By Michelle Key
The “Way 2 Serve” annual support dinner was held at the Bottling Plant Event Center last week.
The keynote speaker for the event was former Auburn University football coach and ESPN/SEC Network College Football Analyst, Gene Chizik.
Former Auburn player Ryan Smith, who played under Chizik, introduced him by recalling one of his early meetings with the coach. “The only dream I had, the only goal I had, was to play Auburn football,” Smith said. Suddenly faced with being a single father at the age of 18, Smith sais that he planned to drop out of school, go back home, get a job and raise his son because he knew the one thing that he could not do was leave his son. “I truly believe that it was God’s plan for me to be at Auburn under Coach Chizik. He had a purpose for my life.”
Chizik called Smith into a meeting and helped Smith work out a plan to help Smith stay in school, play football and raise his son.
Chizik took the stage and elaborated on Smith’s story, explaining how Smith travelled back and forth from his home in Birmingham to classes in Auburn three times a week. “He said to me, ‘Coach, I am not going to let my son grow up without a father,’” Chizik recalled. “I definitively remember at that moment me going, ‘that guys got it right.’”
Chizik went on to speak about the importance of service within one’s community and encouraged the audience to get involved with Way 2 Serve. He mentioned three things that tie into the message of Way 2 Serve:
• Gifts – a gift is something given to you by God and there is an expectation for you to use it. Find your gift and use it for God’s purpose.
• Service – we are not here to be served, but to serve. When you find your gift, find a way to serve.
• Relationships – relationships are where we start to build trust and where we start to see things happen. Relationships are everything. Man (male or female) was not created to be alone. Everything is about relationships.
“I want to challenge you. There are two things that this ministry needs: the gift of service and the gift of giving,” Chizik said. “You are God’s players, go win a championship for Him.”
More than 400 people attended the dinner, helping raise $85,165. According to Kyles, this represents 41 percent of their annual budget.
About Way 2 Serve
Way 2 Server was founded by Shane Kyles when he felt called into the mission field of serving his local community.
The purpose of The Way 2 Serve Ministries is to share the love of Jesus in practical ways. It provides opportunities to serve by doing home repair projects that leads to forming and building relationships with those we help. It takes the entire body of Christ to accomplish all that is involved in repairing homes and repairing people. Repairing homes is a short process but repairing people takes a long time and the organization is committed to both.
Below are areas of the ministry that individuals can plug into, based on their spiritual gifts.
To get involved, just e-mail info@the way2serve.org and list what area(s) you feel called to serve in. They will connect you in that area and provide any training that may be needed for you to serve. They believe in equipping and sending workers into the harvest fields.
• The Way 2 Pray. Nothing happens without prayer. This is a group of people who are prayer warriors. They lift up the needs in our community on a regular basis.
• The Way 2 Build. If you like to get your hands dirty for the Lord then this is your spot. This is where home repair projects are done. My Jerusalem is facilitated through The Way 2 Build.
• The Way 2 Grow is exactly what the name says. This is where we see people grow Spiritually and in life skills. This team is a team of persistence. This spiritual growth and these life skills don’t get built in a day like a wall does. This team is needed for the long haul.
• The Way 2 Prepare This is a way to serve behind the scenes to make sure we stay prepared for all the aspects of ministry. You can use your administrative and technological gifts.
• The Way 2 Give. This is where people who are able to partner with us financially and/or with materials and supplies plug in.
For more information visit www.theway2serve.org.