Occasionally, when I want to know the meaning of a word or phrase, I will look it up in a dictionary; either the ‘old-fashioned’ printed page in a book or online. So, the other day I looked up the word ‘serve’ to see what they said. With thanks to Merriam-Webster.com, one particular definition stood out to me. The transitive verb offering caught my eye: “to furnish or supply with something needed or desired.” Then, I got to thinking….
There’s an entire economy built around this definition (the service industry). This encompasses things like the hospitality industry (hotels, motels, etc.), the financial services industry (insurance, money management, etc.), and even the restaurant industry (wait staff, hosts, chefs, etc.) and many, many more. Another industry that bears mention is the nonprofit world, of which churches are a part.
Many of these organizations provide valuable benefits to untold numbers of people as they operate. But, there is no way possible that they could do this without the tireless, selfless efforts of a multitude of people-both visible and behind-the-scenes. Here at Gateway, it may surprise you to learn that for weekend services, on average, 150 people per week are serving in the fashion of the definition above...folks, that’s a small army!!
So where do all these people serve? They are Musicians, Vocalists, Tech Team members, Ushers, Greeters, Parking Attendants, Cafe servers, Teachers and Aides, Youth Leaders, Finance folks, Prayer Team, Security and Medical personnel and more; this is just for worship services. There are also roughly as many who serve during the week-Life Group leaders, Meal preparers, and various other posts not mentioned. That’s almost 300 people who God is using or has at the ready, to ‘furnish or supply’ a clear pathway for others to hear the Gospel in some way-each week. And what I just described is repeated over-and-over-again, in churches across the country and even in your backyard.
That’s humbling when you think about it. But, a question comes to mind...have you asked yourself when the last time was that you tirelessly, selflessly ‘furnished or supplied…’ something needed or desired, for someone else? I’m convicted as I write this, because at times I am worried about one person instead of others...yes, that’d be ME. Just as Christ himself came to earth to serve and be a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28), I am to have that same attitude. Let’s all strive for tireless, selfless service to and for others, during this year’s Holiday Season.