The family that found a place to grow together
Kristen and Trent Pittman saw the impact of KidSpring on their young daughter. Eight years later, the whole family is changed.
It was a simple question every parent asks.
“Did you have fun?”
Little Kate Pittman had bounced out of Tree House, the KidSpring environment for 4-year-olds, beaming.
Her response was instant.
“That was awesome. Can we come back tomorrow?”
The Pittman family’s search for a new church in Greenville ended that moment in 2009.
“If it was a place for her, we knew it had to be a place for us,” Kristen says. “And of course it was.”
Now, 12, Kate is only a few weeks into the next stage of her spiritual adventure in NewSpring’s Fuse ministry, and her life reflects the strong foundation provided by KidSpring.
But the impact on the Pittmans didn’t stop with Kate.
The whole family was transformed when they became part of NewSpring’s Greenville family. They share their history with the campus, which had only just opened at the time they began to attend.
We are beyond grateful for the leaders who have poured into our sweet girl.
Over eight years, Kate flourished in faith in KidSpring and is now enjoying her first year at Fuse.
The Pittmans had been out of church, starting around the time Kate was born.
But, as former youth directors at their previous small, traditional church, they knew they needed to get involved in a place that would grow and encourage them as young parents.
They wanted a place where Kate could blossom in her faith as well.
“We could not have imagined at that time how much the Lord would fulfill those needs and more at NewSpring,” Kristen says.
Kate was familiar with some of the Bible stories because she attended a Christian pre-school. But she left KidSpring every week with a different level of excitement about sharing the details of what she learned with her parents, Kristen says.
The creative, fun Bible teaching on her level kept feeding her desire to know Jesus. When she began to read the Bible with her great grandfather, he was impressed by what she already knew.
She has a boldness in her faith to which we should all aspire.
Kate on the day of her baptism by a family friend
At age 7, Kate asked her dad, Trent, what she needed to be saved. That night, he led her in a prayer of salvation as he tucked her into bed.
“She has a boldness in her faith to which we should all aspire,” Kristen says. “I can see the light of Jesus in Kate, and I know I am not alone.”
Kate, and the Pittmans’ youngest daughter, Susanna, 4, pray for each other and their parents.
Kristen says Kate’s current classmates, her teachers — even the school custodian — have commented on how much she must love her church. She has enthusiastically told them about it and invited them to come to NewSpring to see for themselves.
We truly believe that the best is yet to come for our marriage, our family, and our church.
Now Wednesdays at Fuse have become Kate’s favorite night of the week.
“Kate said, ‘I know I’m a Christian, but this time in Fuse has taken my Christianity to another level.”
Kate’s dad volunteers at Fuse, so they have a daddy-daughter date afterward.
“Trent and I are beyond grateful for the leaders who have poured into our sweet girl, who have encouraged her, and spoken such potential into her life,” Kristen says. “She is excited about the future because she is confident of whose she is. As a parent, I can think of no better gift.”
When Kristen compares where her daughter is in faith with where she was at her age, she’s blown away.
Kate cares more about Jesus than being cool. Kristen, at 36, only got to that place in the last few years, she says.
Kristen and Trent, with daughters Susanna and Kate, dressed up to celebrate Easter 2016.
A Family Value
What began as a desire to find a place to raise a family to know Jesus has become a journey of growth for Kate’s parents, too.
About a year in, they started serving on the Greeting Team, and they remain part of it to this day, with husband Trent now leading it.
Several volunteers they’ve served with, along with members of their life group, have become “forever friends,” Kristen says. “That’s been one of the blessings of our lives.”
Trent’s development as a leader at church, along with friendships with other men, has impacted the way he leads in their marriage.
“Miraculous” is the way Kristen describes the difference — better than she ever thought their marriage could be, even though Trent was always a good, thoughtful husband.
“It has just been overwhelmingly good,” she says.
One of the most important decisions was putting God first in their finances. They began to tithe, even when they felt like they couldn’t afford to, and they began to budget.
Giving God a full 10-percent of their income before spending money on anything else was one of the scariest things they’d ever done. But just as other people had told them, God came through — and continues to.
“We’re not anxious about money. And that’s huge.”
NewSpring has given their family a place to grow in faith, where obeying God comes from a desire of the heart, not just from a sense of obligation, Kristen says.
“God has shown and taught us so much over the past several years,” Kristen says. “We truly believe that the best is yet to come for our marriage, our family, and our church.”