“I was wondering if you might be willing to help with …”
So how do those words usually hit you?
Whenever I’m asked to do something new, something that I haven’t done before, my immediate internal reaction is usually something like: I’m not ready, I couldn’t possibly do it, I don’t have the knowledge, I need more experience, additional training, practice, or time to get comfortable with the idea.
This was my immediate reaction when John Garrett asked me about serving on the Congregational Council three years ago while warming up for one of our St. Philip softball games. I thought: I don’t know enough, I haven’t been a member long enough, I don’t know the Bible well enough, my faith isn’t strong enough. The list goes on.
These are many of the same questions and doubts carried by others, including prominent figures in scripture like Moses and Jonah. I associate more with Jonah … you know, if I don’t make eye contact with the person asking for a volunteer, maybe I can hide safely in my pew, hide from God calling. Thankfully, God doesn’t always send a fish to swallow us when we hide, but those opportunities for sharing God’s love in some way are often lost.
Three years ago, I left the door open with John, telling him I would think about it. John was persistent and kept talking with me about serving on council throughout softball season. Eventually, I figured this was something God was leading me to do, and I said yes. I answered with faith and trust in God because I still felt I did not have enough knowledge, experience, service, etc. to do what was being asked of me.
What I have found during the last three years, even during the most challenging of times, is that in giving of myself, I have gained more. I have witnessed God’s love and grace in ways I would not have experienced otherwise. My relationship with God, my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, and my community of faith is stronger, deeper and more meaningful. Saying, “yes, I will,” was my first step to a closer relationship with God and others in my life.
In May, we posted a new feature on the St. Philip website called “Help Wanted For God’s Ministry” where you will find a list of opportunities to serve in various ways. The list will be updated as needs emerge, so I encourage you to review the list regularly and ask yourself where the gifts God has given you might be used in His service.
Take that step, make that call, raise your hand, send the email, ask the question, or say, “I’ll help.” I promise you will be better for it, and so will our ministry at St. Philip.