Sometimes I miss going to church. I find myself daydreaming about enjoying a hot cup of coffee with the smell of bacon wafting through a quiet house. I imagine my kids freshly bathed and dressed to match (coordinating outfits, not actual matching outfits). I wonder what it would be to enter the church, gather my bulletin, and find a seat. To close my eyes and raise my hands without concern for the order of service of how many greeters were also able to take up the offering. To stay in my seat and soak in the beauty of God’s presence I often feel after worshiping with my church family. Brutal honesty, sometimes I miss ‘just going’ to church.
There is sacrifice in serving. I sense we are only supposed to talk about the blessings in our call, but I have never been one to say what is supposed to be said.
Six years ago, God called me into full time church ministry. Director of Student Ministries would be my title, but as most New England church staff knows, it was a flexible job description from the start. I have gotten to take part in Welcome Team Ministry, Worship Team Ministry, Building Decor/Design Ministry, Kids ministry (it was a short stint I know the kids are grateful is over), and have led dozens of mission’s trips, camps, and retreats. Church ministry is full and you’re really only hindered by your ability to say ‘no’.
I somewhat anticipated the weekly change to my schedule, from stay at home mom to office hours and staff meetings, but I didn’t grasp how much church would change for me once I came on staff. Church would become my place of employment, and with that role would come responsibilities and sacrifices.
While other families might enjoy traditions of Sunday breakfasts, or Sunday afternoon naps, I would be committed to drive through breakfast and Sunday evening programs. My Sundays would no longer be my Sabbath since I would be spending them running between the Welcome Table, morning announcements, and teaching the student class. I would have to become intentional to set aside another day for Sabbath and rest. Friendships with church friends would take a lot more planning since Sunday morning fellowship time would be spent with guests and students.
Sundays may never be what they used to be and there are moments when I will miss just going to church, but then a volunteer steps into my office to deliver the coffee he gifts me EVERY TIME he leads worship. I look up to see all of the people who serve in our church every Sunday, in addition to their other full time jobs and family responsibilities. People who give their Sundays without a paycheck or a title. Suddenly perspective punches me in the face, and I begin to see things with greater clarity. I get to! While I might still have selfish dreams about coming and going from second service in ripped jeans, I can honestly say I am grateful that God let’s me serve in my church that I love!