Saved people serve people. That’s a phrase that you probably haven’t heard very often, right? That is, unless you attend the church here at Severn Run of course. Then you’re probably rolling your eyes at me because we hear it all the time right now. Hopefully...
We’ve talked about why it’s important to serve (see Serving Part 1 here), and hopefully by now you’ve decided that either you need to start serving, or you just need to serve more. Most of us are in one of these two boats. There are a few people who serve a lot of their...
People are apprehensive about serving at church. I know this because I’m one of them. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy as much of their weekend as they can in relaxation, right? Volunteering to spend all day Sunday at church can seem really daunting. The thing is, if we call...
Serving is not about waiting tables at church. But it is about sharing food, handing out coffee, giving a smile, and using your skills and gifts to help, encourage, and support the people around you. Serving is about volunteering your time and talents to fill a need. If you are an extrovert you...
This summer, the Church at Severn Run was SUBMERGED! The entire campus was flooded. Don’t worry! It wasn’t with water, but with Jesus and kids and a whole lot of laughter! I felt God pushing me to volunteer. I am in school, a mommy, and recently transitioned from working 60+ hours...
There, in the middle stall of the second floor women’s restroom I stood in front of a gleaming toilet asking God to forgive me of loving the Winter Relief guests more than my family. Winter Relief >> Needs >> Housekeeping. That’s where I found myself signing up to help. After getting my kids off...
You might know exactly what talents and abilities God has given you and where you are of most service in the body of Christ. Or, you might like to know where the biggest needs are and step into a serving spot that is desperate to be filled. However, you may have no idea where or even when you...
Saved people serve people. That’s a phrase that you probably haven’t heard very often, right? That is, unless you attend the church here at Severn Run of course. Then you’re probably rolling your eyes at me because we hear it all the time right now. Hopefully you’re not too tired of hearing it though, because we really don’t want people to get tired of it.
Saved people really do serve people, and because we’re so serious about it around here, we have a ton of different ways that you can serve, and we’ve been highlighting a lot of those so that you can find a spot that’s just right for you. We understand that not everyone is used to serving, and that serving on some of the larger or more visible teams might seem a bit foreboding, so we wanted to highlight a few places that were more ‘low key’, and where you don’t have to jump in head first serving an entire Sunday. (Of course, if you want to do that, we’d welcome it, and we have a lot of opportunities for you to do so!)
One of the places where you can serve in the church on Sundays is at the Gear Shop. You’ve probably seen it if you’ve ever attended a service here. The Gear Shop is a place where you can buy goodies that we’ve created so you can share about Jesus and Severn Run wherever you go. We have mugs, coffee cups, t-shirts, magnets, car stickers, and a variety of other things. (Because who doesn’t want to drink coffee on the way to work in a spiffy Severn Run polo shirt while showing the upset driver behind you that they can find peace from the anger of you just (totally accidentally) cutting them off, right!?) Ok, maybe a bit over the top, but you get the picture. So yes, the Gear Shop is a totally cool way that you can serve and help people show those who they come into contact with what their values are.
We reached out to Rebekah Twardowski who’s the Gear Shop coordinator. Here’s what she said about getting involved at the Gear Shop.
I had been looking for a ministry that I felt God calling me to. I have two little ones and was trying to find something that I could really sink my teeth into. I had been praying about what to do when I was told that our church had a graphic design team. Earlier in the year I had started painting and lettering and had helped design a t-shirt for our Mom's Group. I loved it so much and I thought the design team is something I could step in to and use for God’s glory. In May, I finally emailed Bonni Mace about the design team, and she responded telling me that she was already planning on asking me to lead the Gear Shop. God's hands were clearly all over the situation preparing my heart for this.
We currently have six consistent volunteers in the Gear Shop. We have had a lot of interest with the ‘Be The Difference’ challenge, and are so happy to be adding new faces to the team! This summer we changed to an "after church" schedule - we are opened from the end of service until the atrium starts to clear after the beginning of the next service (about a 40-minute serving time). Serving includes putting out inventory, making sales, and greeting people with a smile!
