By Alex Scott, Sunday Service Volunteer Coordinator
When we think of worship on a Sunday morning or evening, we usually think of singing or receiving a teaching. The part of worship that we don’t think of as worship is volunteering. When we think of serving on a Sunday morning or evening – as an usher or a greeter or as part of the parking team – we may think we are sacrificing our time of worship, and this is often unappealing.
Missing the sermon to sit at a parking validation table – when not very many people are walking by – does this really have anything to do with loving God?
I’d argue that it has everything to do with loving God. If people in our community are not giving of themselves in service, they are being robbed of a big part of the gospel story. We come to a worship service but miss out on worship.
Worshipping God involves re-orienting our entire being toward God – mind, will, and emotions. Worship challenges us to look beyond ourselves, to die to those areas in our lives that are the most self-serving. So serving on Sundays is not the only part of the worship service that involves sacrifice – all worship is sacrifice! Worship is acknowledging that I am not the center of the universe, sacrificing my ego.
Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York says, “Worship is treasuring God: I ponder His worth and then do something about it – I give Him what He’s worth.”
I used to be a horrible reader. I paid attention only to the parts of the story that most compelled me, and I gave the rest of the text a cursory nod. A teacher helped me change that. She advised that, when I encounter a new story, the best way to unlock the world is by locating a statement that I initially resist, and I enter the story at this point. I take the statement I’m most tempted to bypass and press into it with my whole heart, by way of my imagination, by way of my action. And then start to look at the rest of the story in light of it.
If the gospel is the story that I want to re-shape my entire life, I must not disregard parts of it simply because they are not appealing to my present emotional state. The less I see worship as something that gratifies me, the more I expose my affections to the complete person of Christ – through praying, singing, hearing God’s word, and serving. The more that all of these parts of worship are intact, the more vibrant all of them become, the more the narrative of Jesus will take hold of my imagination.
Is service a foreign statement in the gospel story for you? Consider it a way for you to journey deeper into the story of God.
We want you to experience the honor and joy of being a part of Christ’s family at Pacific Crossroads – wherever you are in your journey. We want you to experience worship in all of its forms, including sacrificing your time to greet visitors.
Since I’m the Sunday Service Volunteer Coordinator, that’s the area of service that I’m focusing on, BUT, just as worship is not confined to Sundays, service is not confined to Sundays or even with Pacific Crossroads. If you’re already giving of yourself for others in some way, like bringing meals to your neighbors, then great!
But if you find that you’re not intentionally serving, joining a Sunday service team is a good place to start. If you’re not sure where to serve, try a few things out. Ask questions. Start the conversation: “I want to serve – what does this look like for me?” Ask a friend, “How can we set apart the time we consider to be our own and intentionally extend the hospitality of Christ to our neighbors?” Email me (email@example.com), or find me after the service (this is what I look like). I’m here to help you serve, and there are as many ways to serve as God is creative.
For those who are already serving on Sundays, my hope is that you are not serving out of guilt or obligation, but that you consider your volunteer duties as nothing less than worship – just as full of weight and beauty as taking your seat and listening to the word of God from the stage. How and when we are filled by the Spirit can surprise us. It can happen while teaching in the Children’s Ministry, or even while sitting at the parking validation table.
A great way to learn more about serving on Sundays is to attend First Serve, which occurs the third Sunday of every month. Over a light breakfast, we provide an overview of service opportunities and then give you a chance to shadow a current volunteer to experience serving first-hand. The next First Serve is on May 19. Learn more here.
Update from Will & Angie Gray’s Blog: “Will, Meet Will” – Yesterday, Morgen Wilbourne, Pastor Rankin’s wife, posted this on Will & Angie’s blog. We have been praying for Will & Angie as a community, and we encourage you to pray for them and keep updated through their website, goteamgray.com.