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Meet the Kinnards

Posted by New Life on

Have you ever heard a lit­tle boy tell a joke? It goes like this:
“Knock, knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Bear, who?”

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.