- Phone: 979-268-8900
- Address: 700 University Drive East, Ste. 115, College Station, TX 77840
Have you ever heard a little boy tell a joke? It goes like this:
“… NOOO.” (Followed by his immediate laughter, because, whether it made sense or not, he definitely just got you.)
Meet: the Kinnard Family.
Little boy jokes are a common occurrence in the Kinnard house (that one was courtesy of the youngest, Davis). Jason and Ashley Kinnard were a part of the core group to plant New Life, so they have been involved from the beginning. Jason has been an elder in our church since it was planted five years ago, and they have lead a life group for each of those years, as well. They have been married for 15 years last December, and they have four precious kids: Sam, Rylee, Weston, and Davis (oldest to youngest).
They shared some of their memories from their involvement at New Life. “December 2007 was the first time we started considering whether we would be a part of a new church plant,” Jason recalled, “In the spring, [Living Hope] said where they feel like Spirit is leading us, to plant a Bryan church and a College Station church, and, within a couple of weeks of it first being announced, both Ashley and I felt that we were being called to at least try out the College Station church.”
“I remember really starting, like the first week, and the first service, and being so excited. I remember looking forward to getting a phone call or email from Allen about any little thing about the church.Though there was this practical burden with the quantity of things, a really had a joy and wanted to do it and figure it out and plan and propose things to the body and plan long-range about what ministries we would have.”
One of the best things about New Life then was “just building relationships with people,” Ashley said. “At that time, you knew who was new and visiting, and you really got to talk with them and ask questions, and you had a lot of opportunities to serve them. I even think back to the staying and cleaning after the fellowship meal, and it just gave time to talk to people and work alongside them.”
Jason shared their heart in discipling younger Christians, “Back before we were even at Living Hope, we felt that the Lord was moving in our lives in our ministry to college students. It was the first time that I ever had the thought that this is a great way to go to the nations, God is bringing people to us all the time while we’re here. We have this great responsibility to minister to them and equip them to be healthy church members, and then send them out all over the world. Some will go to the mission field or pastoral ministry, and others will go be an engineer somewhere, but will be a healthy church member.”
When asked about the challenges of leadership, Jason said, “A real change for me becoming an elder was I felt like I didn’t have the same level of friendships. Those friendships were not even deliberately strained, but just practically strained because of time,” Jason said. “We had a hard time adjusting to what the real expectations were. I went from not knowing that you could be a pastor without being a vocational pastor, to actually being one in less than a year.”
Another challenge Ashley talked about is that “it is difficult being young and being considered an older family, because we still have so much to learn. We need peers and older people that we can learn from.” Jason added, “I have hoped and am still praying for the Lord to bring older members to our body that I could talk to, just for general mentorship, who are a few stages of life ahead of me.”
The Kinnard’s have been so faithful to serve our church body. Like our other leaders, they have sacrificed daily for years to provide for our body, like soldiers fighting on our behalf, making a safe place for us to flourish spiritually. As the Lord continues to bless our church with growth, our leaders will need more and more support from the body as a whole.
“Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?” 1 Corinthians 9:7
Be encouraged to take a step in service to the body and support the leaders of our church. That will look different for all of us, but a good first step is to pray. One practical prayer of support is to pray for God to send older and wiser people to our church to pour into our leaders. Pray also for God to show you where to serve, or pray for the courage to ask where help is needed. We are each an integral part of one body, and whatever part of the load we take up has lightened it for someone else.