If anyone knows how impactful kids ministry can be, it’s Bayleigh Westerlund. From 1st to 5th grade, she spent her Sunday mornings at Grace Kids making crafts, singing songs, and most importantly, learning about God. Now as an adult, she can see how that experience shaped the type of leader she herself would end up becoming.

In fact, 18-year-old Bayleigh Westerlund was so inspired by the Grace Kids teachers from her childhood that she decided she wanted to do the same for the next generation. Today, she is a Grace Kids teacher herself. “I had great leaders as a child,” says Bayleigh, “I believe [they] influenced me through their great teaching to want to teach as well.”

Each weekend, Bayleigh says she can see firsthand the difference kids ministry makes in children’s lives. “The first time I ever heard my kids pray,” Bayleigh says, “That was so eye opening and beautiful to me, and I knew I was influencing these kids’ lives for the better because of the opportunity the Lord gave me.”

Of course, leading a classroom full of children comes with its challenges. Bayleigh says it requires a lot of patience, something that doesn’t always come naturally to her. But in God, she finds the patience she needs: “I just ask God to work through me and pray that I’ll be patient and serve like Him!”

And to Bayleigh, the challenges pale in comparison to the rewards: “It may be scary or challenging at first, but it pays off through relationships you make with parents, your team, and of course the kids, watching [them] understand how much God loves them and how much of a friend they have in Jesus.”

To learn more about our kids ministry, check out thatsgrace.org/kids. To start making a difference in kids’ lives by volunteering, email kids@thatsgrace.org.