On Thursday’s here at KidMin Mama I like to share posts that are relevant to church plant or ministry life. If any of you are involved in a church plant, you know that it is heavily service based. Our church meets in a school and each week we have to drive a truck (affectionately called “the truck”, clever, I know) to the school, unload everything we need and turn a gym and cafeteria magically into a church. Rather than stained glass, we have black curtains, folding chairs instead of pews and if we ever need a baptistery we borrow a cattle trough from the feed store. It’s not always pretty, but it works and church happens (even one Sunday when we had no power).
It can be a drag recruiting people for setup and tear down each week, because unless it’s summer or Christmas break, it is always a need and something to be done. People have a good attitude about it and we are so thankful for the group of men that sign up to help week in and week out. Tearing down, a lot of people pitch in. My girls even drag toys and roll up rugs to help with the process (this has since caused a “tear down” routine at home when I occasionally walk in and find our playroom rug rolled up). The most frustrating part is seeing our well-abled teenagers not jumping in and helping with tear down. Some of them seriously avoid it like the plague.
My husband and I had a conversation about it one day and I realized something; they have most likely grown up in a church where the chairs, tables, and supplies just magically showed up. They walked into their Sunday School classes never even questioning how everything was set up and ready to go…it just was. These teenagers as children most likely never had teachers and leaders tell them to tear down the curtains or stack chairs. The most they were asked to do was to put their trash away. It’s almost foreign to them because they didn’t grow up with it.
I’m not excusing the lack of service we see in our teens, because we have some that jump in and help every week. I’m just saying we might have to keep shoving them, keep helping them recognize the need to serve and help not only as a benefit to the process, but as an act of worship. This is a great opportunity for men of the church to pour into their lives by modeling for them what service is.
As I’ve shared before, I grew up in a church plant and we were all taught to pitch in. If someone made a mess, clean it up. If we need to stack chairs, everyone get a chair. I remember after we left our church plant and we moved to a larger church, one day someone spilled a drink and just left it. In fact, people just stepped over it for several minutes and no one went to grab a towel or tried to clean it up at all. After I walked past the mess and saw that it had been there awhile, I ran to get a towel to clean it up. No, it was not my job, in fact, it should have been everyone’s job.
The last thing we need to show our children is to wait for someone else to do it. That is the worst mentality for service. “We need more workers in the nursery”. Wait for someone else to do it. “We need greeters on Sunday”. Wait for someone else to do it. “We need more people for setup”. Wait for someone else to do it. What if no one does it? What if we make excuses and miss an opportunity to serve the Lord? What does that teach our children?
My dad always says, “more is caught than taught”. If we want to see our children have hearts for service. We have to have them first. We have to sign up, show up, and invest in order for our children to see the blessings that come from worshipping the Lord through service. “Serving in that area is really out of my comfort zone”. Great! What a wonderful example to your children of getting out of their comfort zones for Jesus, cause it doesn’t exactly say this in the Bible, but being a Christ follower can be super awkward at times. Model for them those awkward moments, talk to them about it and show them how you pushed through and what a blessing it was.
Service is fun. Yes it can be draining and frustrating at times, but so is everything else. Jump on board with your church, take a leap and try something new. And push your children to serve the Lord even if it’s just by stacking chairs or folding curtains. How else will they see the joy that is serving with others? Model it, push them and see how attitudes and hearts can change.
Thanks for letting me share,