Posted on September 16, 2019 by Nancy Schmitt
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have
received to serve others, as faithful stewards
of God’s grace in its various forms.”
–1 Peter 4:10
When was the last time you pulled up to the pumps at a gas station and a service station attendant came out to pump the gas, wash the windows and ask if you would like the oil checked?
That was one of the things I noticed when I was in the state of Oregon last month. And a little fact that I did not know is that Oregon is one of only two states that does not allow self-service gas stations for safety reasons. The other state is New Jersey. Most full-service at gas stations were discontinued in the 1970s to reduce costs during periods of gasoline shortages.
I did not know this about gas stations in Oregon and was surprised the first couple of times I pulled in for gas and automatically got out of the car to start the pumping process. Each time I was greeted by the service station attendant, who said, “Should I fill it up?” Washing the windows and asking to check the oil were bonus surprises. When leaving Oregon and driving into California, I must say that I was a bit disappointed when I stopped for gas and looked around to see if anyone was going to pop out of the station and no one did.
Experiencing the surprise and gratitude for the full service gas stations in Oregon made me think about the church…Do we surprise people with our ‘full service’ of welcome to visitors and regular attenders? Do we invite others to experience and connect with our ‘full service’ of ministries? Do we find ways to be in ‘full service’ inside and outside the walls of the church in ways that serve others?
We are in our last year of our four-year Ministry Plan of H.O.P.E. at SPUMC and have worked hard to be intentional in offering others the ‘full service’ of our Hospitality, Offering Christ, Purposeful living, and Engaging the community.
May we continue to surprise others with our ‘full service’ as we use our various gifts to serve each other as faithful stewards of God’s grace.