Growing in Service
Each of us has gifts, and as good stewards of those gifts, we serve others. To help us be good stewards, Chase Oaks Church provides a variety of opportunities to meet individual needs and interests in every season of life to serve our fellow Chase Oakers and our community. Due to these opportunities, Sherrie and Eric Frank have been able to modify their service role as their family matured, to teach the value of service to their children, and to pass the baton on to their children as they are coming-of-age to serve themselves.
It all began when Sherrie volunteered in Kidzone when she was a stay-at-home mom with preschoolers. She thoroughly enjoyed sharing Bible stories with the children of Chase Oaks. When their children reached the ages of eight and six, Sherrie and Eric decided it was time to look for a service role that would include the whole family. As parents, the couple strongly believed it was important to teach children how to serve others early in life; however, despite their willingness to serve, their lives were becoming increasingly busy with the kids’ sporting commitments and Sherrie’s return to work. These time commitments significantly limited their availability to volunteer in the church, but they looked into all of the service possibilities until they found one.
Ultimately, they decided the coffee bar was the right fit for them. In addition to working as a family, they could perform their duties during their regular worship time. They committed to once per month and to Christmas and Easter services. On their scheduled Sundays, they divided up the duties according to each family member’s strengths. Eric took charge of the social aspect of the bar, masterfully making thirsty guests and members feel welcome at Chase Oaks as they satisfied their thirst. Grace, their daughter, filled the sugars and other condiments, assuring Chase Oakers could have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate just the way they like it. Luke, their son, made coffee in the back with Sherrie, which matched his reserved demeanor perfectly.
Now, as we all know, serving is truly a commitment, and commitments are not always fun. They can be tedious, overwhelming, or inconvenient. And indeed, there were days the Frank children would rather have slept in or skipped church for another more appealing activity. Sherrie and Eric used those occasions as teachable moments, reinforcing the importance of following through with commitments.
On many occasions, while serving in the coffee bar, the Franks caught up with friends and acquaintances they had not seen in a while. Maintaining and strengthening connections was an unexpected bonus of the job.
Reflecting upon the nine years the family served in the coffee bar, Sherrie reports, “Our children learned to perform their responsibilities even when it does not feel good, how to take ownership of their job, how to teach others their skills, and what it means to give back.”
The coffee bar was a place for them to grow together as a family, grow relationships with other Chase Oakers, and in the long run, their children learned core values that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Now that their children are 17 and 15, the Frank family has transitioned yet again, relinquishing their coffee bar duties to others as their family’s needs have changed. For now, Sherrie and Eric have stepped back from the service role to attend the Sunday service with Luke as he explores his relationship with God and the gifts and talents he has to offer in a service role. Grace plans to be a teacher in the future. In preparation for her future, she volunteers in Kidzone, teaching the lesson each week to five-year-olds. She has picked up the service baton in an area in which she is passionate, and she is running with it.