It was bittersweet to hear of Billy Graham’s passing earlier this week. While he will be missed here on earth, he’s at home with the Lord. I can only imagine what a great homecoming it was! I get chills thinking about the people Billy Graham will meet in heaven who will say they came to know Jesus because of him. Such an inspiration for all of us!
Last fall I facilitated The Purpose Driven Life Bible study at church. If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it. One of the lessons was about service and how God created each of us to serve Him and the church. Rick Warren shared a story I had never heard before that demonstrates how essential each of us is in impacting the kingdom, no matter our spiritual gifts and how small we might make them seem. Here’s how I remember the story:
There was a tent revival happening one evening in the 1930s and the place was packed. Two teenage boys walked in and couldn’t find anywhere to sit. An usher approached them and helped them find a seat. It was at this revival that one of those teenagers, Billy Graham, came to know the Lord.
Can you imagine what would have happened if that usher had decided not to serve that night? He could have decided that ushering wasn’t significant or was beneath him. Or what if he would have dismissed finding seats for these two teenagers because he didn’t see them as valuable?
Would Billy Graham have given his life to the Lord that night had it not been for the usher who found him a seat?
We won’t ever know the answer to that question, because thankfully, that usher served cheerfully and recognized the significance of every person who walked in the door. As a result, he paved the way for Billy Graham to know God and use the gifts God had given him. The world and the kingdom of God will never be the same!
God gives us all different gifts. None are more valuable than any other, it’s we humans who tend to ascribe value and see some as more glamorous than others. Each gift is essential in the church and in bringing others to know the Lord!
Rick Warren says, “No matter how insignificant your service might seem to you, God sees it all and he rewards it all. In God’s eyes, there is no little service.”
So, friends, be confident in your areas of gifting and passion. Serve with a cheerful heart, whether you’re up on stage, stuffing bulletins, changing diapers or leading rowdy teenagers. All of it is valuable to God!
If you’re not sure how or where you should be serving, start with something that seems interesting and see what happens. God will reveal your sweet spot to you along the way. Sometimes it changes with the seasons or it manifests itself in a different way.
I began serving at my church in my early twenties with the elementary class and then the two and three-year old class. I taught kids Bible stories, played Veggie Tales videos and tried to keep the kids from eating the Play-Doh.
I also volunteered with the women’s ministry and eventually began leading Bible studies and helping with events. Teaching and encouraging women is such a joy for me!
What has God created you to do? What special gifts has He given you? Where does He want you to serve others with your gifts?
Here are a few questions and resources to help you figure that out:
- What are you passionate about?
- What do other people say you’re good at?
- Who could you help by using your passions and gifts?
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I’d love to hear about where you’re serving and what God has created you to do. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.