Occasionally people will ask me, “What made you decide to become a preacher?” While the ultimate answer is that God led me to this position, I also know that I am the result of several Christians I encountered along the way who help to mold my faith. Today I want to thank a few of those people.
1. The Nursery Workers. Growing up at Church I never spent a Sunday in the worship program. Instead, I was entrusted to volunteer nursery workers during the worship hour. These selfless volunteers enabled my parents to grow and serve in the Church. Dad and mom’s freedom to mature in their faith then led them to teach me at home through word and deed. Obviously, I cannot remember the names of these people, but they made a difference by giving my family a chance to grow in faith.
2. The People Who Donate Time to Teach Children. I cannot count the number of people who volunteered to teach Sunday school, lead children’s Church, and organize events like VBS for students like me. My life was shaped by people who were willing to sacrifice their time to work with other people’s children. I am sure it was not easy as I was a little hyperactive, but they worked with me none the less.
3. The Youth Group Sponsors. Our Church had a youth program on Sunday evenings that the paid youth minister put together. Looking back, I never really thought much about the other four to six people who came those nights. They did activities with us, went to events with us and even seemed genuinely concerned about our lives.
4. The Leadership of the Local Church. While I did not realize it as a young person in the Church, we had elders and deacons who were serving to lead the Church. They gave countless hours to make decisions about things like budgets, staff, selecting teachers, protecting the Church, visiting the sick, along with giving of themselves so that our church could exist.
My life was shaped by people whose names I didn’t know or can’t remember. There were an untold amount of people who served hours to mold and shape me as a believer. Not only did they make an impact on my life, but our Church had several people who went into Bible college and then into full-time ministry. I never had a chance to thank any of these wonderful people, but I am a life that was changed.
The same group of people still exist today. Sure the names have changed, and the methods they use to lead are entirely different, but their impact remains the same. The kingdom of God is moved forward by people willing to give their time to the work of the Lord. We will never know the lives we touch on this side of eternity. Still to all the volunteers out there serving in the local Church I want to say Thank You.