Yesterday morning at our specially called members’ meeting, Tom Geers and Ben Zweigle were both affirmed by the members of FBC Durham to serve as elders. We are thrilled that Tom and Ben will be joining our team of elders, and we know they are eager to serve, shepherd and lead our church body. Please commit to praying for Tom and Ben and their families as they begin their elder ministry at our church.
A few months ago, we welcomed Sara Iles to the ministry staff of First Baptist as our new Children’s Ministry Coordinator. We thought it might be fun to ask Sara to share a few things about herself and her love for kids ministry as a way for you to get to know her a little better, and as a way to encourage you to pray for her ministry at FBC Durham. Enjoy!
Hi Sara! Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Hi, I’m Sara. 🙂 I married Terry in May of 2009, and we have a sweet 3-year-old daughter, Emma. We are from Southwest Louisiana. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, so the local church has always been a huge part of my life. We moved to Wake Forest in the summer of 2013 to attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and we joined First Baptist in November 2013. Since joining, Terry has enjoyed teaching a home fellowship group and occasionally a Bible study on Wednesday nights. I have been teaching a preschool class for The Gospel Project on Wednesday nights, and have also served on the Women’s Ministry Team.
What do you love about kids’ ministry?
I love everything about the kid phase of life—the books, the imagination, the fun! Because this is such an amazing time in their life, I feel like this is a unique stage where the church is able to pour into the next generation of Christ-followers and some-day church members.
What are some of the things you think make kids’ ministry so great?
Children’s ministry is such a vital part of the local church. It’s not just about childcare and babysitting. We get the privilege of introducing children to huge truths about who God is. Along with parents, we get to sow the early seeds of the gospel into young hearts. We get to pray for their salvation. We get to see them discover Jesus in the pages of Scripture at an early age. It is a thrilling ministry! Serving in children’s ministry is a chance to participate in the shaping of what the church will be like in 15–20 years.
How have you grown in your personal walk with Christ since coming to FBC Durham?
God was gracious to me and I experienced salvation at a young age, so I have been following Christ for a long time and I’ve weathered many different spiritual seasons. When we moved to the area in 2013, we were going through a very difficult and trying season. But the Lord has been so faithful to me and Terry! He has shown himself to be immensely good. He took a trying season and made it into a sweet, sweet time of resting in his goodness since we’ve been at Southeastern and First Baptist. As a wife and parent, meditating on God’s goodness displayed has been so rewarding. The Holy Spirit often brings my heart back around to remember the whole of God’s character. These past few years have been such a great time of sweet communion with the Father.
What makes you so eager to serve as Children’s Ministry Coordinator at FBC?
There are several things, so I’ll list them. (1) We LOVE our church! Any way to labor alongside the elders and staff and serve our congregation is such a wonderful opportunity. (2) We are already invested in the kids’ ministry personally. Emma is actively participating, so I’m so happy to serve the church by helping shape a ministry I would want for my own child. (3) Big truths! I want to help facilitate a ministry where children can come into contact with big truths from Scripture that they can grow into.
Last question. 🙂 What do you like to do in your spare time?
Drink coffee. I particularly like to read C.S. Lewis and 17th century British literature. I LOVE to feed my family and friends. Did I mention, drink coffee?
The Cauley family sent this sweet thank you letter this past week. I know the Winn’s will be embarrassed that we are publishing it, but we wanted you all to rejoice in the way the Winn’s and our church served the Cauley family this summer.
Dear FBCD family,
We wanted to take time to thank you for allowing us to serve beside the Winns during their sabbatical this summer. They have enriched our ministry, our family, and our personal lives in more ways than words can express. When a team comes for a 1-2 week period it is normally for a planned project. That leads all of us to be focused on that one project during their visit. However, the Winns coming on a more extended trip enabled us to break through the project-oriented mode and get them integrated into our daily work. This is where we were ministered to the most. The Winns are a family who really seeks joy and intentionality in all they do. We have been deeply blessed through them. The day after they arrived we had Andy on a plane to attend a training with national partners and the summer didn’t seem to slow down from that point. We had opportunities each week to train and disciple in the local churches. We held our first English camp, with crucial help from Diana Lisle, and each member of the Winn family all the way down to Braden worked hard to help the students learn English and understand the Bible stories. Another big highlight of our summer was when Andy led a Disciple Now for the M families in our city. It was a unique opportunity for our children to study and be encouraged directly through his planning of and teaching throughout the retreat. On a personal level for Katie and I, we were able to sit face to face and troubleshoot parenting questions, talk about homeschool practicalities, and watch a healthy marriage and family model in a way that we don’t typically have access to.
We often verbalize to the churches we work with here that FBC is fully behind all that we do with them. Having the Winns here was a very concrete display of FBC’s greater ministry to the churches here. The local community highly esteems titles and it was very endearing to them that FBC would send an elder and his family for so long. We were able to get some important initiatives started with several different people groups this summer. FBC has set quite an example here and it is a true honor to be able to serve the Lord in this way as part of such a great church. We are truly blessed!
Chris, Katie, Caleb, Seth, and Kaiya Cauley