For many weeks now, I have been hearing countless folks discuss “service” in a religious sense. As many of you might conclude, service in a church setting should come naturally as being part of a congregation of believers.
That said, I, being a position of leadership (currently) at my church, have the unfortunate circumstances of not seeing people serve to their full potential.
There are Sunday school teachers, worship leaders, deacons, ushers, cleaning crew, grounds maintenance crews, nursery workers, and more. And I am still surprised that in churches, there is only about a 15% volunteer rate. Why?
I have decided there are two types of people in church: 1) Those that come to serve. 2) Those that come to be served.
Now, please don’t think I’m pointing fingers at any one specific person, because I am not. I just don’t understand the mindset of not serving. My time is precious. Joe Schmoe’s time is precious. Jane Doe’s time is precious. But if we three are sharing this burden of service, our time becomes more productive.
I have attended several churches, and the one common conclusion I walk away with is that USUALLY those that complain the most and then depart to leave for other churches that have more than what their original church is offering, are usually the ones that serve the least. Those that are serving the most in a congregation are less likely to leave the church they are serving in because of service. This is a vested interest mentality. I have a vested interest in First Baptist Church Palmer, because I want people to love it there. I want them excited about attending the programs, classes and service. I want the truths of the Bible shared with anyone who will listen. I want their children to love it there. So I’m going to serve as much as I can there to help make it the church that I feel God wants it to be. This goes for anyone working and serving beyond what they thought was possible in ANY church.
I have had my time in saying “no” to one thing or another, simply because I didn’t want to do it. Regardless of if there was a need. But in time, I finally gave into the Spirit’s prompting to serve in my core strength areas.
If we all go to church understanding that we are going to serve, who won’t be served? Everyone’s needs, spiritual and the like, will be met. Churches would flow. Families would be involved. Of course, there will always be someone who has a complaint. Can’t make everyone happy.
When will we, as disciples of Christ, learn that church isn’t about what we can get out of it, instead it’s about what can we bring to it? HOW can I influence my church’s ability to reach out? WHAT can I do to assist in the growth of the body of Christ? WHEN can I get to it? WHERE is service needed the most? WHO can I share this gospel with or serve? The “why” in all of that just seems to fall into place.
Because after all that service, heart reaching, people teaching, love sharing, gospel preaching, the question remains “Was I a help or a hindrance to the growth of Jesus’ church?” I don’t want to leave this life for the next life wondering if I was or wasn’t a help. How about you?