I grew up in church. Every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night (basically any time the doors were open), my dad and mom would usher my sister, Jodi, and me into our family car, and we’d make our way to a little Assemblies of God church. Although I spent a lot of time in church, I didn’t truly and fully give my life to Christ and fall deeply in love with Him until after I was away from home and attending West Virginia Tech. In my junior year of college, an immediate transformation took place inside of me. The difference was like night and day, and everyone around me noticed it.

I started looking for ways to get involved at the small church near my college. From playing piano and singing on the worship team to serving as a youth leader, I wanted to help out in any and every way I possibly could. As a baby Christian, I thought that if I could just work hard enough for God, maybe He’d feel like the price He had paid for me was somehow worth it. Not until later, when I had matured in my faith and grown in my relationship with God, did I begin to comprehend the depth of His love. I realized that serving Jesus isn’t about making up for what I lack. It’s about something so much more.

I love how Pastor Robert explains why each of us needs to be serving. He says: “God hasn’t called you to be a reservoir; He’s called you to be a river.” If you’ve ever seen water that looks polluted and has scum on top, it’s often because the water is stagnant. The most refreshing and life-nourishing water could be coming in, but if there’s nowhere for the water to go, it eventually gets contaminated. A river on the other hand always has a continual flow of water—in and out, in and out. God has designed each of us to receive from Him and then to give out of the overflow of what He’s pouring into us. That is why serving is important.

Serving isn’t about what you can do for the Church—there are plenty of well-wishers and do-gooders out there who end up burnt out and empty because they’re serving in a legalistic way—it’s about bringing life to your heart by walking in the role God is calling you to play in His kingdom! And when you find yourself doing the specific things God has created you to do, you’ll discover a new rhythm of life—a natural ebb and flow that infuses you with life and energy instead of weariness and stress.

Here at Gateway, we want to minister to each person who calls this church home—through weekend services, classes, groups, etc.—and to give everyone an opportunity to minister to others. It’s not because we’re trying to build up Gateway Church; it’s because we’re passionate about building the kingdom of God here on earth and helping you discover your God-given purpose. When we operate as rivers, instead of reservoirs, we remain healthy and the kingdom of God grows. It’s a win-win! Who doesn’t want that?

And you may be surprised at how fulfilling and rewarding serving is! When I first gave my life to Christ, I didn’t have many friends my age who loved Jesus and were as passionate about serving Him. But soon after I jumped in and started serving, I developed a close circle of friends (including my future wife, Mary Beth) unlike any group I’d ever been a part of. We encouraged each other, we challenged each other, we supported each other, we ministered and served together. There was more genuine joy in my life, and I could hear God’s voice clearer than ever before. That time profoundly changed my life and my ministry today. Through my willingness to give of my time, talent, and energy, I gained a life-giving family of close friends, and I discovered who I am called to be.

You have an important role to play in building God’s kingdom. That’s why we have so many ways for you to get involved—whether it’s inside the four walls of our church or outside in our communities. I encourage you to ask God to give you a passion for a specific area of ministry where you could get involved. If every one of us at Gateway positioned our hearts toward the Church and said, “I’m all in! I want to build the kingdom of God in a greater way in my city,” we can accomplish anything together!


For more information about where you can serve, visit serve.gatewaypeople.com.