I have a case of the Mondays for the first time since January.
I know, it’s a miracle to love Mondays, especially for four months.
The trick, I’ve learned, is to have something to look forward to every Monday night. Since January, my event to look forward to was the college small group that Adam and I led. (In the fall, small group met on Tuesdays and I felt the same about Tuesdays fall semester). Truth be told, it didn’t take long for college small group night to become my favorite night of the week.
Our group has disbanded for the summer – some members have graduated, some members have transferred, and most members have gone home for the summer. And today is the first Monday that I won’t get to see all their amazing faces. I have a true case of the Mondays.
Service is a pretty big theme in the Bible, so I’m pretty serious about it. Old and New Testament are chock full of mandates and calls to service. Service reminds us that our story is part of a bigger story. Service reminds us that our life isn’t about our conveniences, our schedules, and our resources. Service reminds us of our Savior who was the ultimate servant. We talk a lot about that concept here on the blog; it was definitely a running theme for my guest bloggers during the Dear Mom Friend series, as well.
As Christ followers, we all know we’re supposed to serve, and our churches remind us of that often with service days, construction trips, and nursery sign ups. In the past, I found myself signing up for things that did not excite me because I was supposed to. And afterwards, I didn’t even get that, “I feel good that I did that” feeling because the activities that I had signed up for were so draining for me. Let’s just say that for many years, I wasn’t being servant-hearted about my service, I was being obligation-hearted.
Over the last few years I have identified that construction projects (including hammering things AND landscaping things) even for a good cause are absolutely draining for me. I have also accepted that helping out in the nursery and preschool classes are also incredibly draining for me. When I sign up for these type of projects, it’s typically out of guilt and obligation, and it isn’t service at all.
Those types of service projects are draining to me because I am a relator. If I can’t be talking to someone, getting to know their life, what makes them tick, what hurts them, what brings them joy… I’m not energized.
We could argue here that service isn’t all about me (which is true) and sometimes the need is the call, and I might be able to agree with you on that (on occassion) – I’m talking about long-term service commitments in this post, maybe we can talk about this in a future post.
Which brings me to leading this college group. It was like a DREAM for me. It never felt like a service project to me. I got to host people in my home weekly (which I LOVE), cook for them (college students are the most grateful group for free food), and get to know them on a deep and meaningful level. I got to meet some of them outside of group for lunch or coffee. I got to have some of them over for dinner. I got to open my home for laundry duty.
Leading this group was a sweet spot of service for me. It brought me so much joy! I can’t wait for the fall to meet new students and to engage with the ones who stay with us. I can’t wait to get to know them better, learn to love them better, and learn to listen better. I am so thankful that I have this opportunity.
So I’m curious to hear from you:
Do you sign up for service projects out of guilt or out of joy?
What types of service get you excited? Have you found ways to plug into that in your church or local community?