This week for our Next Gen volunteer spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Katie Helpingstine. Katie and her husband, Jared, have been attending Gateway for about 4 ½ years. They have three children, Grady (8 yrs old), Allie (6 yrs old), and Cohen (2 yrs old). This year, Katie did a fabulous job serving as our 2019 Preschool VBS Director. The first way Katie got involved in serving was through working at the toddler nursery desk on a monthly basis about two years into attending Gateway. She then served as the assistant elementary director for VBS in 2018. Katie still serves at the toddler desk once a month, and she and Jared also lead a life group of young married couples.
Before she began serving, Katie says she would sit in church, hear of needs, but talk herself out of volunteering because of any number of reasons. She said, “Basically, I was a scaredy-cat to try something new!” When she received an email asking for help at the toddler nursery desk, she said yes and has been plugged in ever since. Katie says, “I know I have gifts from God that I can use to serve in the church. Finally taking the plunge to actually start using those gifts has given me confidence to keep getting more involved!”
One of the things Katie enjoys most about serving is the relationships she has formed with other Christ-followers. Katie never felt truly connected until she started getting involved through serving. She said, “I love the families I’ve met at the toddler nursery desk, and the friends I’ve made through serving at VBS and leading lifegroup! Once I started getting to know more and more people, coming to church felt so much more like home!”
A highlight for Katie during VBS week was seeing the hundreds of Gateway teens and adults coming together to pull off an amazing VBS! Over 500 kids were able to learn about Jesus because so many people dedicated their time and talents to serving at VBS. Katie says, “One child in particular stands out to me as I think of VBS highlights. He often wasn’t even with his group because of behavior problems. At the very last worship session on Friday night, this little guy was right with his group singing and dancing to Jesus! That alone made my whole week!”
What advice would Katie give to someone who has been feeling a tug to serve? “DO IT! I sat there for too long feeling that pull and yet coming up with excuses to not take the plunge. Trust that God has equipped you with exactly what you need to serve and then talk to someone about getting plugged in! Gateway is a large church, there so many different ways to get involved!”
Thank you Katie for sharing your time and talents with us in the Kidway area!