Category Archives: Service

Posts that describe opportunities to serve and how to get involved.

Finding Ways to Serve

We are looking into 10 ways to help you discover how to find your role in the body of Christ. I encourage you to consider each step as it comes and give it a try for a week or so. Invite God to do big things!

10) Own it. Like Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see…” Be the “someone else” who will do it. God + you + me + them = The Church. It’s your church. It’s my church. We are the body. You are part of God’s equation, and God’s math never fails. There are no mystery committees that make a lot of these things happen; it’s mostly too few people standing up to do too much work. That’s a recipe for disaster. WE have to get this done, together, through the power of Christ. Nike’s slogan is “Just Do It,” and “Nike” means “victory”. When we work together with God, there is victory.

9) Nourish. A lot of people around you are struggling with something. Sometimes we can get our heads up out of the water only long enough to catch a breath – never mind having the capacity for (more) church work. Encourage someone. Listen. Pray with them. Find out what they need. Some friends are inertial and simply need a brotherly or sisterly kick in the pants (avoid cleats). “Suggest” they join you in a service opportunity, and they might remember how good it feels.

8) Treasure Hunt. Get to know somebody new to you. Build relationships. Discover the hidden abilities in others. Appreciate each other. Not many people see themselves and their abilities like you see them – nudge those gems to the surface!

7) Be dependable. What you do matters. What you unexpectedly don’t do matters, too. “It” still has to be done by somebody who wasn’t planning to do it. Check your calendars. Set reminders. Find your replacements. When people know you can be counted on, they are more apt to be part of the team and feel less braced for a stressful or irritating salvage operation. More helpers and happier helpers is always a good thing!

6) Say no. As you get to know yourself better, it is important to learn how to say no to the things that drain you, so you have the capacity to say, “Yes!” to what energizes you.

5) Level up. “Too many chiefs and not enough Indians”? Au contraire! We need leaders. Good church leadership isn’t necessarily about knowing the most, being powerful, or dazzling with charisma. Leading means you care and are willing to make sure valuable experiences happen well. Leading is serving, listening, collaborating, delegating, empowering. It is focus, patience, integrity, creativity, open-mindedness, accountability, persistence. More leaders means less burden per leader, which means everyone thrives. More leaders means your pastor has time and energy for his primary mission of nurturing the flock. Children’s’ Sabbath School classes are precious and rewarding and always in need of more help. Events need leadership and organizational skills. There are opportunities of all kinds, and, yes, you can! You might be surprised how many people are simply waiting for someone to lead the way.

4) Think trashy. Many of the most appreciated jobs in church aren’t glamorous, but the results are! Check the trash cans. Scan the floors. Help move chairs. Wipe down tables. Learn how to make coffee. A heart for service doesn’t necessarily have to take a lot of time.

3) Take risks. Trying something new can be fun, and your bravery will be inspiring and contagious. It’s very possible that what you feel most unsure, it may be the very thing the Devil knows you’d be great at. Remember who you are in God, and your identity won’t accidentally get tied up in what you do. You are free to discover. If it doesn’t work out after a good effort, try something else. Romans 8:11 reminds us that the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is in us. With the power of God that defeated death at work in us, what do we have to fear?

2. Keep moving. Not sure what to do? Do something! Prayerfully follow your interests. A moving vehicle is easier to redirect than a stalled one. God can even use mistakes, if for no other reason than to show you where you don’t want to be.

1. Give up. We strive to make life secure and livable for ourselves, but we end up drained and frustrated. Surrender it all to God – every moment of it. Immerse yourself in God’s word, and the big and small things God blesses you with. Trust God to guide you to His priorities for you.

Part 2: The Quivering Kidney

Last time, I shared the first part of my journey in discovering my part in the body of Christ. Now, the story continues.

God grew a passion inside my heart for other people to experience the healing of living inside His grace and love and family – the good work that he is faithfully and daily completing in me.  I wanted to do something about it, but was terrified of what it might require of me.  1 John 4:18 says that “perfect love drives out fear.” God’s tender handling of me through people in my life began to steadily drive back the fear of trying my voice, of connecting with people I didn’t fully understand, of exploring interests, of being seen and known. Now, as I do my work as a “body part”, I find it’s sometimes deliciously challenging, and sometimes it’s just work. But, it’s rewarding in all its forms. It feels really good to work and play and laugh and cry with my adopted family.

When I let God draw me closer to himself, he showed me how he sees me (and I need him to keep reminding me), and I see him as he is, without the worldly distortions. When God says you’re valuable, simply because you exist, that’s the way it is. When God says he made a body — a vessel of his perfect love on Earth — and that you’re a necessary part of it, who can argue? 1 Corinthians 12: 27 states, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

In part three, we’ll investigate the reality of being the body of Christ and begin a 10-point process of becoming what God has in mind for us.

Part 1: What Happens When I Let Go?

If you had told me a few years ago that I would soon be helping to facilitate small group discussions, I would’ve soundly rejected the notion. If you said that some of those people would be teenagers, I would question your grasp of reality (I mean, seriously, who has better fraud detectors than young people?). If you then said I’d be a 37-year-old mom picking up a new drum hobby, I would have secretly felt a little giddy on the inside. When you mentioned I’d be playing on stage, I’d firmly disagree, but run away screaming, just in case.

When God has plans for an insecure, spiritually-hungry introvert, the unlikely happens. It took years, but God meandered with me to the foot of Grace and helped me come to terms with the reality that if I truly believe in him, in the way he has presented himself to us, I have to truly believe HIM. I have to trust him. I have to go all-in. That’s when God showed me that the people I’d surrounded myself with were safe people – people like me who want to do right by him and by each other.

Join me here next time as I share more of my personal journey of discovering my role in the body of Christ.