"Serving Is What Will Get Me Through"
I was facilitating a small group when people were telling what our church meant to them. Most were saying, it’s a big church with a small church feel; it’s friendly, It’s generous. Someone spoke up and said, “I didn’t think it was friendly. I’ve been here six years.” Then she laughed and said I know y'all are looking at me and thinking, “I’ve never seen her before.” She went on to say that, on our first night together, she loved being there because she had realized it was her - not the church.
We sat down and she shared her story with me. It’s a story that I think many can relate to. A friend invited her and she began to help with childcare and going to church on Sundays. Eventually, she got baptized and joined but still did not feel a part of the church. She tried a small group once and enjoyed it but did not go back. At Wednesday night suppers she would wave to acquaintances. She would witness other friendships but she did not fit in. She got a lot out of our pastor's sermons, her kids made lots of friends and she began keeping the nursery. She just went through the motions.
She began to realize that having not had many friends most of her life was because of her. Not the other people. She failed to nurture those possible relationships for fear of rejection. She decided she needed to put herself out there and show up. It was no longer just about the kids but she needed the fellowship with Christians also. It took a lot of work, for her and her kids, but they came to our small group. That first night she felt like she belonged. Yes, the ladies were welcoming but she had already made the decision to embrace it and belong.
“Being a part of the church is not just worship for an hour. I’m not going to grow to be what I want to be without investing more time into it. I open my Bible now. Since going to a small group I have had the confidence to go to Sunday School!" She has been so blessed by serving - it get’s her mind off of herself. When it was time to begin filling out commitment cards, she filled hers right out and then, although she was scared, she walked up to the Altar, alone, and gave God her commitment. She said she was saying, “Here I am, God!” As we were leaving I told her I would be praying for her and all that she has going on. She said, “serving is what will get me through.” Amen!