My name is Jerry McFadyen, and this is my story of how God changed my heart from being self-focused to kingdom-focused through service.
I was saved and baptized at the age of 8, but as many do, I drifted away from my faith as a young adult. But then after getting married and having our first child, I turned back to the Lord and began attending church again. I became a deacon and I was at the church every time the doors were open. If you had asked me, I would have told you I was living a good Christian life. However, the truth was that I was self-focused, self-absorbed, and, to be honest, I was only worshipping myself and my life. Then when my wife passed away in 2002, I began to pray and lean on Him like never before. This was only the beginning chapter of what God was about to do in my self-focused life. I then met Debbie, who was also widowed, and we married in 2005 and began our new lives together as a blended family. After we got married, we struggled with where to attend church because we came from different churches. After some searching and a lot of God’s gentle but firm leading, we ended up visiting Calvary and we have been here since 2009. It was at this time that I truly felt the Holy Spirit take hold of my life and guide me to worshiping God with my life rather than trying to make God worship me. I’ve always had a servant’s heart, but I had always used it for my glory or my gain rather than for God’s glory alone. I began to pray daily “Lord here I am, use me, let me be that true instrument in your right hand” and He began to do just that.
If you truly open your heart to allow the Lord to have His way with your life, it’s unimaginable what He will do.
I reached out and asked if there was a place where I could serve. I was immediately put into contact with the right people and I began serving on the First Impressions Team on Sunday mornings. I became a coordinator, making sure everything was in place. Then I began to help with ushering. And as time went on, I began to learn that the more that I made myself available to serve, the more serving opportunities I found. In addition to actively serving at Calvary, I began serving within the community as a chaplain with local fire, police, and sheriff departments. And recently, I was ordained here at Calvary, which has given me even more opportunities for service.
If you truly open your heart to allow the Lord to have His way with your life, it’s unimaginable what He will do. My old self would have been proud and puffed up about all of this and I would have wanted awards, medals, or other recognition to show others how great of a person I was. The new, Kingdom-focused me no longer cares about any of that; I just want to glorify God with whatever time I have left. If all I do from now on is to serve the Lord through serving others, I still couldn’t earn my salvation or repay the Lord for what He’s done for me. God pours out more blessing on me than I can ever give to Him. Whenever I serve others, He pours the blessings out on me and He gets even more glory in that. I have come to the realization that all that we do is to bring glory, honor and praise to the Lord our God. We can either focus on glorifying ourselves or glorifying God, but not both.
If you aren’t serving God through serving others, I would love to sit down with you and talk. There are serving opportunities in and around Calvary for everyone and there are many needs that simply are not being filled because we are too busy serving ourselves. I’ve been disabled since 2013 which has given me lots of time to serve, but even if you only have an hour a month, that’s the perfect place to start. There is plenty of opportunity for you to serve God through serving others.