Use Your Gifts for Joy
By: Nancy Mattke
Why Do I Do What I Do?
I was asked to respond to the above question.
My first response is that I enjoy doing what I do. So does that mean that I only want to have fun? And you may ask – just what do you do? After all, there are many things that I don’t do. I rarely cook for church; I don’t work with kids; I’m not the most enthusiastic worker at church work days.
Secondly, I was brought up to serve within the church. We belonged to a small rural church which required everyone’s input. My parents were active – teaching and leading. That was a wonderful example of serving.
Thirdly, I want to use my gifts to make the world a little better. My gifts lean more to administration and accounting and organization than to playing games with kids or leading toddlers. I want to honor the gifts I have been given even though they may be different than the traditional gifts often valued in the church.
So what do I do? I currently serve as finance chair at Andover United Methodist Church – lots of numbers, reports and questions. All of which I am good at. I also serve as chair of the board for Andover Community Food Bank - meeting agendas, guiding meeting discussions, and more review of financials. I am treasurer of Thrive!Butler – the new poverty alleviation initiative. You guessed it – more numbers, reports and analysis. I am also secretary of the Friends of the Andover Public Library – keeping minutes so we can verify what we decided to do. In addition, I am board member and treasurer of SoCe where I keep the books.
It is important to me to use what talents I possess to support organizations and initiatives which I believe are improving life. I believe that God prepares each of us with certain gifts which vary – thank goodness! Thus, I don’t have to be miserable to serve in a meaningful way.
It is also good to get out of my comfort zone so you will see me distributing food in the food bank, leading Pathfinder’s adult Sunday School class and serving at the Lord’s Diner. Those are not my natural mode, but are important “stretching” for me.
I like this quote from Frederick Buechner, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Thus we can each use our individual unique gifts in a way which serves and brings us joy.
That’s why I do what I do.
Andover UMC - Finance Chair
Andover Community Food Bank - Chair
Thrive! Butler - Treasurer
Andover Public Library - Secretary
SoCe - Treasurer and board member