A Bookkeeper’s Passion For Children
I have always been unsure about having children of my own. Don’t get me wrong – I now have two nephews and a niece that I love more than life itself, but because of the adversity I faced during my own childhood, I always felt like I was not really sure if I wanted to have any children of my own. Sometimes, I didn’t even know if I liked children all that much!
When I first started working at age 16, I worked at a skating rink. It was such a fun job! There are many things about working at a skating rink that are great, but my favorite part ended up being helping the little kids that were learning how to skate, shakily coming up to you and holding your hand for support. But, I didn’t like that part of the job enough to stay there indefinitely. Several years later, I left the skating rink and went to work full-time at a daycare, which helped support me financially through college. I worked with two-year olds, teaching them colors, the alphabet, and even potty-training them. The job was a God-send at a time when I needed it, but I was also okay when that phase of my life was over. I thought for sure that after working at the skating rink and the daycare, I was done working with kids.
During my late teens, I had to make two important decisions: where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to major in. Growing up in the church, I felt like there was a push to go in to a vocational ministry, but my experience with women in church ministry up to that point was only to see them as a children’s minister or maybe as a worship leader (and trust me, God may be the only person who hears a joyful noise when I sing!) Needless to say, I knew that working in a church was not the direction my life was heading. I knew that I was born with leadership and organizational qualities, so I decided my talents were better suited for business. I went to the University of South Florida, where I completed a large portion of my business courses, and then went on to transfer to Johnson University Florida, where I took a variety of biblically based business courses.
Not too long after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I was offered a job with the Stadia Bookkeeping Team. In my mind, my role was going to be to help churches with their finances and was definitely leaning into my business degree and administrative giftings. Little did I realize when I signed on the line that I was actually going to be continuing my work with children.
For my whole first year on staff, Stadia leadership and staff discussed the five values of Stadia every time we got together (really – every time). One of our values is Children, which is also the central part of our vision as an organization – we are going to plant churches Until Every Child Has a Church. It wasn’t until recently that I really understood where I, as a bookkeeper, fit in with the value of Children. Yes, I was helping churches champion their mission by championing their finances, but I wasn’t really boots on the ground.
It wasn’t until I talked with Ashley Stegeman, who is in charge of our Bookkeeping Services Client Care, that I realized how the work I am doing really does support the value of Children. I grew up in the church. I was given the opportunity to hear about the love of God and accept him as my Lord and Savior at a young age – but I understand not everyone has that opportunity. Chatting with Ashley helped me to realize that my true passion is to work for and serve alongside churches – but not just any churches. Churches that intentionally care for children. My time at the skating rink and daycare confirmed that I wasn’t made to work with kids directly in a church setting, but by providing excellent bookkeeping services for new and established churches, the leaders who are called to be the boots on the ground can focus on what really matters — sharing the hope of Jesus with children and their families. So even though I see myself as someone who is passionate about and good at business and administration, God put those strengths in me so that more and more children could learn about the love of Jesus.
I hope that one day, every child has access to a church. I pray that my nephews and niece will one day make the same decision that I did and choose to live a life that glorifies their Savior. For that reason, I will continue to assist in planting churches that intentionally care for children… Until Every Child Has a Church!
Jeryn is a 2016 Johnson University Florida graduate. During her time in college, she had the pleasure of interning for and working alongside several non-profit organizations. Because of her backgrounds in both customer service and financial services, Jeryn looks forward to working with church plants and helping to manage their finances. In her free time, Jeryn enjoys running, spending time outdoors with her husband, Brandon, and their dog, Jordy, and watching the Green Bay Packers win!