Why do you Serve?
The Lord positioned me to serve in a place that at first my flesh did not want to. In so many ways it seemed awesome to be able to walk to Church and to even go to the same place of worship that my boss’s attended. It only seemed awesome on some days however. There were so many days that I felt a strong push from the Lord saying, ‘get out.’ I thought the Lord was saying that that’s not where He wants me.
Looking back on those times, I wonder what it was that was really telling me not to serve there? Was it God or was it my flesh and what I wanted to experience and where I wanted to be in that exact moment?
Was it my preference of worship that was enticing me to think about going to another Body of Christ? Was it because things weren’t always done the way I was used to them being done? Did I want things to go a certain way? Was it because I didn’t feel like I had a support system around me of believers that I could call friends and family from that Church Body? There didn’t seem to be a lot of young adults to go through life with so should I really stay at this Body of Christ where there had been a lack of community in the young adults?
There was so many different things that I could pick out that could be a reason to go to a different Church, but the Lord kept chasing me down and teaching me more of His heart.
He showed me how he positioned me right where He wanted me. There were people in my neighborhood that I could love, and not because of what they looked like, but because of what Jesus looked like.
It seemed a little scary being at a Church where my boss was, but then at the same time, the Lord kept calling me back there. I kept going there more mornings then not.
I said yes to serving with the Youth Ministry, and it made sense to be there for the girls because all I needed to do was walk to the Church, and be a light for them. I didn’t need to walk far to serve Jesus.
What makes you choose your Church?
Now, were there any signs that my husband was in the Church? No. There was no sign that I was going to receive a husband by going to this Church. There wasn’t a huge sign that I was going to be blessed beyond blessed by going here. For a while I wasn’t even sure if I was going to have a community of believers my age there as friends or even grow spiritually.
Serving in the unfamiliar made me realize something though, something I believe is important for every believer. Why do you go to Church? Why did you choose the Church you are going to?
Some choose the outside appearance of the Church and the way the worship makes them feel. They choose the Church because of the teaching or how many connect groups they may have. There is probably a list that everyone has that consists of why you go to the Church you do and why you don’t go to another one.
Maybe you grew up in the Church and you never wanted to check another Church out, or you were invited to a Church for the very first time, and now this is all you know. Maybe you go to the Church you do because you have done your research and you strongly believe how they operate as a Body and that it follows the doctrine that you believe.
What does serving in the Church do for you?
Serving in the Church that was once uncomfortable has made me realize why I am a Child of God in the first place, and why I deserve a place at the banquet table.
I don’t receive communion and forgiveness on Sunday because of the bulletin. I don’t receive forgiveness and joy on Sunday because of the worship or the people. I don’t receive hope and trust every Sunday because of the preacher and the sermon he has prepared, or even in the prophecies that may be heard through out the service.
These are all important aspects of Church. You want to make sure the truth is being preached and remaining biblical, so you are not deceived. However, all these things aren’t what grants us all salvation.
I don’t receive ‘Church’ because of any of these things. I receive Church because of Jesus and how real He is. I receive forgiveness because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. He truly, 100%, died for my sins and erased every stain from my life, making me white as snow.
That is why I go to Church and why I serve at Church. I serve and give because He first gave to me. He made me brand new. He changed my life around. He gave me eternal life; Jesus did. The bulletin didn’t. The worship didn’t. The preacher’s sermon didn’t. The bible studies didn’t. Jesus did.
I didn’t decide to go to this Church because of what I could get there. I didn’t fully see what I would receive by attending. More unity and understanding in my work place seemed like a possibility, but was that really what I wanted more than anything? Funny how God made it that I’m not even employed by that company anymore to worry about my boss being there like I once did.
Maybe the Lord kept me there for so long because I wasn’t completely ‘free’ when I would step foot into that building. It made me uncomfortable at times knowing my boss attended this Church and I realized that that wasn’t a good thing. I shouldn’t be afraid of my boss in the House of God. I should be afraid of God and only God. I should only have my eyes on Jesus when I enter His house, and so I continued to come, praying for this to go away and for me to feel at home there.
Serving in the children’s ministry was hard at first because it didn’t look like my last Church’s youth ministry. Nevertheless, I saw how God was using me for a positive impact on the kid’s lives. I didn’t feel that it was right to turn my back on the children, just because it wasn’t like my last Church or that there wasn’t a bunch of young adults there.
