The Desire We All Share: Debbie and Sam's Story

The following story comes from Debbie, a member of Christ Presbyterian Church. She and her son Sam (pictured above, right) are involved in the church’s special needs ministry, and they serve together on the hospitality team on Sunday mornings. This past Mother’s Day, Debbie, together with Sam, shared about their mother/son experience serving with the Host Team. Here is their story, as told by Debbie:

One Sunday in February 2016, our family visited Christ Presbyterian Church and we just never stopped coming. When we joined this church last June, we knew we wanted to serve and be a meaningful part of this church community. We were encouraged by the many possible options for our entire family, but particularly for our son Sam.

As new members, we were searching for the best way for each of us to get “plugged in.”  Sam had been a door greeter at our previous church and being the social person he is, he expressed an interest in joining the Host Team. After discussing the possibilities with the Host Team coordinator, Cameron Foltz - who was thrilled - we both joined the Host Team.

For Sam, being part of the Host Team has meant that he can serve Christ within our church community as an independent 21 year old. He has become acquainted with other people on the team he works with. He has become familiar with those he greets on Sundays. And just as importantly, his service has allowed others to get to know him, which has fulfilled in him a desire every one of us has—to be accepted, valued, and loved. It is priceless for my husband Jeff and me to see the joy and worth he displays when passing the offering plates, which has been a new serving opportunity for him. It has been a gift from God to see Sam flourish so well at Christ Presbyterian Church this last year in ways we could not have imagined. And this is due to the many ways this congregation has embodied and expressed the love of Christ so well to him and to our entire family.

If you ask Sam about his favorite part of serving on the host team, he will tell you it is being able to say hello to everyone and see his friends every week. This is the heart of hospitality.

For me, as a member here and also as Sam’s mother, being part of the Host Team has provided opportunities to serve and get to know others and to become familiar with the many faces and families coming through our doors. Offering a warm smile and a few sincere words ensures that those coming through our doors feel seen and loved, just as Christ sees and loves us. We all need that reminder.  

Serving on the host team with Sam means we arrive at church early together, get our morning coffee, join our team for a quick huddle, and then head off to serve in our respective assigned areas as two adults serving on the same team. 

It’s not news that those who serve often get more out of it than those being served. For Sam and me, being a part of the Host Team together has been our privilege and contributed to our sense of belonging at Christ Presbyterian Church. We’re grateful to be part of what the Lord is doing here.

© 2017 Christ Presbyterian Church. All Rights Reserved.

Russ Ramsey is a pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church and the author of Struck: One Christian’s Reflections on Encountering Death (IVP, 2017), Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative, and Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is a graduate of Taylor University and Covenant Theological Seminary. Follow Russ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.