Our mission is to creatively reveal the love of the Father through the life of the Son in the Power of the Spirit. We do that by equipping people with gear that they can wear into the world and proudly (and literally) wear their faith on their sleeve.
Our goal this next year is to keep things fresh by keeping our inventory numbers smaller and bringing in new designs fairly often. Our hope is to get some gender-specific t-shirts (since we have always just had unisex tees), and also new products like water bottles and mugs.
So, there you have it! If you’re creative, good at customer service, or just like to smile, the Gear Shop might just be the perfect place for you. If interested, you can go to SevernRunner.info and sign up directly via the ‘Be The Difference’ challenge under ‘Level One’ (look for ‘Empower people to share their stories with Severn Run gear’)!
This is a great place start serving for the first time because this is something that you’d be comfortable doing. If this serving opportunity doesn’t excite you, keep an eye on the blog because we will be highlighting lots of other places in the church and you just might find the perfect one for you.
We’ve talked about why it’s important to serve (see Serving Part 1 here), and hopefully by now you’ve decided that either you need to start serving, or you just need to serve more. Most of us are in one of these two boats.
There are a few people who serve a lot of their time, and that’s great, but we need to understand that they can’t carry this burden alone. And don’t get me wrong, most of the regular volunteers that we have at the Church of Severn Run are all very generous with their time, and they love serving! I bet if you asked any one of them how much they got out of it, they’d tell you it was a lot more than they put in.
Let’s take a little bit to look at just a couple serving areas in the church specifically where a few dedicated people are running most of the show and who could use some help.
One of the biggest areas we have, with the largest requirement of volunteers, is the kids’ ministry. We have rooms for babies all the way up through high school.
Let’s start with the little kids, because that’s our biggest group. Here’s some numbers to put our need for volunteers into perspective:
- For every 4 kids 2 years old and younger, we need one volunteer per service.
- For every 8 kids 3 years old or older, we need one volunteer per service.
Typically, we’re looking at having 2 adult workers per classroom for each service, equaling 12 volunteers per service, and 36 volunteers on a Sunday if everyone only worked one service. These kinds of numbers are what we’d need to be covered and not have anyone working overtime or more than they’d like to.
Preferably, we’d like to have around 40-50 volunteers a week so that in the case of cancellations, or extra kids, we’re covered. Generally, two adults per classroom is good, but sometimes we have more kids and need more help. Recently we talked with Kristin Wood, our Preschool Director, and we only had 28 volunteers on this particular Sunday. Granted, this is the summer time, and we’re constantly dealing with people being out for vacations and family things, but it’s pretty typical for us to see less-than-ideal volunteer numbers, even though Kristin noted that she was happy to have 28 this particular week.
We think that we can do better, don’t you?
Many of our kids’ volunteers work more than one Sunday service, sometimes even all three. While they love to do it, this can be tiring. If we had enough volunteers back there for each person to work one service once or twice a month, that would be the best-case scenario. Some volunteers would still work more than that, because that just what they like to do. But, we recognize that not everyone can do that, and having more volunteers would help make it so that everyone could work as much as they wanted to, and not be asked to, or feel like, they had to work more than they wanted to.
So, if your passion is young kids, or even if it’s just serving where God has called you to, please contact Kristin Wood for more information on how you can plug in and start helping with the little kiddos. It’s a real treat to be able to invest in these kids’ lives, and to give parents the ease of mind to go and pour Jesus into their lives on Sundays, so that they can pour into their kids for the next week.
If serving with the little kids isn’t your thing, there’s also the grade school, middle-school, and high school kids ministries.
The grade school kids are upstairs, and you can contact our family life pastor Steve Stolarek-Houston to work with those kids. We’ve got some really great workers up there with them, but they can always use more help. If you’re more interested in working with the older kids, contact the Student Pastor Chris Martin.
The middle school and high school kids also meet during the week, and they do lots of fun stuff, so this can be a really fun and rewarding way to give back. At these ages, kids are being influenced in lots of different ways, and the world is trying to confuse them from what they’ve learned as a kid. There’s a big opportunity here to literally change these kids’ lives and be Jesus to them.
