It’s time for a confession; I haven’t always had the right attitude regarding my service in the church…
Nursery? I did my time when my boys were little.
VBS? I need a break in the summer.
Kitchen committee? Are you kidding me?
To be willing to serve God without reservation, and teach the Bible to adults, I needed to grow in my faith. God started the task of growing me up through the faithful prayers of righteous people, and by calling me to serve Him.
The starting place for me was in a classroom occupied by twenty three-year-olds. At the time, I didn’t like little kids. They were drippy, whiny, and demanding; except, of course, my own little precious angels who were as close to perfect as any child could be. But, at the time I knew this was where God wanted me. I also knew that if I was serious about my faith I couldn’t choose disobedience.
God wisely placed two women over me who prayed that He would change my heart and enable me to see these children as His little ones.
By the end of my first day, I was head over heels in love with twenty three-year-olds. And, I was in love with teaching God’s Word to anyone of any age who would listen. God was preparing me for work that was to come and that would require a heart that desired to serve and teach His people.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
Who would have thought that God was teaching me how to teach adults by teaching three-year-olds? That God was showing me how to love all of His children by changing my heart toward these little ones? That God was using toddlers to teach me how to be a mature Christian?
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” – Matthew 18:10
God knew where to place me so that my heart would be changed and I would learn that if I want to serve Him, I must serve His children.
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me;” – Mark 9:37
It’s that time of year when you may be called and asked to volunteer in your church or Bible study. It might be to serve children in the nursery, pre-school, grade-school, jr. high, or, yikes, the senior high! You might even be asked to lead adults! Could the call in fact be, “The Call?”
As a leader trying to secure volunteers, I’ve heard it all:
My child is a senior/kindergartener this year.
I have an agreement with God, He doesn’t ask, and I don’t volunteer.
I would, but my child is in (any activity here).
I believe God would have me do this… in five years… ask me then.
I’m not gifted enough/too gifted to do that.
Before you decline because you don’t want to give up (fill in the blank) in order to serve, ask yourself, “Isn’t serving God worth it?” If (fill in the blank) is more important than God, then hasn’t (fill in the blank) become your idol?
Sure, there are reasons to decline a call to service; and there are excuses. An excuse is anything that doesn’t propel you to trust God to make your service possible. God can clear schedules, rearrange appointments, provide childcare, and even change your heart toward those whom He would have you serve.
If you’ve been asked to serve, my challenge to you is to pray and ask God if this is the place where He’d have you serve. If He says “no”, then graciously decline, otherwise you’re taking the place intended for another’s blessing. If He says “yes”, accept the offer because God has great plans for you, and this just might be the starting gate!
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” – Hebrews 6:10
… and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…