by Leah Ammons…
Throughout the recent sermon series on the book of Mark, one verse continues to stand out to me: Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The overarching theme of Jesus being the “Servant King” so clearly characterized in Mark’s gospel brings a fresh wave of conviction to the undercurrent of consumerism that sweeps through our culture (and the back of my thoughts).
Every Sunday morning, when I walk into Exodus Kids with my wee one, I get a glimpse of hearts that desire to serve. From the check-in desk all the way to my son’s class, I encounter the faces of those who come not to be served, but to serve, and many of them are Exodus Students. These students serve in big and small ways—from handing out wipes to keeping track of our fruit snack supplies to helping teach younger children.
One of the visions for Exodus Students is that our students would “be the Church…that they would serve and participate in the church as a vital part of God’s mission here.” Having talked to some of the students who serve so faithfully, it is evident that they don’t see serving as something they have to do simply because their parents are, but that they truly enjoy helping out where they are needed—mainly in Exodus Kids. Grace L., a student ‘floater’ who helps in various Exodus Kids classes as needed remarks, “It makes me happy to see the little kids having fun. I love helping with the younger kids.”
Damon and Holly Murray, who lead Exodus Students weekly, agree that these students truly seem to enjoy serving:
“We don’t have to twist their arms for them to come to the events or for them to serve on Sunday mornings. They are willing to try serving in areas outside of their comfort zones, and we have seen them humbly pitch in wherever there is a need. It is a testament to God’s grace that we see middle school and high school students excited about serving and wanting to find new ways in which to serve the church and the community.”
Nathan L., a student helper of the Exodus Kids 4-year-old class on Sunday mornings says, “One of the things I like best about serving is getting to organize activities with the kids I work with;” he really owns his role as helper by taking initiative.
Of course, like anyone else, these students like to fellowship and have fun with one another, but when it comes to serving, most of them redirect their focus to the task at hand. During a Spring Clean day at North Belmont Elementary, several onlookers remarked to Holly Murray about the diligence of the Exodus Students. Holly says, “When it’s time to serve, they work hard; they really serve.”
I want my desire to serve Christ and bring Him glory to overthrow my misplaced ideas of “me time” and “when do I get a break?” attitudes. Christ’s example is clear, and submitting to serve Him is our path to ultimate joy. However, at times, I can find myself ‘serving’ without a heart that desires to serve. Christ is most concerned with our hearts, and His example of service for the kingdom is one of humility that presses to the point of giving his life as a ransom for many. Seeing the Exodus Students faithfully serve my family week after week certainly points my eyes to Jesus, the Servant King. We are immeasurably blessed by those who serve, particularly those students who serve our children.