This post was first written on the 9th of October 2013, reflecting back on reasons why I serve, this following a camp with Scripture Union for kids with parents in jail. It’s good to reflect back on this, but also to now, 2 and a half year on to add in additional thoughts, reasons why serving is worth it and my new reflections and understanding of how valuable it truly is.
When first coming to write this, I was thinking about this question – why do I serve?
Why do I do ministry at my church? There are times in the past (not so much now) where I have really had to wonder why week in week out I go into ministry, when there may be no response, no breakthrough, the media breaks on us or kids don’t listen in our teaching. Whether that is youth or kids church, it sucks when there is no revelation of God. When you face opposition from kids causing problems, disrupting others or disrupting you. When media crashes into a heap.
Ministry can be messy. Things will go wrong. Sometimes it sucks and absolutely breaks your heart. There have been times on SU camps where I have seen the most broken kids I have ever known get into punch ups, talks about their hurts and fears, and show a personality so revelatory of the lives they’ve had forced upon them.
But there are also those ridiculously special, beautiful moments in serving where God wows you, even amongst times and things that seem a mess. Theological reasons for serving aside, it’s the moments of pure gold that keep me going, that help me fight on, that stop me from burning out and finding so much joy in service.
I still remember back to my first camp breakaway with SU. It had been a long day, doing activities, playing games, play fighting with the boys. One young guy by the name of Peter wanted to borrow my bible to read. Others wanted us to sit down and read bible stories to them. Kids who’ve been dealt the roughest life I’ve seen wanting to hear stories from the bible. One camp I read them Jonah and effectively put them to sleep.
Back in 2013, back when our old young adults connect group was happening, I remember two of my great friends, both in year 12 at the time, were asking amazing questions and telling us all about how they are on fire for God. How they just want to seek Him and know Him more and more. They both continue to serve faithfully and continue down this journey they begun back in year 12.
There are those moments when you’re sitting in your connect group at youth, where one of the kids comes out with comments about the bible, or God that just blows your mind. Like how do you even know that?!? It’s those moments in kids church, when you’re just sitting there with one of the young guys, not playing the game, and just asking bible trivia questions. Those moments when leading kids worship and the kids themselves are wanting to get up on stage and lead the actions for the songs.
A Tuesday night at media when you’ve been trying to work out lighting, or screen issues and after hours and hours of no breakthrough, everything just works. Everything fits, the lights get fixed, the panels work as desired, you figure out (somehow) DMX.
Those moments when you’re out on the field in a foreign country, Nepal, sledge hammering a foundation and pulling down a house destroyed by the earthquake alongside the local people with a rope. Those moments when the village kids see you coming and perform a song and dance for you and you sing a song (Dhanyabaad Yesu – thank you Jesus) in return. Those moments when you are sitting in a small Nepali church, with a small Nepali woman in front of you sobbing in prayer, without sufficient food to feed her children.
Its reasons like this that I serve. Its reasons like this that I dedicate my Friday nights and oftentimes Sunday mornings to serving the church and serving God. Its the moments where you get breakthrough, those moments where God displays His power, a bit of His heart for the lost, a big display of His glory. Its those moments where people understand and come to comprehend God as the greatest and desire Him themselves. Its reasons like this that I’m seriously considering going into ministry, and likely to the mission field.
It’s these moments that keep you fighting on in ministry, even when it’s hard. It’s these moments where God shows you what He is doing, how He is working, how the Spirit is moving. Serving is worth it, not only because scripture tells us we should, but because God is so glorified and we are so satisfied when we put down our own desires and earnestly seek to serve God wherever we should find ourselves.