Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Last week we began considering our call as a child of God in Christ to serve those in our life and to serve in our church homes. As I reflected on the needs of my own church this past week, I couldn’t help but think of the importance of responding to God’s call to serve his church and its ministries, as his light in this world.
Let’s top up our coffee’s and continue pulling back the layers of this onion….
‘To Serve or not to Serve?’ …Is that really a question?
…who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14b
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
As a Deaconess, the life of the church, and the service required to fulfill its needs, is something that was and continues to be very dear to me. The church’s survival is dependent upon its family members and their care of their physical church building and each other; its dependent upon each members service, and each member’s service is as unique and God-given as that individual.
As a deaconess, I had the privilege of encouraging members in their everyday life and their faith life outside of Sunday worship service. I found it a blessing and honour to be welcomed into each person’s and family’s personal life, to learn of their interests, desires and abilities, and to see their love for their Lord in their everyday life. Then, as needs within the church arose, I was able to present the need to a particular member who had the ability to fulfill the need well. If it was something that was to occur in the church, God always provided someone to fill the need. It was such an honour to see the church family working and serving, loving and growing in their love and service to their Lord.
There are so many needs in a congregation that there is something that fits everybody’s abilities and time availability. Remember the church is the Lord’s. He’s created the to-do list and he’s provided each of us with the abilities to accomplish some of those items on that list. We should never feel like we don’t need to serve. It would be like that child who is lounging all around the house, desiring to reap the benefits and blessings that his/her parents provide, but can’t be bothered to even put dirty dishes in the sink, or tidy his/her room, let alone take out the garbage or prepare a meal. On the contrary, even the smallest task done by a child is appreciated by parents. In Christ, we all are called; we all are needed, even if it is something little.
On a final note, God has prepared good works in advance for each of us, but it is not always easy to be able to see or know how to fulfill those good works, and believe me, satan is working very hard within the church to keep us from following through with those good works. So, sometimes we need someone – like I was – to help become aware of the need, see our ability, pray for us, and trust that the final decision, to serve or not to serve in that capacity, to be guided by God. (We will talk more about saying ‘no’ next week…) If your congregation does not have someone to help guide its members in their service, then may I suggest you prayerfully consider this service, or at the very least, pray specifically for your church members to be able to personally, prayerfully consider jobs/tasks/needs within the congregation as they arise.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have guided me through my days and bestowed upon me the abilities and skills to accomplish all that I need to accomplish with the many responsibilities I have. Open my heart to be willing to see and personally respond to the needs within the church with which I can help fulfill. Guide me to be honest about where you would have me serve. Help me to be willing to joyfully and gladly give of my time to serve you; to help your love shine bright in this world, as a member of your body, your church. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!
REFLECTION: This past week you reflected on why you serve, with the focus on serving joyfully, with thanksgiving, not out of obligation. To do so, it helps to seek those duties in areas where you have interests and skills. So this week, consider what attributes and skills you possess now? What type of activities bring you joy? Then check whether there are any needs in your church that require such skills?