Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Serving God: Sometimes it's not about us

5 weeks

The short amount of time from when our church decided to host a vacation Bible school (VBS) this summer until the day it began.

62 workers

The astounding number of teens and adults who came together to help pull this thing off. God knew I couldn’t do it on my own. Rarely – if ever – does God ask us to do something by ourselves. He sends people to assist us, mentor us, and encourage us. He gives us a community to work together until we finish the job.

God also knew how many kids He intended to bring to VBS and how many workers we would need. He sees the whole picture even when the confines of time and space limit our vision.

118 kids

The incredible number of kids who attended VBS. Or, maybe it’s the number of incredible kids. Either way, this number may seem small by some church standards, but it is forty more than we expected to attend.

An interesting string of events led to me as the director of the Colossal Coaster World VBS at our church this past week. My VBS résumé didn’t lead to my directorship – I’ve only assisted with VBS three times in the last two decades, I’ve never been the head teacher in a class and I’ve never overseen any area of VBS. My heart for children’s ministry didn’t lead to my directorship; I’ve never felt a call to work with children’s ministry. Don’t get me wrong – I fully believe in the importance of reaching children while they are young and raising them according to God’s Word. But my ministry has always been teaching women and focusing on missions.

Why and how did I end up in the position of pulling VBS together in only five weeks? A few reasons come to mind…

A friend needed help. 

Our pastor asked my husband for help in finding someone to lead VBS. No one jumped at the opportunity so I said I’d do it. Yes, he’s our pastor but even more, he’s our friend. This was a chance to help a friend so we said yes.

Our church needed help. 

The couple who led VBS for the past several years left our church this spring. Our congregation found ourselves in the position of either skipping VBS this year or pulling something together at the last minute.

I could do it. 

God gifted me with the ability to organize. I don’t say that arrogantly; merely a statement of fact. To deny the ability, however, would be arrogant as it would deny that God gave the gift. Imagine if you gave someone a gift and they spent their whole lives denying that you did so? God gifted me for that situation; I would be selfish to keep the gift to myself.

What’s my point in sharing all of this?

Sometimes God wants us to serve in ways that aren’t easy. 

He wants to stretch us until we see that He meets us in that moment before we snap. He provides, He orchestrates, He sees, and He knows.

Sometimes God wants us to serve in ways that are new. 

He shows us a glimpse of another aspect of kingdom work to help grow our vision for how His plan will all come together.

Sometimes God wants us to serve in areas we know nothing about. 

It’s easy to serve in an area where you’ve studied and trained; to serve in an area where you know nothing requires you to take yourself out of the equation and rely completely on God. If we serve in our own area of expertise, we make great accomplishments through our own power. But to step into an area where we lack expertise directs the glory to God – the place where it belongs all along.

Has God called you into a new area of service? How did you respond? What did you learn from the experience?

Here’s one final number for you…just for fun…2,250

The number of cookies consumed by VBS kids and workers throughout the week.

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