The Adult Education ministry focuses on using our Sunday morning and Wednesday evening Bible classes to help adult members better their understanding of God’s Word in order to mature as disciples of Jesus Christ. Members who participate in this ministry teach Bible classes or help plan class offerings and find teachers.
The purpose of the Arts ministry is to design and ensure the printing of graphics needed by the congregation for events. The graphics include fliers, brochures, posters, T-shirts, calendars, whatever is needed. Members who participate in this ministry design the materials as needed and see to their printing.
The Christian Student Center is a college ministry on the University of Tennessee campus. Our goals are to reach non-Christians with the love of Jesus Christ, help believing students develop an intimate relationship with God, and to provide a community of faithful support. Members who participate in this ministry attend CSC events or provide Wednesday lunches or adopt a student to mentor, as well as other activities. http://cscutk.org/
The Children’s Education Ministry serves our children from the nursery through 5th grade. This ministry provides teachers and nursery workers for all our classes on Sundays and Wednesdays, and oversees the curriculum. We also work with Kid Worship Down Under and on special programs and activities for the children during the summer and holidays. Kids Worship Down Under is on Sunday morning for ages 3 through kindergarten with a Bible Basics class for first through third graders. There are opportunities for teachers who can commit to helping for one month and also needed are volunteers who can serve as substitutes. Children’s Ministries
The goal of the Communication Ministry is to help our other ministries communicate news and information about their activities more effectively. We aim to improve these communications both internally between members and leaders and externally between Laurel and the greater Knoxville community. We do this through our website, publications, signs, advertising, etc. The Communication Ministry team includes those whose interests lie in graphic design, photography, writing, editing, desktop publishing and website communication.
Laurel is blessed with outstanding facilities for worship, study and fellowship. The buildings and properties at two locations include our main church, along with the detached offices, and our Student Center at the heart of the UT campus. This ministry is comprised of four areas: the buildings, our vehicles, the land with parking and green areas, and memorials. Members who participate in this ministry see to their care and maintenance.
Fellowship activities allow members and visitors to meet together in a relaxed, fun setting to build and strengthen relationships with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Members who participate in this ministry plan events and complete the jobs needed to make them happen.
The Laurel Greeting Ministry ensures that visitors and members alike are cheerfully greeted as they arrive for worship and Bible class. Greeters distribute bulletins, answer questions, show people to classes, and direct first-time visitors to the visitor information center.
H2H groups meet in members’ homes or at the Laurel building. These groups (generally composed of anywhere from 5-25 people) provide the opportunity to study, pray together and get to know one another in a more relaxed setting. The majority of our H2H groups meet on Sunday evenings.
The purpose of the Helping Hands ministry is to assist individuals and families from the Laurel congregation and our Knoxville community during times of financial difficulty. A food pantry is made available by the Laurel congregation, and we provide at least one meal each month at the Volunteer Ministry Center to the homeless population of Knoxville. We also work directly with the Compassion Coalition, the Volunteer Ministry Center, Hope Central, and the Community Action Committee in assisting people with their basic needs. Members who participate in this ministry contribute food to the pantry and cook and/or serve lunches at Volunteer Ministry Center in addition to other activities.
Laurel members are among area Church of Christ members who volunteer in a ministry that serves the community of the 50 block area of Knoxville bounded by Magnolia Avenue, Winona Street, Cherry Street and Interstate 640. Hope Central is located in the center of this area at 1944 Woodbine Ave. Our members assist Laurel’s planning team, work in Hope Central’s after-school program tutoring and serving meals, help with worship activities and teach children’s Bible classes Sundays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Volunteers are always needed. To find out more about Hope Central, contact Tommy Drinnen, executive director, at 748-4564 or at [email protected]. They have a website at www.hopecentralknoxville.org.
Internationals (FriendSpeak & ESL)
Our Conversational English Program is held at the Laurel building Wednesdays from 6:45-7:45 p.m. It offers an opportunity for internationals and their families to develop and strengthen conversational English skills, cultivate friendships, share cultures and discuss religion and other topics of interest with Laurel members who serve as conversation partners. Special ESL classes are also offered as needed for our international guests.
Laurel Church of Christ JustLead is a partnership effort by the Laurel Church of Christ and Emerald Youth Foundation to reach at-risk and low income youth living in the Sutherland Avenue communities. We seek to improve their lives by focusing on enrichment in academics, health and sports, and spiritual discipleship. We always need quality volunteers from the church and the community to help us invest in the lives of our youth. The first step in becoming a JustLead volunteer is to fill out a volunteer application at EmeraldYouth.org. Be sure to tell them Laurel sent you. We also need people to help us get the word out. Because we are a new program, many people in the community who could benefit from this service, simply do not know we are here. If you know of a Sutherland family who could benefit from this program, let them know! Last, but nowhere near least, we need your prayers, for our program, for our kids and families, for our staff, our community and our schools.
