I crashed the computer program in less than two minutes.
I’m not talking about the kind of crash where you can just exit out of the program. I pushed the wrong combination of buttons, and the computer screen completely froze up. After initially panicking, I finally restarted the computer, desperately hoping it would regain its sanity.
How did I end up in this predicament? Well, I was sitting in the church sound booth on a Friday morning in an impromptu tech-training session.
Several weeks prior, my friend Jesse asked if I would like to help post sermons on the church website. I immediately started making a list of excuses. Me, deal with the tech side? That would mean transferring the audio files, editing the sound files, then uploading the sound files onto the church’s website. I had no idea how to do any of these tasks!
After stalling for weeks, I finally decided my excuses were too pathetic for even me to believe. I drove to the church one cheery Friday to start my training. Jesse patiently walked me through all the steps of the editing software before getting called away to another task.
And that is when I completely crashed the editing program. Thankfully, by the time Jesse returned, the computer was functioning normally again.
The rest of my training went considerably better. I never, ever thought I would say this, but I love my new tech-oriented job! I have gotten to learn a new skill and help out at my church, all in one hit.
Through my sermon editing adventure, I became more convinced than ever that serving in the church is not only good for young adults and teens–it is vital! As young people we have talents, passions, and skills only we can contribute. As we serve, we will grow in relationships with our fellow church members, we will personally grow and mature, and we will grow in our relationship with Jesus.
Relationships with People
When we spend time with people while serving, we start to really get to know them. Comradery grows as we work together to accomplish a mission.
I think sometimes we are hesitant to volunteer in our churches because we fear becoming vulnerable. What if we can’t handle the job we’ve been given? What if we do a horrible job?
But this is the beauty of the church family. In a healthy church environment, everyone should be cheering each other on, not discouraging or criticizing each other. The church should be the place where we can experience healthy growth through trial and error, learning from our mistakes as we learn how to best serve.
Volunteering in the church also teaches us how to work effectively with other people, which is a valuable life skill. We can gain both leadership and teaching skills through volunteering.
When we serve, our relationships with our entire church family are strengthened and enriched.
Stretching and Strengthening Ourselves
The church is not designed to be the place where a few people are responsible for EVERYTHING. Quite the opposite! If each person takes one job (big or small) then no one gets overwhelmed and everyone works together as a team.
When we volunteer at our churches on a regular basis, we exercise our faithfulness muscle because most volunteer positions require a commitment to show up consistently. When we are faithful volunteers, we are training ourselves to be faithful people. This faithfulness will reveal itself in other areas of our lives. Our consistency comes from our love for God and love for people, not because we are motivated by pay or reward. And when love is our motivation, we will remain faithful through both good times and challenging times because love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).
The church is an incredible opportunity for us to step outside our comfort zones. Serving in our churches is an excellent opportunity for us to do hard things for the glory of God. Isn’t this what doing hard things is all about? Pushing ourselves in order to glorify God and serve others?
The Ultimate Reason We Serve
There are many benefits of serving, but at the end of the day, we have one outstanding motivation: we serve because we are walking in the footsteps of the perfect Servant, Jesus Christ.We serve as an extension of God’s love for us.
Because God’s love towards us is abundant and never-ending, we have overflow to give away to the people around us. Because Jesus served us, we can turn around and serve others.
John chapter thirteen tells the story of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples before the crucifixion. Before they ate, out of his intense love for his people, Jesus knelt, bringing himself to the position of a servant, and washed each of his disciples’ feet. While this is a prime example of Jesus being a servant, his entire life on earth was lived out to serve those around him. He did not seek his own gain, but rather sought to bring wholeness, healing, deliverance, and new life to all he encountered. In constantly putting others before himself, he has shown his followers how they must serve one another.
We can gain so much from serving in our local church! But more than anything, when we serve, we grow in our relationship with Jesus and ultimately come to look more like him. And that, my friends, is why we should serve.