Last Sunday, we carved out some space during our corporate worship service for people to share of God’s goodness to us as individuals and as a community. We wanted to start 2010 in the spirit of Psalm 145 and offer a hymn of praise to our God. One of the amusing moments was when Shainu shared of how the Lord has brought people to carry this ministry with us. She made it abundantly clear that I could not do all the work of church planting on my own. I think her exact words were “…there are sooooo many things Ajay cannot do.” Her point (other than to mock me) was that God in His incredible grace has brought servants to bear the burden of this work so that I am in no way carrying it alone. I couldn’t agree more.

Finances: Dennis & Jim serve on our Finance Team. These guys help with all things money and are constantly helping us mature in the way we oversee our finances. I have been spoiled rotten to have these brothers. Everything from collecting the offering, to keeping the books, to running payroll, to creating policies, to giving wise counsel for important financial decisions – they have served a vital role at Seven Mile Road. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have them running the day-to-day details of our finances. Without them, I’m pretty sure all our money would be tucked under a mattress or in a hole in the backyard. For a new church, we’re ahead of the game and it is because of the service of these men.

Nursery: Anne and numerous Seven Mile Volunteers serve in our nursery. Anne has seen her role as a ministry and we have benefitted greatly for it. We have had a fully functioning nursery from before our first service. We have a room that’s painted kid-friendly, with toys, snacks, books, playpen, tables, chairs, and everything else a toddler would need. Every week, we are able to offer parents the option of dropping their young kids off at the nursery during the preaching so they can sit attentively under God’s Word. And as they do that, they can be confident that their precious ones are being watched by folks who have gone through background checks, security-screening, and training. Anne has personally walked each of our volunteers through our Nursery policies and procedures (I can’t believe we even have Nursery Policies & Procedures). Volunteers have served with joy and look after the kids as they do their own. We don’t take it for granted, but recognize it is the service of this crew that makes it possible for me to announce each Sunday, “At this time, you can bring your kids to the nursery…”

Music: Siby owns music. That means more than just he plays for us on Sundays. It means that each week he has read through what we’re preaching on that Sunday and is thinking about what songs would make for a fitting response. It means he initiates with a list of songs and we talk through which work and which don’t. It means he’s creating the powerpoint with lyrics and images and making sure that in all ways he is ready to lead the people of God in song. He’s also developing an audition and recruiting process to have more folks serve musically. Before we got to Philly, I use to pray that God would give us a musician who is humble, gifted, able to lead and willing to follow, and theologically sound. God is answering that prayer through Siby.

Setup & Hospitality: For the most part, our men handle setup and our women run hospitality. We’ve had services now for about four months. Each week, different men help arrange the chairs, set up the speakers and audio equipment, run the projector, record the sermon and make the room ready for worship. After service is done, Winson quietly and consistently leads our guys in breaking everything down. Shainu helps lead our women as they take turns setting up coffee and snacks for fellowship after the service. It’s like washing feet. It’s simple, unnoticed, humble work. And they’ve done it like Jesus.

SoulCare Leaders: We now have three SoulCare Communities at the church. That’s so exciting to me. The beautiful thing is that two of these communities are led by people other than me. SoulCare is easily one of our most important ministries. What sheer grace from God then, that this ministry is owned and carried by several different leaders. These folks are pastoring (with a little “p”) people in our church. SoulCare is spiritual work and that 9 people share it with me is evidence of God’s grace.

There’s more, but I’ll stop there. Grateful to God for the feet-washers at Seven Mile Road.