We Love Our Kids! (Guest Post)
I wanted to give you an opportunity to hear from one of our Konnection Kids Coordinators, Olivia Sandhagen. You are going to love her heart for Jesus and her heart for the children she has the opportunity to minister to. Enjoy!
My name is Olivia and I am the Family & Birth – K Coordinator at Connection Church. I have the wonderful privilege of ministering and shepherding children from birth through kindergarten in Konnection Kids. As long as I can remember I have loved working with children. I started caring for children when I was 13 years old. I babysat and helped with children’s church, Sunday school, VBS and church camps. I always knew I wanted more and I finally found it in ministering to children through Konnection Kids. I do not consider my job a job because I love what I do. I love seeing the children’s faces light up when they come into church. Two of my greatest rewards are watching them as they begin to understand something and seeing them get so excited about repeating what they learned to their parents. It warms my heart hearing the kids walking down the hall after church sharing what they learned that day.
Part of my passion for ministry comes from knowing that a baby often first experiences “church” in the nursery. This means that even as infants and toddlers their worship experience is incredibly important. Because of this we are committed to providing a loving and nurturing atmosphere. We pray over children when changing diapers, we sing, “Jesus Loves Me” and tell each one just how much Jesus truly does love them. I am convinced that we can teach them from an early age the love of Jesus. There is nothing sweeter than holding a little one and telling them over and over that Jesus loves them.
The bible tells us “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. “ 1 Timothy 4:12. Many people might see this as “just babysitting”. However, we know this is not true! We know that the Holy Spirit works in the lives of these children just as He does in adults. So even the one year olds are taught the bible stories and then given the opportunity to express what they’ve learned through something creative like arts and crafts. It is so rewarding to know that we have planted the seed of God’s Word in them. We want all the children who enter into Konnection Kids to not just know about Jesus, but to know Jesus and experience the love of God. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14.) This is the heart behind the ministry that I do!
I am also thankful to be able to minister to families as part of my ministry here at Connection. I enjoy being able to share what I have learned with others. I feel it is so important for families to come together not only for fellowship and child rearing issues, but also in their daily walk with God. Families can lean on each other for support and encourage one another. My heart is for them to have time to fellowship with each other through events, activities and small groups focused around families. I feel this is even more important when there is divorce, death, and sickness that surround so many families. They need to know they are not alone in their walk with God and that there are other families walking the same paths.
We are not here to serve ourselves but to serve others. We are here to serve people. This is what we do each Sunday in Konnection Kids. We serve the children so that by our words and actions they may come to a relationship with Jesus.
Heart and Soul!