Ok, so enough about the kids. Hopefully if you’re not a “kids person,” you’re still with me.
I’d like to take another minute to discuss a different area of the church that could use some help when it comes to volunteers. Of course, all areas and ministries are open to new faces, but this one in particular has caught my attention as being a little short-handed.
The area I’m talking about is the technical booth in the back of the service.
Everyone is familiar with the faces of the singers and musicians on stage who perform week after week, and whom we get to praise God with, but not many people pay much attention to the guys and gals behind the scenes. We have people who work the lights, the sounds, and the screens, among other things. While this generally only requires one person per job, we don’t have very many volunteers who work back there on a weekly basis. It’s typically the same 1 or 2 people who work week after week, usually all 3 services, for each need. Needless to say, this can be draining.
And let’s admit, the Worship Tribe and the tech people really do an amazing job helping us worship and connect with God every week. Many of the people who walk through our doors, especially if it’s only once, will only experience worship in the auditorium. We’ve had hundreds of new people visit our church during various holidays, and the tech people play an integral role in helping the church share Jesus with them. Even though the tech people in the back were probably not even noticed by these visitors, you can be sure that they showed Jesus to many who needed to see him. They were crucial in making worship relevant to people who desperately needed to see a version Jesus who wasn’t some all-powerful being sitting on a throne, casting down condemnation on them, but a Jesus who loved and lived and walked among them in a very real way. This is the kind of Jesus that the Worship Tribe shows people on a weekly basis, and they couldn’t do this without the support of their tech team in the back.
Whether you’re technically inclined or not, you can make a difference in people’s lives, just like the examples I provided above. It’s easy to learn, and the rewards are big, especially when you see the looks on people’s faces as a disco ball drops form the ceiling and the whole auditorium lights up like a thousand stars (yes, we actually did this once and it was awesome!). On the other hand, if you like to sing, or can play an instrument, the Worship Tribe is always open and welcoming of new talent. If you’re interested in either of these areas, please contact our Ministry Director, Gwen Hubbard, or our Communications Leader Bonni Mace.
So, what are you going to do now???
The ball is in your court. Do you hear God speaking to you?
Being realistic, I don’t expect hundreds of people to start volunteering for one of these areas of the church. I realize that these places may not be where you’re best-suited to serve, and that’s OK. But, hopefully in one way or another, you’ve heard God’s call in your life.
There are literally millions of ways that you can serve, and it doesn’t have to be here at the Church at Severn Run. But, it is our sincerest hope that you can find a place here where you can put your talents to use to help us share Jesus with the Baltimore area, and to advance his kingdom in your life and the lives of those around you. Follow this link to find out about more serving opportunities at Severn Run.
But beyond that, no matter where he’s calling you to serve, we hope and pray that you will realize all that God has planned for you in your life, and that you will do amazing things for his kingdom.
We pray that the world will be able to see something different in you, not just because of your talent or your service, but because you do it selflessly and with a smile on your face, showing Jesus to a world in need…
And always remember to Love Well, Live Jesus, and Believe Big!
People are apprehensive about serving at church. I know this because I’m one of them. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy as much of their weekend as they can in relaxation, right? Volunteering to spend all day Sunday at church can seem really daunting. The thing is, if we call ourselves Christians, if we truly believe that Jesus was Lord, then we are called to serve.
The one thing that we endeavor to is following the example of Jesus by doing what he did throughout his life. If we’re honest with ourselves, then we already know the answer to this endeavor is service. There are other things that we can do, yes, but if you look at the life of Jesus, he was almost always acting in service to someone. Whether it was washing people’s feet, feeding them, or healing the sick, Jesus was constantly looking for ways to put the needs of others above his own. Therefore, what is it that we are called to do? We are called to serve. But, don’t take my word for it…
Jesus called them all together and said, “You know that the rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. This, however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, you must be the servant of the rest; and if one of you wants to be first, you must be the slave of the others— like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.” -Matthew 20:25-28(GNT)
So, what does it really mean to serve at church?
