Mark and I spend our entire lives thinking about other people. It’s just what we do. We wonder how each of our church members are doing, we grieve when they are struggling, and we are giddy when they have exciting news. We feel like the birth of every new baby is an addition to our family and I have to admit that we always cry when we see each new life for the first time. We pray fervently for the needs represented in our congregation and believe that God will answer our prayers. We love the people that God has given to us with a profound love that I believe is straight from the heart of God.
And although our love for other’s runs deep, there are two little lives running around our house that we care about more than anything related to North Creek Church. Our two daughters are our priority! We strive hard to make ministry fun for them and accomodate their needs into the big picture of the church’s needs. And although we try hard, there are days when I see that they are weary with sharing mom and dad. I am sensitive to that ache in their heart and do whatever I can to prevent it.
Perhaps that is why I am most impressed by people who go out of their way to minister to my kids. I want them surrounded by amazing, Godly, loving people. I want leaders in their life who expect them to be great…not because they are pastor’s kids, but because they are God’s kids and He made them great. That is why I currently have more respect for those leaders in our preschool class than any other leaders in our church. They are the faces that tell MY kids about Jesus every week. They make church fun for MY kids. They make an investment into MY kid’s futures. If all else falls apart, my kids are still going to be there, and I want them to have fond memories of church and of Jesus.
This week Delaney came running up to me and said, “I want to make a project for Emily and Chrystal!” (Emily and Chrystal taught her preschool class last week, but they have also spoiled her rotten whenever possible over the last few months.) Delaney thinks they are amazing and wants to be just like them when she grows up.
My daughter spent the next half an hour constructing a little gift for both of them. I asked her why she wanted to make a gift and she said, “They teach me good and I like them and they are pretty.” It’s a simple compliment from a four year old, but in my heart that said, “Mom, I like church. I like learning about God. I feel that I am important in my teacher’s eyes. I’m glad that I get to be a part of this church planting journey with you, because I’m a valuable piece to this puzzle.”
That’s really all I need. I just need to know that at the end of the day, someone else has a positive voice into my kid’s lives. So, hats off to Emily, Chrystal, and the other amazing preschool leaders that Rachael is raising up. I know that the preschool class doesn’t come with a lot of glamour. I know that talking to toddlers is a challenge and often times draining. But just know that your ministry goes far beyond that 2 year old who is eating a crayon. You are touching the lives of those kids and the grateful parents that know the value of your work.
Hello! You wives of pastors are, next to God, the most important part of our lives! I married my wife my first year at Stetson University. She’s been the most significant person in my life, supporting me through thick and thin, encouraging me when things were tough, giving me honest, fair , and helpful criticism when it was needed (wives can share things with their husband-pastors no one else may recognize or dare to share). She was and is, a wonderful example of the happy, God loving parent before our three children and, for the last 21 years of my ministry served as our Church Administrator. So ladies, I salute you and the God-send you are! At the end of the day, whether you have ministered at home, in church or wherever God has called you, know how blessed and favored we all are to have you!
I simply love you, and your dedication to excellence that flows from church to family. The Newells are serious role-models for pastors and volunteer staff alike, and I am consistantly reminded of that every time Im with them. Blessings!
I love you Delaney Kate & Pastor Mark & Stacy! I am thrilled to see Delaney excited about our new teachers! I love those precious children and it thrills me to see others take joy in loving on them too!