Monday, August 1, 2016

You Want to Serve At Church - But Where?

Source:  Scott Wilson
Here are the five questions I ask to help a newcomer (or long-time attender) discover where they are best suited to serve.

There are probably a handful of reasons people resist serving in a particular area of their church, but one of the reasons is because they don’t know where to serve.

Maybe this is you: You aren’t sure what’s available to you, or of the options available, you’re not sure any of them suit you.

You don’t really want to be on stage …

You’re not sure you’re qualified to teach Sunday School …

You can’t picture yourself waving the traffic wand in the parking lot …

You don’t even know how to make coffee …

In the many years of being a pastor, I’ve walked hundreds of people through this process of discovering where they are best suited to contribute—and been a witness as they’ve discovered the true joy of serving their community.

Here are the five questions I ask to help a newcomer (or long-time attender) discover where they are best suited to serve.

1. What is suitable for you?

What best fits your gifts, skills and seasons of life? If you’re apprehensive about working with babies, chances are the nursery isn’t the right place for you. If you have social anxiety, it might not be right for you to become a greeter. If you travel often for work, it might be good for you to find a task that doesn’t require you be at service every weekend.

Finding a task that is suitable for you is important because serving should be a natural contribution of your gifts to your community.

When this is the case, service becomes a joy.

2. What is strengthening?

Although your task should be suitable for your gifts, don’t be afraid to stretch yourself a little bit. Only you can know what this looks like.

If being a greeter feels terrifying, maybe consider other places you could invest your time. But if it simply feels a little nerve-wracking, this could be God’s way of inviting you to try something that will help you grow in Him.

The growth and strength we gain from serving others is part of how serving becomes satisfying. We really do get as much as we give.

3. What is sustainable?

As a church leader, I can attest that there is nothing more frustrating than a volunteer who commits to serve, but abandons responsibility at the last minute—sometimes without any effort to make contact with the coordinator or find someone else to fill their place. This can become a logistical nightmare.

Find a place to serve you know is sustainable—a place where you can commit your time (really commit your time) over the long haul.

4. What is significant?

What you’re doing should feel significant to you and others. It doesn’t have to be extravagant to be significant, but it should feel like it is making an impact. For example, a college-age girl offers to spend one night each week with a group of children so a small group (other than her own) can have free childcare. It’s just two hours, once a week. It’s not extravagant.
But to the parents in the group, and hopefully for her, it’s incredibly significant.

5. What is satisfying?

The crazy thing is that, when we begin to invest in the cycle of giving and serving, it is incredibly energizing. This is counterintuitive, because you’re giving energy, so how could you end up with more energy at the end?

But one of the signs you’re serving in the right place is that it is satisfying.
A parent comes to pick up his or her child from the nursery, looks you in the eye, and says, sincerely, “thank you.” It is at that moment you realize you weren’t just wiping noses—you were playing a role in the spiritual development of that parent. Investing ourselves where it matters is incredibly satisfying.

Where are you investing yourself?   

Source:  Scott Wilson is the Senior Pastor of The Oaks Fellowship, ministering to about 3,000 people every week in Dallas, TX. He is a frequent conference speaker, and provides mentorship for dozens of pastors and church leaders through Scott Wilson Consulting. Scott is a loving husband and proud father. Scott and his wife, Jenni, have three boys: Dillon, Hunter, and Dakota.

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