Service should be more than just a volunteer “job” that we do once in a month of Sundays. If you look at the ‘religious’ view of what serving is, then the definition you get is something along the lines of earning our way to heaven. Service is good, yes, but in and of itself it does not grant access to eternal life with Jesus. So, why then are we called to serve? What is the point? Let’s take a look at Paul’s letter to some of the New Testament churches to see why we are supposed to serve.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. -Ephesians 4:11-16
Paul knew that we are stronger when we are unified and living in service to both each other and to non-believers. And again, we see here that we are called to be like Christ; that we are to strive to emulate everything that he represents. The ultimate point is for us to be more like Christ so we can resist temptations and be the example of true love to a world that desperately needs it.
Where Do I Serve?
It would be naive to think that we should all jump blindly into service, just for the fact of serving. Yes, we are called to serve, but we can be smart about it. The Bible speaks of spiritual gifts, and it teaches that we all have different ones. Some people may be more suited to watch and teach children, while others may be musically inclined and thrive being on stage in front of everyone. Others yet are more content to run the lights and sounds and remain in the background. There is no “right” or “wrong” place to serve, there are just places that are better suited to our gifts.
Don’t feel like you have to do something you hate, just to honor God and the people around you. You don’t have to know what your spiritual gift is, (but in case you’re wondering, you can head on over here and take the test to see what it might be). This is not a guarantee to be a perfect fit, but that’s the great thing about serving at church – you can be free to test the waters and find out what suits you most!
Now, you might be thinking that you already know what your gift is, and perhaps that gift is not something that you can do at church right now. In part, this might be true, but give it some thought. Is there really just not a need for your gift at church at the moment? This is unlikely, and there is generally always a way to use your gift. After all, God gave it to you for a reason.
There may be a case where at this moment in time, the church doesn’t have an opportunity for you. And that’s perfectly OK. There are millions of places out there in the world where you can use your gift. It doesn’t have to be at church. But chances are, if you can use it “out there”, then you can use it here too.
If the specific ministry or outlet doesn’t exist yet in the church, then talk to someone on staff about getting that started. It’s possible that are there are a handful of others in the church who have a complementary gift that could mesh well with yours and get some amazing things going right here in our community.
The church also already has a lot of teams that you can serve on. (Keep an eye on the blog as there will be a continuation of this post describing several particular areas within our church that are in need of some extra volunteers.)
Remember, we need to serve because it is an outpouring of our faith. It’s a tangible way we can share the love of Jesus with others.
Serving is not about waiting tables at church. But it is about sharing food, handing out coffee, giving a smile, and using your skills and gifts to help, encourage, and support the people around you.
Serving is about volunteering your time and talents to fill a need. If you are an extrovert you can do this in a visible way like being a greeter, working in the nursery, or leading a group or class. If you prefer to work “behind the scenes” you can volunteer in the office, use your skills for the creative team or in the office, or by working in other non-public ways. You can volunteer for Impact Projects or help with ministries…there is always a need to fill using the gifts God gave you.
Beyond knowing that there is a need, why volunteer for the church?
- God has Gifted You
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10 ESV)
You were created by God on purpose, for a special purpose. You are where you need to be, you are who you need to be. God has designed work for you to do so you can be his hands, his feet, his love, to a hurting and needy world. Whatever it is that you know how to do is exactly what your community needs you to share with them.
- Service Demonstrates your Faith
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17 NIV)
Taking action by choosing to share your gifts to encourage and help others demonstrates that you have been changed by Jesus. Before we realize God’s love, we are self-centered and self-serving. But Jesus isn’t like that. Jesus cared for and served others—even as he died on the cross. If we have truly been touched by the love of Jesus, we will also want to be like him in service to others.
- Serving Blesses - Both You and the Recipient
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT)
Encouragement and healing go hand in hand. As we encourage others they find healing, and we see God working so we are encouraged. This is why people who go on mission trips say they came home feeling like they went to be a blessing and came home blessed beyond measure.
