The Sacrifice of Service

by Andrew Rennie, Lynden SERVE Host Team Member

My second year on the Host Team of Lynden SERVE felt different from the first. The first year left me wishing I could have done more or been more involved. I was inspired by the work of the students, by witnessing their comradery and unity, and by watching our church come together and work purposefully to the glory of God. Still, it seemed to me that my part in this sacrifice of service was missing something.

Reflecting on the old sacrificial system, I realize pleasing sacrifices are rarely spontaneous. The spotless lamb doesn’t walk up to the alter on its own. The firewood must first be collected and seasoned before it’s burned, and the poetry of praise doesn’t just float in on the wind. Each sacrifice is created through availability and intentionality.

For me, the biggest stumbling blocks to serving were having the time to do it (the idolatry of availability) and only wanting to serve in ways I was comfortable with (the idolatry of success).

I know, deep down, that I must say “Here I am, Lord,” and then be willing to listen to his calling.

This year I decided to plan ahead and take the week of SERVE off work. By giving this sacrifice, it kept me available, freeing my mind from work worries and letting me focus on SERVE. I could cheerfully give my time flexibly, offering help wherever it was needed. Being willing to listen to his calling beautified the sacrifice.

As a Christian, I no longer rely on the old sacrificial system our Heavenly Father instituted for his people to enable and restore their relationship with himself. I know Christ accomplished it all on the cross. There is literally nothing I can add to his highest and most holy sacrifice, and yet, I am still called and compelled to live my life as a fragrant offering before his throne.

I want to bring a sacrifice of praise and I want to bring a sacrifice of service. I desire to love God more wholly and abide in him more deeply. Approaching SERVE as a love offering to the Lord this year made all of the difference.

“Here I am, Lord.”

[This is an excerpt from the Fall 2018 Magazine. To read more stories CLICK HERE]

Tiredness – Young Adults as a Solution

My goal, as a pastor to my congregation, is not to reinvent the wheel, but rather to inspire and equip new leadership, to facilitate conversations between young and old, and to help them see Christ’s presence here in my congregation and city.


As I had conversations, I began to hear a theme of “tiredness” more and more frequently from our Old Guard. For many years, they’ve been shouldering the tasks and workloads of many different church functions – among them, hosting Serve. Their passion is still just as vibrant as it was years ago, but their energy is not.

At the same time of these conversations, I had my ear bent to the voices of our young people, a dormant demographic in many churches. As I heard the stories of highlights from their upbringing in the church, it became clear to me that Serve is one of the ministries that shaped their faith and commitment to Christ’s church.

These two threads of conversation have, I think, for many years been running parallel to each other. Most recently, the two threads collided at our classis meeting. One of the members from previous Host Teams here in Thunder Bay expressed a desire to see us host Serve once more and wondered what I thought about it.

I responded with, “Let’s ask the Young Adults, because I’m already striving to build them up as leaders in the church and they have already expressed interest in hosting Serve in the future.”

Upon asking the Young Adult’s, they responded with, “Yes! We’re happy to do the work!” and then there was an explosion of ideas.

The Old Guard expressed that they would love to support this new Host Team.

As Thunder Bay prepares to host Serve 2014 this next month, we do so seeing Christ bringing these two threads of people together to help equip a new generation of leaders in His church. Praise be to God!