Why should we serve, you might ask? Aren’t our lives busy enough? Let me give you three good reasons why Jesus calls us to serve:
1. We serve others to show compassion.
2. We serve others to be transformed.
3. Jesus commands us to serve.
About 15 years ago, I felt called to volunteer at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) in Marysville, Ohio. At the time, I lived a couple of miles from the prison and really felt a pull toward serving there.
I called the prison and didn’t ever hear back. A few months later, I found out that there was prison ministry happening at the ORW through Vineyard Columbus! I filled out the long, state-volunteer application. I did a half-day training at the church, and then I waited. It was more than nine months before I got approved to volunteer.
When I finally stepped into the ORW, I wondered if it was going to be worth all the waiting and frustration. (I’m an impatient person so the long wait had been discouraging and frustrating.)
The first of many things I was involved in at the prison was an Alpha for about 25 women. It was amazing. These women who were hardened by trauma, rough living, crime, and life in prison, asked some of the most innocent and curious questions about faith in Jesus. Transformation happened. In the inmates and in myself and the other leaders. Most of these women came because they knew there would be junk food to eat, but they came back week after week to be listened to and to hear more about Jesus.
Some weeks, I would show up at the entrance building at the ORW and would be turned away because there was a problem or there was no one to escort us on grounds. That was frustrating. But I learned that God teaches me in the frustration and the waiting and the bureaucracy of the prison.
I learned a lot through serving and I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about serving to give it a try. Vineyard Columbus has dozens of ministries and there is truly something for everyone.
Why should we serve, you might ask? Aren’t our lives busy enough? Let me give you three good reasons why Jesus calls us to serve.
We serve others to show compassion. Serving is an outward-focused activity. We’re thinking of and caring for others. Whether we’re serving in the food pantry or children’s ministry, our service makes us more aware of the world around us. We can see and experience the struggle of others in a way that helps us have a clearer view of the world.
We serve others to be transformed. If I had given up and never served in the prison, I would have missed out on my own transformation and personal growth. We can’t learn and grow and change on our own. We learn and grow and change the most when we are walking alongside others who are different from ourselves.
Jesus commands us to serve. Jesus came “not to be served but to serve others” (Mark 10:45). Not everyone is meant to serve in every area of ministry, but we are commanded to serve each other and to “spur one another toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). Consider how you might put these two verses into practice. When you serve with others from our church, you also build community.
If you would like to get more involved, there are several ways to find your calling and start serving at Vineyard Columbus in the coming weeks.
- Aug. 21 – The First Serve Ministry Fair will be after every service at every campus. Check out ministries who need your help. My philosophy is that you can always try anything once. Check it out and find your fit!
- Oct. 1 – We’ll unveil our new “Serve” page on our website. You’ll be able to see all our volunteer opportunities in one place.
- Or you can reach out to my team and we’ll do our best to help you find your fit. Call 614-259-5313 or email email@example.com. We would love to speak with you!