Volunteer Profile: Cathy Carmer
We're currently in a series, "Serious Church", where we're walking through what it looks like to be a church that is serious about making and being disciples of Jesus. One thing that we need to be serious about is service. We took an opportunity to talk with Cathy Carmer, who volunteers on our Worship and Creative Arts team about how service is vital to making her more like Jesus. Here was that conversation:
In what way do you currently serve and how long have you been serving in that capacity?
I currently serve on a rotating production team in the Worship & Creative Arts ministry and have been doing so since the early 1990's. When my team is scheduled I can be doing any number of things where needed - starting/stopping video recordings of Sunday services (used, among other things, for the TV program), running playback of video clips, running a program to put song lyrics on the screens, that type of thing. I also do similar work on a rotation basis for the Vintage ministry, which is for college-age adults.
How did you get plugged into service?
Early on when I started attending The Chapel I was looking for a place to serve and volunteered for a couple of short-term service commitments as the need was communicated during services. I wanted a more permanent place of service when I met a woman who volunteered in what was at the time called the Media Ministry. When I started asking her questions about what the ministry did and her role, I thought it might be something that would be a good fit for my interests and skill sets. So honestly, I just showed up one Sunday after the last morning service and asked if they could use me in some capacity.
How has serving impacted your walk with Christ?
I have come to realize that not only is God using me to be a part of reaching other people for Him, but in the process He has used people I come in contact with to minister to me. The older I get the deeper my relationship becomes with Christ and the more I want to serve Him and take part in His mission. I'm able to witness what He does in other peoples' lives. I have witnessed miracles of lives changed, including my own. I think the biggest impact in my walk with Christ is having my eyes opened more and more every day to His very personal giving of grace and total sacrificial love to others and then realizing and accepting that same underserved, personal grace and sacrificial love has been lavished - not sprinkled - but lavished upon me because of who He is and absolutely nothing - nothing - that I can take credit for.
How has serving changed how you see the church, your role in the church, and how that relates to what God is calling each and every one of us to?
When I first started attending church, it was all about me and being ministered to (which I desperately needed). Now, while there are times I still need to be ministered to, my outlook has become more others focused. My service is a very much behind the scenes, support function. I know I'm doing a good job if no one knows the job is being done, lol. Other areas of service are more visible with ministering and interacting directly with people - no matter what age. His mission is very direct and personal and He wants to use each and every one of us ultimately in some capacity to reach individual people with the Gospel - the good news of love and His offer of salvation. And in the process of serving Him, we can't help but draw closer to Him.
What would you say to the person who is on the fence about getting plugged in?
Don't hesitate to get involved in some type of service. Even if you are not a "people" person - there are so many different activities you can do that are needed. Especially rewarding for me is the relationships I have built with my team members. Many of them are as close to me now if not closer than family members. But most of all, it will greatly open your eyes to the work God is doing through our church which is so thrilling to see.
Anything you’d like to add in general about your story of service?
To be brutally honest, one of the reasons I wanted to plug in to service was I knew that if I didn't make the commitment to serve on Sundays I would likely succumb in the moment to hitting the alarm button, rolling over, and going back to sleep. But I also knew that I needed to be at church for my spiritual growth and for the community I would find there. I have seen God bless my commitment in ways I never imagined so many years ago as I walked up the steps to the "booth" at 895 North Forest Road - the location of The Chapel before moving to CrossPoint - to offer my help in any way.