Worship, Serve, Learn: Navigating the Options
Have you ever noticed we have a lot going on here on Sunday mornings? There are opportunities to worship, to serve, and to learn. And all are important in the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ who glorify God as the grace of the gospel grows deep in God’s people and goes wide to all peoples. A person doesn’t have time to do it all, so how do you decide? How should you spend your time on a Sunday morning? Let me offer a few suggestions.
Worship. If a person is only going to be here during one hour on a Sunday morning, we hope it will be in corporate worship. Although we are called to serve others, as we just learned in Mark 10, we are also, and primarily, called to be served by Christ. Corporate worship is a critical way to be served by Christ as we hear week in and week out of his death and resurrection; how he gave his life as a ransom for us (Mk 10:45).
We believe that the Word of God does the work of God in the people of God through the Spirit of God. Read that sentence again. Because of that, corporate worship is critical in the life of a disciple. In corporate worship at least five of God’s means of grace are present—the Word is read, the Word is preached, it’s prayed, it’s sung, and it’s seen in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Are you making worship a priority? I’d encourage you to.
But I’d also encourage you to not stop there, which brings me to my next suggestion.
Serve or Learn. There are certainly circumstances that would keep someone from being able to attend both hours on Sundays. But if you’re able, I’d encourage you to be here both hours. Why? Because we have a number of other opportunities on the Lord’s Day to serve and learn. Learning facilitates our own growth in the gospel and serving is a critical way we build up others in the body. Worship during one hour and serve or learn during the other.
Did you know our volunteer team of those serving on Sunday mornings has over 400 people! And that doesn’t include all the volunteers that serve other parts of the week. Some of those volunteers are serving every week in a classroom, others serve on a regular rotation in a variety of other roles, but simply put, we need you. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do at First Free without faithful volunteers who are committed to being a part of making disciples. You—the saints—doing the work of the ministry, building up the body of Christ, is God’s Plan A (Eph. 4:12).
Our Children’s and Student Ministries are getting ready to start recruiting volunteers for the coming school year. What an encouragement it would be to those ministries to have a full team going in to the summer so they can prepare for the fall. Would you take some time now to consider if you might serve next year with our kids or youth? There are also current needs in our Nursery (both services) and Kindergarten Worship (10:45 service) where you could start serving now. I’m sure any of our staff in those ministries would be happy to talk to you about the opportunities!
We also have a number of elective classes and ABFs where you can learn and grow in the gospel. Our next block of elective classes begins March 22 and our ABFs are continuing or starting new studies as well (learn more at firstfreewichita.org/classes or firstfreewichita.org/abf). Consider joining one of these classes if you currently have an open hour on Sunday mornings.
To summarize my suggestions: If you currently only attend one hour, come to worship. And if you’re able, consider adding an opportunity to serve or learn. How do you decide which one? I don’t have an easy answer, but I’d encourage you to find a rhythm of doing both. It will look differently for each person. Consider what it might look like for you to worship, serve, and learn.