look at the world that Levi has to live in, but I needed to remember that God chose this for him. I look at how blessed with are with so many children in our programs, but with that comes a great need for volunteers who love Jesus and want to spread the gospel. What a blessing to have so many children to love on! What are you doing to foster that? During greeting, I love being able to serve with my husband and son. That’s one way that we can model for Levi serving and he can also be a part of it. If you have children and that is what is holding you back from serving find something that you can do with your children so they can be a part of it as well.
Jeremy – I would have to say that serving is fun and can bring joy not just to the kids in the Next Gen Ministry, but also the person serving. Serving certainly allows parents to attend church and pay attention while the kids develop friendships while having fun. If you have not heard “Wiggle Worship” from the sanctuary on a given Sunday, you should certainly serve and experience it for yourself. Nothing is better than seeing 5 to 15 kids dancing and singing at the top of their lungs to Jesus!