Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Joy of Serving

I have mentioned before that Sunday is the busiest day at our house. While we do manage to stay quite busy with our homeschool activities during the week, that tends to be much more flexible.

Sunday is the day when I want my little brood (and the head Rooster) to look their best. I love dressing up for church. Not so sure my boys feel the same way about their suits and ties:) But my daughter sure enjoys it; especially all those accessories.

When we arrive at church, we literally go in all directions. Hubby to 2nd grade, Me to 1st, and the kids to assorted classes (my daughter is on the 3rd floor; our church is pretty big).

After that, the time just seems to fly by. And if I'm wearing high heels (a vanity, I suppose) I start regretting it about now...

About five years ago, after the birth of my youngest, I decided it was time for me to jump back into service at church. It wasn't that I was doing nothing; I was a nursery worker (an important job, though not very glamorous) and I helped out in another spot part-time. But I knew I could do more, especially on Sunday morning.

So I did what I normally do when I feel strongly about something: I plugged my nose and jumped in!

I teach a 1st grade sunday school class of about 10 girls, and we have a blast! We meet together with the 1st grade boys to start out, and sing songs and hear a Bible story. Then we split up, and my group goes to the second floor. Today I was a little late getting upstairs, and when I entered the classroom my girls starting cheering and applauding- silly things! But that's what I mean, we have fun. We talk about what we did during the week, take prayer requests, and try to slip in some talks on proper behavior, ect. I should say right here: I have absolutely no talent in any special area. Really, I'm not just putting myself down. Anyone could teach this class; okay, you might have to like kids a little bit. Other than that, it only takes listening to them, and loving on them. And since it's 10 to 1, the teacher is the big winner here (and I went home with 4 pictures today:)

When class is over, the kids head over to Junior Church. I say, with all prejudice, that we have the greatest Junior Church classes! Really; I go in and out of all of these classes during this time, and I enjoy observing the great things going on.

Now I want to say here: if you simply go to church and sit in the services, I'm not putting that down at all. We all need that to a certain extent. I have been going to church my entire life, and yet I need to be fed from God's word each week. After all, I've been eating all my life too, but you won't find me skipping meals:) has a way of creeping into all my posts...I think it's the diet thing...

I remember before I went back to serving full-time. We were in a young couples Sunday school class, which at our church is almost like a small church within a church. There is a closeness and fellowship there that I even now miss a little bit. And then there's the morning church service; we have 300+ people gathered together in a room to worship God. The wonderful music, the special days, and the words of God through our Pastor, who is one of the most caring people I have ever known. How could I not want to be a part of that?

What I am saying is this: Serving brings incredible rewards. And I don't mean the kind we get in heaven. I mean that when you care for and serve others, you start seeing that you can make a difference in their lives. In the choices they make, even in their eternal future. But even beyond that, the caring and love comes full circle. When a little bus kid that was in my sunday school class 3 years ago, comes up to me and gives me a huge hug every week, that makes my heart overflow. And I'm the one being blessed and cared about. Of course, I don't serve totally because of how it makes me feel, but what a bonus!

Another "job" I do during the morning church service, is talking to visiting children about Jesus and how they can have a home in heaven one day. I really enjoy doing this. Kids are so interesting to talk to, and some of them have very curious ideas in this area.

I remember two sisters that came on one of our church buses one Sunday. We were talking about heaven when one of them piped in and said "My mommy's going to hell." Well, needless to say, this startled me a little bit. As I paused for a moment, her sister said irately "NO, she's not." To which the other said back to her "Yes she is. That's where you go when you're in jail for Murder!" That conversation would have been comical, if it wasn't so heartbreaking.

There are so many people who need someone to care. And in coming to church, many people are doing just that: looking for someone to care about them.

I know it's difficult when you have little ones (especially babies) to be involved on a large scale. In fact, the church service may be your only time you get a break all week (or say it may seem:) But if you can do something even part-time to help carry the load, it will make a difference. To those already serving, and to yourself.

My daughter's children's church class has 50 kids between the ages of 4-6. The teachers rotate by teaching once a month. I don't think they could stand to do it every week- that might even drive me crazy;) Yet, not one of these people have a child in that department; there was a shortage of people willing to do that age (can you imagine) and they filled that spot. I make sure to thank them every week. I want them to know how important what they do is to me, and how much I appreciate it.

In God's eyes, we're all on even ground. No ones better than anyone else. We all mess up sometimes, we all need encouraged sometimes.

Every week when I come home from church, I feel refreshed and blessed, though I haven't been in an adult service. It's the joy and peace that comes from serving others; and being blessed yourself as a result.

Now I need to get my youngest down for a nap, so she'll be manageable during evening church. Which is MY turn to stay in the adult service.

I wish all of you a wonderful and blessed Day~

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