BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, VOLUNTEER EXTRAORDINAIRE
Grace Church is on a mission.
The day I walked into Grace Church, I was pretty focused on myself. I wanted to find a church that would help me attend to the needs of my soul—one that would fill a spiritual longing that had been years in the making. I knew I needed something to help me get my soul right.
Back then, I thought that’s what it was all about. The entire reason I was motivated to get to church was to mend my own broken relationship with God and address the areas of my life that the self-help books weren’t helping. When I look back now, I understand that it only begins there. Filling the hole in my spiritual life was like patching up the foundation—but the reason you pour a foundation is to build something bigger on it.
We make disciples of Jesus and launch them into the mission of God.
I remember the first time I was introduced to the mission of Grace Church. My husband and I had been attending for a few months, and we had been getting the spiritual care we both desperately needed. We’d been soaking in God’s love and finding redemption. We were hearing messages from the Bible that were relevant in our own lives. We were getting our souls right.
We had also started getting involved in the service aspect of Grace Church. I had been particularly pumped about my experience during the Weekend of Service. I had worked with a group making handmade cards that a local homeless shelter could sell to raise funds for their ministry. I thought it was so awesome to turn a hobby I enjoyed into a way to serve others.
When I heard that mission statement for the first time, it was like the light bulb clicked into place. I realized that in a few short months, Grace’s mission was already working in me. I had come in for my own needs—and before I knew it, I was engaging in serving others. And I was hungry for more.
Before my time at Grace Church, the word “missionary” would invoke an image of someone who left their homeland to go tell others about Jesus. But now, my picture is more developed. Now I see ways to engage in God’s mission everywhere—even my own backyard. When I drop off loads of fresh produce from my home garden to the Care Center at Grace, it’s with the spirit of a missionary. And when I tell others about how one of my favorite hobbies has become a way for me to serve others, I’m planting seeds that may one day grow into another fruitful relationship with God.
What I’ve learned at Grace Church is that it’s more simple to be an agent of God than I ever realized. It doesn’t require any special training and there’s no need for a passport. There are people in our own social circles—our neighbors, coworkers, even our families—who may know about Jesus, but who may benefit from getting reacquainted. And when we pull from our own talents and interests to serve God’s mission on a daily basis, it becomes natural and effortless to spread the good news about Jesus.