Many of us have been serving in our local churches for many years and never referred to it as community service. But times are changing.
When I was young, my dad was on the church board, led the song service, and taught Sunday school. My mother also taught and helped with the women’s missions group. My siblings and I were in church several times each week attending kid’s programs or tagging along with our parents.
One of my favorite memories was packing Christmas, treat boxes to hand out at the door after the Christmas play. Each box contained candy, some peanuts, and an orange.
As an adult, I also taught Sunday school, worked in the nursery, and led praise and worship. And my siblings have all served in their own churches.
However, we saw ourselves as part of a church family where everyone pitched in wholeheartedly and without much fanfare.
Now, I’ve stepped back to let others serve and the dynamic is much different.
Many teenagers ask for documentation to give to their clubs concerning their church service hours. If they come for spring cleanup, to rake leaves in the fall or assist in the nursery, when lots of visitors come for the holidays, they want credit.
Service of the Heart Vs Service for Recognition
I could almost dismiss the attitude of the youth. However, when I heard some older gals referring to washing dishes, after a church banquet as their contribution to community service– I was not impressed.
And I wondered how my children and grandkids viewed their roles in church service. My daughters are in Sunday school leadership. A few of grandchildren help with vacation Bible school and some have gone on inner-city outreaches. Others help set up tables and chairs for monthly get-togethers.
I decided to take a poll and was pleased with their responses. Their church work was a ministry to their Christian family and planting flowers at the library or painting the community recreation center was community service.
Do you serve in your local church? Is it community service or something else?