(photo courtesy: googleimages)
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”-Romans 12:6-8
I have had several conversations with church leaders and workers recently around volunteerism in the body of Christ. It seems like many are struggling to find people to step into service roles in order to keep ministries going.
For the most part, these leaders come from churches with 100+ attendees. They shared that many come, hear announcements for events or ministry opportunities, but ignore the call. In fact, they wait to be asked personally before making a step to help.
It feels like people have accepted being a part of the church, but not embracing their role in serving as a part of the body.
As I heard some of the things they shared about how they can’t get people to help in the nursery due to schedules. They have people sign-up, but won’t commit to their sign-up. Another issue they face is having enough people to help at events or church programs. People want to enjoy the show, but don’t assist with the set-up.
I can tell it is wearing on them. They are getting tired and struggling with their congregation.
It is hard to hear, hard to see, and hard to understand.
I could understand if it was a church full of people who didn’t know Jesus, but these churches have people who have declared Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but that is where they stop.
As the Church, we have a role to play in serving each other and serving within the body. Waiting to be asked is an arrogant concept. Waiting to be asked shows a lack of humility. We need to be wanted. We need to know that the church needs us and we want it said out loud. That is a stance that goes against who Jesus called us to be.
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). He didn’t wait to be asked, so why should we? He came to give His life because it needed to be done, so why should we expect to be asked to do anything that needs to be done if the Savior of the world didn’t have to be?
Jesus referred to Himself as the bridegroom, which implies that the Church is His bride. The bride should be prepared for the return of the groom. We become prepared by doing the things He asked us to do. If we aren’t willing to serve within the structure of the church, then how can we be serving as the Church getting prepared for our groom to return?
It is hard. We have busy schedules. The ministry you would like to serve in isn’t in existence. We could name several excuses as to why doing anything beyond a Sunday is too much.
However, when the church falls apart or doors get closed, the people who should be taking the blame are the people who chose to ignore the call because they “weren’t asked directly” or “were too busy”.
Perhaps the bigger issue is understanding salvation.
When we value our service, not based on the cost of our time, but on the cost of the cross, perhaps we would see a greater need to serve? The cross of Christ is why we serve. It is why rise up to do the tasks of the body that need to get done.
I believe I have said this before, but we do not serve to be saved, we serve because we are saved. It’s the only response that makes sense.
We serve because we were served first! Jesus set the example and we should follow it.
If we claim Christ, then we accept our role as servants. Our salvation defines our service.
We cannot look at it as, “Well, that just isn’t my gifting” or “I can’t do that, I would have to get dirty”. If we have received the Holy Spirit, guess what, we’re gifted to do everything. If we have accepted Jesus, guess what, He got the dirtiest anyone could get, so we’re not above Him.
May our salvation move us to service without question. May we find ourselves willing to step into roles that need to be filled in order to see the ministry of the church come alive and allow the Church to be alive!
Peace and Blessings friends!
PS…If you can’t find the ministry opportunity you want to participate in, serve somewhere, then begin the process of developing a strategy to implement your passion. Inform the church leaders and let them pray with you, then hopefully you’ll be able to move forward with it. Trust God, not your calendar.
QUESTION: What keeps you from being an active servant in your church?