Four of the pillars I hear preached on Sundays in the United Methodist Church are the need for members' prayers, presence, gifts, and service. I have abundance in the first department, a definite lack of the next two, and a one-week-a-year service calling.
One small way that I have always felt I could serve my church is by working Vacation Bible School. For as long as I can remember, my mom and my sister and I have worked in the nursery, caring for little ones under age three. Most of them are the children of others helping with VBS. Our church always puts on a phenomenal production for our members and families in the community, and this year, I'm sure, is no exception. We always miss the arts and crafts, singing and choreography, devotionals, and recreational activities because we're busy with butter cookies, obnoxiously musical toys, and sippy cups. It doesn't matter, though. For one week out of the year, I feel like I make a difference at my church.
I always felt that way in middle school and high school when I traveled with the youth group on various mission projects; I never would have experienced the awe of New York City nine months after September 11th or, well, the mess of The Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls if it weren't for those mission trips. I never would have coordinated arts and crafts for VBS on a military base at Camp Lejeune, or performed in one of my favorite musicals in the literal ghetto of New Jersey. During that one week out of every year, I feel like I make a difference. My sister read something the other day that said something along the lines of, if you've ever felt that one individual by himself doesn't make a difference, try spending a night in an enclosed room with a mosquito! Hey, if I'm not going to do anything else, at least I can intercept a poopy diaper or two for hard-working moms ;)