(And no – it’s not to get pats on the back from our pastors)
Attending church can easily become monotonous if our walk with God is just rolling up on a Sunday, singing a few songs, having a few small-talk chats whilst sipping on cappuccinos. If that’s all our lives were about, we may as well just call church a social club with additional benefits (nice music, babysitting, inspirational messages etc). As believers you’ve been called to more than just ‘going to church’ and you’ve bought into the lie that you can’t contribute anything of value.
Our mandate has never been more necessary in such a hurting world. Jesus loved with his whole heart. His ministry was drawing people to the Father and his life was devoted to serving people. ‘Yeah, but…what do I actually get from serving?’ So many people ask themselves this question, then they frantically hypothesise how much time they may be able to ‘squeeze into’ their hectic schedule. The common self-talk goes,
‘Well y’know, between work and university I pretty much have zero time for anything extra in my life right now.’ I get it. You’re busy. But has anyone ever told you that serving is a life-changing experience?
Here’s 3 reasons why you need to serve in a local church
- You will grow as a follower of Christ
Lots of people go to church – millions, in fact. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than being in a garage makes you a car. True Christ-like growth comes when we work with others in a team to champion God’s causes. You know what serving alongside other teaches us? It helps us learn patience, tolerance and empathy – human qualities that are sadly lacking in the world today. Working with different personalities and diverse groups of people helps us grow as a person.
- You will be a blessing to others
You can shake hands with someone and chat briefly on a Sunday – but true friendships are formed in the heat of a battle. Church ministries can be full of healthy battles that consist of working together to achieve a common purpose, overcoming obstacles that the enemy throws at you, and encouraging each other through stormy waters. Great friendships are developed through working on similar interests and goals. You never know who will be transformed and touched through your volunteering. God has called you to be a blessing to others.
- We follow Jesus’s mission for the church
Jesus said the greatest command was to ‘Love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself.’ Serving is the best way to demonstrate our love for our neighbour. It’s easy to hang with our friends, easy to connect with people who share the same interests – that’s why they’re in our life. It’s not always easy to serve people who won’t appreciate us, value our time or treat us kindly. You could be someone’s only picture of Christ’s love.
This year in 2019, try letting go of your agenda, prioritising people and growing more in your relationship with God through serving.