February 1, 2012
“We’re here at Trinity because of your children’s ministry. The very first time we came, our kids told us when we got in the car that we needed to come back next week, and we’ve never left.” I have heard statements like that many times over the years, and it has always been easy to reinforce that message. Children matter to the Lord Jesus and so they must and do matter to us. By God’s grace, Trinity has never been content to simply baby-sit children or just to keep them occupied on Sunday mornings. There has been a passionate commitment to love them in the name of the Lord Jesus, to teach them God’s Word, to introduce them to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, to pray for their salvation, and to delight in their growth in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.
That wouldn’t take place without hundreds of people serving the Lord by serving children. And that staff wouldn’t function with excellence, as it does, without the kind of leadership that exemplifies the values we most want our children to experience. For more than two decades that leadership has been given with joyful exuberance, consistent faithfulness and mature godliness by Jeanie Osterberg. She has been the face and heart of Children’s Ministries at Trinity, inspiring others to serve alongside her and providing a place where children “know, grow, show and glow.” Only eternity will reveal the impact of these years.
Psalm 78 begins with a wonderful declaration that exemplifies that passion that runs deep in Jeanie’s heart: “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and the wonders he has done…. He commanded our forefathers to teach their children. Then the next generation would know them,… then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds” (Psalm 78:4- 7). Jeanie has chosen to live for the future by investing in children, and in many ways that future has become the present as so many are bringing what they’ve learned through Jeanie to their families and churches, most of all Trinity.
I have had the privilege of working alongside Jeanie for most of her tenure as Children’s Pastor, and have always been grateful for that privilege. I have often thanked the Lord for her giftedness, her faithfulness, her humility, her love for the Lord and His truth, and her love for her husband, her children and now her grandkids. She will be greatly missed as a member of our pastoral team, but thankfully not as a member of Trinity Church. Jeanie and Tom, our prayers are with you as you seek the open doors the Lord will put before you as you continue to serve him. Our prayer is that many fruitful years lie before you.
But Jeanie would be the first to remind us that, while she is moving on, the ministry of TLC remains as strong and vibrant as ever under the capable leadership of Kim Simons and her team. The baton is being passed, and we have much to anticipate for the future. But to you, Jeanie and Tom, we as your brothers and sisters in Christ say a heartfelt “Thank you” and we praise our Lord for what he has done through you for his glory.