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Tag: serving

The Dream of Being a Spectator

You may recall I mentioned a few weeks ago about a new feature in our weekly announcement sheet at First Trinity. Sue suggested I cross-post the articles to my blog. If you want the full context, you can download our announcements sheet.

It’s late August in Buffalo. We’ve just had a beautiful, sunny day, and I’m just arriving at the baseball stadium to watch a game with some friends. There are familiar sounds of people cheering. Smells of popcorn, hot dogs and peanuts. Scorebook in hand, I’m engrossed in the game, soaking it all in.

Being a spectator is a lot of fun. It’s relaxing. It’s casual. It’s easy. But I never dreamt of being a spectator. As a kid, I always imagined myself as the star athlete, the one that others come to watch. The one that makes the big play and wins the game. The hero. But the spectator? Nope.

Being a spectator is fine, but how much more exciting it is to be the doer. To be the one on the field, playing. You know God designed us to be doers, not spectators.

Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. Genesis 2:15

God designed us to serve. Not to be spectators, but to get in the game. Not seated, but serving. Jesus showed us the example we were to follow:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

God has a ministry in store for you, one that only you are able to accomplish. It’s the reason He saved us from our sin, “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) Maybe He’s calling you to serve prisoners through Kairos, or reach out to young adults through Lutheran Campus Ministries. Maybe you want to become a Homebound Visitor, being a friend to those who can’t get out on their own. Maybe you’d like to be one of our Haiti Missionaries next year. Come hear what they did at the sharing event and seek God’s advice on whether He’s calling you to Haiti next year. Where is God moving you to serve?

Discipling Youth

I think part of discipling youth is teaching them how to use their gifts at church in meaningful ways.  We’ve had youth acolytes forever, but there’s so much more out there.  Here are some of the exciting things youth are doing (or will be doing soon!) at First Trinity:

  • Jon W., Abby, Anna and Joe regularly provide the tech services at our 7 p.m. Saturday worship service.  Joe is also helping on Sundays.
  • Jon W. is one of the prayer partners at Sunday worship.
  • Jon B., Annie, and Jake M. all play/sing in worship bands on a regular basis.
  • Megan and Laura have played/sung in the past.
  • 19 youth have signed up to work with our new youth band that is starting up.  Many of those were complete surprises to me.
  • 2 youth each Sunday from the 7th-8th grade Sunday School class will be helping to teach younger kids (Kindergarten and under-2’s).  20 in all have signed up so far.
  • Anna and Kelsey (plus Samuel, who isn’t a youth yet but will be one day) are on my PIT crew.

Additionally, we want students to be in the Word on a regular basis.  Some fun things going on there:

  • 6 youth have signed up to be in rooted this year so far. 
  • Sue’s small group at Cornerstone has committed to interacting with each other about the One Minute Bible for Students on a daily basis through text messages and instant message.  Loved hearing how she is connecting with her students!
  • A parent recently liked the One Minute Bible their student received so much that she asked to get a copy for herself.  They were working through it together at home, which turned her on to the resource.
  • We have a lab-based Sunday School series coming up in the winter that helps students learn how to be in the Word, pray, give and worship.

It’s exciting to see what God is doing in the midst of our young people.  What a joy!

Willingness vs. Giftedness

I just filled out a National Honor Society service verification form for Emily, one of our adopted youth who participated in our famine recently.  The form is your standard “rate them on X” style, including the following:

  • Dependable
  • Responsible
  • Readiness to show courtesy by assisting others

There are 6 total areas, 3 of which start with “Willingness to…”  One made me think of how churches sometimes recruit people: “Willingness to do staff or committee work.”  Too often, we look for people who are willing to serve instead of those that are gifted to serve.  I’m thankful so many people at First Trinity are serving in their giftedness.

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