After attending my church for 5 years, I knew it was time that I get more involved and start serving. Being that I love kids so much, I always imagined that I’d serve in children’s ministry, but that just didn’t feel right at the time.
I kept thinking about my young adults ministry. *That* was my home church. Those were my people. I wanted to give back to the ministry that had changed my life.
But… could I *really* do this? I was the girl who was sick to my stomach terrified of even going to young adult’s to begin with. I was the girl who was quiet, awkward, and struggled to carry a conversation. I was the girl who cried when she’d get home cause it was so hard to make friends.
So could I *really* become a leader in this ministry? I knew I’d grown and come out of my shell a lot. I had friends and could carry conversation. But still I doubted.
Then I listened to a podcast put out by my pastor that was all about serving and addressed every fear and insecurity I had. So I took a step of faith and spoke to my pastor about my interest in serving and now I’ve been serving here for over a year.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned in that time:
1. God Alone Equips You
Before I started serving, I felt really incapable. In some ways I still saw myself as that shy, quiet, awkward girl who first started going to her young adult’s group at church. To picture myself serving there felt really strange, but I also knew I had grown. And I trusted that God would equip me for this, despite how I was feeling.
Are there still days when I feel ill equipped? Absolutely. But it’s in those moments that teach you to let go and trust God to move. In ministry, you can not depend on your own strength, but must rely entirely on the Lord to work through you. You are His vessel. All He asks of you is a willing, surrendered heart.
2. Your Fellow Leaders Are Family (no need to compare)
Full transparency here… I struggled a LOT with comparison when I first started serving. I’d look at my fellow leaders and think, “They’re so much more spiritually mature than I am.” Or “Wow, they really know their Bible!” Or “Goodness, their prayers are powerful!” Or even “I wish I was as extroverted as them.”
Compared to all of them… I felt so small and (again) incapable and introverted. For the first few weeks I kinda felt like an outsider, trying to find where I belonged.
But there’s a few things I learned:
- Some of those leaders expressed that they felt the same way when they first got involved in ministry. We’re all the same, flawed human beings with similar struggles.
- Every person serves their own unique role in the ministry. And that is such a beautiful thing! Sure, someone might know their Bible more than you do. Admire them for that! Or maybe someone is better at organizing events. Support them! You don’t have to be good at everything they’re good at. Just show up and be faithful to do what God has called you to do.
- You’re all on the same team with the same mission – to serve and glorify Christ. Be united with them.
I’m so blessed to be able to serve alongside such amazing people who truly love the Lord. They’ve been a huge blessing to me and have inspired me in so many ways and I feel very thankful to call them friends <3
3. You Will Be Pushed Out of Your Comfort Zone (and it’s worth it)
I love my comfy little bubbles, y’all. I’ve definitely grown so much in being willing to step out of my comfort zone, but it is still hard and comes with anxiety at times. But every. single. time. I see how WORTH IT it is to step out of your comfort zone.
Ministry has forced me to do this constantly. In conversations, prayer, events, and even in something as small as ushering. But every time it’s worth it. Whether it’s just to realize – wow, God really got me through this and I’m more capable than I realized! Or maybe to experience a truly beautiful moment with a hurting person in which you are also being ministered to.
Being pushed out of your comfort zone is going to happen. But you will never regret being a ready and willing vessel for His glory.
4. Satan Really Hates What You’re Doing
I’m not kidding you, after just one week of serving, I started to struggle a lot. All the lies flooding my mind that I was incapable, unworthy, not good enough over and over. There were moments where I almost cried in the back. Moments where I arrived to serve in a bout of anxiety. I didn’t really know what was going on until I began to process it with someone and thought back to when all of it started. Then it all made sense. Others in ministry have also said they experienced spiritual warfare once they stepped into a new ministry.
Take heart! This means Satan is threatened by you. He sees that God is going to use you for His kingdom, so he’s going to look for ways to attack you and make you stumble. Be in the Word, be in prayer, and don’t back down. You’re doing good work for the Lord and He will bless that.
5. Being Present > Completing Tasks
I take my work pretty seriously. If there’s something I need to do, my mind gets activated and all I’ll be focused on is getting it done. There were a couple of nights when I first started serving that I’d be so focused on getting things set up or torn down that I’d miss out on a good conversation. Maybe someone who needed a friend. And I’d feel terrible afterward.
Since then, I’ve gotten a lot better about prioritizing the right things. Yes, the tasks still need to get done, but they can wait a few minutes while I talk with someone.
Be present, give them your attention, pray with them if needed. You’re here for them.
6. Serving Is An Act of Constant Surrender
This is a recent realization I’ve had. When you’re serving, you need to be in constant surrender to the Lord. In conversation, be surrendered. In moments of prayer, be surrendered. In moments that push you out of your comfort zone, be surrendered. It’s all for Him and Him alone and He has put you in this position for a reason. Surrender to His leading and move… or be still if that’s what He’s asking of you.
I hope this was evident in all of my points, but let me be perfectly clear… there is no way I could do any of this on my own strength. There are still days that I struggle with anxiety or being present or feeling incapable, because I’m human. But God continues to grow and stretch me and by His grace, I’m learning all the time.
I’m so thankful to be a part of what the Lord is doing at Young Adults. I love this ministry and these people so much and I’m happy to be here as long as the Lord wants me to be. <3