There are a lot of ways you can make a difference and in a lot of different places, but let's focus on 6 ways you can make a difference at cfParis.
Here are six ways you can make a difference at cfParis:
When you commit to serve in one of these areas, you make a difference in the lives of those affected by those areas.
1 & 2: USHERING & GREETING
As an usher or greeter, church attendees and first time guests benefit from your kindness and your warm acknowledgement of their presence. Also, relieving the small stresses of exploring a new church helps participants engage in worship and the message more quickly. Ushers and greeters help families know where to take kids, where to sit and where to find the restrooms. A thoughtful and helpful usher or greeter can make the difference in a guest returning to continue to hear about the love God has for them!
Nothing breaks down barriers and helps people relax more quickly than food and beverage. Jesus was often found relating and ministering to people over these items of hospitality. In fact, much of the time Jesus met physical needs before he met spiritual needs. Serving coffee makes a difference by helping others feel at ease in an environment that is traditionally formal and uncomfortable. In tandem with ushers and greeters, Coffee Team helps strip away pretense that often distracts from the vital message of Christ's love.
At cfParis, the good news of the Gospel will be presented regardless of having a smiling face at the door, the confident guidance of a usher or a hot cup of coffee. But, these things certainly do not detract from Jesus. I like what James, Jesus' step brother, said to church leaders in the book of Acts, "we should not make it difficult for those who are turning to God." And we shouldn't make it difficult. We shouldn't make it difficult for others to approach Jesus and be around other faith filled followers of Jesus! Greeting, ushering and serving coffee make a difference this way.
4, 5 & 6: LITTLES, KIDS & PRETEENS
If you have had any experience in the past with serving in the nursery, take this out of your mind. If you have heard of how taxing, stressful and inconvenient it can be... take this out of your mind. Just like James' encouragement to us, we do not make it difficult for people to draw nearer to God through serving. (And by "nearer" I mean taking more steps, perhaps new or different steps, in your journey of following Jesus.) We have staff and volunteer leaders who prep everything making your serve time with children a breeze. There is a plan. There is a scope and sequence. The lessons are prepped. The supplies are prepped. We huddle 30 minutes before the start of the service, next we take a few minutes to set up the environment for the kids, then we are "open for business" 15 minutes later. Loving on kids is a beautiful thing! They are filled with wonder, excitement, joy and curiosity. They so responsive to just a little bit of encouragement! And that is encouraging. You will get just as much out of serving kids on a Sunday as you would out of a sermon on a Sunday. Besides, you can watch the sermon anytime nowadays, but you can't get 60 minutes to invest into the children anytime. Just sayin :)
HOW CAN I HELP?
The bottom line is that in order for any of us to make a difference, we have to lean into a "what can I do" and "how can I help" mindset. This is one of the maturity steps in learning to be more like Jesus. This is where the rubber meets the road in spiritual growth. In order to grow more in God and in order to make a difference in God's kingdom you have to make that switch. Switch from "What can the church do for me?" to "What can I do to serve the church?".