First Serve

serving-foodAre you familiar with the principle? Other authors and parish ministers have used it; it’s not original to me. “First serve” involves the invitation to volunteering or parish ministry. A new parishioner or a prospective old-timer commits for only one time.

In liturgy, it’s an easy thing to implement for some ministries. Hospitality ministers, either ushers or greeters have easy tasks, and if the regulars are welcoming of recruits, they can assist with the hands-on stuff. Art & Environment committee too. (Decorating for Advent or Lent or something like that.)

First Serve might be possible for a one-time singing commitment. Christmas can get fairly intense in some parishes, but everybody knows the familiar carols and harmony might break out surprisingly well.

First Serve is lilkely less useful for the ministries of more involved procedures (distributing Communion) or intense preparation (lectors).

From a powerpoint I developed for a workshop I did years ago, my reasons for offering a single-event “first serve”:

  • Newcomers get to know others who serve and get a glimpse of parish operations
  • They get their feet wet without a full-blown commitment
  • They can control their involvement; they know if they get sucked in, it will be their choice.
  • Small successes breed bigger ones

What do you think?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Ministry, Parish Life. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to First Serve

  1. Liam says:

    Cultivating the fundamental disposition of openness and a willingness to trust and respond to an invitation with Yes is the foundation of Christian discipleship. It’s easy to deflect or obstruct that disposition and willingness with Why? How? and When? We as a community wish to practice offering opportunities where the need for deflection and obstruction is eliminated or at least greatly reduced.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s