What Sets My Heart on Fire

What Sets My Heart on Fire

By Sammy Waters
In baptism, we are initiated into the body of Christ. We are no longer our own but are now connected to the universal church, the saints who have come before and are yet to come, and to those in the pews - our local congregation. The whole liturgy is beautiful, but my favorite part is where we promise to faithfully participate in the church's ministries through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. We reiterate these vows when we transfer a membership or join a new church. I took these vows on June 10th, 2007, when I was ten years old, and have tried to live up to this very big promise in every church I've been a part of since, including now at White Rock United Methodist Church.

What I couldn't know then was how different this promise would look throughout the various seasons of my life. When I began attending Grace Avenue UMC in Frisco during high school, it was all I could do to drive myself to service each Sunday. My presence is all that I could give. In college at the University of Alabama, I learned I could be a witness to my sorority sisters by leaving the chapter house each Thursday night and walking over to the Wesley Foundation for worship and small groups. My faithfulness served as a witness to others. It's also where I learned that my gifts could be valuable to the church, so I went on to seminary.

Lately, I've been feeling disconnected from these vows. Sure, keeping the ministries of the church running is my job, but does that mean I am living up to the promise I made fifteen years ago? Prayer, presence, gifts, witness. Check, check, check, check. But what about service?

A few weeks ago, I felt the promise renew in me. Due to some scheduling conflicts, I needed to step in and lead a Sunday School class (you may assume I do this every week, but I spend more time supporting our wonderful volunteers, so they feel empowered to lead!). Sitting on the floor with the kids, talking about God's love for us, I remembered why I got into ministry, why I love the church, and why I am a part of a faith community. Sharing God's love with children and youth sets my heart on fire.

There are a million and one ways you could serve in the church and fulfill your baptismal promise. Every time you volunteer with the hospitality team, help clean up the basement after a flood, refill the pencils in the pews, sew a blanket for a newborn baby in the church, lead a Sunday School class, set up for a potluck, run a game at the Fall Festival, print the music for choir, play the offering song, make online worshippers feel welcome, or take communion to our homebound congregants, you are serving your co-members.

The question isn't "Is there a place for me to serve?" but "What sets my heart on fire?"
Posted in

No Comments