Is Serving Work?
Attending Providence helped me fully understand the word “serving” and what it means to live it out. If I’m really honest, I thought it was weird that Providence members and pastors said things like, “Thank you for serving,” or “Where does God want you to serve?” Personally, I’d always said work: “I’m working in the nursery this morning,” or, “I have to work in the youth group on Wednesday.” Work. Serve.
Ask me to work somewhere and, even if I don’t know how, I’ll figure out how do it and how to do it well. Also, to be frank, if I’m working for something, I naturally want something in return. In the career world, I work hard at my job and expect to be compensated for my hard work. But what do you get in return for working in the church (if it’s not your job)? I know. You get stressed because you’re working for something that might not be where God wants you. You get burned out.
Ask me where to serve? Now that’s a completely different concept. After I got married, I started getting an itch to begin serving at Providence, which actually shocked me because I was burned out from spreading myself thin as a volunteer at my previous church. I had determined to stay away from serving for years. I knew this itch was from the Holy Spirit, prompting me to fulfill my calling as a member of the body of Christ. But I didn’t know where to start and I had a lot of fears: How do I know where God wants me to serve? What if I choose the wrong thing and I get burned out again? I had a lot of “what if” questions. But I had to trust the Lord and jump in. My two interests/gifts were in singing and teaching, so I signed up first for the Worship Ministry and eventually Providence Kids. I assumed I would only dabble in the kids’ ministry but ultimately stay on the worship team.
The Worship Ministry is amazing but after a while I knew I was supposed to be fully serving in Providence Kids. How strange it felt to drop the Worship Ministry and only choose only ONE place to serve! I was so used to serving in many departments of the church at one time. But I followed the Lord’s prompting, and now I’m serving in Providence Kids every Sunday (that I am not sick or out of town). Not only that, I get excited for Sundays and for seeing my 4-5 year olds!
I’ve learned that it’s not overwhelming to serve, but that I can find joy in serving. Every Sunday, caring people show me to an empty seat in the packed sanctuary when I’m late to church and frazzled and can’t find a seat, or smiling faces welcome me when I walk in the church, or shepherds guide me through the Scriptures on Sunday morning, or someone organizes a beautiful women’s event so I can attend and be blessed by God’s Word. We all serve each other, not out of necessity but out of love for the Lord and one another, out of cheerfulness, gratefulness, and community. Today, instead of dreading to work in church, I enjoy serving in my church.