After reading this post I was inspired to write a little of our story regarding giving and taking. I am refering to the giving of time and talents, of volunteering.
Most of my years in church have been as a taker. There were seasons of giving back but we are currently in our most consistent and longest running period of volunteering. And as I type that I am keenly aware that these last 4 years have also been the most consistent in our giving of tithes to the church also.
Within the first 6 months of being at our current church we were recruited by some friends to serve on the greeting team, then a few months later we had our first child and became part of the nursery team as well. Not too long after, I saw a volunteer opening at the church office and felt I could put my accounting background to good use there.
We have been very involved for the last 4 years and some months I just wish we could quit volunteering because I feel so stretched. Then I think of how much I enjoy smiling and saying “Good Morning” to everyone arriving at church and being that welcoming face to a brand new attendee that doesn’t know what it’s like to do church in a movie theater. I think of how cute those new little babies are (we don’t get the brand new ones, but the older ones are really cute too) and how fun it is to cuddle them and show them that Jesus loves them. Then I think of the work I do at the church office; how what I do helps the pastors to focus on teaching and loving people instead of stressing over finances.
It would be easy to go back to being a taker, but then again, it wouldn’t. I am showing people the love of Jesus one smile at a time.
I think people don’t realize that giving of yourself reaps it’s own rewards. It always feels like work to me before I start. Then the smiles, the handshakes, the cuddles (in the nursery) remind me that people matter more than a few extra minutes of sleep. More than getting a good seat in the service, getting my favorite kind of donut or getting enough cream in my coffee.