Leaving college, I had the opportunity to serve and grow with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at Virginia Tech. Our staff and the chapter as a whole painted a beautiful picture of what it looked like for an eclectic community to follow Jesus together. This made thinking about finding a church outside the college world pretty difficult in comparison.
Then I found Church Downtown. A new church plant in downtown Staunton that met in a movie theater (to this day, I haven’t even been there to see a movie) became my family very quickly. I started attending a community group with several young families with the cutest kids ever. I stepped up immediately to help in the kids’ church. I volunteered to greet people on Sunday mornings.
Within a few months though, I went from willingly serving to carefully scrutinizing the church’s ministry structure. I started of thinking of ways I could lead things better. After all I did come from a great christian fellowship in college.
This is when the Holy Spirit began to gently rear me backwards and ask myself a couple questions:
Why are you serving?
Who are you serving
What is the church?
WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING?!
My heart had completely lost focus of why I started serving. Pride does a lot of damage to community and quickly changes a willing and ready heart to one that says, “I know what’s best.”
As a newcomer to this community, I failed to realize I didn’t know the people in this local church. I didn’t know their needs or how Church Downtown had structured themselves in such a way to meet those needs. I was an outsider trying to take control of people I was a stranger to knowing.
Jesus shows so much grace to his prideful children. He takes the time to show us why he even cares that the church exists. I am so thankful for the humble and serving families and individuals who he has brought into my life here. This church is not perfect, and has no problem announcing that on Sunday mornings, but beautifully speaks of the love it has for God’s created humans.