Paying it Forward

Mark Hollingsworth and MSM boysWritten by Donnie Peslis, Pastor of Middle School Ministry

In Middle School Ministry (MSM), we are the first to admit we can’t do it all on our own, and that’s why we’re so thankful for our amazing volunteers! I sat down with one of our small group coaches, Mark Hollingsworth, and talked to him about what brought him to MSM and what convinced him to stick around!

How long have you been a volunteer with MSM?

At the end of this semester, it will be two and a half years.

What led you to volunteer on the third floor?

God had been leading me towards volunteering for a while. My best friend is actually the man who was my junior high small group leader. He started with us when we were in 7th grade and made a huge impact on me then—and still does to this day. I realized it was time for me to do the same. I wanted to make an impact.

What have you learned through your time volunteering?

It’s harder than it looks! But, in all seriousness, it’s been a great experience. Once I started investing in the guys, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed seeing their growth.

Has it taught you anything about yourself?

Well, as you teach others, you really begin to learn about yourself. Leading has really shown me how frail we all are. I came in expecting to teach the students, but I’ve been amazed by all of the times they’ve taught me something. We never really stop learning!

How has it helped your personal growth?

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Leading in MSM has allowed that verse to become real for me.

Any last words for the readers?

These students just need someone to pour into them! I’m so thankful I’ve had the opportunity to do that! Also, go buy Southern Okie Gourmet Apple Spread in the Crossings Bookstore! (I told my wife I’d put a plug in for her!)

We are so thankful for Mark and all he brings to the MSM team! Leaders like Mark make a lasting impact on students’ lives for the Lord! If you have any interest in volunteering in Middle School Ministry, we would love to talk to you! Stop by Volunteer Central any Sunday or Wednesday to get started!

Leading has shown me how frail we all are … We never really stop learning!

“Paying It Forward” originally published by Donnie Peslis, Pastor of Middle School Ministry, in the Spring 2014 edition of Crossings Magazine.