HEARTS OF SERVICE
The Christian life is designed to be enjoyed with others. Jesus invested much of His ministry with 12 disciples as His closest friends. He wanted his disciples to understand that they must learn to think little of serving self and much of serving others. He likewise calls us to live in community, loving one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, and praying for one another.
Crosspoint members since 2011, Mark and Hillary Reeves, are living out these Christian principles through their dedicated service to the Kids Ministry and their involvement in their small group.
A chemist for Michelin, Mark was born and raised in Six Mile. “My parents were somewhat in and out of church when I was growing up,” he recalls. “An aunt led me to Christ when I was 11, and I was baptized around age 13. I was active in church and my youth group, but I started hanging out with the wrong crowd during my high school and college years and got away from the Lord.”
Hillary is from Anderson and first came to know Christ at a much earlier age. “My stepdad was a part-time pastor at small churches in Pelzer, Williamston, Walhalla, and Mountain Rest, to name a few. He preached, led music, and served as the kids and youth minister in most of those churches. So, I was always in church, even with my biological dad and grandparents, every other weekend. When I was 4, I said the ‘sinner’s prayer’ in my room, but when I was 13, and on a mission trip in West Virginia, I truly gave my heart to Christ.”
A pediatric nurse, Hillary was in training when she met Mark at Tri-County Technical College. While dating, Mark started going to church with her family. “That was a real turning point for me,” Mark admits. “It was so wonderful to be back in church again. I didn’t realize how much I missed the preaching of the Word and the fellowship of a Christian community. I rededicated my life to Jesus.”
When Mark and Hillary married, they knew that their lives should display Christ’s love and that they needed to tell others about Him. They soon began searching for a church home where they could serve Him by serving others. Although they visited several churches in the area, something about the people at Crosspoint kept bringing them back. They wanted to plug in somewhere and use their gifts. It didn’t take long before they began serving in the nursery and with Kids Connection on Sunday nights and in other areas along the way.
“Crosspoint staff encouraged young married couples to take on servant leadership roles in the church,” Mark says. “We were asked to pray about serving in the Kids Ministry for just one semester. We love kids and love working with them. That one semester turned into two years, and so on.”
Kid’s Minister Evan Ward says, “The Kids Ministry at Crosspoint is investing in the next generation. The Bible calls parents to be the primary disciplers of their children, so we want to come alongside and help them in this incredible role that God has given them. Mark and Hillary are faithful servant leaders in this effort.”
“In serving Crosspoint’s children, I’m learning just as much as I teach them,” Hillary says. “It’s almost a selfish thing for me. For example, Bible stories have a deeper meaning for me now. I didn’t grasp their meaning when I was a kid. Hearing the children recite their memory verses and ask really tough questions, I know the seed is being planted. It strengthens my faith. God gives us exactly what we need to minister to others, just as He gives Mark and me what we need to parent our boys, Beckett, 8, and Paxton, 6. Many times, serving is simply joining with others who have the same desire to serve and the same ultimate goals. We’re striving together towards God’s goodness.”
Mark advises anyone considering an act of Christian service: “When you compare Christianity to other religions, Christianity is about what Christ did, not about what we do. It isn’t self-centered. How do we serve others as Christ served us? First, get plugged into an area of service by volunteering just one Sunday morning or shadowing others in service. Your heart will be encouraged, and you will grow more than you ever thought you could. For parents of young children, serving in the Kids Ministry will prepare you for teaching your children. It will also strengthen your marriage.”
Through membership in a small group, Mark and Hillary are part of a special community of people who together grow in Christ, share life, and strive to advance the Kingdom of God by living daily on mission.
“We’re members of Gabe and Aleesha Bolding’s small group. We were serving in the Kids Ministry with them, they live near us in Six Mile, and our kids are around the same ages. It was a natural fit for us to join their group,” Hillary says. “We have empty nesters, widows, young couples with children, and couples planning to be parents. We get so vulnerable when we meet on Wednesday nights because we know that we can trust each other and share life.”
“Once a month, on a Wednesday morning, some of the guys in our group meet at Waffle House to get into the Word and to pray together. And, we’ve been reading a John Piper book on marriage,” Mark says. “I’m not a reader, but they have encouraged me to start reading. The Lord is growing me spiritually through these brothers in Christ.
“Our small group is such a blessing to my family,” he adds. “When we meet, I feel like I’ve been to church. We are pursuing Christ together! I see His hand in my life and the lives of others, especially those in our small group.”
Jesus said, “I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27).
As faithful followers of Jesus, we also must serve others. By God’s grace, Mark and Hillary together exemplify that Christlike service which grows out of genuine love for Him and of love and concern for those whom He provides us opportunities and direction to help, no matter their age.
For more information about Crosspoint Church’s service opportunities: crosspointclemson.org/serve/
To learn more about Crosspoint Church’s small groups: crosspointclemson.org/smallgroups/
By Roy Scott.