Serving in Small Places on Sunday

The Lord's Day is a wonderful day. At the same time, Sundays can often be busy, tiring days. Between meeting the needs of our immediate family and our church family, Sundays often fill quickly and quietly pass as we serve in small places.

Serving others can be draining at times. We know this because we've experienced it. But we've also tasted the sweetness of those times when serving others doesn't deplete us but instead refreshes us.

Why is it that sometimes after serving in small places we walk away drained and empty, but other times, we walk away revitalized and filled? In part, it's when we remember two things:

  1. Why we're serving others
  2. Who we're ultimately serving

Why do we do "small" things like:

  • Take care of little ones in our church nursery?
  • Bring baked goods to seniors in our church family?
  • Cook and deliver meals for families with newborns?
  • Teach children's Sunday School?
  • Wipe tables and sweep floors after fellowship meals?

Do you ever feel as though serving in these small and quiet ways is insignificant or a distraction from something more spiritual?

One part of us knows the truth that serving others in small ways is a good thing and evidence of God's grace at work in us. But there's another part of us that listens to the cunning voice that speaks in a whisper, telling us that this kind of work and service is ordinary, boring, and unspiritual.

Has a wrong division of sacred and ordinary, of worship and service, crept into our thinking?

It's not that we crave wild excitement, adventure, or renown. It's just that ordinary Christian service can sometimes feel altogether mundane. We hear descriptions of radical sacrifice and worship, and all the small, quiet ways we serve can start to feel like they are distracting us from something better, from true spiritual worship.

At times, Sundays can even seem like the most distracting day of the week; we begin to feel this sense of a life divided into compartments with a line separating sacred worship from ordinary service. Have you ever felt this way?

When we do feel this way it might mean we've taken on too much, said "yes" to too many requests, and need to spend more time being still instead of serving. But not always. Much of the time it's just that we've allowed a wrong division of sacred and ordinary, of worship and service, to creep into our thinking. Worship isn't just when we're sitting undistracted in the pew listening to God's Word or when our hands are stretched high during song.

Worship is when we're teaching a toddler how to pray; worship is when we're playing pat-a-cake in the nursery; worship is when we're measuring out coffee grinds in the church kitchen; worship is when we're passing out stickers in Sunday School. Worship is all of life! What is ordinary becomes sacred when we do it as unto the Lord.

Serving in the nursery isn't a distraction from worshiping God, it's a way of worshiping God!

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (1 Pet. 4:10–11).

For many of us, what Christ is calling us to at this precise moment in our lives and in His story is not something grand or noteworthy but rather something small and ordinary.

Have our hearts grown restless or bored in some of the ordinary, unnoticed ways that we serve our church family? Let us hear the voice of our Savior:

"Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me" (Matt. 25:40).

When we measure out coffee grinds or sweep up after fellowship meals or pass out Cheerios to the little ones in the nursery, we're serving the body of Christ, which means we're serving our King Himself.

Ordinary work is kingdom work!

Though our quiet service may not always be risky or radical (and perhaps one day God will call us to something very different), quiet faithfulness and willing service might just be the very thing God has ordained for us today. What about you? Are you an ordinary woman serving in small places? How has God encouraged you?

About the Author

Elisha Galotti

Elisha Galotti

Elisha Galotti spends most of her time mothering her three children in Toronto, Canada, where her husband, Justin, pastors West Toronto Baptist Church. Together they long to see their city won for Christ. Elisha is a lover of the arts … read more …

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