Three Things I Learned from Holding a Sign in Spanish

Three Things I Learned from Holding a Sign in Spanish Hero Image Three Things I Learned from Holding a Sign in Spanish Hero Image

In the weeks leading up to Easter, you might have seen ads for Watermark's "Pascua" service, the Spanish version of our Easter service at the Dallas campus. And if you attended the 11:30 service there, you probably noticed greeters holding "Pascua" signs to point people in the right direction.

I was one of those greeters, and this is my story...

But seriously, our External Focus team had the awesome chance to help with the Spanish Easter service (led by our team member Oscar Castillo, Director of Cross-Cultural Engagement). In the end, about 250 people worshiped in Spanish, and it was an awesome time.

Because of a last-minute location change, we needed to make sure attendees knew where to go. So that's how I got to serve as a greeter and sign-holder. And through that experience, I was reminded of some key serving principles... for all of us who serve others. Here are those principles:

1. Great serving often arises from need.

Originally, I signed up to serve on Easter at the Welcome Center, one my favorite places to serve at Watermark. I love giving newcomers and longtime members alike the information they need to connect. God has wired me in that way!

But when a need arose to help with the Pascua service, I shifted my slot.

Likewise, when I arrived at Watermark, I found out we would be greeting - something I wouldn't say I'm exactly "wired" to do, and not what I expected. But the need of the moment demanded it, so I took my spot by the doors!

Yes, we should all look for long-term service opportunities that connect with our gifts, talents, and passions. But we also need to be on the lookout for need around us... and be willing to jump in. It was fun to be reminded that I can make an impact simply by rising to meet the need.

2. Great serving may not "fit" us.

As I wrote above, I'm not naturally a "greeter." I'm naturally an introvert who sometimes finds the process awkward - even though I'm a big fan of the hospitality it provides.

What's more, on Easter Sunday I was holding a sign - entirely in Spanish - notifying people of the Pascua service location change. That meant I might get questions (in Spanish), or even need to walk someone to the Chapel without being able to converse in their native language. I even found myself self-consciously wondering if people might be annoyed that this English-speaking greeter was somehow connected to Watermark's Spanish ministry.

But you know what? On Easter Sunday, that was my job. And just because I'm not pursuing a career in saying Howdy at the doors of the church doesn't mean I can't perform that function with gusto. Likewise, even though I don't know Spanish didn't mean I couldn't hold a sign... and even learn a little bit of Spanish that might come in handy - like "gradas grandes" ("large stairs") for pointing people up to the Chapel. (Fortunately, I was also paired with a Spanish-speaker in case I got in over my head!)

3. Great serving doesn't let style trump substance.

The location change for the Pascua service meant creating signs for all possible entrances. But of course all that "extra" signage about one small ministry effort could be considered a less-than-"smooth" presentation! On some of the signs, we even needed to hand-write additional directions to help people find their way. If you're looking for style no-nos, that's a big one!

But in this case, it was far more important to notify visitors - some of whom might be new to Watermark's campus - than to present a stylistically "perfect" front.

When we're serving people, there are times when "substance" must trump style, when our efforts to love in "deed and truth" (I John 3:18) require imperfect, rather "rough" methods. Of course, there are many occasions when we're able to impact people well and do so with obvious excellence (a trait that honors people and brings glory to God).

So you might say we should simply not let doing service well get in the way of doing good service. And when we have to make a choice, substance and impact should trump style and "perfection."

So that's what I learned from my morning as a greeter. How can these three principles help you serve better where you are?

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Photo Credit: Cristiano Betta via Compfightcc