Volunteer Profile: Steve Gaertner
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 Steve Gaertner, who volunteers with one of our partner ministries, 716 ministries, about how service is vital to making him more like Jesus. Here was that conversation:
In what way do you currently serve and how long have you been serving in that capacity?
Currently I’m a career coach at 716 Ministries which prepares people to enter the work force. I started doing that last summer with a Burmese refugee high school student, then in the fall it was for a Congolese asylum seeker at Vive, and my current student is a young man from the east side that has made some poor choices and is trying to make a fresh start. For the past three years I’ve been part of a group that takes care of a widow helping with mowing, yard work and household repairs. I just started as part of a team that makes deliveries and pick-ups for Potters Hands, which is a Chapel out-reach ministry, serving those in need of furniture and clothing. My wife and I also just started serving as “wrap around” support to a large foster family in Niagara Falls through the Every Child ministry.
How did you get plugged into service?
I guess I’ve always been a servant, but Fight Club is what got me plugged into serving through the Chapel and it’s ministry partners.
How has serving impacted your walk with Christ?
Through serving, I've had the opportunity to show the love of Jesus to others by meeting their practical needs. It's a blessing to them, but I think it’s even more of a blessing to me.
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?
The early church was so much about caring for widows and orphans and helping those in need. Each of us has at least one spiritual gift and mine is serving. I’m no prophet or teacher, but serving is something that almost anyone can do. It’s so much easier and more natural to tell someone about Jesus when they ask why you’re giving up your time to serve them.
What would you say to the person who is on the fence about getting plugged in?
There are times when giving up most of a precious Saturday doesn’t seem like something I want to do but every time I come home feeling so glad I did. If you’re hesitant about serving, don’t be. You will be blessed. If you want the ultimate service experience, go on a mission trip to Haiti with Pastor Leroy!