I was sitting in my office, eavesdropping on my friends on the couches outside my door. It wasn’t the bad kind of eavesdropping. I mean, my door was open; they knew I was there.
I heard them discussing Praise Parkway, our church’s children’s worship service. Though they had some great kids serving every Sunday morning, the program needed an adult’s oversight and guidance. And they didn’t know anyone who was interested.
I’d recently accepted that there was no way for me to be involved in our worship arts ministry. Even if I’d gotten up the nerve to audition for the praise band, I wouldn’t be able to make the time commitment. Not now, at least.
But now my friends were talking about a team of volunteers who put together a worship service every Sunday. They needed help – and the commitment fit into my schedule.
So I hollered out my door, “I could do it!”
I didn’t really know what I was signing up for, but something compelled me that afternoon – and I said yes.
I said yes to working with older kids to serve younger kids. Every single Sunday morning.
I don’t know why. I don’t really like kids. (I know. That sounds awful. But it’s true and relevant to this story!) And I certainly never desired to work with middle school kids. Middle school kids! Nobody likes those guys! But that’s who I volunteered to serve with. (Every single Sunday morning.)
When I spontaneously said yes to that ministry, I thought I was going to be serving the elementary kids. But it turned out that wasn’t the ministry God was calling me to.
Nope. He was calling me to lead and serve the team of middle school students who work in Praise Parkway. The quirky ones, the occasionally awkward ones, the hyper ones and the ones who are most certainly middle school students. (You know, those kids I didn’t want to hang out with?)
And I love them.
I love serving with them.
I love praying with them.
I love listening to them talk to each other.
I love talking to them about the latest YA novel we’ve all read.
And I really love it when they talk to me about their lives.
If I’d taken time to think about it that day in my office, I probably wouldn’t have said yes. I mean, I didn’t have time for another “thing.” I was having trouble juggling two jobs, and I already served in two other areas at church. I was overwhelmed and conflicted about what was more important in just about every area of my life. (All I knew was that cooking dinner was nowhere near the most important – and yet those people at my house kept expecting me to do it anyway!)
I didn’t really have it together. I wasn’t sure what my future looked like. And I really had no interest in middle school kids. But I said yes anyway.
It has changed my life and has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (And now I have an excuse for all those YA books I love to read, right?)
Mary Carver is a writer, church planter, wife and mom. She’s also a recovering perfectionist who loves Jesus, her family and books, watches too much TV, and believes M&Ms are a love language. Mary writes about her imperfect life with humor and honesty, encouraging women to give up on perfect and get on with life at www.givinguponperfect.com.