That is a question that was posed to us by our campus pastor this last week. Thankfully it was done via email because I really needed time to think about. Here is a portion of the email I wrote.
I have been thinking about your question and I am not sure how to answer it. At first I thought of the ‘helps me get connected, gives me the ability to meet new people, etc. And those answers are true. But for me, serving is way more than that. Serving gives me the opportunity to see the strengths in other people. I have a view of people using their gifts that I might miss otherwise. I don’t teach but there is something very humbling to know I have the opportunity to help a teacher feel comfortable by setting up their room in the morning. I think of how many times I would drop off my children in the morning and hurry into church without giving one thought to the time someone invested in my children long before I arrived. Setting up the children’s rooms creates a softening of my heart every week. I am constantly reminded that we have an opportunity to make a parent feel like this is ‘home’ not a school for their children. I get to work alongside some ‘rock star volunteers’ each morning.
I think the other thing I have learned from serving is to have more of a child’s heart. I had the opportunity to greet the first week. I saw men, women, families walking through the doors for the first time with curiosity and excitement. It was like watching a child get candy for the first time. I soon realized I was involved in something that could change someone’s life, someone’s marriage, someone’s family. How many times did I just go into church and miss that? I guess at the core, serving has given me the following prayer every day ‘God, just don’t let me miss it. Don’t let me miss what you want me to do. Don’t let me miss that moment to smile at someone, to walk out of my comfort zone and talk to someone. Don’t let me miss getting to your heart. Don’t let me miss that it isn’t about me at all, it is about you.’
I don’t share that email to make you think that I am fantastic…I surely am just an average person wanting to honor God. But I do wonder, how many times did I miss the opportunities to serve. I am talking about not just inside our church but outside too. Really, is is that difficult? I am presented with ways daily whether in my home, at the grocery store or in a doctor’s office. And the truth is that sometimes I miss the moments and sometimes I try to ignore them. I am trying to change and it is definitely God working through me.
What does serving look like to you?