Serving with purpose
As we were preparing for Encounter I did not imagine how big of an impact it would have on my life. Throughout the preparation period I would come to church and help the Merge leaders by volunteering with entering data as well as editing workshop material. It was starting to become so familiar that I was not expecting to be impacted. On the first day Ceaser preached a sermon titled OUT Serve that really moved me and had me thinking about the reason why I serve. I started to look within myself and question why I help out at church, especially with things that can be tedious and seem unimportant like data entry or serving on the lighting team. Things that sometimes seem small can have a profound effect on the way that the Gospel is received. I began to look at my tasks as service to not just the Mergers but to God, and I realized that that should be my biggest motivation to serve—and to serve well. I now understand that the outcome of my service will affect a life.
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I was also really encouraged by how much work the leaders put in before the event to make sure that it was well-planned and full of meaningful content for all of us. Seeing their commitment and how well the fruits of their labor turned out helped me see that serving is not about me. So many Mergers talked about the impact of the praise and worship, the sermons, the workshops, and the fellowship that they experienced at Encounter. For me, that makes serving all the more worth it.
Encounter changed how I serve others. I do it so that someone else can get what they need, for a life that will be changed.