Students, Adults Alike Enjoy Opportunity to Impact a Generation

Melissa Bogdany

Find your niche, and join the Children’s Ministries team!

Bible memory verse songs. Puppet sketches. Dramas. Every weekend hundreds of children come to Northland to learn about who God is and what He has done in a fun and engaging way.

But they aren’t the only kids having a great time. Both middle and high school students play an important – and very fulfilling – role in the lives of the younger children who come through the doors of Northland each weekend.

    Just ask Abby Saphirstein, a 10th-grader who serves regularly in Children’s Church.

    “It’s so cool to hear them singing at the top of their lungs how much they love Jesus,” she says. She also has volunteered with Praise Time. “I just loved seeing them worship through all the sign language we do, and how they engaged with the Bible lesson and worshiped.”

    Her two sisters, Jessica and Rachel, also have served in Children’s Ministries here.

    “I liked knowing the impact it would have,” says Jessica, a senior who volunteered in Praise Time for three years and was a puppeteer for the videos. Rachel, 13, also loves helping with the puppets.

For more than 10 years, Holly Faries and her daughter, Amy, now 26, have been volunteering with the children. They have found their niche serving kindergartners Sundays at 11 a.m.

“I have literally as much fun as they do,” Holly says. “We have a blast! I get my excitement from them. … It is, without a doubt, the most amazingly wonderful thing. You like to think you planted a little seed in them.”

While student volunteers (seventh grade and up) are an integral part of our Children’s Ministries, we have a great need for adult volunteers as well, especially with the bump in attendance after back-to-school, says Debbie Blahnik, director of Children’s Ministries at our Longwood site.

“It’s an awesome responsibility we have to teach this generation,” she affirms. “We want to be that example for them. We have an awesome opportunity here.”

Those opportunities include teaching, helping teachers, subbing for them, greeting families, checking in kids, storytelling for the 2- and 3-year-olds, and more. Beyond these, you can join the crew that cuts out crafts every other week, help with special projects such as rebuilding sets, or assist with events such as the daddy-daughter dance or our first trunk or treat.

For all volunteers, Northland provides the training and materials. They just need to “allow the Holy Spirit to work through them.”

The curriculum is “The Worship, the Word and the Way,” which takes kids through the entire Bible in three years. “It’s very interactive,” Debbie says. “It really teaches them who God is.”

She adds: “It’s a good time to get involved in Children’s Ministries because a lot of people are looking for a church and exploring, and we want to provide a great experience for them.”

    If you would like to make a difference in the lives of our children by volunteering with Children’s Ministries, contact Debbie at 407-949-7162 or

“This is a rewarding ministry,” Debbie says. “You’re changing the lives of these children for all eternity.” They will change your life too.