Lay Leader Lines August 2017

August 2nd, 2017 by Kali Lewis

Q: It seems as if we’re always being asked to do something in church, such as serve as an usher, be a liturgist, hold an office, serve on a committee, host the coffee hour after church, or join a class or group of some kind. I’m just an ordinary person with no special talents. I don’t sing very well, and I’m not much of a cook. I have no mechanical or artistic skills, and I’m totally ignorant about computers. I’m pretty shy and not very comfortable greeting people, especially strangers. I get nervous around children, have never taught any classes, can’t sew, and can’t even balance my own checkbook, let alone do anything like keep track of the church finances. How could I possibly do anything around the church?

A: In a mega-church, there are probably enough people available so that every job in the church can be filled by a person with real expertise in that position. The choir director, pianist, organist, praise band members, and soloists are often professionals and are paid to serve in these positions. The church treasurer and financial secretary may well have college degrees in high finance or business administration, and those who host the social hour may have experience in restaurant management or be trained chefs. In a church of this size, however, while we have talented church members, most or all of the church positions are filled by volunteers, often with little formal training which relates to the positions they hold. Thus, while the pianist may well have had piano lessons as a child, he or she may not have majored in music in college. Those who host coffee hour are much more likely to have received their training from their mothers rather than in culinary school or by working in fine-dining restaurants. The same is true of most other church positions. People with modest abilities are needed, even if they aren’t experts in their positions. Actually, most people can be trained to handle tasks with which they have little experience. Most people have had experience in chores such as washing dishes, organizing cupboards, packing boxes, doing yardwork, and dozens of other tasks which are a part of running a church. For most tasks, there are people able to help you or teach you if necessary. Although you might be called to step out of your comfort zone, it will often be by taking tiny steps which won’t be too taxing. Even a shy person can usually manage to smile at another person with out experiencing too much discomfort, and a smile is very useful in making visitors feel welcome, even if you don’t get up the courage to talk to them. It is true that assuming a new position, learning a new skill or doing something you’ve never done before and feel you aren’t likely to do very well, could cause some discomfort. However, stepping outside your comfort zone may be exactly what you need in order  to grow in your relationship with God. In fact, sometimes He seems to deliberately place people in positions where they need to rely on Him to carry them through. Doing so may just stretch them enough so that God can mold them for service beyond anything they ever dreamed they could do. Above all, don’t confuse “can’t” with “won’t”. Often if you say you will, you also find out that you can!