As we develop and train our leaders, there will be no services this Sunday (5/26)!

Serving from Home

This past Sunday we held Team Link as an opportunity for everyone to learn more about the teams at Hoboken Grace and how to make an impact in the community.

For those who do not attend in person or who do not live in the area, it’s also important to talk about remote serving opportunities! We recently sat down with Alex from the communications team and learned about his remote serving experience and how it has impacted his feeling of community and his faith.

 

Story Team: What team do you serve on and what is your role?

Alex: I serve as part of the Story team within Communications. My main role is to write what we call “blurbs,” which appear in our social media, email newsletters, and other places. I also conduct written interviews to help tell the stories of people in our community.

 

Story Team: What is the reason you joined and how has it impacted your faith?

Alex: Before COVID-19 shut the world down, my wife and I were both serving as part of Grace Kids. She was a teacher and I helped families check their kids in. We both felt called to serve, but I was certainly hesitant about taking this step since I had only recently started attending church again after a decade-long break. But I took the step of faith with my wife and grew a lot because of it. When the world stopped doing anything in-person, my wife and I packed a small suitcase and drove down to her parents’ house in Georgia. We thought we would have a nice 2 week vacation, but we’re still here 15 months later (and still with the same 5 t-shirts that we both packed).

We had both fallen into a rhythm of serving with Grace Kids, so we immediately felt like something was missing from our lives. I brought this up once in Dinner Group and Jolene (one of our dinner group leaders) mentioned that I should consider joining the Story team because they needed some help and it was easy to do remotely. I resisted the idea greatly because I am totally uncomfortable writing for an audience, but I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that something was missing from my life.

A few months went by, and Pastor Chris gave a message saying you are supposed to take steps of faith before you are ready and grow because of it, not wait until you are ready to do so. Like Anthony likes to say, this was a pretty clear “nudge” to me from God. At the same time, we were also doing something in dinner group called “soul support,” where a different person would share something uplifting each week. For my week, we were in the middle of the Making Love series, so I wrote something about what it means to me to love your neighbor. People in dinner group really liked it, and Jolene didn’t hesitate to say that the Story team still needed help. So, despite my fears and anxiety and never having written social media content before, I said “yes” to join the Story team and haven’t looked back.

 

Story Team: What is it like to serve remotely and how do you like to make an impact?

Alex: Serving remotely is great for me, because I can answer God’s call to impact my community despite living 800 miles away from the physical building where we hold services. It’s a bit strange that I haven’t met most of the team in person, but this is totally insignificant compared to the opportunity to serve. We’ve all gotten used to Zoom meetings by now, so it isn’t a challenge at all to coordinate remotely. 

I always prefer to make an impact in the background, and serving remotely is a great way to do this. I was initially scared about writing for hundreds of people, but it’s nowhere near as bad as I was making it out to be. 

 

Story Team: Even though it is remote, has serving on a team helped to deepen relationships and friendships?

Alex: Yes! I’ve met new people and worked with a few people on Hoboken Grace staff for the first time. Like I said above, I still consider myself new to “this whole church thing,” so I was a little intimidated by this in the beginning. But getting to know the team has opened new connections, deepen existing friendships, and helped me grow my faith by saying “yes” before I was ready. The team is completely invested not only in building each other up, but also producing the best possible content to help people find their way back to God, myself included. 

 

Story Team: What would you say to someone who is unsure about serving remotely?

Alex: Dive in! Give it a shot. Worst case, it might not be the best fit and you can pivot to something else that fits your strengths better. But you don’t know until you try. I’ve grown a lot in my faith by trusting God’s plan for me and saying yes before I felt ready. I plan to remember this in the future and continue to take new steps. That’s not to say that I won’t be afraid of stepping into the unknown or resist these steps a little, but I will have this experience that I can look back on and remember that it was worth the small amount of “growing pains” in the end.

 

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