The power of volunteering is widely accepted to be of great benefit for both the person serving and the person receiving the benefits of that serving. Is serving in the church family just one more way to volunteer, or is there something deeper going on? Is it just a way for ambitious leaders to get more “worker bees” to help meet the many needs in a church family?
We believe serving God both in the church context and outside in your other spheres of influence is a powerful catalyst for your own spiritual growth as well as the way we make a difference in our world and grow our church. This core belief allows us to unapologetically encourage people to give their lives away for a greater good, and to make training and equipping a very important priority.
At Family Church, we have learned that if we simply talk people into a task, they will last only a short time and then get burned out. So, we have come back to the core belief from Ephesians 4:10-11 that God gives people to the church with different gifts, and He is the ultimate coordinator to bring it all together. It is not only spiritual; it is actively led by the Spirit. This brings us to bullet point these key ideas.
- Everyone is to have a servant’s heart
- Everyone is valuable to God and to His church
- Everyone has purpose and a destiny
- People need involvement to grow spiritually
- People need training to develop their innate gifts and strengths
Years ago, when we were struggling with a typical church problem: too few people doing too many things. We did a whole sermon series on spiritual gifts and the eternal value of serving God instead of wasting our lives. There was an immediate uptick in serving, but six months later we were in need again. We needed a better system.
First priority: a constant process that teaches the importance of serving to our personal spiritual growth instead of the shallow belief that the church just needs workers. Every year, we do a sermon series which focuses on God’s call to serve and the benefits of it.
Second: Regular training. We have a special class (cleverly called “Serving”) which helps people discover their SHAPE (an acronym; Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences). We believe what God has done in your life and the way He has made you are clues to what He has planned for you, so there are assessments to help you discover your design.
Third: We have developed “First serve” opportunities where people can begin serving without a lot of knowledge or special skills. People often start on our hospitality team greeting people and handing out programs, or being a helper in some part of the Children’s Ministry. We also encourage people to make a specific commitment for a time and then give them the freedom to move on to something else.
Fourth: We are committed to help people who serve continue to grow and change positions until they come to a “sweet spot” where they are both effective and fulfilled. This is the goal.
Today Family Church has many teams working together to build a community to reach the community. It is wonderful to see so many people working in unity and helping each other grow. It is truly a win/win culture.