In the next few weeks you will be hearing announcements about openings we have in our Sunday Morning Connect Group leadership in our Children and Preschool Ministries. You will also hear about opportunities to serve in AWANA on Wednesday evenings. I have heard many people over the years say things like, “I have done my time” or “I really don’t want to miss my Connect Group.” But the truth is this – you need to serve more than the church needs your service!
We are all called to be ever growing and maturing followers of Jesus Christ. God, in His good pleasure, has given you gifts, talents and abilities. He has not given these gifts to be hidden away but for you to use them in service to His church and His people. The hard truth is you cannot be a mature follower of Christ if you are not using your gifts in service! Peter in his first letter says it this way:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
If we are not using our gifts to serve one another, then we are not being faithful and God is not being glorified. So when you hear that our Preschool Ministry has a need, please remember that you have a need as well! When we say we need people to serve in AWANA, remember that you need to serve and use the gifts God has given you. When we announce we need small group leaders in our Children’s Ministry, it is an opportunity for you to grow and mature in your faith by exercising your gifts.
Here are four steps you can take related to serving and using your gifts:
Step One – Know your gift(s)
Do you even know what your gifts are? There is no real exact science to discovering your gifts but there are many tools out there that can help you discover them. We are currently working through the PLACE materials in the Pastor’s Summer Bible Study so please join us on Wednesday nights at 6:30. This can help you discover your gifts. But the truth is you can only be certain of your gifts when you put them into action. As the verse from 1 Peter says above, we “serve by the strength that God supplies.” Your serving should not be a burden or a beat down because you are doing it in His strength and with the gifts He has given.
Step Two – Use your gift(s)
Jump in! Volunteer! We offer training for virtually all the positions of service you will be hearing about. You will not be left to sink or swim. We have staff and leaders who are ready to ensure you are successful as you fill one of these important roles. And it is only through the actual serving that you truly discover what your gifts are. We are not asking for a lifetime commitment – just a yearlong commitment. But once you find your place you may want to stay and be a part of what God is doing in that particular ministry for many years!
Step Three – Grow in your gift(s)
Whenever I have taken any spiritual gifts inventory I always score lowest in mercy. Does this mean I do not need to be a person that shows mercy? Of course not! I try to look at it this way…if Jesus were to take a spiritual gifts test; he would be off the charts in every single area! As I grow and mature and become more like Christ I should be growing in my demonstration of each gift as well. So don’t just immediately dismiss an opportunity because it is not your strongest gift. God may well want you to serve in a particular area because He wants to grow and develop a certain gift in your life.
Step Four – Never Stop
I keep looking for the Christian retirement plan in the scriptures and I just can’t find it. You are never too old to serve the Lord, His church and use your gifts. Children and Preschool Ministry can be hard – I get that, but it can also be the most rewarding time of your life! Think of it as an investment in the future and even an investment into eternity. Your faithful service may be used to bring one of these precious children into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. What could be better than that?
So when you hear the announcement or read the email that we are looking for people to serve….remember it is really an opportunity for you to grow in your relationship with the Lord. It is a time to develop the gifts God has given you. And on top of those blessings you will fill the need for a volunteer leader. So it may not be about what you can do for the kids, it just could be about what God wants to do in you! Will you answer the call? It may not be what you think!