Leading by Example
As soon as she got her master’s degree, Cynda Grant was ready to dive straight into serving at her local church. “During graduate school, there really weren’t opportunities for me to be involved, so as soon as I graduated, I was more than ready.”
She started with the Adventurer Club at her home church in Baton Rouge, and a puppet team at Ozark Adventist Academy. When she and her husband, David, moved to Shreveport in 2011, Grant gravitated toward the younger members again, and now she’s the children’s ministries director as well as Adventurer Club leader.
“I love working with young people because they’re much more open to and excited about learning new things,” Grant explains. “Plus, I’m shy and I find adults intimidating, so I’m much more comfortable with kids.”
When Grant became a mother, it made even more sense. From the beginning it was important to her and her husband to inspire their children to be active members of the church. Their girls are now 10, 13, and 15, and Grant and her husband simply get them involved in whatever it is they’re doing. As a family they’ve kept Christ front and center, even through the COVID-19 pandemic when the physical church building was closed.
“We got the girls involved in creating church services for our family at home, and they got really creative,” Grant shares. “Our oldest scripted, directed and filmed with her phone a video depicting the story of Saul on the road to Damascus. We posted it on Facebook and the response was overwhelmingly positive, so we started a YouTube channel and made more,” she shares.
Grant’s own parents and grandparents were always very active in the church, and they inspired her to be the same. As she aims to pass this dedication to the next generation both in her home and at church, she helps them learn how to interact with God, the world, themselves and family. “We’re active in the church and we are intentional about making it clear that the kids matter and are important to us,” she adds.
Grant carries this concept into her professional work as well. During the week, she serves as a speech therapist in a skilled nursing facility where she’s worked for the past eight years, and since the pandemic started, she says the already-close-knit community has become even more of a family. “I’ve known many of my patients for a long time, and sometimes our sessions are simply conversations,” she says. “Not all of them have good family support, and even those who do were isolated in 2020, and they really needed the staff to be their family. It’s a role I am happy to fill.”
Once, a patient asked her why people eat bacon when the Bible says not to, and another asked about whether Grant’s belief in Saturday as Sabbath was biblical. “I’ve had patients get agitated and we pray together for peace,” she says. “Other times I’ve had patients bring up biblical topics, even if they wouldn’t describe themselves as religious. It’s an opportunity for me to share my views and for them to ask questions in a safe space. I think the pandemic has a lot of people thinking about ‘end times’ topics.”
Grant admits that when the COVID-19 pandemic started, it was a relief to stop doing everything. “The hard pause really got me thinking about why I do all that I do, and I’ve started asking myself tough questions,” she says. “I wonder if what I’m doing is out of necessity or for my ego, and whether my Adventurer families need this programming, or if they just need less stuff going on.”
Grant has made it a personal goal to let God help her find a balance in all aspects of her life this year, so that she can serve Him more effectively in ways He wants her to. “One thing this pandemic time has taught me is that maybe I’m so busy serving God that I’ve actually left Him out,” Grant admits. “I just recently told God He’ll have to pry my fingers off of whatever it is that I need to let go because I can’t do it on my own.”
Grant says she tries her hardest to use the skills God has given her to serve others and serve Him in her own unique way. Like the body of Christ referred to in the Bible, she relies on others with strengths she doesn’t have and hopes they can rely on her as well.
“I can speak to a crowd of 300 Adventurers just fine, but if you want me to do the offering call in the sanctuary, I’m a basket case,” she says with a laugh. “I’m in my element with kids. But I’m always looking for someone else to organize things and handle finances because that is not my skill set. Doing God’s work takes all types and we need so many different things. I’m just honored to be able to do my part.”
By Becky St. Clair.
St. Clair is a freelance writer based in the Napa Valley area of California.