Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mount Tabor Brethren in Christ (July 18-24)

            This past week I spent my time helping out at Mt. Tabor. I had heard going into the week that it was a small church and in comparison to the other churches I have been that this summer that was correct. Mt. Tabor was very small compared to Five Forks and Chambersburg, but that didn’t affect anything. I met Kevin Lay, the pastor of Mt. Tabor on Monday evening and we headed to a Trustees meeting. I entered that meeting with the same apprehension as I had the other churches, it was still a matter of getting to know people who I’d never met before and serving with them. Wednesday I was responsible for leading an adult Bible Study at the church for about 15 adults that meets every Wednesday evening. Thursday I attended another Bible Study led by Kevin, this Bible Study was smaller and only met once a month. Friday Pastor Kevin and I went and visited 2 people from the congregation. Sunday was a busy day. I was at the church by 9 to greet people as they came in, then after Kevin opened the service I proceeded with the call to worship reading Psalm 19 and then praying for the service. Once we reached the offertory I played a song on guitar called “Knowing you Jesus” and sang. I then left the service and went to help Kevin’s wife, Kimberly, with children’s church. There I taught the 5 children 2 Thessalonians 3:13 in sign language. My last responsibility was to teach the youth Sunday school with followed Children’s church.
            It was a different week than all my other weeks for a few reasons. One, this is the first week I really had to dig into God’s word besides my own personal devotions. It was the first time this summer that I was asked to teach. Second playing my guitar for offertory was my first time playing for a group of people. This week stretched me more than I had anticipated and I’m so thankful it did! Being a part of this internship, I had prayed that God would stretch me and I’ve seen him answer that in small ways throughout the summer but I’d say this week at Mt. Tabor was the biggest for me. It not only challenged me and pushed me beyond where I thought I was comfortable but it showed me that my God is always with me. It didn’t matter if I was shaking when I was playing my guitar or unsure of the words that I’d say next at a Bible Study, God was with me throughout the whole week. He calmed me and gave me the words to say.
            I also got a glimpse of how the body of Christ works. Wednesday night at the Bible study I led, one lady shared a prayer request about some physical health concerns and she was upset about it. After she shared another lady spoke up and offered a passage of scripture of encouragement to the woman with the health concerns. I was immediately struck with the scripture about how the body works together and so should the body of Christ. It was such a great illustration and I saw it played out before my own eyes.
            My week at Mt. Tabor was incredible, one of my best weeks of my summer. It’s a small church but it gave me a glimpse of how a small church operates. They have to be family and work together. Not everything is glamorous, they don’t need a big fancy church to worship in, it’s not about going on extravagant youth group trips, they are content to sit around tables and dig into the word of God! When everything is stripped away, they are still content. These people worship God through their normal, daily activities! I was a reality check for me. Driving home Sunday afternoon I was just humbled. Growing up in a larger church I always loved going on big youth trips and that seems to be becoming the norm. But what would happen if we stripped all the “fun” activities away and just offered Bible Studies; no activities before or after, just come for a hour with your Bible and prepare to study God’s word? Would we be content with that or do we need all the “extravagant activities” to worship God?
            I don’t think I have ever met more friendly people at a church! Whether it was a child, youth, or adult, they all looked at you with a smile before they even knew your name. I was at Mt. Tabor to serve them and serve with them, but ended up feeling so blessed in return, and so thankful that they welcomed me and let me serve with them for a week.

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