Doug Creamer: Work to be done
The last thing I want to do is get up early on a Saturday morning. I get up early every day during the week; just give me a chance to catch up on all that missing sleep. Not last Saturday morning…there was a church-wide workday scheduled. Granted, I did sleep in later than a regular workday, but it was still too early for a Saturday morning.
Yawning a few times, I stumbled out of bed and got myself ready to help out at church. We had a good turnout and people got busy cleaning things up at God’s house. Closets got cleaned out and organized. Some of the classrooms and the kitchen also got some attention from the church members.
Then there was some outside work that needed our attention too. The gutters were cleaned, the bushes were trimmed, weeds were pulled or sprayed, and some fresh spring flowers were planted. We all worked together to get things cleaned up around the church.
It is hard to step back and think about the first impression we might make on visitors. Guests notice so much that we can overlook when it is our place of worship. We are used to things a certain way and don’t notice what visitors might see. So everything from the parking lot to the front door and the entryway can create a positive or a negative impression on people.
Something like fresh pine needles around the flower beds can leave a big impression on someone like me, who loves gardening and the outdoors. Someone once told me that having soft toilet paper in a clean restroom made a big impression on them. I have been a guest in many churches and it is amazing the things that stick with you about a church.
One of the most important jobs at making that positive first impression is having a friendly greeter at the door. I can’t tell you how many churches I have attended where no one spoke to me…it was my first and last visit to those churches. I have known some guys whose calling was to be a greeter. They had a way of making everyone feel special and wanted. A few of those guys have gone to heaven, where I am sure they will be waiting to greet people as they arrive. I can’t wait to see them again.
I worked outside last Saturday. I love working in the dirt. It felt good to help make God’s house look nicer, not just for ourselves, but for the visitors too. The pastor came out to check on our progress and jumped right in helping to get some of the work done. He told me that he wasn’t a big fan of doing outside work, but that didn’t stop him from jumping in and helping to get the work done.
I think there is an important lesson right there. It doesn’t matter if you are especially good at a task, if there is work that needs to be done, just jump in and give a hand. I’m not especially good at evangelism, but we are going to have an outreach night and I plan to be there. I don’t think I will scare anyone away and maybe my warm smile might help open a door. Maybe you think you can’t pray out loud very well, but it might be your prayer that touches someone deep inside. Sometimes God is just looking for someone who is willing.
I imagine if you look around your church you will discover something that needs to be done. There is always a need in the children’s area, and you don’t have to be a Bible scholar to help out. Everyone can pray, granted, some are better than others, but God listens to both. Maybe you are like my mother-in-law, who is one of the best cooks around. I would gladly stand in line to eat your food at a potluck meal. Maybe you are the person who sets up and cleans up on communion Sunday…thanks!
I want to encourage you to get connected, to find a place where you can help around your church. I promise you there is something you can do that will make a positive difference. Some things you might try are just to help out in a pinch, but there are some things I assure you that you were born to do. It makes you feel good and you are a blessing to others. Step out, take that risk, the church needs your help to make God’s house a place where the lost can find a home.
Contact Doug at email@example.com