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Why I Serve by Ludmilla Teterina

Some of you know that, as a PK, I practically grew up in church. My father was one of several associate pastors of Central Baptist Church in Moscow, Russia which would have been FBC, Moscow. I do not remember a time when I did not go to church. As I grew up, serving became second nature. Wednesday night choir rehearsals. Saturday evening service. Sunday morning service. Sunday noon youth group activities. Sunday evening service. Special events. Youth trips. Holidays. Central Baptist Church was my home away from home, all four stories of it. Running through the hallways and sanctuary, picking up trash accidentally dropped by someone else, seeing people I knew and loved, feeling a sense of belonging to something bigger than myself or my family all while living under communism.

It was natural for me to find places to serve when I came to the States. When I came to Second, I knew I had found a home away from home again. Twenty years later, I have lived in two states, three cities, and had done several things personally and professionally. Some of them I am proud of, and some – not so much. But one of the things I am most proud of is being a part of Second once again. I find opportunities to serve through music ministry, Stephen Ministry, the Safety and Security team and many, many other ways. This is my church. I belong to it and it belongs to me. When I pick up a dirty napkin from the floor or clean a smudge off a table in the Welcome Center, I am caring for something that I feel shared ownership. This year I also chair the Leadership Development Committee. This is not a kind of job that many people typically line up for. Quiet, obscure – what do people do on all those committees anyway? I have been thinking a lot about why I serve and what makes me take time on Sundays and evenings when others might enjoy a walk, a good book, or an evening with friends. Yet I love this quiet, inglorious, behind the scenes service, because I believe, no I know, it makes a difference. I serve because I belong to Second. Because this is my church. Because it is the right thing to do. Because I help make connections between people’s different skills and passions and the needs of the Second community and beyond. Because I believe it helps change lives and make a difference around the world.

Second is a unique church in a sense that anybody – yes, ANYBODY! – can find a place to serve. What are your interests and passions? Jason Edwards does not make Second – even though his sermons pierce our souls and inspire our actions. Connie McNeill does not make Second – even though she skillfully orchestrated daily engagement and makes the organization run like a well-oiled machine. Chip Handrich and music ministry do not make Second – even though special anthems and events often bring tears to our eyes as we take in a particularly beautiful piece. No, people make Second. You and I make Second what Second is – a vibrant, living, breathing, organism that welcomes tears and smiles, hard work and celebrations. Whatever your passions are – there is a place for you to serve, to make this community of faith even better, to make a difference. This is your church. Own it. Love it. Take care of it. Serve! You will know exactly what I am talking about and more!

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