After any big event I encourage the people involved to type in (or write down) their thoughts and reflections. I want people to get their ideas down about what worked and what didn’t, about ways we could improve and things we could change. This has been my process for years and it helps me to keep my thoughts straight the next time we have a big event. So here are some of the things I have on my mind after this year’s program.
1. Willing Servants Are the Heart Of A Church. The Church is not a building, it is people. Really it is not people, it is willing servants. Honestly, I question the faith of anyone who sits in a chair/pew on Sunday and does nothing more. Serving others selflessly is a trademark of the Christian faith. When someone steps up and helps another person, especially a child, they move beyond mere words of faith into a practicing Christian.
2. Real Joy is Found in Serving. Last week I loved watching some people serve for the first time. (At least the first time since I have been at ACC). They found great joy in being a blessing to other people. Yes, it can be exhausting some nights, but still there is so much joy in giving of ourselves. I rarely talk to anyone who regrets getting involved in ministry. In fact, the main frustration most people have is when the Church is not ready for people to serve. They have bad policies or procedures that hinder their ability to truly serve. I do not know if you can really understand this lesson until you serve.
3. The Church Needs People Willing to Lead. Last week we were blessed to have dozens and dozens of people willing to help. But for every group of people who want to help there needs to be a leader to show them the way. Leadership at its core is not about doing something for the people. It is not about making decisions about everything. Leadership is about equipping people to serve more and in better ways. I thank God for every servant, but I pray he will send more leaders.
4. Small Events Can Make A Big Impression. I have been in leadership so long that I have forgotten how it feels to be a new believer. Watching a young person make a small accomplishment for the Lord can be the building block for bigger accomplishments in the future. One small victory – singing in front of a group, a craft completed, a meal served, or any activity – these can be the first steps on a journey of serving the Lord.
5. Having a Program is Not the Same as Touching a Life. VBS is a great program. It gets people in the door and gives us an opportunity for something greater. Touching a life is when you personally connect with someone. A kind word, an affirming touch, a moment of listening and an assortment of other activities are where lives are changed and molded. It is one thing to ask people to serve and it is something more to have them open up their life to someone else.
The longer I have served in ministry the more I appreciate people willing to lead, to serve and to grow. Last week was a great opportunity for our Church, but it doesn’t end after one week. These lessons are the foundation stones of a great Church. My hope is that this week will be a starting point for a strong future.