#10 VALUE IT
Jesus taught that in order to be great in the kingdom of God you needed to be a servant. Check out Matthew 20. Too many times we do not value the great number of our church members who are faithfully serving God’s kingdom. We might have an easier time with retention of volunteers if we occasionally recognized them and showed them we value service.
#9 TEACH IT
As mentioned above, Jesus had a lot to say about service. Make sure we spend time each year teaching our members about service. Share great Bible stories and instructions about service and sacrifice. My church just went through a month long series from the pulpit to the Sunday School hour about the importance of service.
#8 MODEL IT
From the senior minister on down, the congregation and the community you serve in needs to see the leader’s shirtsleeves rolled up and out serving. Remember that some things are caught, not taught.
#7 BUDGET IT
Many times serving in the community and in the world cost money. Make sure that your budget has funds for garbage bags, tools, paint, etc. You will get the message out about the importance of service if part of the budget is set aside for this.
#6 SCHEDULE IT
Not only could you spend a month talking about serving, but how about a month of weekends that center around service. The FAITHWORKS program at White Oak Christian Church has set aside quarterly all church days of service in their community. Bottom line, “What do you want your church to be known for?”
#5 QUESTION IT
We need to ask the right question. Too many times we ask, “Should I help that person?” We should be asking, “How can I help that person?” Can you image a church filled with people who daily ask that question? It would lead to number four.
#4 OPEN YOUR EYES FOR IT
We need to develop the eyes of compassion. To look for those in need and serve them. Have you notice recently all the commercials on television about seeing needs and helping people out? Service can be a small as holding a door for someone to as big as painting their house.
#3 START IT
Do you remember the story of the young lad who served by sharing his fish and bread with Jesus? What a powerful impact he had at such a young age. We are never too young or too old to learn about serving. This fall one of my friends brought his preschool son to help spread mulch at a local school. That “child” put some adults to shame in the work he did that day. The importance of serving others can be taught at any age.
#2 RECOGNIZE IT
To borrow a promotional line from my CIY days, “Actions speak louder than words, service screams.” Our service speaks very loud in the world that we live in. One of the best forms of evangelism is through service. After years of serving a family on the east side of Cincinnati, they final realized the love of Christ through this service and accepted God’s love and forgiveness. Recognize the impact service can have for the kingdom of God.
#1 JUST DO IT
OK, I will borrow one more theme. This is not rocket science, unless that is how you are going to serve someone. God has gifted each of us with abilities to serve others. Get out there and do it. Your church can be and should be known by the service it does in the community you have been placed in. At the end of Acts 2 there is an incredible description of the early church. This could be a description of your church.
Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life by Robert D. Lupton, Regal Books, 2007.
Conspiracy of Kindness by Steve Sjogren, Servant Publication, 1993.
Field Guide to Neighborhood Outreach by Group, 2007.
Hope for Children in Poverty edited by Ronald J Sider and Heidi Unruh, Judson Press, 2007.
Irresistible Evangelism by Steve Sjogren, Dave Ping, and Doug Pollock, Group, 2004.
The New Friars by Scott A. Bessenecker, IVP, 2006.
The Outward Focused Life by Dave Workman, Baker Books, 2008.