Recently I was asked to take on a small assignment for my church. It was a little outside my comfort zone but not beyond my ability, so I said okay. After all, I’m new there and I had said I wanted to be involved in any way I could.
It’s not a big church; the staff members each wear several hats. This day the worship pastor had put on his videographer “hat” and was asking me questions while filming my answers. (What a relief I wasn’t asked to sing, right?) Working with him was a delight. There was no pain or bloodshed involved and I’m hoping it won’t hurt too much to watch later.
As I was preparing to leave, he thanked me for three specific things that really stuck with me:
For agreeing to do it. Really? If I care about the mission of the church I attend (or if I am passionate about any cause, for that matter) and there’s something I can do to help, why wouldn’t I? I may end up hating how I look on video and I already know I find my recorded voice jarring but it’s ultimately not about me now, is it?
For arriving on time. I’m a stickler for punctuality, so that wasn’t a huge challenge for me. I’ve always believed that being late is a sign of disrespect so to the extent it depends on me, I try not to be casual with other people’s schedules. If being on time wasn’t already my default mode, I’d probably rely heavily on my smartphone’s “alert” feature to get me moving in plenty of time.
For being prepared. I really don’t like to humiliate myself (who does?), which means ordering my thoughts in advance is insurance for me as well as a way to honor the person or cause I’m serving. If someone wants to interview me, I’m going to make darn sure I’ve done everything I can not to look stupid; if it happens, it happens, but at least I did what I could.
Each of those gestures was pretty straightforward and, I thought, assumed. But not one went unnoticed by the worship pastor that day. His acknowledgement of my effort meant a lot and got me thinking. I guess common courtesy isn’t all that common.
Yet, such seemingly small actions as agreeing to help, being reliable, and doing our best – don’t these communicate that we care in every area of life: our jobs, our families, our friendships?
What a great starting point for any relationship! Yes, I think it is that simple.
Step up. Show up. Brush up. That is, if you care.
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