- Serving Helps us Share the Love of Jesus
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. (Isaiah 58:10 NIV)
We are called to share the love of Jesus with the world around us. But the fact is, it’s hard to reach a heart when someone has a physical or emotional need. You can’t cure physical thirst with only a testimony of Jesus’ love. If someone is thirsty, it’s better to give them a cup of water to quench their thirst first. Then they will be able to hear the message of God’s love. This is serving which leads to sharing the love of Jesus.
- Serving is Good for You
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38)
Volunteering is so good for the mind and body that it can ease symptoms of stress and depression. It gets you out of your own head and doing something to better the world around you. Tapping into your gifts and passions builds self-confidence, energy, and strength. Serving others can also be the best distraction from our own worries.
There are so many places where you can use your gifts at Severn Run!
If you aren’t serving, maybe it’s time to start. Volunteer an hour, a day, a week. Help out a need. Do a project. You can even volunteer from home!
Here’s how to find a place to serve at Severn Run:
- Pray and ask God how he wants you to serve
- Go to severnrun.com/serve
--Read through the serving opportunities and choose one that fits your skill set
--Or click the Categories arrow and choose a place to serve by ministry
- Click the blue title of the serving opportunity
- Learn more about the need
- Sign up by filling out the form at the bottom of the page
This summer, the Church at Severn Run was SUBMERGED! The entire campus was flooded. Don’t worry! It wasn’t with water, but with Jesus and kids and a whole lot of laughter!
I felt God pushing me to volunteer. I am in school, a mommy, and recently transitioned from working 60+ hours as a restaurant assistant manager…I was tired. With finals in two classes and an additional two just beginning, I was busy.
At least those were my excuses.
I thought that I had missed the deadline. Then one Sunday, while I was sitting in the service, they announced they still needed and were accepting volunteers. Once again, I felt Jesus nudging me. So I did exactly what He told me to do.
I didn’t know where they would have me helping out, but then I got the email from Pastor Steve. I was assigned to the 10 year old group. Monday morning rolls around, and I drag my three year old out of the bed at 6 a.m. He, like his mommy, is not a morning person. So we head to the church, still not completely excited about the idea of being there.
By the end of day one, I was amazed at the change in my heart. I was so excited for the next day! I began praying not only for God to work in their hearts, but also in my own.
I can definitely say, “If you want to have fun, all you have to do is ask a room full of 10 yr. olds what questions they have for Jesus.”
Our lesson was on Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night. At the end of the lesson, we asked, "What are the questions you have for Jesus?"
I was not prepared for what would follow. We got many, many questions. In fact, so many that we had to skip game time at the end to finish asking questions. These questions included:
- What is Jesus’ favorite color? (This I expected.)
- Do animals go to Heaven?
- Does God really care about me?
- So what happens if someone hears about Jesus and says maybe later, but they die before they can pray?
- What happens if a baby dies and can’t get saved? (Broke my mommy heart!)
- Why was Jesus born?
- Why did God create Satan?
- So God created everything… so he has magic? Like Harry Potter? (NO! Jesus is not Harry Potter. PLEASE do not go home and tell your parents Jesus is Harry Potter!)
- If God created everything, who created Him?
- If God is God, and there’s only one God, then how did He send His SON? (Wow! You kids are good.)
In complete honesty, there were about 50 more questions that Miss Jess and I had to address. At the end, we handed out little cards that asked the children to choose an answer:
- I have already accepted Jesus into my heart as my Savior and Lord.
- No, I am not ready to talk about Jesus.
- I want to know more about Jesus.
- YES! I am ready now to accept Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
Two little boys, handed in cards saying “YES! I am ready now.” In the rally that day, I stood there as little guys prayed and accepted Jesus as their Savior. I took a picture with them and told them how VERY happy I was for them.
I came home and told my husband that I was “falling in love Jesus-style.” I spent three days with these kids and my world was flipped upside down! I saw their hearts.
The motto for this week was “Jesus knows. Jesus sees. Jesus saves.” Boy, was it true!!!! These eleven 10-yr olds snuck their little way into my heart in less than a week. Jesus really does know, see, and save. He used these little children to completely change my heart! I will forever be grateful for the days I could spend with these children!
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”