I love a good story. One of my favorite things to do at 12Stone is sit down and listen to stories. I’m an extrovert so I love the chance to meet someone new and make a new friend. More importantly with every story you learn a little of what has been happening behind the scenes.
It might be the person who was baptized and remarks that they first saw the love of God in action through a greeters warm smile and kind handshake. Or perhaps it is the single mother who struggles with trust but is learning that God is trustworthy – because of the way a kids ministry volunteer serves her baby so well. Then there is the couple who knew their marriage was doomed but decided as a last ditch effort to try a small group – and through the vulnerability and care of the leader that couple experienced hope and restoration. God is at work behind the scenes. Often it is only in the rearview mirror that we can understand what He is doing. (Click to tweet)
When we look behind the scenes we find that there is so much more happening than we could ever imagine. I can not count the number of times we share a story at 12Stone and I hear a volunteer say, “I had no idea…I thought I was just_______.” You can fill in the blank…parking cars, opening a door, handing out coffee or a bulletin, working with students or kids or production equipment. We tend to think about serving as the tangible work I am doing – but there is so much more happening behind the scenes.
At any moment when you chose to give yourself away in service to God and others, know there are 3 things going on behind the scenes:
- God is already at work around you – We don’t bring new ideas to God. No one has ever prayed to God and had God respond, “huh…I had not considered that.” The beginning of the Bible helps highlight the fact that when we enter the scene we are entering an environment where God is already at work. No matter where you show up to serve, it is good to know God already got the party started.
- God will work through you – There is a partnership that happens as we serve God – we give our time and energy, and God gives favor and power. I do not have the ability to change a life – only God can do that. However God’s method of showing up, changing lives and making Himself known is often through men and women who have chosen to pick up the towel of service.
- God will work in you – The bigger the work God wants to do through you, the greater the work God will first do in you. (Click to tweet) Our focus is often on the things we can do to make a difference, while God’s greatest work is often the internal work of transformation that happens as we serve.
There is always more happening than we could have imagined. You might have thought you were just passing an offering basket or singing songs or serving in an office. In reality you were connecting people to the living God of the universe. Your tangible acts of service are the tool God uses as He works behind the scenes.