Last Sunday, our church participated in our first congregation-wide Service Day. Our leaders asked our members to consider two questions:
- What is God doing in our community?
- And how can we join Him there?
In response to these questions, we prepared a host of service projects and made plans to move out into the Huntsville community in the name of Jesus. We gathered for worship at our usual time, dressed in service attire. At the final amen, we set out to serve; here are a few of the projects we were engaged in:
- Winterizing homes for shut-ins and widows
- Hospital visitation and care baskets for ER families
- Yard work and facility repair at 305 8th Street, a residence home for the mentally disabled
- Landscaping at the Arc of Madison
- Installation of a wheelchair ramp at Dayspring Christian Counseling Center in Owens Cross Roads
- Putting on a Family FunFest in the New Hope community at New Hope Church of Christ
My family was part of the team that worked at New Hope. We set up a ton of games, children’s inflatables, and prize areas. We had been advertising throughout the community, but we also had been using plenty of personal connections to help get the word out. For the past few years, we’ve been serving in the New Hope Care Center to help provide weekend and Thanksgiving meals for children on the subsidized lunch program. This gave us a greater opportunity to serve an even greater number of families with our FunFest project.
The day was a huge success. Scores of kids came through to enjoy the games. My family was in charge of the frisbee toss and we had a blast visiting with a lot of new friends and passing out candy. Afterward, we enjoyed a great devotional time led by our Children’s Ministers followed by a meal with members of the New Hope church and their guests.
We had been telling our kids all along that we were going to serve, not to play. This was a little hard for them to understand at first, seeing as how they’ve been participating in our church’s version of FunFest for the past few years. But they quickly got into it and we were really thankful for this opportunity to serve together as a family.
Today was our church’s FunFest, a similar event with inflatables, games, trunk or treat candy, and a devotional. Instead of serving, though, we were there as consumers, enjoying a glorious afternoon for our family thanks to the hard work of our Children’s Ministry leaders. We even saw some familiar faces we recognized from last week; it seems that word spreads when it comes to good FunFest events!
On the way to the truck as the sun was going down, Joshua said something that made me proud. His bag was loaded down with candy and he was covered in sweat after playing with his friends on the back lawn. But he turned to me and said, “Dad, this was a lot of fun. But serving was better.”
Glad to know he gets it.