How many of ya’ll, in one capacity or another, serve at church?
Be it after service trash pick up, volunteering in the nursery, teaching a bible study class, or any number of other jobs.
How did you come into your service position? Did your heart lead you into volunteering? Were you asked to fill a certain position? Perhaps you were blind sided or suckered into something?
How does your service at church affect your relationship with said church?
About a year ago the church we attend was advertising in the weekly bulletin that they were in need of people to volunteer to help out with baptisms. This service required a commitment on one sunday per month with the occasional fill-in.
Chris and I felt our hearts being lead to this.
We promptly went to talk with the lady who organizes all of the baptism attendants, communion set up and cleanup attendants, and the greeters and ushers.
She promptly informed us that she actually had 4 couples already in place for the baptism team. However, she was looking for a couple to be committed to the 5th Sunday baptisms and occasional fill-in. PERFECT! We both eagerly accepted.
With 4 kids, it is next to impossible to commit to anything long-term. This schedule seemed like a perfect fit for us. It put us in a position where we were able to service people and the church.
And for a few months we rocked along filling in occasionally and serving on “our” Sundays. PERFECT.
Then, the lady who organizes all of this called me with a bit of a delima. She’d had a communion clean up person quit and she was in need of someone to fill the position one Sunday per month.
As we discussed it, I explained that with 4 kids and a husband who often works 12+ hours a day, 5-6 and sometimes 7 days per week, we did not want to be put into the position on a “full-time” capacity. BUT we did not mind picking up the slack until she could fill the position permanently.
Six months later we are still on the schedule. Even after we had another conversation with the lady about not putting us on the schedule for the summer.
Then a month or so after we got hooked into more “volunteering”, I got a post card from the director of the church’s nursery.
The post card said that Chris and I had been “volunteered” to serve in the nursery one Sunday per month.
Doesn’t seem like much? However, when you add it all up Chris and I are often “volunteering” 3-4 Sundays per month.
That leaves us the ability to attend worship and service one Sunday a month, if we are lucky.
All of our “volunteering” has become such a burden and chore that we dread going to church. We now look for reasons to not go.
All of the things that we loved about going to this church has been stripped away from us, one Sunday at a time.
Mostly though, all of the “volunteering” doesn’t make me feel any closer to the Lord. In fact, it does the opposite. It makes me resentful and it makes me feel used.
I even tried to explain it to the lady who is director over the church nursery. I point-blank told her “I don’t like kids.” I was met with a laugh and retort of “but you have 4 kids”.
True. And I love my kids dearly!
I am not saying that I dislike your kids or that I don’t like her kids.
What I am saying is I spend 7 days per week, 4 weeks per month, 52 weeks per year, 12 months per year, 365 days per year living and dealing with yelling, screaming, whining, crying, tattling kids.
My idea of communing with the Lord does not involve being trapped in a 15 X 15 foot room with 30 two-year olds.
I do not now, nor have I ever liked or wanted to be in a large group of small children.
It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me anxious. It makes me panicky. To the point that instead of loving this kids and teaching them about the Lord’s love, I become shaky, short of breath and bitchy.
That is not how I want to experience the Lord. And I guarantee you this is not the way I want any child to experience the Lord.
Chris and I have made the decision to avoid church for the rest of the summer.
Maybe this is completely selfish of us.
But all of this “volunteering” has done little, if anything, for growing my relationship with the Lord.
And isn’t growing and nurturing a relationship with the Lord what attending church is really supposed to be about?