‘Tis the season of giving, but I find that it is often better to receive. No, I didn’t say that wrong. Stick with me while I explain. I have spent my career as a social worker. While many people think this is a hard job, it’s something I love doing so it’s not hard for me at all. But I have not volunteered often in my life with the exception of serving on boards and committees. I always considered my work as my volunteer time. I willingly give hours of time as a social worker and this allows me to check off my volunteer box and move on. But, I always felt that something was missing with that logic.
My husband and I joined Central eighteen months ago. I loved the church and how much I learned about myself and God while sitting in the worship center. But I was hiding among the congregation, and doing an excellent job of it. I showed up to the services, and checked off another box of things I felt I needed to do. I was also very aware that I used the resources of this church. I checked my son into the Children’s Ministries each week and he experienced his first Xtreme Week this summer (and he can’t wait for his next one!). He also participated in his first competitive basketball and soccer seasons through Central. I understood how many people it takes to make this happen and felt the need to give back. God was pulling on me to do more than fill a seat and check off a volunteering box. I felt he was telling me to get involved because He truly wants more for me.
I found my place at a Serving at Central class by becoming a part of the Involvement Team. I give my time, energy and talents for this Central community through helping other people find where they want to serve. And this is where I begin to receive…..I receive the blessing of joy each time I serve because I have found the place where my talents fit well, and because it’s fun! And I love fun! I receive the blessing of this big church feeling small, because I am part of a community of people that know my name and know my story. I receive the gift of knowing that because I’m giving my time, someone might give theirs so others will have a positive experience and they will want to come to church. I receive the knowledge that I feel closer to Christ each time I serve, and that has made me a better person, wife, mother and child of God.
Here’s where this now gets personal. Have you been checking the box for volunteering? Have you tried to hide in the Worship Center? Or gone straight to your car after service and missed out on the community that’s waiting for you? It’s time to experience more! God has more He wants for you through serving and using your gifts to impact the kingdom. This Christmas is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Here are two easy ways:
- Serve at a Christmas Service: we will have more than 10,000 guests on our campuses for the Christmas Eve Services and you have the opportunity to serve them and experience the fun, the community, and the fulfillment that I have been receiving. Sign up to serve at just one of the 19 services to see what it’s like. You can pick the Children’s ministry, greeting, the café, the bookstore… the list goes on! Find your spot and give it a try this Christmas to experience more than you thought possible. Click here to sign up.
- Adopt-A-Family: Adopt a Family is an annual tradition here at Central, where we go above and beyond to share the Good News and bless those in our community who otherwise would not be able to provide Christmas for their families. At this time, we still have over 250 families needing to be adopted within the next week. Will you invite your neighbors, Life Group, family, or friends to partner with a family in need to provide simple Christmas gifts and make a difference in their lives this Christmas? Click here to sign up.
Choose a place to serve this Christmas season and discover the blessings you will receive when you do!