Occasionally we like to tell stories of our volunteers on our teams, partially so you can get to know the people you serve with that you may not know very well, and also to be inspired by the great things God is doing in their lives. Below is an interview we did with Jeremy Davis, a safety team volunteer at Journey whose experience as a teacher has opened up missional opportunities in the local school system with high risk teens.
Josh: Jeremy, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. You’re a champ! So, let’s start with what you do for a living. Tell us a little bit about that.
Jeremy: Well, for the past 10 years I have been a PE teacher at the Leesville Middle and Elementary schools. This year I was hired at Rolesville High, 2 minutes from my house, to be a PE teacher.
Josh: Sweet. I would really like to see you “scootering” to school. Can we make that happen?
Jeremy: Probably not. 🙂
Josh: Dang! Oh well. What area of ministry do you serve in at Journey?
Jeremy: I serve on the safety team and love doing it. Since I teach for a living, serving for the children’s ministry did not seem appealing, almost like it was going to be an extension of work. The safety team is a nice break.
I have 5 kids in the children’s ministry and I love the fact that I am a part of making it a safe place for them and for putting the parents at ease with their children being there. I really like serving because in a church our size it is easy to get lost and by serving it connects you with so many people on a regular basis. Now the people I serve with and the small group I am apart of have become my church family as well as the service that I attend. It’s a great way to make a large church seem smaller while also being a part of the body of Christ.
Josh: Well, I for one feel safer when I see you on patrol in the kids hallways. 🙂 I definitely agree that, as a parent, it’s a great feeling knowing that your kids are worshiping in a safe environment. On that note, tell us about your family.
Jeremy: My lovely wife, Piper and I have been married 12 years. We met while waiting tables in college at an Applebees in Scranton, PA. We have 5 kids, 4 biological: Harper – 10, Silas – 8, Aigereanna (AJ) – 6, and Olivian (Ollie) – 4, and 1 son who we are in the process of adopting now: Lane – 9. Piper and I had always wanted to adopt since we got married. After Ollie, Pipe was ok with not being pregnant again so we got into the adoption process. The kids have all adapted well so far and Lane blends right in but he and we are still adjusting to each other; how we function as a family, priorities, values, etc. It’s an adjustment for us all but a good one.
Josh: I love it man! Adoption is no cakewalk. That is truly incredible.
So, I know that you see your school as a mission field. How has that changed or not changed when you moved to Rolesville High?
Jeremy: Man, listen to this. A week after I was hired I got a call from the principal saying that a county mandate was passed saying that beginning teachers were not allowed to teach an intervention class and they had already hired a beginning teacher for that position and he had already moved his family down here from New York. Since they now could no longer offer him a job they asked if I would switch with him for this year since he is also PE certified. I accepted.
So now I teach an intervention class for students who are trying to recover credits from classes they did not pass. Super weird. I am in a classroom all day at a desk.
Here is the crazy part. I had been comfortable in my life. With my job, family, etc. I’m positive that God decided to move me out of that comfort zone to make me grow. I now have a new job at a level I’ve never taught, a new vocation, a new school where I don’t really know anyone (students or teachers), I am coaching a new sport (volleyball) which I know little about, and I have a newly adopted son changing my family dynamic. It’s crazy.
Josh: Bro, that’s a lot on your plate right now! How are you managing all of that? And how do you see God working in the midst of all of this change?
Jeremy: Ha! Well, I basically don’t know what’s going on half the time, and it makes me rely on God that much more to get me through. Coincidence? I think not. But here is the kicker: When I got to Rolesville High I was introduced to a Pastor at Exchange Church who holds their services at the school on Sundays. He said they had talked with our principal about starting up a mentor program here for the high risk kids. The principal ok’ed it with open arms. Since I am now teaching this new class I receive EVERY at risk kid in the school. These kids are trying to fill the huge void in their lives (parents, friends, fitting in, etc) with worldly vices when we know that the only thing big enough to fill that void and give peace is God. I am excited where God has put me this year because he is putting me in the path of so many that I never would have seen or been able to share Jesus’ love with. I have kids who come to class high. How cool would it be if they came in high on Christ?!