What does the Bible say about serving in the church? What are some ways I can serve?
Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." God created each and every one of us with a unique purpose. He equipped us with special personalities and skills so that we might be able to make an impact for His kingdom while on the earth. Christians are referred to as brothers and sisters of a family, or members of the same body. Each person does his part in serving so that the entire body might fulfill its purpose of bringing glory to God.
The skills that God has equipped us with to serve the body of Christ are known as spiritual gifts. "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone" (1 Corinthians 12:4–6; see also 1 Corinthians 12:7–11, 28; Romans 12:3–8). We all have different gifts, but all of them are equally important in carrying out God's plan on the earth (1 Corinthians 12:12–31).
Some of our spiritual gifts are obvious, but others can be difficult to identify. You might discover which spiritual gifts you have, including which ones are the strongest, through prayer, surveys, classes, and serving at your church. You can begin serving before you know your gifts because the experience will give you insight into where you work best, which in turn will help you identify your gifts.
Once you have identified your spiritual gifts you should find a way to use those gifts to serve your local church community. We are all called to serve, and to do so with love (1 Corinthians 13:1–3). Endless service from a wrong heart will do no good. But when we serve out of love, God is glorified.
Here are some ways that you can serve in your local church:
• Join the worship team
• Become an usher greeting visitors and helping with the offering and communion
• Become a youth leader or mentor
• Teach Sunday school or volunteer in the nursery
• Help clean the facilities or maintain the building and grounds
• Work in the technology and sound booth
• Help with administrative and secretarial work
• Lead outreach programs for the community
• Lead missions trips
• Organize food and support for families in crisis
• Become a prayer partner
• Become a church elder or board member
• Provide pastoral care services
• Provide counseling services for members of the congregation
• Visit people in the hospital or send encouraging cards to others in the congregation
There is a lot of work to be done for the kingdom of Christ, but few people willing to do the work (Matthew 9:37). So don't be afraid to simply start serving; there is a place for you. As you serve, trust that God will equip you, guide you, and give you joy for the work. Find delight in doing the things He has planned for you (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:17, 23).
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