Below is an email I received from a young adult who is joining our volunteer team at The Porch Fort Worth. With her permission, I copied our existing volunteers on my email response (also posted below), and wanted to share the whole exchange with our blog readers as well.
Lately, I have been in great prayer, searching deeper in the word about my spiritual gifts and how I can be a servant leader in those. One question that is resonating within me is how can I serve my brothers and sisters in Christ well and serve others? Specifically, how can I serve The Porch/Porch Team well? How can I serve y'all in a way that you guys as a whole can be built up in Christ? I know that's a broad question, but I want to encompass any possibility of need that y'all might have currently that I can help, whether a specific prayer, encouragement, etc. I'm learning how can I make less of me and more of exalting Him. Thanks friend, and I'm praying for y'all!
Hey XXXX! Thanks for the email…it is the kind of email that is a gift to read and get to respond to!
A couple of thoughts that I hope will encourage as you join our family:
Never change your question.
“The question” I’m referring to is the one you asked three times in your email:“How can I serve?”
What a beautiful question—close your fist around it and never stop asking it. The moment the naturally self-centered drift that tempts us all has its way, the question of our hearts will invariably change to something else, something less Christ-exalting. Keep this question close to you and never let it leave.
No matter what team you’re on or what role you play, “How can I serve?” sounds a lot better from all of us than “How am I being benefitted?” or “How can I be recognized?” does.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4
Never stop your search.
“The search” I’m referring to is the one you talk about in your email; the search you’re already on. “I’ve been in prayer” and ”searching deeper in the Word.”
Prayer and Scripture are primary places you want to go to find answers about what your gifts may be; not to the self-help book section of a bookstore or to the philosophical musings of some TV personality. The One who gave you your gifts is the same one who inspired the text you’re looking to discover them in; that means you’re looking in the right place.
Keep praying, keep talking to others who know you best, keep opening God’s Word, and of course, keep serving and paying attention to what gives you life as you do. While we all take out the proverbial “trash” of organizational life, we are also all in the process of discovering what we enjoy most as we serve others. I’m confident that over time the particular things that “unleash” your gifts the most will become increasingly obvious to you and those around you. May we each be faithful to identify them for each other, encourage each other, and set each other up to use the gifts we’ve been given.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them. – Romans 12:6a
Never grow weary.
Remind yourself as you join the team that you are beginning a marathon, not a sprint. The target for us is simple, but not speedy: Surrendered to God, we are changing the world through the lives of young adults.Only God could do such a thing, and it is not wearisome to Him. Yet He has invited us into the work, and it can grow wearisome to us if we do not remain reliant on His Spirit to power us.
It’s been well said before: “if dependence is your goal, weakness is your advantage.” Run like a person who is relying on Someone Else to help you finish the race, and finish you shall.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9
Grateful for each person on this email and the ways you love one another and serve with diligence. You are changing the world through the lives of young adults. One at a time…our best days are ahead.
Click here if you would like more information about serving at The Porch in Fort Worth or Dallas.