I have moved over 25 times in my life. My dad was in the Air Force for 21 years. Before that, he was in the Naval reserves and before that, the Marines.
But no matter how many times we moved, my mom always found a way to take us to church. We could have spent the entire 2 years stationed at a particular base looking for the "perfect" one. But after looking at the closest church in the phonebook, we showed up, and signed up to volunteer. I know one thing that my mom always taught me was "bloom where you're planted." And so every church that we went to, we just started serving from week one
For us, church wasn't about the message, or how good the preacher was, or if the worship was the "best" worship we've ever heard. We were just there to get our hands dirty and to serve the body of Christ in whatever way they needed.
I remember at one church, they didn't have any children's ministry. At the time, my brother was 11 and I was 9. Instead of complaining and looking for another church, my mom decided to start one.
At first, they were really hesitant because they didn't think any parents would really get into it (it was the 90's). So they let her start her children's ministry service on the smaller time slot on Sunday night. But then so many kids showed up (over 300 hundred in 2 months), that they bumped her to the prime time during Sunday morning. By the time that we left that church in two years, my mom was honored in front of the whole church (over 1,500 people) for her service to the kids.
I honestly don't understand how people can say "I can't go to church because I don't like the preaching," or "I don't like that church because I don't like the music." Because for me it's not about that, and never has been.
Church has always been about using my gifts and talents to better the community and the body of Christ. For me, it's not about "getting fed" in church, it's about serving your family.
I get energized from serving. I don't get "drained" or "burnt out" from cleaning, organizing the rooms or serving snacks, or watching children.
I could do it every-single Sunday. Do I get tired? Sure. But I just get such a thrill about helping children know about God. I absolutely love serving in the Church because every little thing I do- no matter how small or how large is helping the body do what's it's meant to do- bring people to Jesus.
I am constantly thinking of ways to make the building more hospitable or attractive. Because the more that we take care of the building, the better experience that people have inside. It's just about taking care of God's house and God's people.
I remember as me and my family were walking and hiking in the woods, we started seeing all of these markings on trees. And as we were hiking through the woods I saw more and more markings. I remembered that somebody- a trailblazer- had to lay the path down for us to hike. That trailblazer had to go in the woods and lay down the logs. They had to brush the path open and clear the path and mark it for other people to follow.
Isaiah 40:3 says, "In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." It Kinda reminds me of our job as Christians. We are not just supposed to watch in the game of life. We are not just supposed to warm a pew in the church and get "fed" spiritually through the "best worship." We aren't just supposed to "sit back, relax and enjoy the show."
We're supposed to be in the game. We're supposed be get dirty. We're supposed to be serving. We're supposed to be a trailblazer-marking the trail for someone else.
I was listening to the radio the other day and they had a quote from Charles Spurgeon. Even though I don't know the exact quote of what he said, but the basic gist was: "Christians think that following Jesus is about 'butterflies' but it's really about being Eagles."
That phrase really stuck with me and really touched everything that I believe about living for Jesus.
Christianity is not about a feeling that we get when we hear a good song. It's not about that message that we hear that really "touches" our spirit. Even though those things are awesome sometimes, but for me, living the Jesus-life is not about a feeling- it's about rising up as leaders. It's about being a trailblazer- pioneering something new. It's about reaching out and going above-and-beyond the call of duty. The eagle is not just a majestic bird, it's a symbol of leadership. Because a leader is sometimes lonely. A leader might seem that they are all alone and that they're isolated. Sometimes, the Christian life can be like that. Sometimes, it's lonely to follow Jesus. Sometimes nobody seems to understand us. That's because living for Jesus is the hardest thing you can ever do in your life.
So if you're not serving in the church, and you keep hopping from church-to-church, thinking that you're going to find the "perfect place" to satisfy yourself- just know that your ideal "church" might not exist.
Church was meant to be a place of fellowship, of prayer, of community and serving the family of God.
Be a trailblazer and an eagle, don't just chase "butterflies."
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