Are you involved in a local church? In asking that question, I don’t just mean, “Do you attend a church service regularly?” I mean are you involved in a local church? Are you serving the church in some capacity outside of showing up for Sunday morning services? If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I hope that your answer is, “Yes!”
However, I know in my own experience as a pastor, an affirmative answer is often hard to come by for the average church attender. One of the major issues that almost every church faces is how to get more people involved in serving Christ through the church. There seems to be a universal trend from congregation to congregation that employs the 80/20 rule: 20% of the people are doing 80% of the work. This is a problem not only for churches, but for those individuals who bear the name of Christ in their spiritual development.
From a pastor’s perspective, when we ask people to get involved in serving Christ through the church, we are not interested in just “filling in the holes” of ministry. We are not simply trying to find people to fill positions so that our programs can run smoothly. As important as that is, pastors are looking to help you grow to maturity in Christ (Eph 4:13). One of the simplest ways to grow in your faith is to serve in some capacity in the church where you hold membership.
Now I am not sure why more people aren’t involved in serving their church. Some, quite frankly, are just lazy and don’t care. They come to the Sunday morning service in order to put their time in, and once they have stamped their spiritual time clock, they go home and go back to their life. I am convinced, however, that many more are not serving because (1) they haven’t been asked directly, and (2) they don’t feel equipped or that there is a place for them.
I am not going to address the first point because that is a leadership issue, not a congregational issue. But, for many of us, we don’t get involved because we feel that we are not needed, nor are we equipped. But the Bible begs to differ. Look at what Paul has to say to us in a couple of passages:
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.
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. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Did you catch Paul’s overall point: We are all part of the body of Christ, and as body parts we have a specific function/role to fill. So, the question for you and for me is, what role or function can I play in our church? Do I need to serve in some way that I don’t feel equipped or am good at? The answer might be surprisingly good for you.
When God instructed Moses to construct Tabernacle in Exodus 35-36, God doesn’t ask Moses to find people and put them into allotted slots. Rather, we see time and time again that God lays a specific thing on the hearts of the people and then gives them the skill to do it.
And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting (Exod. 35:21).
All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the Lord (Exod. 35:22)
All the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill spun the goats hair (Exod 35:26)
All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord (Exod 35: 29)
Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the Lord has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded (Exod. 36:1)
…and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work (Exod. 36:2)
Do you see what is happening here? There was work to be done, and did Moses need to go recruiting? No. God did the recruiting in the people’s hearts. The skills that the people had were probably not miraculously given to them when needed, but probably skills that the Lord had endowed them with in order to live life. In other words, the people are using their trade skills in order to serve the Lord.
So how can you serve your church well? Look at your life and see what you are good at and passionate about. What do you do for a living? Are you a techie? Then serve in the media ministry with website development or social media or communications. Are you a contractor? You save the church some money by fixing things or building needed things. Are you a teacher? There is always a need for more teachers in the church. Are you good at mechanics? You begin a ministry through your church of doing free oil changes for single mothers. Are you a musician (even if you just dabble in something)? The music ministry could use you! Are you an administrator or good with finances? You could teach others in the church or community that struggle with budgeting.
The possibilities are endless, but the question is: are you serving? If not, ask God to put a desire in your heart and begin to search your hobbies, talents, and trade to see how you can be used effectively for God’s Kingdom and then go talk to your pastor. If there’s a place for you at Christ’s table, there’s a place for you in His church.