Rustlings: The Welcome Matt (July 25, 2016)

I joined the church fifteen years ago. Up to that point I was fairly involved on Sunday mornings (Sunday School and worship) and faithfully involved on Thursday evenings (the men’s basketball team). When I finally got up the nerve to “walk down” and officially join in front of the congregation — at the early service so that I could avoid the attention that came with joining during the larger service — I was handed a new member binder whose heft and volume would make the Oxford English Dictionary blush. Near the front of the binder, I spotted a plain black and white sheet of paper with the title “Member Interest Survey.” It had a lot of great volunteer opportunities listed and told me about all of the great things that First Baptist offered in the way of volunteering and participating in small groups. Leaving everything blank except for my name and the boxes next to “Basketball – play” and “Basketball – coach,” I filled it out and handed it in to someone at the front desk and promptly forgot about. A few months later, Mittie Taylor called me, and citing my member interest survey, asked if I would be interested in coaching a youth team that season. I jumped at the chance and ended up having a great experience. After volunteering and representing First Baptist as a coach, I felt more like a part of the church, and I became involved in other areas as well. One thing led to another, and I ended up on staff here, went to seminary, got ordained, and I now serve as the minister of spiritual formation and outreach!

I can’t promise that’s how it will go with you, but I can promise that if you truly want to be more involved here at First Baptist, and if you are feeling called to serve your church, I will help make that happen. Our new member booklet has gotten smaller and lighter, the member interest survey is now online, and we have quite a few new mission and ministry opportunities available, but the invitation to serve, grow and volunteer here at First Baptist remains the same. If you would like to become more engaged at the church, here are some ways we can help:

— Matt