I was drawn to courageous people early in my life. There was a wall in my backyard growing up with graduated levels. It started at one end at 3 feet and then graduated up to 6 feet. I used to evaluate my friends (at the time I wasn’t aware that I was doing it) and whether I wanted to spend time with them based on whether they would climb to the top of the wall with me. I liked being with kids who took risks because I was always taking them. My father was a successful high school basketball coach and I would watch him challenge his players with going harder and further than they thought they could. So, it taught me early on to do the same. I remember seeing how players would change at the beginning of the season from timid players to confident ones by seasons end.
A study conducted by Barna about working Christians research revealed that women are less likely than men to believe that they can use their unique talents and gifts to serve outside the workplace (24% vs 31%). Even for men, the statistic was low. Is it because we don’t want to serve or is it just that we aren’t asked? Maybe it is because we don’t feel the church needs our skills and talents or maybe we just aren’t willing to give our skills and talents at the end of a long working week. When asked about volunteering for a church or ministry, some say that they work at their job all week and the last thing they want to do is more work on Sunday. It is just easier to donate money and let someone else do the work. But is this what God calls us to do? Is it that we have an attitude that someone else can do it? Are we missing the blessing of stepping into a hard place? Perhaps it’s climbing onto a high wall that we feel timid about and courageously saying “I’ll go there.” “I will be an usher and welcome someone, I will take on being a Sunday school class, or I will be on the prayer team or run a video camera.
The early church grew because they gave. They were of one mind and heart and shared “all that they had” (Acts 4:32). That included their skills and talents. Over the years as I have served in the Church it hasn’t just been in the brick and mortar one. Currently, I volunteer and serve on four different ministry boards and spend many hours a week privately mentoring individuals on their media questions and spiritual needs. I also work voluntarily for the Influence Lab helping to educate, encourage and grow those working in media and entertainment to be effective communicators of God’s love and redemptive story in Hollywood. All of these places of service increase my faith daily and stretch me to trust God so that I can challenge them to higher walls.
As a child sitting on that tall wall made me feel bold and superior. I could look down and not have to always be looking up to grownups. I knew that if the other kids climbed the fence with me, they would be on the same level too. We were equals and together we could conquer the world. It’s how I feel when I reflect on the work I do as a service to King Jesus. I know He will always be taller than me but for a fleeting moment, I can look God in the eye and know He’s at my side- alongside me, helping me to climb even taller walls and build my confidence to reach new heights with Him.
What high wall are you standing in front of? Look up child and climb it.