The doorbell was ringing and someone was knocking repeatedly. Well, that is what Julie told me when she woke me up! The clock showed 5:40 AM, which my body knew immediately was a half an hour before my alarm was set to go off. Yet, I could hear the knocking and went to check.
Standing on our front porch, with tears streaming down her face, was a young girl looking for her mom. Along with her older brother, the three of them had joined an early-morning running and exercise group, known as a boot camp, and had made it to our church from their starting point at the parking lot of the Baptist church. Her brother had run ahead and she was left behind.
The story turns out great. She calmed down immediately while sitting on our front porch and left her mom a voicemail on her phone. We talked about Middle School and playing basketball and soon enough we could hear the call of her mother through the trees a block away.
It happens. We get separated from the crowd. Sometimes our brothers run off. It unsettles us. It should. We were made to run together. We are supposed to travel in the company of others. So, the young girl standing on our steps could have been any of us and maybe has been us, at one point or another. What did she need in that moment?
Really, this same scene is played out every week at the front door of our church. People walk up looking to attend worship, or our youth or children's ministries, or they come looking for help with food or clothes. All them are looking to connect. All them are looking for someone to travel with. God has literally made us to help them. We are made to connect. As Christians, we are commanded to be those who open the front doors of the church and welcome them. Serving them with hospitality and compassion, connecting them and offering comfort, showing them that better days are ahead; this is what it means to serve through the church.
This is exactly what Ministry Sunday on August 28 is about - showing us where and how our time and care can help put the world back together for the people who come to our church. We will hear from volunteer Team Leaders in 8 main areas: hospitality, care ministry, students, children, office administration, worship, events and missions.
People walk up every week needing the same thing our new friend did that morning: to be reassured they were in a safe place, to be called by name, to have someone care about them, and to know that they could be reconnected to the best stuff of life. Serving on ministry teams is what it means to be the church.
Grace and peace, Scott