for me to discuss how i feel about yancy really has to take on a three-probed approach – how i feel as a ministry peer, a church ministry leader, and as a mom.
i first met yancy at one of several kidmin conferences we were both a part of at the time. i heard her heart about kids and worship and i stood and watched her lead weary ministry leaders in worship. she was humble and approachable and people flocked to her and her booth every time she was there.
then, i brought yancy to my church to lead worship, once at 24 hours 4 Him and another time at a family worship that she and her dad led together. she was professional and so easy to work with each time. as soon as the kids entered the room she was engaged with them and their families. she not only “led songs”, she explained their meaning to the kids and taught them about true worship. while her voice is definitely concert level, her passion for a time of worship was much more center stage.
then my toddler was introduced to her music in our preschool ministry. i will never forget last easter when every night of Holy week my two-year-old would jump and sing her heart out to hosanna rock. i mean i knew yancy had an amazing place in ministry, but now she was greatly impacting my home. as i watched my baby worship, i thanked God for the ministry He gave yancy to point even the smallest to Him.
so, of course, yancy had to be a part of this 5 questions series. she has seen it all. she has played in big and little venues near and far. she has talked to countless kids leaders, so i wanted her wisdom and insight shared with all of us through this series.
I love the awareness that I’ve seen come into focus the past few years of partnering with parents. The reality is even the most faithful families of your church no longer attend every week. Watching leaders explore, navigate and create ways to connect, support and help families is something that excites me as a children’s ministry leader and parent.
2 – what do you see as the greatest need in kidmin and family ministry right now?
Last year I took my son to see Paw Patrol live. The families there paid a pretty penny to attend. They carved out time in what I’m sure was an already crowded schedule. They spent money on snacks and overpriced Paw Patrol merchandise. Why? Because they want to create memories with their kids. They want to have those fun moments that as a family they can point back to and say “remember when we….”. They want to put a smile on their child’s face and not just have a picture of it but instead be IN the picture of that fun thing. It made me super thankful for the churches that I get to partner with to do family concerts and events. I realized that day that churches have opportunities to help the parents of their church create memories with their kids. I challenge leaders to look for ways that you can create fun for families that often times may still have the gospel at the heart of it. Let’s help their “remember when” moments to be faith shaping adventures as a family.
3 – if you could have coffee with every kidmin/fammin leader, what would you want to make sure you shared with them?
Thank you for the work you do. Thank you for the seeds you plant, water and nurture. Thank you for the sacrifices you make. Thank you for the sacrifices your family makes. Your hard work is not in vain. It doesn’t go unnoticed. You are a difference maker. Never forget you are running a race that the Bible instructs us to run to win. Don’t give up. You can do it. Finish well.
4 – what word of encouragement do you have for today’s kidmin/fammin leaders?
I had amazingly supportive parents and know how blessed I am to say that. I knew from an early age what God had called me to do with my music. I sang at church from the time I was a kid every chance I could get. As I reflect on my formative years what comes to mind are all the church volunteers who cheered me on. They believed in me. They encouraged me with my talent. They gave me opportunities. They stretched me to become a leader worth following. I know that their words spoke life to my heart and dreams. Their investment of time and presence made a difference in developing my faith. Looking back I’m so grateful and wish I could tell and every one of those volunteers THANK YOU for believing in a little girl and her dreams and for showing me the love of Jesus.
5 – why are you passionate about children’s and family ministry?