We are called to serve, but it can take time to find our sweet spot .
Alan and Sarah Jo Smith have been attending Hill Country Bible Church for several years. While they’ve served in many capacities, Sarah Jo knew she hadn’t found the serving role that resonated with her most.
It started with Sarah Jo attending a Guest Services meeting with Alan, who was a long-time cart driver. At the close of the meeting she decided to give greeting a shot.
Sarah Jo soon discovered serving brought her the unexpected joy and chance to impact the kingdom that she’d been craving. “It was absolutely wonderful from the first day,” says Sarah Jo. “Even on days that I don’t feel well, getting to wear a joyful, welcoming face as people come into the worship center is a great way to help me feel connected and joyful myself.”
Since March 2015, the couple has continued to serve and grow and have been able to make meaningful impacts on others along the way. Sarah Jo recalls helping a young, lost-looking couple feel at home. “I was there to answer their questions and saw their lost and overwhelmed faces turn to excited and eager faces,” she shares.
She’s also been able to pray with people and direct them to other ministries for ongoing support—all from the doors of the East Lobby.
"Welcoming familiar faces and helping new folks find connection has helped me, in turn, to feel more connected in this large community of believers."
Alan and Sarah Jo have been able to work together, too, like the time they helped a woman with a broken leg get from her car into the worship center. The Smiths and another cart driver coordinated to pull her car up to the entrance and escort her in and out. Sarah Jo shares, “As I walked her to her car, she said, ‘I've never felt so welcomed and loved. There's no way I could have been here without the help you all provided.’”
After several months as a greeter, Sarah Jo took on the extra responsibility of staying at the Welcome Desk after third service and has loved being available to answer questions about the church and its ministries, welcome new families, and pray with people. Most weeks she’s joined by her daughter, Eilonwy, who gets just as much out of the experience. “She really shines. People always give me a grin when they see her enthusiasm, and serving has given her a greater vision for what we do for one another as a church family,” says Sarah Jo.
Finally, just this past spring, Sarah Jo took the leader role over the third hour greeters. “I feel like God has been grooming me for this role for years,” she says. “Making my rounds and connecting with each member on the team feels like being a small group leader again.”
The Smith family also counts attendance during third hour—dividing to count in the different areas of the worship center and meeting up to tally together. “As a family, after church, Alan, Eilonwy and I talk about how our third hour went. We talk about our teams, the community members with whom we connected, and our excitement at the growth and energy of our church,” says Sarah Jo, whose mom and brother also attend Hill Country and are growing more involved every day as a result of the Smith family’s example and encouragement.
“I have served in many capacities over the years, but when I began as a greeter, I knew I'd found my home. Welcoming familiar faces and helping new folks find connection has helped me, in turn, to feel more connected in this large community of believers,” says Sarah Jo.