Today I am sharing the couch with my good friend Katie Chaney. Katie has an amazing heart and huge desire to be used where God has planted her. Today she is sharing her story of how she came to begin a life changing ministry in the area in which she lives. I hope you will give a warm welcome to Katie!
A few short years ago, I would come home from work and kick off my shoes. That was it for me; there was no getting me back out of the house. I’d make dinner and end up spending a few hours in front of the television decompressing from my overextended day.
Raise your hand if you’re just plain tired!
I often wondered how people had the time or energy to do anything after their day at work. Those people had to have more energy than me, have more money than me, have no kids at home, or certainly they could not have worked as hard as I did.
Sometimes it was all I could to do get back out of the house to go to Bible Study. Why did I sign up for this? And homework? There’s homework? But a commitment is a commitment and God was already working in my life – I just didn’t know how extensive His reach really was.
I can’t exactly remember which study I was doing at the time, but I realized that God was asking something of me.
So I asked…………I wasn’t sure exactly what I was asking for, but I knew He was ready to take me on a wild ride and I happened to be intrigued.
Someone gave me a load of comforters and pillows and asked if I knew where they could be used. Well, I didn’t, but I was bound and determined to find out. I called around and found a place in need. I delivered the goods and it was a good feeling being able to deliver those things. Guess what? It was after work – and it was okay.
Around that time, I had asked God to touch my heart and lead me where He wanted me to be. Daily, I told Him I was His girl; I was ready and willing to do His Will. I was tired of being tired all the time; I was sick of having no purpose,.
I began believing Him.
He honored my heart’s wishes and introduced me to a world that I didn’t know existed in our county. I was exposed to the hearts of the hurting, I got to know the needs of the homeless and I’m still getting to know where help is needed.
Years later, I continue to learn about all kinds of need in our county and people still just give me things, even when I don’t ask. God has tendered my heart through all of the people He’s introduced me to. His beloved children; whether they know it or not.
In coordination with my pastor, I expressed a desire to begin an outreach ministry at my church. I thought carefully about what I wanted to call it and I decided on Dovetail Ministries. I wanted it to encompass outreach opportunities both within my church as well as outside in the community; dovetailing a willingness to serve and an exterior need.
After all, a dovetail is a kind of a construction joint that holds one piece to another. It’s a “connection on purpose”. Not just glued, but fashioned to fit, as God fashions our own purpose in His Kingdom for His greater good and perfect plan.
Dovetail’s credo is; “Partnership for Community”. Not “with” community, but “for” community, as I imagined that each one of us should live in partnership striving to create community toward or for one another, thus creating community relationship. All of this, of course, being shaped by our Father as I really cannot take credit for being that clever!
The newsletter I created, called Dovetail News is used to inform people what was going on in our county and what opportunities were out there that could use a little (or a lot of) help.
Whether people read it or not, it is an honor to seek out these needs in our community, get to know the people in stewardship of them and possibly pair them with folks who are looking for a way to serve.
I am currently honored to participate in a new Bible Study about James, Jesus’ brother. James is a man tugging on my own heartstrings. He is compassionate and forthright; he pulls no punches and delivers Christ’s meaning and message with honesty and truth.
Read James 2:14-24. Those words are scary-honest and scary-true, yet should bring us so much joy! If you’re not serving in some capacity, you need to really consider it, but please don’t consider it just to merely serve.
Are you ready to ask Him, too?
Once I asked God to show me what He would have me do, my life has been very busy. Those few hours that I used to sit and watch television are now joyfully filled with things that God would have me do.
Once you ask God to show you how He would have you serve, it no longer feels like a burden or a requirement or a conviction but rather a delight and an honor. Something you look forward to. Please, don’t just go out and do something, ask God where He wants you to serve – then hold on! You will not regret it ever!
Seek areas where you feel you are gifted or where He may be pulling you. It might be to counsel homeless people a few hours a week, sort clothing for a clothing closet or to help kids with their homework a few hours after school one day a week. Whatever it is, seek God’s will for your life and act on it.
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
God will equip you in preparation to do exactly what He needs you to do. Seriously, all we have to do is hold on for the blessed ride! So keep asking. All of this with God’s love pouring through you and His tender approval and appreciation at your willingness to serve.
Zephaniah 3:17 says
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
If you would like to receive The Dovetail Newsletter each month, please send an email to Katie Chaney at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will add you to her elist. Your email address will be kept confidential and always bcc’d so that it cannot be copied or sold.