Nine years ago, Ryan and Leann Woodard stepped out in faith, and as a result, nine groups of Loft 252 class students (5th and 6th graders) have been blessed every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. The 5th and 6th grade years are a time of transition, when young maturing hearts have outgrown the Safari hallway, but they are not quite ready for the youth group. Having taught, touched, and guided these young impressionable lives and hearts throughout the years, Ryan and Leann’s faithful service demonstrated several scriptures.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). To watch this husband-and-wife team is to watch a couple who uses their individual and collective gifts from God to equip young, receptive minds and hearts to Christ.
“Do all things without grumbling or complaining” (Philippians 2:14). If there were tough mornings or evenings or times where preparation wasn’t convenient, it was never obvious. If asked how things were going or if they needed anything, their response was always, “Nope, we are doing good!”
“In everything, set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:7-8). Ryan and Leann take seriously the call to teach. The curriculum they developed and lived was as true to the Word as it was impactful.
“Serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13). They didn’t just serve the 5th and 6th graders, they served the entire Northside family…parents, grandparents, Prayer Pals, etc., avoiding attention whenever possible, quietly and humbly staying focused on the task of serving and leading this group of kids.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). For husband and wife to be committed to this service for nine years of Sundays and Wednesdays, without taking any significant breaks, it takes selflessness and love for others.
Ryan and Leann Woodard are stepping down from this responsibility, but I look forward to seeing what their next stepping out in faith will look like. Thank you, Ryan and Leann, for your faithful years of service in the Loft 252 class!