When You Step Off the Sidelines

When Sean and Christie McMillan started attending Seacoast Greenville in 2015, they started with simply enjoying what the church offered them. Christie says, “We would show up, drop our kids off in Kidscoast, enjoy the sermon and a cup of coffee, then go home.”

She says it wasn’t until 2018 that they realized God was calling them to serve in the church. “I realized the same people were doing everything, every Sunday. That’s not OK; that’s not how the body of Christ is supposed to operate, and I knew that.”

After this realization, God began speaking to them about serving everywhere they turned – through sermons, conversations with friends, during their quiet times, and even in TV shows. They decided to meet with a church staff member to find out where they could help.

“When I was sitting in the sidelines – living in my comfort zone and doing what was convenient for my family and me – I wasn’t modeling Jesus’s life.”

– Christie McMillan,
Greenville Campus

Sean signed up for the parking team because he knew the team’s leader, and Christie volunteered with Kidscoast because that was where she saw the most need. They also began helping as greeters, and they felt a special responsibility to make visitors feel welcome. Those small steps of obedience turned into greater opportunities for leadership.

Sean says, “When a few of our staff members left, I really felt the need to step up and help more. I volunteered to start scheduling some of our teams. With my law enforcement/security background I thought I could help with the safety team as well, so I became its leader.”

Christie got involved in the Sisterhood team, which led to her speaking at a Friday night campus worship for ladies. The weekend before that evening, she helped with a birthday party the campus’s Seacoast Sisterhood hosts at a women’s homeless shelter each month. During the party, she really connected with one of the residents. One of the other volunteers offered to bring the ladies from the shelter to the worship night. The resident Christie had met attended the service.

“When I heard she was coming, I knew the whole evening was orchestrated for her. My message was for her. God was speaking through me to her. I’m not a public speaker, but I just surrendered myself to the Holy Spirit and allowed Him to use me.”

This woman came to the altar at the end of the service. She kneeled beside Christie, and Christie put her arm around her. They sang together. She was smiling with tears in her eyes, and she kept saying to Christie, “God is good.” 

Christie put her hands on the woman’s face and said, “God hears you and sees you.”

The woman said, “I know, and I receive.”

Christie felt a total confidence during that evening that was unusual for her when public speaking. She learned what God could do if she would listen to His voice and forget about whether she felt capable of what He was calling her to do.

Both Christie and Sean continue to serve Seacoast Greenville, and they are also Elders for the campus. They feel like loving others well is the best way to live out their Christian faith.

Christie says, “Jesus is all about others.  It is never about what He feels like doing or whether something is convenient for Him. He didn’t live a comfortable life. When I was sitting in the sidelines – living in my comfort zone and doing what was convenient for my family and me – I wasn’t modeling Jesus’s life. My faith got stronger when I decided to let go of my insecurities and serve.”