The Tuesday morning class is open to ladies of all ages and offers an in-depth study of the Scriptures while also providing the opportunity for building relationships among women of the congregation. The class members work on service projects once a month, and they also enjoy a covered dish luncheon once a month. Childcare is provided. (Ladies class meets during the year when public school is in session, so class does not meet during the summer or anytime school is cancelled.)
The Laurel library exists to meet the spiritual, academic, and recreational needs of our church family. Our collection consists of books, magazines and DVDs. We also strive to commemorate the achievements of Laurel members and remember those members who are deceased through our extensive collection of memory books. There are many ways to serve through our library: donate books to commemorate special occasions or in memory of loved ones, donate new or gently used books to the library, give book recommendations to the librarian, and volunteer to help process books or staff the office desk during class time, or put up bulletin boards. We also encourage you to tell your friends about library books you’ve enjoyed reading!
The Media ministry helps to enhance our worship by incorporating graphics and motion to connect with our increasingly visually-oriented culture as well as running the audio and providing recordings of the lessons. We are always seeking individuals with a passion to share Christ through the use of technology.
The Men’s Ministry exists to encourage and equip the men of Laurel to be spiritual leaders and servants in their homes, at work, in recreation and within the Body of Christ. The men of Laurel achieve these desired outcomes by becoming involved in service projects, meeting in small prayer groups, mentoring younger men, caring for elderly members, participating in recreational activities together and taking on leadership roles at Laurel.
The purpose of the Missions ministry is to help the Laurel congregation in fulfilling the Great Commission as described in Matthew 28:18-20 (to make disciples of all the nations). Our Missions Committee provides recommendations to the elders regarding the distribution of funds, communicates with our missionaries, and informs the congregation of the work that our missionaries are doing throughout the world. We currently support World Christian Broadcasting, Health Talents International, Eastern European Missions, and World English Institute, as well as specific mission efforts in China, Ukraine, Indonesia, South Africa, and Kenya. We also financially assist Hope Central, an inner city ministry in Knoxville. Short term mission trips are also a major emphasis of our Missions ministry.
Our nursery program provides care for children ages infant through two years of age. Adult and teen volunteers provide childcare each Sunday during both worship services so parents and others can have a more fulfilling worship experience. We have three separate rooms: infants, toddlers, and two year olds.
Safety & Security
This ministry assists in facilitating the safety and security of our members and church property. Security cameras and security teams are in place, and we require background checks for everyone who volunteers to work with our children. For certain special events, a paid police officer is also retained. One job of our volunteers is to patrol the building and parking lots during services.
Third Step Ministry
This is an outreach to people in recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol, providing physical and spiritual support and showing the aroma of Christ to people in these circumstances of life. Partnering with the recovery community, Third Step ministry members provide mentoring, Bible study and a demonstration of healthy Christian fellowship to help people in recovery to a whole, healthy and sober lifestyle. The name comes from Alcoholics Anonymous step 3 of 12, which is making a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him.
World English Institute
WEI offers free online English lessons to people all over the world using the Bible as a textbook. Laurel members are needed to become teachers. WEI teachers choose students from lists of people who wish to enroll and read and grade the lessons they submit electronically. Teachers correspond by email and through WEI’s website. For more information, call the church office 524-1122.
The Laurel Women’s Ministry consists of ministries that are accomplished primarily by women and are opportunities for service, fellowship and encouragement to grow closer to God. Areas in which women are encouraged to serve: Baptismal Clothing, “Bear Hugs,” Bereavement Food, Bible Basics, Christian Student Center Lunches, Flowers to the Glory of God, Food Care for Sick and New Mothers, Serenity Shelter, Showers and Teas, Staffing Offices at the Church Building, Teen Prayer Partners, Volunteer Ministry Center, and Women’s Prayer Ministry.
The Worship Ministry is involved in thoughtful planning and leadership for our worship gatherings in conjunction with the senior minister, worship teams, worship assignments, and audio-visual ministries. The worship ministry seeks to provide meaningful worship opportunities each week.
This ministry serves the entire congregation before, during and after our worship assemblies and certain special events. Volunteers are needed weekly to serve the Lord’s Supper, lead prayers, and serve as greeters, ushers, and nursery workers.
Young at Heart (Senior Saints)
The “Young at Heart” ministry is for seniors (those members who are 55 and older.) It organizes social events, nearby travel and field trip events, and provides services for the homebound members of the congregation.
The Graduates/Young Professionals Ministry aims to welcome primarily those enrolled in graduate, postgraduate, or professional programs at local universities and single working adults. It is our hope that each individual, regardless of the length of their intended stay in Knoxville, will experience encouragement and personal growth as a part of the Laurel family. We seek to help each person develop a stronger faith in Christ even amidst educational or professional transition.
The Laurel Youth Fellowship is a ministry designed to help teens mature in their relationship with God through teaching, discipleship, experience, and various service opportunities. The LYF group is composed of 6th through 12th grade students. Adults who work in the LYF ministry provide support in many ways to our youth minister, Jonathan Thomas, through chaperoning, planning and other activities. Youth (LYF)