A Season of Adventure in Four Oaks Kids


By Shannon Pifer

My middle son just returned from a two-week road trip out west with a couple of friends from our church. These college-age guys planned and executed an epic adventure, camping on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, hiking through river-carved crevasses in Zion National Park, playing in Colorado snow, exploring multiple states from here to Utah and back while accumulating over 5500 driving miles. They ate po-boys in New Orleans, In-and-Out Burgers in Texas, steaks grilled over their New Mexico campfire, and countless granola bars along the road. Returning home tired, yet unscathed and still friends, these guys had the time of their lives!

Sitting around our dinner table upon his return hearing the stories and looking at the pictures, I think we all felt at least a little tinge of envy. He had an amazing experience, working hard and saving for this trip while seizing the relative freedom of his season of life to make it happen. The rest of us around that table are not in carefree seasons, with school, work, finances, and health demands keeping us very much at home, at least for now.

Seasons of life change. “To everything there is a season,” Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes after all, and seasons of ministry change as well! I know it feels like summer, and will for a while, and some of you might still be on an epic road trip, but fall is upon us and I’m so excited about it! We’re gearing up for a busy ministry season at Four Oaks Killearn with Back to School Bashes for Middle and High schoolers, our third annual Reboot, Bible studies for men and women, and of course, a new year of ministry in Four Oaks Kids!

Our Four Oaks Kids Volunteers who serve so faithfully during the school year are, like the rest of us, in various seasons of life. A good number of them will not be able to serve this year for a host of reasons. Our 11AM service kindergarten teachers and 9AM service preschool teachers are having babies! A faithful nursery “grandma” is moving out of town to live closer to her own grandchildren. Another nursery mom and her family, including four teenagers who serve in preschool, are joining our East congregation to be closer to their neighborhood. That’s just to name a few.

These types of departures used to stress me out as I looked at our volunteer roster full of blank spaces. Yet season after season, God fills those empty spots with just the right people. I know there are nursery grandmas and college students and everyone in between in all different seasons of life who God will raise up to serve our children this year.

Won’t you consider making the 2019-2020 school year a season in which you’ll serve in one of our classrooms or nurseries? There are many ways to serve, and it is such a joy! I’d love to talk to you more about the possibilities, so click the button below for our volunteer application, or contact Shannon Pifer (850-385-6875).

Debbie Tanis