Tag: volunteering

Why We Serve

Through the years, I have served and volunteered in some wonderful and crazy ways, from flying to Afghanistan by myself to helping install a bathroom at a football field! But before we talk about why we serve, let’s take a little multiple choice quiz.

I volunteer because:

a)  My spouse/roommate volunteers for me
b)  There is a desperate need and I feel guilty
c)  There are some cool people involved and I would like to be friends with them
d)  I feel God has given me a passion for this particular need
e)  I am bored and need something to do
f)  All of the above

If we answered honestly, I think most of us would pick “all of the above.”  Motives vary from season to season.  When we were parents of young children, my husband Ron and I worked for years in the childcare area at church because there was a need. Did we hear a clarion call from Heaven? Probably not. But we did hear crying and laughing children who needed someone to look after them; as part of that spiritual family we stepped up. My goal as I write this blog is not to dissect all of our motives for why we serve. Rather, I would like to look at three reasons for us to consider as we evaluate this area of our lives.

Matthew 20:28 says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” In Luke 22:27, Jesus says “I am among you as the one who serves.”

As followers of Jesus, we are to fundamentally have our minds and hearts positioned to serve.

Of course we know that, but can we say serving is a daily focus?  The big ways of serving are often more clear than the small.  We want to give our lives to share the Gospel, to transform Waco or to turn the tide of human trafficking, but do we help someone who is struggling with opening a door, yield our parking space to another in the parking lot of HEB or pay for a a friend’s meal at Jason’s Deli?

Jesus commands us in Luke 8:18 to, “Take care how you listen.” As our Good Shepherd, He goes before us and we follow Him because we “know His voice” (John 10:4).

Do you know the voice of the Holy Spirit lives inside you and is constantly speaking affirmation, comfort and direction?

As believers, we are on a journey to hear His voice more clearly  until we reach Heaven. We won’t ever do it perfectly but it is a worthy lifelong pursuit.  This sense of hearing the Holy Spirit is crucial to how and where we serve.  The Father puts gifts and passions in each of us and He is delighted when we ask for and listen to His thoughts on how He wants us to use them!

Finally, I would submit that a crucial element of serving is wrapped up in the word “legacy.”  Young or old, married or single, male or female, rich or poor, we are all leaving a legacy.  What will be passed down to your family and friends because of the choices you make, the life you live and the way you serve?  In our household, volunteering and serving is a way of life.  This mindset was given to both Ron and me by our parents and hopefully, we have instilled that in our now-grown children.  So, as you consider if you will serve, why you serve and the attitude you embrace while serving, consider the legacy you are passing along to future generations.

Be excited today! The Father has let us be His hands and feet in the earth.  Focus, listen and leave a legacy that declares the love and power of Jesus.

In Response:

How do you serve?

Is God prompting you to serve in a new way?

What is the legacy you are passing along to future generations?

 

Find Your Spot

I will state the obvious – I am a kid person. I find them hysterical, honest, endearing, emotional and pure. Kids love unconditionally because most of them haven’t learned how risky it is to love that way. I tell people, “If you want to feel loved, spend some time with a kid.”

I have found my spot with the kids at this church. My job is a dream job for someone who loves kids and loves Jesus. In the Journey (Antioch’s Kids Ministry for 1st through 3rd graders), we get to encounter, enrich and shape the spiritual lives of little humans who will grow up to be big humans with the potential for international impact. We get to play a supporting role to our parents, and sometimes be the voice that shares the Gospel with a child for the first time.

Kids need people to love them. Even the pastor’s kid with a prayer warrior of a mom probably wouldn’t turn to you and say, “It’s okay, I don’t need you (a person whom God has gifted uniquely) to love me right now.” Being involved in kids ministry is not about providing childcare while the grown-ups sit in “big church.” It’s about having the God-given honor of discipling and loving kids into their identity and destiny as Jesus followers.

I did not grow up following Jesus. And I have a lot of friends who gave their lives to Jesus at a young age, but for normal reasons, turned or fell away from God somewhere in their early teens before turning back to Him with a passion. I pray the kids at Antioch will have a different story; that their relationship with Jesus starts now and never falters. Not because of what it would say about me or this church or the Bible belt. But because of the righteousness that comes to those who believe Jesus is greater than their desire to sin. And maybe it would save them from some of the pain that inevitably comes during those wonderfully/horribly awkward teenage years and beyond.

This dream of kids who are sold out on loving Jesus at an early age won’t happen without the buy-in of the older generation. And while God is more than capable of doing all of this on His own, He miraculously invites us into the journey and says, “Can I work through you?” I feel like inviting people to work with kids is almost an advertisement for an ancient cure-all. “Do you want to feel beautiful? Important? Hysterical?  Like you’re actually making a difference in the world?” Yes, it’s about changing and molding the lives of the greatest first through third graders on the planet. But God seems to have a thing about blessing those who serve Him – and His children!

As we gear up for the fall, I am believing for our kids to have more fun than ever at church. And I am believing for kids to fall more in love with Jesus! It is always an honor and a privilege to be a part of what God is doing. And it’s a blast when He does whatever He’s doing with super soakers and ridiculous hats. I can promise you this – you couldn’t spend a year volunteering in the kids ministry without learning to see God in a new way. God is big. But He really likes those who are small.

By Jessie Nahom

Journey Pastor (1st – 3rd grade)

You can find your spot and serve in the Antioch Kids Ministry today! Start your application.