…by Beka Jackson
When I was 15 years old, I went on a missions project to work with the Open Door Christian Church on Grand Cayman Island. I went with a team of teenagers and a couple adults and we were away from home for about three weeks. It was really a life changing experience for me. When we got back to camp for debriefing, the team leaders handed out awards. Everyone got one. I got the servant leader award. I had no idea what it meant. Did I lead well? Did I serve well? And what did they mean, serve? Weren’t we all just going to help out at the church? Who said anything about serving?
I tell this story not to brag about my serving, but to brag about my upbringing. My parents had instilled in me such a life of service, that I didn’t even realize it! Serving others, anyone who needed it, is just what my parents did. At church, in the neighborhood, everywhere. It seemed strange to me at 15 to call it out and give it a name. To me, it was just how the Mann family lived.
When there was a need, my parents did everything they could to meet it. And we didn’t have a ton to give, but what we did have, we never really considered our own. It was always available to whoever needed it.
Even our time. The question was never, are we able to help? Or do we have the time? It was always, “What do we need to switch around so that we can help?”
It was just how we lived.
Can you imagine what it would be like if we lived like that? If everyone’s need was everyone’s priority? As a child, I never had any feelings of second place because my parents were always serving; I didn’t know any better. What if we were able to raise this next generation thinking that serving wasn’t something to be called out and taught, but just a normal part of how we all lived every day.
I think our homes, our churches, our communities would be amazing!
I also think it begins with me. Things begin to change when I begin to change. And I can’t call my kids to a way of life I am not willing to live. So I search for ways to serve. There are people all around me that I can serve, but sometimes I run out of ideas. I get bored easily, so they have to be new ideas, often! Suncrest is a great avenue for my ever-changing service. There is always a place for me to serve on any given day of the week doing any number of things.
The take away for me this week was to make serving a way of life because Christ’s life was about serving me. I can’t wait to find places to jump in and give back. And for my children to grow up thinking, “That’s just what we do!”