The Heart Behind Service
Written by Megan Hinkle
Growing up I always loved working and playing with younger children. I enjoyed playing with my younger cousins and at school I couldn’t wait to be old enough to be a Book Buddy when I would get to read to a younger student at school. So it was natural for me to start serving the church by working with children. I would volunteer at vacation bible schools and watch kids when my parents hosted bible studies in our house. And with so many kids at Waypoint, there has been no shortage of opportunities to serve them and their families, from serving in Waypoint Kids on Sunday mornings to babysitting so parents have a chance to get a night out.
But sometimes I have wondered if I’m really serving God? Because I genuinely enjoy being with children, I sometimes worry that I’m not serving in children’s ministry because I love the Lord and want to serve him, but out of selfishness. The Bible makes it clear that God is not just concerned with our actions, but with the motivation in our hearts that leads to our actions. God rebukes the Israelites who perform sacrifices not out of a desire to atone for their sins against the Lord but to complete a ritual that’s always been done and impress others. Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for praying loudly and eloquently so that other people will hear instead of focusing on communicating with God. I know that I don’t want to make these same mistakes but it’s also hard to parse out the motivation for doing something that I enjoy, but that also serves the church.
As I’ve spent time thinking, praying, and talking to people about these questions, my perspective has begun to shift. While God does often call us to step out of our comfort zones in service to Him, to think that I am only serving God if I am doing something difficult or that I don’t enjoy neglects some of the important aspects of God’s character. He is a good and loving Father who gives good gifts to his children, and one of the gifts He has given to me is joy in serving kids and their families. It is a blessing to serve God’s people and simultaneously experience joy and fulfillment and acknowledging this as a gift from God keeps Him at the center of my heart and my actions. Peter reminds me that “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
I’m thankful to God for bringing me to Waypoint Church where I am challenged to love and serve those around me with the talents the Lord has given me and by stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m also thankful to all the parents at Waypoint for raising exceptionally cute children!