It’s the question from the mythological story of Oedipus and the Sphinx:
“What goes on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening?” asked The Sphinx. Oedipus thought a moment. Then he replied “The answer is Man. He crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then walks with a cane in old age.”
It strikes me that we go through similar developmental stages with serving in the church. I have experienced (or will experience) 3 distinct stages of my capacity to serve: as a single man, as a married man, and (hopefully, in time) as a parent. Each stage has held different challenges, but has also been a real delight to experience.
Stage 1 – Singleness
As a single man in my twenties, it was astounding how much free time I had to myself – not that I appreciated it at the time! One thing I did recognise was that I had lots of capacity and energy to serve on multiple teams, so that’s what I did! I served in Ignite and on the AV team and also volunteered for occasional tasks like setting up the baptism pool and helping out at kid’s clubs. It was a time I loved, as I was able to use my free time effectively and in a manner that served Christ and the church.
Stage 2 – Marriage
Once I married, I had to strip back on my areas of service. My marriage (and especially my wife!) had to take priority over some of those things. By that time, I was already leading the AV team, and Hannah had started helping on the children’s work team. It took us a while to realise it, but we discovered that arranging our rotas so that we served on the same Sundays was a massive blessing for us. It meant that 2 weeks out of 3 we could worship together as a family, whilst 1 week in 3 we were serving the church. Most of the rotas in church work on a three-week cycle, so this pattern has been pretty easy to achieve and maintain.
Stage 3 – Family
Looking forward, Hannah and I anticipate starting a family. We realise this will again have an impact on our capacity to serve. It may be that initially we both have to take a step back for a season. However, our goal would be to then serve on alternating weeks, so that 1 week in 3 we still get to sit together, worship and hear outstanding teaching together, but on the other weeks the parent not serving takes responsibility for looking after the family whilst the other parent serves the church. That’s the goal we’d be looking to achieve. We want our children to see mum and dad modelling serving in the church.
It’s my heart’s desire to see people in King’s enabled to serve in whatever manner they can. Whether you’re a people person or prefer being behind the scenes; whether you’ve got practical skills or don’t know how God could use you, there’s a place for you on a team (or two) somewhere.
As we prepare to launch into a new term in September, why not take the next few weeks to chat to some of our team leaders over the summer, and put yourself forward to join one of our teams? If you’re not sure who to talk to, check out the list below, or email the office who can put you in contact with the appropriate person(s).
Little Sparks (crèche) Hannah Naylor
Sparklers/Flames (children’s work) Louise Richmond
Ignite (youth work) Anna Harris
Stewarding/Welcome Matt Hazeltine
AV Dave Bixby
Worship Team Robin Greene
Prayer Ministry Currently no overall leader
Come to think of it, the only areas I haven’t yet served in are crèche and prayer team – I really should do something about that…