Transformative Thursdays: The Joy in Serving

Over the last few months, my daughters have been rehearsing for the church children’s Christmas program.  My youngest daughter earned a leading role as one of the main characters and my oldest daughter (who recently graduated to the teen ministry) volunteered to serve in whatever capacity they needed.  When she signed up, I don’t believe she realized the time commitment and sacrifices she would have to make.  She practiced twice a week missing some of her teen activities because they were held at the same time.  She never complained and continued to serve.  The program was scheduled to be held on a Sunday evening; however, a small snow storm came through town and the program had to be rescheduled to the following Wednesday evening.  That particular Wednesday, was the same Wednesday as her teen Christmas party.  Once again, she didn’t complain.  She followed through with her commitment and served in the program as Assistant Music Director and did a wonderful job.  And this she did without any prodding or coaching from her parents.  🙂

I wonder how many times, as adults, we don’t follow through on our commitments or simply don’t serve at all.  Service to others is one of the greatest things we can do in life as well as teaching our children to serve.  Giving back can happen on so many levels such as volunteering at church, helping a friend during a difficult time, paying for the person’s groceries in front of you or many other things.  I believe service of our time, talent and treasure is a commandment from the Lord.  It makes our lives so much richer and the lives of those we serve.  Many times, it will require sacrifice and inconveniences, but the rewards are worth it.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Don’t allow busyness, procrastination, apathy, or other excuses to stop you from serving.  All you “need is a heart full of grace”.  Take a moment and discover one or two ways you can serve in the next week.  What better time to begin practicing servanthood than during the holiday season?  Remember, it doesn’t have to be something on a grand scale.  Think of those around you who need help and do something to make a difference.

~Coletta Jones Patterson

 *For more inspiration on your journey, check out my latest book, “Developing Faith that Wins: Stories of My Journey” available on

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