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They Stepped Up

Apr 02, 2017

Answering God’s Call to Give Your Life Away

We asked some of the more than 1,955 volunteers who make Sundays happen at Houston’s First to tell us about their experience serving at the church. What experience might God have in store for you when you step up to serve at your campus? Read their stories, then see the links at the end of this page to access a free spiritual gifts assessment and to complete the "Step Up To Serve" interest form.


David SmithDavid Smith

David moved to Houston and found community and purpose manning a welcome table at another church’s Saturday night singles’ group, where he met Anne. Sundays were spent worshiping at The Loop until he and Anne became part of the Cypress Campus launch in 2013. They married the following year and have discovered satisfying ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

“Volunteering is the best way to get connected within the Body of Christ, and to have fellowship with other believers,” said David.

He joined the Parking Team at the Cypress Campus and is part of the “tear down” team in their long-term temporary quarters at Smith Middle School. He also serves widows as part of Men: Serve and as an intercessor for the prayer ministry. “If you take the first step in obedience, the Lord will direct your steps,” he said. “Be part of the story of what God is doing.”

Guest Experience

Koy Okonma

Greeting, welcoming and encouraging people comes naturally for Koy. She has been part of the Sienna Campus since it launched four years ago, and is guiding others and making them feel at home. Her ministry gives her a sense of belonging and responsibility that comes with service.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of a church family,” she said. “I have a ready smile and it warms my heart when people smile back! It tells me they feel noticed, welcome and loved. It’s so fulfilling to serve rather than to be served!”

Preschool Ministry

Stacy Alexander

Stacy has attended Houston’s First for 46 years. “I get to love on the cutest babies — every Sunday! What could be better than that?” she said. Stacy’s long tenure at the church began in the nursery when she herself was a baby. After graduating college, she went back to the Preschool Ministry as a volunteer when her mentor asked her to help out one Sunday.

“The most important thing for young couples is to have a time of focused worship,” she said. “Providing care for their children allows parents of preschoolers to make lifelong relationships in Life Bible Study and sit under the teaching of Pastor Gregg. Knowing the Preschool Ministry enables those connections is very encouraging to me.”

Children's Ministry

Paul & Amy Paily

Paul and Amy and their daughter Emma have been at the Sienna Campus for more than two years. Paul believes the Holy Spirit reminds them of the need to live in obedience and acts as a built-in accountability partner as they prepare to teach children each week.

“One of the ways God acts on hearts as a volunteer is to help us focus on the needs of others,” said Paul. “Giving of yourself causes the natural selfish and self-centered mindset to break down. One of the ways God rewards us when we serve others is to show us the fruit of His work through us. The greatest joy in children’s ministry is when we see little ones draw closer to Jesus.”

Student Ministry

Beau & Deanna Parker

A high school teacher, Deanna’s love for students drew her to serving in The HUB Student Ministry. Beau, already volunteering in other areas, wanted to serve along with his wife — and, he wanted to set an example for their teenage daughter, Autumn. “Church is not just a Sunday activity,” he says. “Rather, it is something we invest ourselves and time into because God asks us to.”

Deanna points out that serving in ministry often goes deeper than one might expect. “You start out on one path thinking you are just there to help, but you end up developing relationships with the students, their parents, the leaders, and the church staff,” she said. “You walk through life with them — through the good things and the tough things.”

The Parkers have been blessed as they’ve sought to bless those they’re serving. “We have seen the Lord grow our personal relationships with Him,” said Deanna. “And, the strongest relationships we have formed at church and in life are with the people we serve with. Serving together as a family has drawn us closer together, and we have had the joy of watching our daughter step out in service without our prompting.”

Thru the Roof

Dan Currie

When Dan was growing up, his small church fully accepted his older brother, Matt, who has special needs, and was a source of support for his family. “At Houston’s First, it’s no different,” Dan said. “I love that our church welcomes people with special needs and their families.”

In the Thru The Roof Special Needs Ministry at The Loop Campus, Dan serves families just like his was many years ago. “The families of these kids are some of the strongest people I know,” he said. “And the kids in Thru The Roof show such Christ-like love. I believe God made them perfectly; to reflect His love and joy!”

Dan has learned a lot over the past two-and-a-half years on the Thru The Roof team. “Serving at Houston’s First has been a huge joy and I have met some amazing people with a heart for the Lord. Through these kids, God has changed my perspective on where I find my joy and reminded me to not take myself too seriously.”

Adult Life Bible Study

David Oliveras

“Someone volunteered a long time ago at a Vacation Bible School,” recalls David, “and a week later, I became a believer.” Now, David is seeking to share what others have shared with him throughout his life by serving as a Life Bible Study teacher at the Español Campus.

“By the grace of God, I am helping to create a support system for the ministry of Houston’s First.” David recognizes that a church of our size requires input from people with various gifts and backgrounds. “I am just a blessed gear in the machine.”

David encourages people considering serving to take the step and do it. “Take it out of the theoretical and into the practical. In the end, by blessing others you end up receiving more blessings. It is marvelous to be part of the family of believers.”


Laura Woods

Laura loves to sing and had been part of a church choir most of her life, but a demanding job kept her tied up and away from friends, family — and ministry. A job change led her to hear God’s call to the Singers, a vocal ensemble that leads worship at The Loop during the 11a service. She joined about five years ago.

“Being a part of Singers has meant so much to me personally in my spiritual walk with the Lord as well as serving others,” said Laura. “We get the best view in the Worship Center as the Holy Spirit moves across our congregation and ushers them into the presence of God. My heart is to draw others to His presence through music. If God is calling you to volunteer, go for it! You will be far more blessed by serving than you would ever expect.”

Connection Center

Gay Dickerson

Gay and her husband, Clif, joined Houston’s First at The Loop Campus a couple of months before the Downtown Campus launched in 2011. They knew immediately that was where God was leading them, and Gay soon joined the Connection Center team.

“I served on the connection team at the church we belonged to before, so this is a ministry I have been led to,” said Gay. God brings people across her path on Sundays where it is obvious He has been moving in their lives.

“One young man, who was not born or raised in this country, had been attending a Life Bible Study for a few Sundays,” Gay recalls. “One week, he came to the Connection Center wanting to ask Jesus into his life. I was so thankful that God allowed me to be a part of this young man’s salvation story.”

What are your gifts?

Unaware of your spiritual gifts, heart passions or personality traits? Take a confidential online spiritual gifts assessment free of charge courtesy of Houston’s First! While not required to volunteer, the assessment can assist you in determining where to serve with your spiritual gifts.

What are your interests?

The first step to serving as a volunteer is to let someone know you’re interested! Fill out the “Step Up To Serve” interest form and the respective team leaders will contact you about taking the next step!

Do you attend The Loop Campus?

If so, come to the "Serve Your Campus" lunch on Sun, Apr 30, at 12:30p to see why service is an important part of our Christian faith, the vital role of volunteers in the ministry of Houston's First, and how you can STEP UP to serve on one of the many teams at The Loop Campus. Please RSVP here, if you plan to attend. The deadline for Preschool childcare reservations was Sun, Apr 23, so your little ones (birth-Kinder) are now welcome to attend the lunch with you along with your children (1st-5th) and students (6th-12th). For your little ones, please bring age-appropriate food for them. We'll provide lunch for you and your children and students!



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