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This is where I belong

I recently took a month long break from the high school ministry while I ministered almost full-time to my family and my home before my daughter’s wedding. I missed seeing people every week and I got some emails that I was missed but I was very busy. Then the moment came and I was finally free to start back.

I arrived at the Saturday evening service about 20 minutes early for the meeting I was told about. I met another young man who was new and was asking about the same meeting. There wasn’t a meeting that night, at least not a formal one. I grabbed the new guy and we went over to where some leaders were looking at the “sheets”. Those are the printouts where they put what they will do during the service. So the new guy and I were told what we could do to help out.

Meanwhile, they were having a barbeque for the kids. They were playing music and talking in groups. I felt a little shy and awkward since it had been so long since I had been there. Actually, I normally feel a little shy and awkward anyway. So why do I do it?

I’ve been working really hard at my new job and I still have trouble getting to my chores at home. I feel tired in the evenings and weekends are my time off. I work hard to get to a service in the main building, so why would I spend another two hours at the high school service?

Because that is where I belong. This what I was meant to do. Sure sometimes I’m embarrassed, or uncomfortable, or feel unneeded or unsure of how to do anything. Sure sometimes I don’t really know anyone or might feel left out. In which case, I fit right in with teenagers.

But when the service started and the kids came in, the music started and things felt a little more normal. Then my friend came in and gave me a big hug and told me how much she missed me. She and I caught up on her life in just a few minutes before she went to sit with her friends. Yes, I remember this place.

The worship started and God spoke to my heart. There were three songs that I hadn’t heard before. I spent those three songs worshiping God and praising him for this place. This is where I belong. This is what I’m meant to do. To see with God’s love the people gathered in this room, to pray for them, to love them.

I’ve spent time in different ministries, all of which tug at my heart. I love the three year olds. They have a special place in my life. I spent three years working with my two daughters – they were in the 4-5 year old rooms and I was in the 3 year old room. We would come out in for the group singing and dance and sing and laugh with the children. We still do the motions to some songs together.

I’ve gone to Miracle Ranch in Mexico and played with the boys at the orphanage. It is a joy to my heart to go, regardless of the long drive and long day. I got a passport so that I could continue to go.

I’ve also helped some with Psalm 139 ministry and special occasions like Easter or Christmas when they need help with extra services and kids. Once I helped with the Mercy Me concert. My job was cleaning up afterward. With my women’s small group I have helped with the motel ministry. With my teen small group I have helped at a nursing home and the Salvation Army ministry.

Once my small group had a sleep over and we went to the store for snacks. We saw someone who attends our church so we said hi and he asked for our help. My girls had a blast walking up and down the aisles getting everything he needed and helping him check out. Then we stayed with him at the bus stop until his bus took him home. The girls said it was the best sleepover ever!

There are so many things to do at a church or a community to help those in need. Praying with and for others. Smiling and giving words of encouragement to others. Where do you belong?

Romans 12:6 God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. 7 If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. 8 If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.

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