While I was originally thinking of this title, “cross-training,” as referring to people in a church who serve in multiple places, I realized the double entendre as soon as I typed it: a sports term and a reference to the biblical cross. It works both ways; let me explain.
I was walking out of church on Sunday when I saw my friend Dennis out in the parking lot. He was wearing his orange vest, directing traffic. This wasn’t such an unusual scene except for the fact that Dennis typically serves as a guitarist in our worship band. The spiky-haired, ear-pierced dude is known for his amp that says “BadCat” and his expressive method of leading worship through music. It was jolting to see him in a different role.
It was also surprising for me to one day see Julie, our drama-team member who does the most hysterical Mary Catherine Gallagher impression I’ve ever seen, leading a small group in the children’s ministry. “Wait a minute,” I thought. I did a double take as I said to myself, “There’s no drama in that classroom.”
Over and over I see friends and acquaintances in various roles at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, our 5,000-member church, and it occurs to me that I am privileged to work and serve alongside an amazing group of individuals. These are people who are gifted in a unique way – whether it’s for music, drama, administration, teaching or visual arts – and yet their real desire is just to serve. Yes, serving may mean singing or playing or acting, but it also means stepping in and filling a gap. It means meeting a need that would otherwise go unmet.
These are people who are interested in cross-training in the traditional sense of learning a new skill, of being versatile across disciplines. But cross-training can also mean something completely different. It can refer to our desire to take every opportunity to hone our servant leadership skills under the shadow of the cross and the One who served in every situation presented to Him.
So, having said that, I’ve got to run. I need to go get started training.
Whitney Kelley is the director of account services at A. Larry Ross Communications, a Dallas-based media relations firm specializing in cross-over communications between faith and culture. She and her family are also members of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, Texas, and serve in leadership roles in various ministries at the church.