I’m a doer. I have checklists and I find great satisfaction checking off my little hand-drawn boxes on lists. I’m also a busy mom – with three kids, a dog and a husband, a full-time job, a home to care for and everything (and everyone) else in between – busyness calls the shots in my life most of the time.
But in the midst of busyness, my husband and I have encouraged one another to find the time to serve in the church. We have worked in ministry for most of our married life – almost 18 years now – he as a pastor and administrator, and me as a graphic designer for various churches across the country. While we have “front row seats” to see first-hand the impact of those who give and serve others, we are called to serve too.
“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
As a newly married young mom, I found myself serving in the church nursery. It was something I sort of fell into – my son had horrible separation anxiety – and it was easier to be there while taking care of the other “littles.” Over time, I realized the impact I was making, giving parents the time to connect with God. I knew how busy and demanding their lives were – just like mine! I could see it on the parents faces when they picked up their kids – they were refreshed and had met with God, some for the very first time.
This will be my 15th year serving in kids ministry. But this summer I felt God asking me to step out and make a larger commitment. God was asking me to lead a group of 6th grade girls EVERY WEDNESDAY night. I thought of so many excuses, including inadequacy and fear, wanting to selfishly keep my time to myself. But understanding the significance of showing up for young girls drowned out any excuse. I remember people showing up for me when I was younger, and that shaped how I saw Jesus.
Showing up is half the battle. It isn’t always easy to show up. But I do it, because I remind myself that my presence and commitment show God’s faithfulness to these girls. I may not think they’re always listening, but they know I’ll be there and speak God’s truth into their lives.
Serving is an act of obedience. I sometimes think of it as a sacrifice, but it is what God asks of us. It’s easy for me to see it as another item on my to-do list. I’ve recently gotten better at taking a deep breath, praying and focusing on the people rather than the task. It’s the people that matter to God. The fact I show up matters to God. I’m serving Him above everything else: No matter where any of us serve in the church, it’s for Him. So, fill in the holes, be the missing piece, serve with a heart for people rather than for the task. Maybe make a larger commitment. Ask God where He wants you. Everyone needs someone to show up for them.
Pray with me:
God, give me open eyes, an open mind, open hands and an open heart so that I can continually be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ here on earth. God, give me a spirit of generosity, kindness, humility, compassion, a thankful heart, and an ever-willing heart for serving You and others.Topics: serve, youth