We recently finished a series at church called, "Stuck." We presented five tools that can prevent one from getting spiritually stuck or get one unstuck. One of those tools--serving--we presented by acknowledging a few servers each week and then by having an army of servers go onto stage, demonstrating how many people it takes to make PCC happen.
We didn't have a service specifically donated to serving because of scheduling with Christmas. I'd like to share a few thoughts about serving from my perspective.
First, I just finished writing 16 thank you notes for a student ministry event last night. I coordinated the event, and even I didn't realize how many people it took to make last night happen until I started writing the notes. Those 16 people (and their spouses in some cases) gave of their time and energy, and in some cases risked the security of their homes, to let crews of junior high and high school students have fun celebrating Christmas and building relationships.
It takes people to make ministry happen, and not just those called to vocational ministry. The service of all those people last night made a difference to the students who work hard, by my side, to make student ministry happen; they got to relax and to enjoy for once. It made a difference to the student who was with us for the second time, still working to form relationships, still deciding if our student ministry is the place for her.
Second, I get to work with some amazing adults and students on a weekly and monthly basis. I could write a lot, a whole lot, about them! But I'll summarize today by saying that as we work side-by-side, me an ordained pastor with a Master's of Divinity, them responding to God's call on their life to reach and to guide students in our area, we do more than just make ministry happen; although that's certainly enough. We encourage one another, listen to one another, have fun with one another, extend grace to one another, and love one another. We are the body of Christ. We are friends. We are brothers and sisters.
The people who partner with me to do ministry are people I can count on, in every area of my life. They have my back, and I have theirs. They care about me and my family, and I care about theirs. They seek God and his direction with me. They share successes and disappointments with me.
A few of these people help me discern God's leading for our student ministry, from a place above the week-to-week and month-to-month programs. I think of them as my "A" team; not just because their names are Aimee, (the other) Angie, Amanda (Mandy), and Erik...well...just go with it. They are amazing at what they do. Their commitment to God and to his teenagers is steadfast and fierce. They make me better, and they have made countless teenagers' lives (and their families' lives) better, too. They make an impossible job possible. They make it more than possible; they make it a blast. I'm convinced that the fun, love, and support we show one another sets the tone for the students, too. With this team by my side, I'm willing to tackle lock-ins and 90 people on a mission trip, and letting some of them take students out of the country without me, and other missions and ministry opportunities that I otherwise would not attempt on my own.