Service is the writing that goes through the stick of rock that is our Christian lives. Jesus defined his life by it. “I am among you as one who serves.” It is the reason the King has come.

Christians are not the only people who serve in our society, but we certainly put in vastly more hours than any other group. And not just on Sundays. Over the next few weeks we are looking at 10 reasons to serve well.

The biggest challenge by far in this church has been to provide children and youth work for four and sometimes no less than five different age ranges. We need to salute those who give up their time to do it. Our leaders and assistants have spent tens of thousands of hours of service over the years doing this for us.

It is easy to miss what is right in front of us. There is a lot of serving going on. Every week, our musicians turn up to play the entire service having practised during the week.

The Rock Café has a host of volunteers, and needs them. But it is not just the number of people that counts – it is the quality. You can purchase expensive food but you cannot buy a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Our volunteers provide that – free of charge!

Our home groups leaders, PCC members and Treasury Team and MLT members provide the spiritual and financial leadership for St John’s. We recently applauded our gardeners in church. Deservedly so—they turn out in every season. And there are those who tend to people as well as flowers. The members of our Pastoral Care Team inevitably focus on those who are ill or elderly.

And I have not even mentioned the Prayer Ministry Team or the Filling Station or The Craft Club or those who run the multimedia or the sound desk and those who produce the floral displays throughout the year or those who organise the service at James Wilks and those who make tea and coffee after the service ….well you get the idea.

Whether weeding or preaching or praying or cleaning or playing or caring or teaching, we have a host of people involved in service. And none of the above even touches on the dozens of small jobs that get done which no one even thinks about. Like “How did that loo roll holder get back on the wall?” Or “Who changes the posters outside the church?”

So what is the new series about?

We can always improve our serve. (Well it is Wimbledon season.) But we start this series on the back of a huge appreciation for what is already going on in the lives of busy people. Hours of work are longer than ever. Nevertheless, someone recently offered to help with our children’s work. And she was holding her baby at the time!