Really, God? Serve at Church?

Really, God? In 1999, Todd and I traveled from Bakersfield to meet with the board at San Dimas AG Church to have a discussion about moving our family there to serve as pastors.  At that time the church was made up of older people… 16 people… and the board knew that if they didn’t do something different, the church would die.

Picture used for our interview with San Dimas Church in 1999

I remember having a discussion with my husband and thinking of all the sacrifices we would be making and I wasn’t sure if it was worth it.  He said to me, “What do we have to lose?” See, nothing that we had or any of the benefits we had meant anything to us because His calling was far greater than any earthly thing.

We left our current church we were pastoring, which provided a house, a car, insurance and enough income for me to stay home with our 1 and 3 year old.

It didn’t make too much sense in the natural to move from what we had to go to where we had less people, less insurance, less income, and one less car.  In fact, I would go to work full-time and Todd would begin working every morning starting at 2:30 am (including Saturday’s and Sunday’s) until about 6:00 am.  Working in the morning seven days a week allowed Todd to work during the day doing what was needed for the church.

Todd did this crazy schedule for two years while still preparing messages for Sunday and Wednesday services.

When we arrived for our first Sunday at San Dimas AG Church, our family of four put our Sunday total attendance at 20 people.  I was 29 years old at the time and was the youngest adult in attendance.  The nursery had gone from zero for years to my two nursery aged kids.  I found myself confined to the nursery for every meeting and service for next three years with my two kids.

At this time we didn’t just have Sunday morning services.  We literally had Sunday School, Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night service each week.

After a year and a half of getting us all dressed up and ready for church and then being in the nursery, I was losing hope.  I remember telling my husband that maybe I should stay home this Sunday because, no one is going to come with small kids and I can just stay at our home with our kids. He had so much faith and would enthusiastically tell me that someone may be there with small kids today and may need me in the nursery since that was what we were praying to happen.

Well, I continued on for another year and a half and had thought of many escape plans and things we could do to get out of the nursery and be back in time for the service to let out. It would be as if we had never been gone.  Go on a Target run, go do some laundry at home, do the grocery shopping, and on and on.

I kept thinking to myself, why am I doing this week after week.  Really, God?  Is this what you wanted me to do with my life?  This is what I went to bible college for and this is how I get to help change the world (bratty sarcastic whining voice)?

Don’t get me wrong; we had fun in that nursery.  The three of us would play games and enjoy one another’s company but I still was disappointed to not have other kids to enjoy as well.  I also missed the time of songs and worship and the messages that were taking place in the “big church.”

Then it happened.  We started to have young families pour in and we now had other babies and kids in the nursery.  We started to have the older members step up and volunteer to help in the nursery.

We were at the point of adding a second service, hiring a nursery director, hiring a children’s pastor and a youth leader.  I was not only able to be in the “big service” but, I was back on the worship team and listening to my favorite preacher.  We rebranded the church and gave it a new name, Canyon Breeze Church and now it was a ton of fun!

I never worked in the nursery again.  In fact, I think I started to kind of twitch even if I went close to the nursery.  I did find myself volunteering in the kid’s ministry by training and setting up teams for ministry.  My sister and I developed and implemented a Junior Leader program for 5thand 6thgraders.  It was a huge help to us and also taught the kid’s leadership at the same time.

After over two years of the crazy schedule, Todd was able to quit his morning job because the church was now able to pay him a full-time salary.  It was exciting to see the 16 who were there when we came watch as people were filling the seats.  Lives were being changed, families were bonding and marriages were being restored.

It really didn’t make sense for us to leave where we were to go to San Dimas but we have found that we can’t always make sense of what God wants us to do.  If it doesn’t make sense, it is probably what we are supposed to do.  If we can do all we need to do in our lives, just on our own merit, without any faith, we miss what it is God can do through us.  We control our lives and our outcomes and the gifts God has given to us because our lack of faith keeps us doing what we can do on our own.

 

Todd, Jantzen & Janell – San Dimas Days

When we really, I mean really, listen to what God asks us to do, even if it doesn’t make sense, when we move to living in the Supernatural, we really get to see God show up and do what we could have never done in our own efforts.

Have you every stopped to think about the talents and gifts God has given to you and how much you can do with them on your own?  What if you stopped to ask God what He would like you to do with those gifts and talents He gave you?  What is the purpose of how each of us individually was created? I wonder what our world would look like if we each stepped out in faith and used the gifts and talents God gave to each one of us.  If we put our desires aside and found a way to make the world a better place by doing what it is God created us to do.

What do we have to lose?

I say, “let’s lose it” because changing your world is far more fun than just living our lives day in and day out.

It’s never too late to start.  Lose what you know and the comfort of the life you have created for you and start looking for what it is God has for you.

Not sure where to start? I have added some links to books that have really helped me along my journey to trusting God and doing what it is He would like me to do.  Maybe you have been in a place like me… waiting…. waiting… thinking, “Really, God?” Sometimes it literally does not make sense but being faithful and pursuing what God desires for you life, makes these moments of questioning, completely worth it.

Lifechanging Book Links Below: 

The Purpose Driven Life

Experiencing God

Experiencing God Workbook

 Thousand Gifts

 

Thank you for reading and please submit any prayer requests by clicking the link below:

 Prayer Requests

 

  • Everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.  Colossians 1:16
  • You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
  • This world is fading away, along with everything that it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever. 1 John 2:17
  • Unless you are faithful in small matters, you will not be faithful in large ones. Luke 16:10
  • So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
  • The Lord is pleased with those who worship him and trust His love.
  • Psalms 147:11
  • Surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes. Romans 6:13
  • God works through different men in different ways, but is the same God who achieves his purpose through them all. 1 Corinthians 12:6
  • God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings. 1 Peter 4:10