A key and critical component of spiritual maturity is Christian service. But how do people move forward in finding a place to serve? Consider the following questions to evaluate how strongly your church encourages people to put their faith into action.
- Do the pastor, staff, and church leaders regularly speak about the importance of serving? Is the message your people hear—from the pulpit, at leadership gatherings, and any other available venue—one that focuses on an “equipping church” where every member is in ministry? Communicate, communicate and communicate! The call to serve is a vision that needs constant communication.
- Are current service options available to everyone? People don’t know how they can serve unless the church has assessed and publicized what’s available. Use every possible means to make service opportunities known—the church website, the pastor’s email, video announcements, direct mail, service campaigns, printed newsletters, and most important and effective—the personal invitation. This summer, LifeBridge Christian Church, Longmont, Colorado, is offering a month-long emphasis of service involvement through a menu of over 200 ministry opportunities. Their campaign theme: GO Serve
- Does each ministry have a Ministry Connector? Once you make service needs known to church members, are the ministry areas ready to receive those who are eager to serve? Appointing a Ministry Connector in every ministry area helps ensure proper follow-up and entry. Ministry Connectors demonstrate that volunteers are valued and vital to the success of ministry.
- Is the value of Christian service supported and advocated through your education program? Service is a natural response to a growing faith. As people grow in their relationship with Jesus they begin to see the importance and privilege of being in ministry to others. Make service opportunities a regular part of the educational experience—for example, Sunday school classes, affinity groups, and home-based small groups.
- Do you offer spiritual gifts discovery classes and an accompanying service placement session? People serve with purpose and joy when they’re serving in their area of gifting. Offer a way for them to discover how God has “wired” them for Christian service. Once people discover how to use their gifts, passion, resources, individual experiences, personal style, and time, they need to know where to apply what they’ve learned. Don’t teach them about their gifts and then leave them wondering “now what?”