Recently I asked someone to assist in a ministry for just one event. It was in his wheelhouse. He has way more talent than was really required but his participation would add a lot. I sent the request in an email. He replied almost immediately saying he would be glad to help and then he concluded with these words: “Thanks for asking.”

I was struck by that phrase not because it was a typical response from this man, although it certainly was, but because it exemplifies so well the attitude of so many who are part of our family of faith. I am grateful to be part of a congregation where members understand how essential their participation is in making Parkway a place where people can be introduced to a relationship with God and where they can grow in their faith. I am just as grateful for the willing spirit with which so many approach the tasks to which they are invited to invest their efforts.

Maybe one of the advantages of being too small to have a lot of paid workers or to have a staff large enough to do the heavy lifting for most programs and ministries is that it allows so many members to have opportunities for service.

Deacons are diligent in checking in with their flocks on a regular basis to keep members connected and assist with both spiritual and practical needs. An energetic missions team provides opportunities for members to act as the Body of Christ on earth in bringing hope and help to the last, the lost, and the least. Well-educated and well-prepared teachers offer spiritual formation guidance for everyone from the youngest preschooler to the most senior adults. Members gifted in hospitality ensure that we have fellowship times with good food where we can all enjoy being together. A couple of guys spend almost as much time at the church as I do, doing whatever it takes to make sure the buildings are maintained and ready for use. Some of you are out every week during the spring and summer cutting the grass and trimming the shrubs. Many of you serve on committees that makes sure programs and ministries are as effective as possible. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about all you do to make Parkway a great place to serve our God.

And, though you may not always say it, when presented with an opportunity, your response is almost always, “Thanks for asking.” It’s a pleasure to be one of those who gives you a chance to serve when I know you’re going to be grateful both for the gifts that God has placed in your life and the opportunity to use them. When you say “Thanks for asking,” I’m happy to be able to say, “You’re welcome.”