Barb Vossel has many stories to tell. She loves talking to people. Not only is she naturally outgoing, for the past ten years she’s been talking to our church’s new members in her role as one of our Ministry Guides.
One time, as some new members mentioned an interest in sports, Barb noticed our athletic director walking by. Barb immediately made introductions. The next week she had another sports-minded young family connected with them also. The connections were immediate and strong; all three families had kids of the same age.
Creating connections is the core of what Ministry Guides do. Each person joining our church has a friendly conversation with a ministry guide. We ask about their interests and skills, and what they’re looking for here in the way of connections and getting involved. They get to know more of what St. Peter has to offer.
“It’s talking to people and listening to people, being interested in their interests,” according to Barb. “We have so many volunteer opportunities around St. Peter, it can be scary. But I let them know what matches their interests.
“People think volunteering is difficult, or unpleasant. But there’s so many easy things to do, like help out at our school’s annual basketball tournaments or work one night a month to help the homeless. We don’t press people. We also remind them that helping out at your child’s school, or volunteering through a community organization – that’s serving, too! When you’re volunteering where you’re comfortable, it’s so easy and fun you just want to keep doing it.”
Barb’s made a lot of friends over the past ten years. “I saw one of the new members was coming from the Lutheran school in Skokie that my husband Bob attended, so I asked to meet with them.” That new member is now on the St. Peter staff and works with her as a ministry guide. Another new member invited Barb to her home for their meeting; Barb knows her for her cookies and lovely Christmas decorations!
One of our original Ministry Guides ten years ago, Barb is now retiring from this ministry. She’s considering new volunteer opportunities, while she and Bob continue to serve in many other areas around the church.
Our three other ministry guides, Deb Erdmann, Isabel Peterson and Paul Schmitz, continue in this ministry and will soon be joined by Curt and Annette Kittel. But there’s room for more! If you’d enjoy having conversations and helping people make connections, contact Karen Kogler, kkogler@FullLifeinChrist.org, in the church office for more information on becoming a Ministry Guide.