Call to Serve

I was a visitor in the congregation, sitting in the middle of the fifth pew on the southern side of the church, listening to the speaker, Billie Fidlin. She was also a guest in the congregation. She had her listening audience in the palm of her hand as she told the story of Rev. Bill, and challenged us to do as she had done and join his ministry team. I was impressed.

She started to talk about the skills required of the ministry leader, and a voice I know well — and should know better than to argue with — spoke inside my head, “Pay attention. She means you.”

I gave a mental snort. “Yeah. Right.”

“I’m serious. Sit up and listen.”

“You listen, ” I countered. “I am a guest in this church. These people don’t even know me. They are not going to just let me sign up to run a ministry. Get real.”

The voice chided, “Are you forgetting who you’re talking to?” Then it ordered, “There, she’s asking for a volunteer. Raise your hand!”

“Nope. Not going to.”

“Raise your hand!”

“No. And you can’t make me.”

I could have sworn I heard laughter.

“I’m serious. I am not going to embarrass myself in front of all of these people.”

Soon the service was over. I hadn’t raised my hand or disgraced myself. I went to the Fellowship Hall with my friends; people I had met in a home Bible Study. A luncheon was being served to celebrate the new ministry. My friends were working on the service committee so while they waited tables, I went into the kitchen and washed dishes.

Billie entered the kitchen with, Beverly, one of the church leaders. They stood at the counter behind me sorting and counting volunteer slips. Beverly said, “Every volunteer position is filled except Director.”

Billie answered, “No director. No ministry.”

God, inside my head, said, “Put that plate down and turn around.”

I held the plate tighter and tried valiantly to scrub the gilt edging off.

Beverly said, “Can’t we just start things rolling? Maybe the momentum will bring a leader forward.”

Billie told her that without a leader there would be no momentum.

I was fighting God with every ounce of my will to keep from turning around. “They don’t even know me!” I kept insisting. I was still scrubbing what had to be the cleanest plate in the history of any church dinner.

Beverly said, “But we were so certain this was the direction God was calling us.”

Billie said, “I believe you’re right. He is.”

Beverly replied, “How can that be if we have no Director?”

Billie said, “You do have a Director.” Then she put her hand on my shoulder. I turned my head and met her eyes. “Why don’t you say something?” She asked.

I blurted, “Who told you?!”

She raised her hands and looked toward the ceiling, “Duh!”

That time I know I heard laughter.

They were delighted to accept me as the leader of their ministry team, and I left that day with a set of keys to the building and a pass code for the alarm system. I remember sitting in my car in the parkinglot staring at those keys and thinking, “These people are crazy!”

Crazy indeed. The good kind of crazy – and I’m proud to be one of them.

Sidewalk Sunday School is currently in it’s 6th season on the Fay Herron Elementary School campus. Every Saturday, we take church to children who aren’t taken to church. It is an awesome ministry that has changed countless lives across this nation and across this world – mine included.


If you have now been inspired to start a Sidewalk Sunday School [patented] program in your church, please contact our Director, Billie Fidlin. Her email is:

Be sure to put Sidewalk Sunday School (SSS) in the header, and tell her LV3 sent you.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 5:42 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Call to Serve”

  1. August 8th, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Donnak says:

    Isn’t that just AWSOME????!!!

  2. August 8th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Cindy says:

    Just Awesome! This sounds like a wonderful ministry!!!!

  3. August 8th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    QuillDancer says:

    Thanks, Donna — yes, God IS.

  4. August 11th, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Pauline says:

    I love the way you take us into your moments…I laughed, smiled and cried. Love to you and yours and thank you for giving us a choice in reading very insightful of you!

  5. August 11th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    not enough drama says:

    Wow I feel truely blessed to have stumbled on to your blog! Thanks for sharing!