Monday, September 17, 2007

Service Project Sunday

I received a voicemail this morning saying, "Donnie, thanks for challenging us with biblical preaching on Sunday morning and then challenging us to go out and do it." I think that's a good description of what happened on Sunday.

Sunday morning we met at 9:00 and I preached on service, we shared communion and then went to City Hall to help with the final clean-up efforts of the Festival on the Trails. I thought we'd be picking up trash, but there wasn't much trash left for us to pick-up. Instead, we picked up what little trash was still on the ground and helped take down the barriers used for crowd control. We worked from about 10:00-11:30. While the work wasn't very strenuous (in fact Nate Warren pointed out it was easier to pick up the park then tear down our equipment on a regular Sunday morning), it was good to be outside on a beautiful day and working alongside others.

After we were done, we spent about 10 minutes reflecting together on the experience, asking "where did you see God today?" I experienced God teaching me humility. I had the thought that we'd be picking up truckloads of trash and that we'd be able to pat ourselves on the back knowing downtown would still be a dump without the heroic efforts of TFC! Instead, we arrived to see most of the trash was picked up and that we were helping city employees with their final tear-down efforts.

The point is this: service is not about recognition, it's about humility. We weren't doing that so the city could say, "thank goodness for Trinity Family, where would we be without that church?" Instead, we were doing this as a way to shape us into servants and a way to give to our community, even if it's done in relative anonymity. Service always does as much (if not more) for the one serving than the one being served.

I also pointed out on Sunday that one year ago we were having our big 1st birthday celebration. Now, a year later, rather than saying to Gardner "come to us" we were saying "we're coming to serve you." There has been a huge philosophical shift that God has been working in my life.

I also knew that when we do something different like this, especially something where we're asking for extra effort, we probably won't have everyone on board. Which was the case on Sunday, we had a crowd about half the usual size. While I'm a bit disappointed that half our congregation bailed, I'm really pumped for those who allowed God to shape them in this unique way.

To see more pictures, click here. You'll have to register, but it's no big deal.

Update - After writing my blog entry, David Brush sent me his entry, which is much more eloquent. link

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