One of my favorite things I enjoy as a pastor at Crossroads is that I get to watch people serve. I peek in the doors of the children’s classrooms and watch volunteers care for children. Some are pacing the nursery as they hold babies who have fallen asleep in their arms. What I see in their eyes is ... joy. At the other end of the building, I shake hands with door greeters or go out into the parking lot to chat with the parking crew. I discover the same thing. Joy! Crossroads' volunteers experience joy as they serve in the ministries of our church.
I have the privilege of overseeing the Welcome Team. I like to think of it as the first impressions team. We have 15 ministries made up of 300 volunteers. If there is one thing I hope our guests notice first when they drive onto the parking lot and walk through the doors is joy on the faces of our people. I have watched numerous times how people new to our church come in smiling. It all starts by someone rotating in, filling a spot, shaking a hand and sharing a smile.
One of the 5 core values of Crossroads is serving. Serving is in our DNA; it’s what we do. We love serving needs and putting smiles on people’s faces. The reason is because this is what Jesus has done for us. He serves us and meets our needs . . . our need of forgiveness, of acceptance, of a reconciled relationship with God and reconciled relationships with others. He gives us joy.
I encourage you to make our church core value a personal core value as well, as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus. Here’s why:
- Think of Jesus! He said “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for others” (Mark 10:45). When we serve, we are most like Jesus, because he did not come expecting people to serve his needs. He served theirs, and gave himself as a sacrifice for sin.
- Something will always be missing in your life if you come and sit but don’t serve. God has wired us as Christians to serve. He saved us and set us free – from sin and from ourselves – so that we might serve. We read in Galatians to not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, for self-gain, but to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Christ died to save us not just from our sins but from ourselves. You will always feel some spiritual constipation if you’re not serving in some area of ministry.
- Lastly, a practical reason, the best way to meet people and connect at Crossroads is by serving. Nursery workers get to know one another as they care for the little ones, swap phone numbers and set up play days for their kids. I have seen how people new to our church start by serving in the café or greeting at the doors. They meet a lot of people. It’s not long before they feel connected. New friendships form, and it all started by serving!
If you would like to take the next step in serving, take a minute and talk to someone at the Welcome Centers in the main foyer and MAC or the Check-In Desk in the children's hallway. Someone will be there to help you find a place and get started to serve.
Several years ago, Stu Weber spoke at a conference we hosted, and he said this: “I am following the King of kings who came as the Servant of servants, so I must serve.” He’s absolutely right. Jesus did not come to be comfortable. He came to serve, to meet our needs, to set us free. He hands us the servant’s towel and says “It’s your turn!”
Jim Wright, Pastor of Connections