Why We Serve: Finding Your Passion for Service, Pt. 4

Image courtesty of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net

During the months of January and February, I’m teaching a workshop at my church about finding your service passion. After we spend a few sessions defining our service passion, we will be creating vision boards to help us focus our efforts on the right areas to support our service.  This blog will provide brief summaries of the previous classes in order to help people stay up to date if they can’t attend or have missed a session.

Previous Posts In the Series:

Last week, we looked at how and who we will serve. If you didn’t get the How or Who handouts, contact me here, and I’ll email them to you.

The Spirit’s Prompting

Why do you want to serve? We know we’re called to serve as Christians, but we need to know our own personal why. What draws us to a special area? If you’re like me, it’s easy to feel pulled to serve in more areas than I can handle. If this is you, either you say yes to everything or you hesitate in your decision-making and never choose. Neither choice is good. God wants us to serve.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10

Part of the goal of this series is to help you find a focus, so you’ll know when to say yes and when to say no. If you’ve followed the posts, so far, we’ve been exploring how the Spirit can lead you to this answer. As we looked at the words list for How and for Who last week, we needed to be open to circling any words that spoke to us–EVEN IF WE DIDN’T KNOW WHY. That’s important.

Now, we want to look at another list to discover WHY we serve.

The Why

Our reason for serving comes from our personal values. After identifying your values, we can look at how the How, Who, and Why combine into a mission statement for our service.

 

Below is a list of typical values. Don’t think too hard about it, just choose your top three to five. There are several that are similar, so you might want to read through the entire list before making your selections.

 

Your Service Mission Statement

Now that you have your values identified, you can begin to put together your mission statement.

 

Further Definition

Another tool that can help you identify how to proceed is to evaluate the following areas of your life.  Score each area from 1-10 with 1 indicating it’s non-existent in your current situation and 10 indicating you are extremely happy in that area. Then look at the areas with the lower scores. Can you use the How, Who, and Why to build up one of your weaker areas?

  • Social
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Career
  • Relationship
  • Friends
  • Money
  • Security
  • Other

What Do You Do Now?

Still not sure about your focus? That’s ok. Take some time and pray about it.

Also, be on the look out for images that speak to you, whether in magazines, on the internet, or around you. Take a picture of the image or pull it from the magazine or internet and hang on to it. You don’t have to know why the image speaks to you, just that it does. This is the beginning of your Vision Board.

Have you developed a Mission Statement or narrowed down your How, Why, or Who? Please share in the Comments on this post. I can’t wait to see what everyone is discovering!

 

 

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My Daily Balancing Act

We discovered these rocks on the shore in Rhode Island. There were hundreds of these stacks, balanced against the winds from the ocean. © Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved.

A few days ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to say in this post. Today, the desire to say it is gone. There are other needs pressing on me, and I don’t know whether I’m ready to share them.

I know, I know, I’ve been an open book about the struggles of my life, but most of those posts talk about situations in my past. Many of them quite a few years ago.

I’ve come to a point in my story where the posts have caught up to real time. To now. Today. That means the stories I’m sharing are ones I’m experiencing. The people they affect are dealing with them now. There are parts I can’t disclose, yet.

That makes the goals of my posts a bit harder to share. The outcomes are unknown. Yes, I trust God to take care of us, but everything I’ve been through has shown me that His way is often a way I can’t begin to imagine. He doesn’t always give us the easy outcome. He has a long-term perspective that I can’t know or see. To be honest, that frightens me when I stop to think about it.

So I don’t stop and think about it.

There’s enough going on in our lives to keep me from focusing on things I can’t change. Thankfully, I’ve never been much of a worrier. I’m a doer. I prefer to be on the move, headed toward a goal. And that goal, for now, is to get through this day. To get through the next day. To help my grandchildren cope with this unfair situation. To find time to spend with my husband, time separate from the grandchildren. To find time to focus on the rest of our family.

AND, to make sure I take time for me, so I’m the person they need.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

It’s not easy. It’s a balancing act. Most days it feels like the rocks in this picture, balanced against all odds. Like these rocks, I will persevere. I will stand against the elements and time. If nothing else, my story has taught me blessings will come. So, I wait and balance.

It’s what I do…for now.

Strength In Our Weaknesses

DSC_1853 - CopyBut Moses replied to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent-either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant-because I am slow and hesitant of speech.”  Exodus 4:10

I hated giving presentations in front of my classmates. In the seventh grade, after one knee-knocking report, a friend told me, “You were as white as a ghost.”

In the ninth grade, a teacher called on me, but first admonished the class, “Now, everyone be quiet because Barbara has a soft voice, and we need to hear her.” I wanted to crawl under my seat.

If you know me now, you’re probably wondering how I could be the child in these two instances. I am, but I’m nothing like that now. In fact, my career involves speaking in front of people ALL. OF. THE. TIME. I’ve spoken to groups ranging in size from 3 people to an entire auditorium filled with standing room only.

I got over my fears.  Not quickly, but I did begin to face and deal with those fears by the time I was twenty.

Sometimes, God calls us to tasks we don’t understand, much less want to do. The Bible is full of people like that. Why does God delight in taking us into the uncomfortable? So, He can demonstrate his power through our weakness. People will not doubt the message came from Him when he uses someone in a powerful way that goes against their nature.

Here are some examples:

  • Moses
  • Simon Peter
  • Sarah
  • Esther
  • Naomi
  • Jonah

Who else can you name who found their calling through God’s power rather than their own?