Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. … You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
Becoming true servants requires that our actions are an outpouring of the love and grace that is in our hearts and souls. Most anyone can do an act of kindness for someone once in awhile, but the condition of the heart will set the path and pace for life of serving. Serving, like modeled in Christ, is the way of a disciple of Christ. You can’t truly be a disciple of Christ if you aren’t serving Him in your home, at your workplace, in your neighborhood, through your church. Last week on our Brethren Disaster Team trip to Detroit I shared during a morning devotion one of my favorite verses regarding serving:
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
This reminds us that through our belief and acceptance of Christ we are equipped and enabled to serve with the power of the one true God in unique and powerful ways!
The reason that I wanted to share this today is because I have joyfully and with gratefulness watched this in multiple ways over the past few weeks. It makes me so proud of what God is doing through you to make the name of Christ known and bring God glory. Here’s just a few of those things:
Even after having to reschedule our 2nd Saturday Outreach to a week later due to bad weather, eight people worked 35.5 man-hours to install privacy fencing on both the north and south side of the Homeless Shelter and a gate on the south side. On the 18th three people worked another 9 serving hours to clean up, remove supports and trim and dress the posts.
On the last Saturday of April a One Another group made up of 8 adults and 16 kids came out to spruce up the landscaping here at Camden Rd. by weeding and mulching. Their service helps make this place attractive and welcoming to our guests and reflects how we desire to care for them.
As we spent the last days of ministry at Barron St. with our GreenHouse Kids and RockHouse Student ministries programs for the year, each night was marked by prayer for others. The Sr. High youth spent part of their last night praying over the Barron St. facility specifically in how God will empower and bless L& M Products (the new owners) to use it as a sacred space for helping its employees, clients and the community. On the following Wednesday, in a multi-generational gathering that included the prayer balloon launch, prayers reached out to those receiving those balloons to make known God’s goodness and love.
Last week six people from ECOB gave an entire week to go to Detroit to help repair homes damaged by flooding and demonstrate God’s love in action on a Brethren Disaster Trip.
Over the last 2 months and with special concentration over the last few weeks, many have given countless hours to the move from Barron St. From sorting Kitchen supplies, to moving furniture, to sorting items for the sale, to staffing the sale, so many have stepped up to serve your God, your church and our ministry efforts. While at first appearance this may seem inward, we must remember that it is necessary to do these types of things to be good stewards of what God has given us. All of those things being moved, stored, and shared contribute to our overall ministry efforts. God will use every part of it, even if it seems mundane and non-spiritual to us.
Yesterday as we began the moving sale, a story was shared with me that a member of this church came in and purchased a box full of kid’s trinkets and toys. She knew of a ministry that used these types of items to bring joy and encouragement to children suffering from cancer. She was taking this box of goodies to give to them.
Finally, last night I had the joy of gathering with around 30 volunteers who have served in the Wednesday Night GreenHouse Kids ministry this year. These adults have poured many hours of time, prayer and planning into reaching kids and families with the message of Christ. Thanks for making a difference!
Each of these examples, and I’m sure much more over the last month here at ECOB alone, demonstrates with wonderful humility how to administer God’s grace in its various forms. Praise God! Hallelujah!
Praying with you and for you,