Holm Church: Serving With The Saderholms

By: Michele Rollins

Let ’s start off with a quick survey.

Raise your hand or high-five your neighbor to respond. Have you ever:
  • Dropped off a child in Children’s Ministry to be discipled by our awesome leaders?
  • Checked in to a BASM Sunday Gathering or Amplify, or helped your student attend a BASM event?
  • Attended a Sunday gathering in Annapolis, Odenton or online?

If you’ve not yet done any of those things - welcome! We’re so glad you’re here and can’t wait for you to experience all that Bay Area has to offer. For those of us who have experienced one or more things on the list above, we all have something in common: We’ve been blessed by the faith and generosity of the Saderholm family.

Andy and Melanie started attending Bay Area in 2010, when they had a first-grader, an almost-middle-schooler, and an almost- high-schooler. Though they were a little hesitant to make the drive from Bowie, they found that their concern that they would find only “stuffy Annapolis people” proved inaccurate and soon made Bay Area their church home.

Andy started serving first, holding babies in Children’s Ministry (CM) while both adults helped out occasionally with student ministry events alongside our new Student Ministry Pastor, Brent Squires. When CM encouraged leaders to start serving every week, the Saderholms knew they had a decision to make. “We decided to do it - we were gonna be a family coming to all three services to go to church, serve as a family, and have kids in multiple ministries,” Andy shared. “I was really convicted of that. We’re not babysitters, we’re discipling them. We’re showing them the love of Christ, serving their families. If I’m in agreement with what the ministry is trying to do, I need to get behind that. I need to put my feet on the ground and push toward the goal that they’re striving for. And that’s what that meant. And I really never looked back.”

As parents themselves, Andy and Melanie knew just what a safe CM environment meant to parents. “Our kids were very active as little ones,” Andy said. “It was really hard to pay attention in church. So having a good CM was so key to us being able to experience church in that season. We’d been there and I knew the influence of that. In order for them to feel safe and pay attention to the message, they have to know their kids are in a place where someone is going to be responsible for them.”

Meanwhile, Melanie became a community group leader, walking with a group of girls from sixth grade through their senior year. Leading middle schoolers definitely wasn’t in her comfort zone: “At first I thought, ‘I don’t like middle schoolers - they’re terrifying!’” But she was obedient, and there she found community and purpose. “It’s so worthwhile,” Melanie said. “Students need people who are going to show up predictably, and it helps them realize that they’re worth people’s time. That they’re really important.”

So she kept showing up, listening and pouring into the lives of students.

As Josh, Zach and Hannah grew, the lifestyle of service not only seeped into their own lives, it impacted their faith journeys as well. Josh and Zach serve on the production team in various roles, from operating a camera to running lights or audio. On any given Sunday, you can find one or both of them helping create an engaging environment for you or your students to participate in worship. They’ve built relationships and friendships - they teach others new skills and are core members of our team. As I lead our production teams each weekend, I get a front- row seat to watch both of them grow in their faith and their skills.

Hannah started serving as soon as she was able - as a fifth-grader helping in Preschool. After an internship last summer with Children’s Ministry, Hannah blossomed. CM Director Kristin Collins shared, “She completely flourished and grew into her own. Presenting creative ideas, feeling more comfortable teaching older kids about Jesus instead of just our youngest. After the internship, she started serving in elementary and has continued to grow and feel a part of our team.”

Along the way, all three Saderholm kids have built relationships of their own with others on their serving teams. “Being plugged into a community where they are habitually in front of people who have already made that journey and are maturing believers has had a significant impact on their journeys,” Andy shared. “An impact that I don’t know that I would have been able to do myself. To have other people living out that life of serving Jesus and serving in the church has had a tremendous impact on them.”

In so many ways, the Saderholm family is living out who we want to be as a church family. They’re serving as a family, ingrained in the rhythms of their serving teams and finding rich community, proving that we really are better together. They’re extravagantly generous with their time - on any Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday you can expect to find at least two Saderholms serving, and probably more. They’re investing in the generations to come, from babies to kindergarteners to high schoolers. They’re relentless in mission. They keep showing up - keep pointing others to Jesus as they grow themselves in faith and confidence and maturity.

That doesn’t mean it’s always been easy. They’ve had to say no to other things - other good things - so that they could live this lifestyle of serving. But it’s been worth it - they’ve found community, and purpose, and abundant life amidst it all.

I asked Andy what he would say to someone considering serving at Bay Area, and we’ll give him the final word:

“Go. Find somewhere to get plugged in and try it. Find a friend who’s serving and walk alongside them. Or something that you want to learn about. If you want to learn production - we will teach you! You’ll start the process of getting to know people who work and serve, and you’ll find a place where you belong. If you want to come hold babies, come hold babies. If that’s not quite for you, head up the hall to two-year-olds. If that’s not your thing, maybe you find someone who has a husband on the usher team or a greeter. You’ll meet new people and start understanding that that’s where we flourish. The satisfaction of being able to give back to people, it’s gonna bless you - as much if not more than the people you’re serving. That’s the big hidden secret of serving at the church. It’s like short- term missions - some of it is for you. You never know what God has in store.”