Serving in the Kitchen & in the Community
Jim Pendergraph starts his day with the following statement: “It’s not about me, but Him.” This philosophy drives his ministry in First Baptist’s kitchen and his mission and outreach through prayer.
About fifteen years ago, Jim Pendergraph was searching for a great-er purpose in life. He joined First Baptist right before the church started the 40 Days of Purpose campaign based on Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life. Jim then adopted the main theme of the book: “It’s not about me, but Him.” He says that phrase every morning, because he believes it sets the precedent for his day.
About a year after joining First Baptist, Jim came to work part-time in the kitchen. “I really feel that some-times things are providence-like, where God brings you to a place of appointment.” Jim had owned a business for twenty years and then worked for a food service company in sales, when he was approached about working here.
“I prayed about it and it seemed like the right thing and how God had it planned. Then one night while working, I looked out into the gym and saw everyone fellowshipping, and I knew that this was where God put me. In that moment, I realized it was a ministry, a vehicle or tool to bring people to Christ. It wasn’t about the walls or being inside the kitchen, it was about going and growing the kingdom.” Jim then adopted the phrase “Gifted to Serve” as the kitchen’s mission statement. He believes life should be about serving others and bringing “one” to Christ. He says, “God wants me to bring one to Him, not 5000, one more.”
For Jim Pendergraph, it’s about discipleship. About that time, he had also joined an Impact Group, a discipleship group for men, and learned about the discipleship process of come and see, come and remain, come and follow, and come and go. He then led Impact Groups for a couple of years. Since then he has led prayer times in the workplace.
Jim states, “After having heart surgery at 40, I was looking for a place for morning prayer. It was the evolution of the idea ‘not about me.’” He started at Katie’s, leading their employees in a twelve-minute prayer time. Once he established leader-ship there to keep it going, and then he went to Parmer Brothers and did the same thing, then Corley Drugs with Tommy Whitworth, then Loy’s Office Supply, and West Georgia Tech. He currently leads a prayer time at Food Depot, calling the employees to the front on the intercom. He states that it doesn’t take away from productivity and is usually well received.
He sums it all up this way: Whatever talent and gift I have, I have from God to further His kingdom. It’s not about me, but Him.” Jim serves others using his abilities, life experiences, and heart. What are your abilities and experiences that God can use? What drives your heart? What are you passionate about?