When Paul and Drew Talbert moved to Greenville early in 2020, they were able to attend Grace’s Powdersville campus once before the pandemic set in and shut down in-person services. But even through those months when church looked a lot different, they knew God had brought them to the area for his purposes, and part of that was serving in the context of the local church. After joining in the fall, they immediately jumped into serving with Senior Honor—specifically because it was a ministry where they could involve their two boys, Anderson (9) and Whit (7).
Both Paul and Drew grew up in the context of a small church where everyone was expected to serve, so the idea of being involved through serving was ingrained in both of their hearts. They also have specific memories of serving alongside their parents—learning the importance of putting the needs of others before their own. So with a vision of discipling their own boys through firsthand experience, they took on the role of Senior Honor Champion with their campus partner facility, Oakview Park. In addition, Paul serves as a shadow for Mosaic, they all serve through Mosaic Respite Nights, and Paul and Drew both serve by leading worship monthly in re:generation.
Serving as a family has its challenges. Naturally, the boys often prefer pursuing their own interests. But this has provided great opportunities for Paul and Drew to talk with each other and their boys about why they serve.
It’s a rare Sunday that we’re all excited to serve. But rarely is serving meant to be a beautiful, happy experience for everyone. It’s meant to be hard. We struggle with the same feelings of not wanting to go sometimes, so we’re honest with them and talk about why we serve.
Even through the challenges, it’s been a blessing to see their boys grow a heart for others and understand that even as children, they have something valuable to offer. Paul and Drew have also experienced spiritual growth through serving. Paul shares that serving has taught him about the concept of “imago dei”—everyone is made in God’s image. Because of that, all are valuable and worthy of love; the world does not revolve around him.
Serving is a great way to think less about yourself. We have the example of Christ, and he laid down his life to serve others. As you serve, you can’t help but think—this is what my Savior did for me. I’m not thinking about paying him back; I just know this is the best way to grow.
Drew has learned the value of serving in obscurity. Because she grew up in a small church, her family’s role was much more visible. At Grace, she had to examine the “why” of her involvement. Did she serve because it was simply expected of her? Or because she truly wanted to serve God’s people?
I learned that I was there to serve God, not to be seen by others. He has called me to serve by faith, following Jesus’ example in Scripture, and there’s no automatic payoff for serving. It’s part of cultivating a heart for him.
In the two years the Talberts have been at Grace, serving has been the heartbeat of their spiritual growth and provided a valuable structure for discipling their children. While they know it is important to feed their own souls through teaching, worship, and personal study, Paul and Drew view serving as an integral part of their connection to the church. When asked what they would say to someone considering serving, Paul and Drew shared:
Be prayerfully dependent, but don’t wait for the magical moment to feel called or led. Just get involved—think about the season that you're in and commit. We’re called to serve. If you want to see growth in your life, it’s one of the main things you need to implement in order to flourish.