When I was a little boy my Dad had a great idea. He conducted what he called “Ushers School” every Sunday night an hour before church. The Ushers School was for children ages 8-12 or teens. In the “school” Dad taught us to dress properly, to greet people, and how to shake hands. Dad said, “Extend your hand to other men, firm grip, look â€˜em in the eye, smile. Don’t extend your hand to a woman unless she extends your hand first.”
Dad would say things like; “When you reach the head of the isle pick up the offering plates and if the pastor calls on you to pray for the offering, turn, face the people, and project your voice. When you collect the offering pass the plate down the isle but don’t look directly at the people when they give.”
At the end of the training we all lined up in the front of the church and received our graduation certificate as a graduate of the usher’s school. It was a great idea. It was just one of the many ways we were immersed in ministry when we were kids. It was our life. I thank God for my parents every day. It is their joy and their life to serve the Lord. Their enthusiasm and their conviction influenced both of my little brothers and my sister to invest their lives in Christian service, too.
Last week I stood in front of our building and watched my oldest son drive off with his wife. She has a new life within her, our first grandchild. In a little over a month they will be in full-time Christian service at Camp Barakel, one of the finest Christian ministries I have ever been associated with. Before we parted we held hands and prayed for each other. We are headed for Mexico for a month, Kyle and Elizabeth will be going north up the lower peninsula of Michigan.
I will speak at Barakel this summer but not until near the end of June. We may not see them until then, but my heart is glad. They are serving the Lord. We are serving the Lord. Even though we will be a continent apart it is like looking on the same moon at the same time, we are united in service to Christ. We are all serving the Lord with gladness.
Riverfront Character Inn
May 1, 2006