Sometimes on this side of the computer for my position as Community Kids Assistant at CFC, it may seem like I am just “filling a schedule,” assigning volunteers’ to a time slot so we have enough bodies to care for the kids in the classrooms. With nearly 200 children attending our ministry on a given weekend, we certainly do need dozens of committed adults to be there.
And then Jesus gently reminds me that I am not just filling a schedule. The volunteers aren’t just showing up or fulfilling a quota. This pertains to all of the ministries in any church, and to illustrate, let me share a personal experience.
Back when I first began attending CFC almost six years ago, I was a mess. An emotional, broken wreck, who, upon pulling up to the church’s parking lot at my third visit, wouldn’t get out of the car. For some reason, I couldn’t step in the church. I was fighting against the very place I needed to be. I didn’t “feel” like going in so much so on that cold January morning that when I did eventually get out of the car, I ended up trotting away in the snow instead.
Anyone who knows me knows that I hate the snow. That’s how much I resisted going in the church building that day.
Baffled yet determined, my husband went inside and was met by one of our children’s ministry workers, who came out to literally meet me where I was. She invited me into the office and helped me to understand that this was a safe place. Because she showed up, she was able to provide me with the truth that church isn’t a check on your Sunday to-do list; it’s not a fraternity or sorority.
Too many times, we try to fit church into our own agenda. We may not take ministry opportunities because we feel underqualified or overqualified. We resist making time to serve just once a month because there are family get-togethers, sporting events, traveling, concerts, the need for sleeping in, or the compulsion to get home because the Eagles are really going to make it to the Super Bowl this year (yes, I went there).
But I am here to tell you, you may be missing a divine appointment if you get in the way yourself. Hebrews 10:25 clearly explains (and I can confirm that based on my own experiences), that the devil loves for us to make excuses to isolate or forsake getting together with other believers because it allows us to miss out on opportunities to give and receive. We need to give encouragement to the broken hearted, like our Heavenly Father does (Psalm 34:18). We need to give teaching and love to the little children (Matthew 19:14).
Of course we need to receive God’s word and hear it, but just because you may not feel like coming one day doesn’t mean you don’t have a tremendous gift to offer someone in the church. Perhaps it is simply to offer a warm hello and a cup of coffee. To an individual who feels lonely, that is a gift. Maybe it is providing a visitor with more information so they can get connected beyond Sundays and offer their giftings in areas they would not have otherwise known about. Your offerings in music, cuddling infants, consoling an anxious toddler, leading a teen, offering prayer, and providing hospitality allow so many to come to the altar, quiet their soul, and receive Holy Spirit in a way that elsewhere may not provide.
Who knows, you could even end up catching up to a sad little lady sprinting across the snowy parking lot, give her a big squeeze, and gently share Jesus’s love that she is enough. She is loved. She is a treasure worth dying for, even if in her weakest moments she would not believe it. She may even go on to set roots in that place and share that truth with hundreds of others.
Show up. Serve joyously. Be ready to go beyond yourself. You’re not just filling a seat. You are directly impacting the kingdom when you come into God’s presence with other believers and allow Him to move through you, in ways great and small.
I promise you, you have nothing to lose but only treasure in Heaven to gain.