It was local mission work that drew me into local church ministry.
Like many people who grew up in the church, I drifted away from regular worship attendance while I was in college. I felt like I had the world pretty well figured out (even though I didn’t), and I just let other things take priority over getting up on Sunday mornings and going to worship.
Then, midway through college, I made a video about a United Methodist pastor who built an afterschool program for teens in an impoverished town. The reason I thought I was making the video was to hone my moviemaking skills, as I was working toward a bachelor’s degree in video production…but that experience set me on a new path for my life. You see, as I listened to that pastor tell the story of how he served the youth in his area in order to build God’s Kingdom right there – in Pomeroy, Ohio – I began to see the church in a new way: not as a place where you go just to perform a ritual act of worship, but as a community of people who make their way through life together while building God’s Kingdom all around them. It took a couple more years before I listened to the Spirit’s nudging to enter into local church leadership; but the seeds of that decision were being planted right then, as I was being exposed to the power of how the church can change peoples’ lives for the better.
God’s Kingdom can be built in every place from Pomeroy to far-off cities to Columbus. So this April we are going to celebrate the risen Christ’s call to Kingdom work throughout the world. We will study the book of Acts, which tells the story of the early Christian church. We will learn about the mission sites Maize Manor UMC supports locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. And we will learn how to grow in our faith by practicing the spiritual discipline of service. So come join us for worship this April, while we prepare ourselves to live A Life of Service.