The youth girls at this Church needed me and my sincere love for them. Serving on Wednesday nights with the Youth didn’t guarantee that I was going to receive anything. It didn’t guarantee that I was going to be blessed or get all the things that I would hope for from God.
But serving in the youth taught me how much God wanted to use me and to use me in places that looked unfamiliar. He died for me not to find the perfect Church for me, but he died so I could receive His love and forgiveness. This love and forgiveness should only truly burn a desire in my heart to give more than I receive.
Can serving in the Church bless you?
Little did I know, serving in the Youth Ministry actually did bless me with more than I could imagine:
TESTIMONY I had broken my wrist and it healed crooked. During the same time, I found out I unexpectedly became dirt broke with unemployment checks coming in late and car problems. When I found out I had no money, I cried so much that day. I didn't have the energy to pour into the kids at Church.I needed someone to pour into me. I switched my focus for five minutes, and I worshiped Jesus on my guitar. The neighborhood kids came over and loved on me, helping me get ready. I went to Church. Someone was there that night that was never there. When she heard about my trials she blessed me with $500.00 and a place to go for a second opinion on my wrist. The Lord gave me the best Doctor in the area the next day, and my wrist is now healed. When you serve God's people, He blesses you. He loves His children. (Philippians 4:19)
Do you choose your Church by what they give or by what they need?
When choosing a Church, ask yourself what you could do to help the Body. Don’t hide away and think about all the things ‘you believe’ are wrong with the people there. How could you help in this place? What can you give? Can you give without wanting anything in return? You have already received everything, and that has come from the belief in Jesus Christ. This belief has given you eternal life and salvation. If you are struggling with believing you are in lack, seek the Lord and He will reveal His truth to you. With Christ, you lack nothing. Knowing this, now what can you give? (Psalm 23) If you are struggling with finding out what you can give to the Body of Christ, just ask the Lord. He will reveal this to you also. (Matthew 7:7)
Where is your heart? Is it in the right place?
Serving in the unfamiliar taught me to see if my heart is actually in the right place. Why am I where I am? Am I in a Church Body because of what they can give me or am I in a Church Body because of what Christ already has. Do I serve to be seen or do I serve to love God’s people the way He has loved me.
I learned that I love serving in the unfamiliar. I love serving in places that at first seem uncomfortable because it has taught me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and be comfortable in Him. Do I go to certain places because of how I feel when I’m there or do I go to the dark places so I can shine and be the light there?
If I have received the true love and freedom from Christ Jesus, there is no doubt that a bright light will shine.
I don’t want to go to a Church because what it can give me, but I want to go to Church so I can give back to God’s children. I want to love the people there that may at first not love me. I want to invite the strangers in that are just up the street. I want to carry the love of Christ more than have the Church look ‘perfect’ to me. I want to keep my eyes on Jesus no matter how unfamiliar it may seem. It’s not about discomfort. It’s about serving the one true King. Ha that rhythms.
I’m thankful I kept going and serving in the unfamiliar because it has taught me where my root should always be in the Church. My root is not in the worship, the sermon, the people, or the volunteer opportunities. My root should always come from Jesus and the blood that He shed for my sins.
May I dare you to serve?
I dare you to serve in the unfamiliar. I dare you to step out into the uncomfortable and see if Jesus still remains your joy and still remains the reason that you sing. I dare you to see where your heart truly is. Maybe we can only truly see this once we step out into the unknown and say yes to serving God in the different and the messy. Because it’s there we learn if we truly want to love and give when we don’t ‘feel’ like it.
In that serving and in that loving, we will learn even more how weak we are and how strong Christ really is. For He gave to us in a way I never could give to my brother. I could never measure up to Christ’s love for us, but I can at least take a leap and try to love like Christ. I can make an effort and at least try to love in the unknown, by serving in the unfamiliar if that is where the Lord leads.
You are probably wondering if I still feel alone in my faith serving in this Church, since at first there wasn’t a strong young adult community. Praise the Lord, that has changed! Why? I chose to act and served. I partnered with another young adult man in the congregation and we started a young adult worship and bible study. The young adult community is growing and alive! And how did it start? It started by saying yes to….