In the past year, St. John Lutheran Church in Arnold, MO has seen more than 400 unique volunteers commit countless hours to service opportunities through St. John’s ministry programs.
On June 23rd, those 400 volunteers and their loved ones are in for a treat. On that Sunday, St. John’s servants will be served by the staff and leadership of St. John’s church and school, treated to a meal, a message of thanks from senior pastor Jeremy Schultz, and a t-shirt.
“It occurred to me that, in the 3 years I’ve been here, we’ve never done a formal volunteer recognition” said Andy Becker, associate pastor at St. John. In a church with a passion for loving, serving, and celebrating, Pastor Becker and his staff knew they wanted to take time to thank their servants.
St. John servants lend their time, expertise, and welcoming spirits to a number of ministries. In the past year, volunteers have provided reading help at the church’s Lutheran day school, put on a block party with free food, games, fireworks and live music for the community, music ministry, children’s ministry outreach events, and more.
Even as they recognize the past three years of service, St. John continues to dream big.
With the expressed purpose to “empower, equip, transform and resend” their disciples as servants in the world, the church has taken inspiration from Acts 1:8 and strives to serve locally, regionally, and globally.
As Pastor Becker says, “We don’t want to limit what the Lord is doing.” Perhaps that’s why, when presented with the goal of fundraising for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, the church dismissed smaller goal attempts and instead strove to raise $10,000 – far surpassing any previous fundraising attempts – and met their target.
As for what’s next? This fall, St. John plans to participate in Serve St. Louis (link) on October 12-13, and to have 500 church members engaged in service throughout their community.
St. John calls its members and its community to “Discover your place in God’s heart.” In the words of Pastor Becker, engaging in service and outreach allows disciples to deepen their understanding of God’s heart as well as helping others discover their place within it.
Empowering, equipping, transforming and re-sending disciples, locally, regionally, and globally, to help others discover their place in God’s heart.
That’s what it’s all about.