Serving Our Community
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
(2 Corinthians 8:9, ESV)
An image that continues to be in my mind since Advent and Christmas is that Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20.28). One of His primary demonstrations of this reality was the washing of His disciples’ feet; when He was about to go to the cross for them, He instead took the lowest position to serve them. And, now, as we study the seven signs in the gospel of John, we see that all the miracles Jesus performed were not to gain attention but to enhance the faith of the individual; His miracles were more about serving than about getting attention.
We, as a church family, have set out to be Christ-Centred and Community-Serving. We focus easily on the first; it is quite natural for us believers to centre around Christ and the gospel (or at least to comfortably talk about it). But, the second, serving our community - a much greater challenge; to truly put others ahead of ourselves is a most difficult task.
As NCC, we value marriages and families - working to support and encourage the effort towards health in these relationships. We value children, youth, and young adults - working towards making Christ practical to them and to drawing them towards church rather making them feel like they do not belong. NCC is known to be welcoming (which is a great strength!), but how are we integrating people into our lives? Let us work to engage with one another, bringing encouragement but more so inter-connecting our lives. We serve our church family by being present and active alongside each other.
But, serving within is only the first part - we also desire to reach out / to serve our neighbours and community (particularly those who do not know Christ). Our youth are heading this Sunday to Vancouver and area to serve; our prayer is for the opening of their hearts but that they also would bring encouragement to those they minister to. Through our Vacation Bible School, involvement in Echo Lake Bible Camp, opening our facility to Mapes Baptist’s archery program, and other actions, we work to serve our young people. We work to use what God has entrusted us to offer benevolence and opportunity to those around us. We work to represent and communicate the gospel through what we do and say.
What does it mean for each of us to serve our neighbour? Is there someone God has been laying on our heart? How can we encourage another? Which neighbour could use a hand? Are we demonstrating Christ through acts of service? Do we put our time and resources where our mouth is?
Let us be people who serve others.