Our Elder Board has met personally with over 20 people as follow-up from our adult 301 course, “Discovering My Ministry.” These follow-up discussions have been enriching and have revealed enormous talent and gifting within the Emmanuel church body. Thank you if you’ve been a part of one of those interviews ! We are processing what we’ve learned so far, and we’re looking for ways to fit you into the ministry God has prepared for you.
There are a number of needs at the church right now. One, in particular, is a need Pastor Jeff and those leading Youth & Family Ministry have for some “go-fers” — people who would be available to run photocopies and pick up supplies as needed, and to set up and tear down for youth events. A second development is that Mike Mahoney is working on re-organizing the Greeter Ministry so we can effectively welcome people into the church on Sunday morning and at other times.
Thanks for your patience as we continue to pair ministry needs with your SHAPE ! We are very interested in meeting with others of you who completed the 301 course this year. Let us know if you’re interested in that SHAPE interview. You’ll be glad you did !
Being in South Carolina last weekend for the graduations of my son and son-in-law gave me a chance to reflect upon early days of church ministry experience Diana and I had there back in the mid-1980s. We were newly married, new students at the seminary, and we were seeking to plug into the ministry of the local church we had recently joined – a church that had over the years seen its share of seminary students come and go through its doors.
What qualities proved helpful to us ? Here are a few thoughts I hope will be helpful to you if you are seeking God’s direction for service in the church :
Prayer. Certainly, the starting point is to ask God to show you an appropriate place of service. I need reminding that, more than trying hard to make my own ministry ideas work, I just need to ask God to reveal some appropriate area of service to me. Matthew 7:7 and 1 John 5:14-15 help us here, encouraging us to ask God because He has promised to give us things that are clearly a part of His will. Your service in the local church is part of His will for you !
Willingness. Are you willing to try serving anywhere you are asked ? When Diana and I made ourselves available at our new church in South Carolina, one of our assignments was to teach the 2- and 3-year-old Sunday School class. What a riot ! And what a challenge ! But, really, no more challenging than other kinds of work in a church. We welcomed the kids, read Bible stories to them, held them, sang with them, and served them juice. Some of the littler ones weren’t all that communicative, but they all knew how to yell, “Juice !” when that moment came in the morning. Our willingness to serve these small kids earned us the appreciation of young parents in the church and the respect of church leaders, eventually opening up new areas of service in the church.
Accountability. Will you be accountable to the church leadership and to a team of people serving in the same ministry area as you ? We work best for the Lord in teams, I believe, and ultimately we all make up one large team. Ministry team leaders and the Elder Board at Emmanuel take seriously their responsibility for overseeing the life of the church. You help them by maintaining clear lines of communication and by honoring their efforts to provide direction for the whole team.
Giving. Strangely, my experience is that God opens up ministry opportunities to people who are practicing a lifestyle of giving the first of their time, treasure, and talents to Him. What greater enterprise could we wish to be a part of than the work of the Church of Jesus Christ in the world ? We demonstrate to the Lord that we’re ready for greater positions of service and leadership by showing Him that all we’ve received in life comes from Him and ultimately belongs to Him.
Rest. Effective service in the church happens when people are rested. Are you experiencing some sort of “Sabbath” in your life on a regular basis ? Do you experience rest as a couple or a family (if you are married or have kids) ? Do you have a day off – or is it just a day to do other kinds of work ? We even need rest from our ministry from time to time in order to be rejuvenated for longer-lasting and more joyful service.
Jesus. Is He first ? Do you love Him ? Are you still convinced, as the old hymn says, that “Jesus doeth all things well” ? The Apostle Paul said, “The love of Christ compels us …” He did something for us we could not do for ourselves. By His work on the cross and in our lives, He has become our Master, and we owe everything to Him.
Well, if I rearrange those words and make some substitutions so as to form an acronym (à la Rick Warren), here’s what I get :
L Listening (i.e., willing to go where I’m offered to serve)
Y Yielded (i.e., giving my life and all it contains to God first)
E Eager (… to follow Jesus)
A “player” at Emmanuel is one who prays, listens, is accountable, yielded, eager, and rests.
How can we help you be a player at Emmanuel ?
Worship this Sunday at 10:15. We will continue our series, “Keeping Your Balance,” in 2 Peter, on the theme of staying strong in the face of false teachers.
Beginning June 1, our adult class offerings will be as follows :
101, “Discovering Christ and My Church,” at 9:00. This is Emmanuel’s “membership” course and is a good get-acquainted course. Please let me know if you plan to attend !
Gospel of John at 9:00. The Gospel of John study will resume under the leadership of David Kiser. Everyone is welcome to attend.
From the Elders
A reminder about some guidelines for effective communication at Emmanuel :
We will include in the Sunday bulletin activities that are sponsored by Emmanuel. Rebecca Gaus needs those announcements by Thursday each week. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other ministry activities that are not sponsored by Emmanuel but are led by, or involve, members of the Emmanuel family will be included in the bulletin as space permits.
Community, personal, and/or family events will not be included in the bulletin but can be posted on the bulletin board immediately outside the conference room at the church.
For the time being, members of the Elder Board are making announcements at the start of worship on Sunday mornings. Please help the elders, pastors, and others preparing for worship by not bringing last-minute requests for an announcement to be made on Sunday morning. Plan ahead and contact one of the elders well in advance if you anticipate there may be a need for your ministry announcement to be made prior to worship. Thank you for your help !
Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday !