Ways to Serve Your Local Church

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” -Hebrews 10:24

Every congregation, no matter its size, at any given time will have a multitude of needs among its members. Some needs are more easily spotted than others, some more easily relieved than others. It is our calling as Christians to be discerning and proactive in coming alongside our brothers and sisters to help bear their burdens in these moments. Here are some bulleted ideas for your consideration on how to serve within your local church and community:

CALL, EMAIL, OR WRITE CARDS:

  • shut-ins, the sick or disabled
  • a friend who’s struggling
  • missionaries

COOK:

  • families experiencing illness, surgery, birth, death, etc.
  • prepare a dinner for single moms or wives with deployed husbands
  • new neighbors, and those needing extra help
  • replenish emergency freezer meals at church (individual or as a group)
  • always keep a freezer meal on hand for emergencies

CHILDCARE:

  • babysit (or trade childcare) for a mom/parents who could use a break
  • carpool
  • be a surrogate aunt or grandma to a family w/o close relatives
  • take a friend’s children out to the library, park movie, etc.
  • offer free babysitting (or gift certificates) for someone who’s financially stressed

INVITE:

  • a single mom or widow to have dinner with your family
  • a neighbor to participate in a community service project with you
  • a friend to coffee
  • a family for dinner or dessert (not just on Sundays)
  • singles from church

TRANSPORTATION:

  • elderly, disabled, etc.
  • those needing rides to/from airport, doctor’s appts.
  • ride to and from church services, activities, meetings

HELP THOSE IN CRISIS

  • be the “point person” for complex circumstances/situations
  • head up (or co-lead) a support group
  • volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center

PRACTICAL HELPS:

  • clean! Be part of a team, or just run in to clean one bathroom
  • rake, weed, garden
  • do someone’s laundry
  • grocery shopping/running errands
  • respite care
  • minor home repair

I’m sure there are plenty of other opportunities to serve that have been left out…please feel free to share those below in the comment section. (The majority of the this post, BTW, is borrow directly from a church bulletin which a friend shared with me–I take no credit)

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3 Comments

Filed under Local Church, Ministry

3 responses to “Ways to Serve Your Local Church

  1. Those are definitely splendid suggestions, but what about people who weren’t cut from the nurturing cloth? Those who desire to help others but they haven’t achieved Proverbs 31 or Eagle Scout status? And people more comfortable with technology or animals than they are with other humans? Let’s take a look at a few “second mile” activities they can get involve with:

    * I know more than a few folks who can’t use the text feature on their phone, yet this technology could help them stay in touch with loved ones living in other parts of the country. Same goes for email and instant messaging. Show them how to use it and help them practice.

    *Teach someone the basics of a digital camera and then, how to upload the photos to a web album so they can share those photos with the entire family.

    *Is one of your church members separated from their family through military or ministerial service? Show them how to keep their families informed through a blog.

    *Do you have carpentry or another home improvement skills? I can guarantee your pastor or a widow in your church has a need in that area.

    *Is a church member planning to visit an ailing relative? Help them make a video of family members who have to be left behind. For instance, my daughter couldn’t travel to Texas with us to visit my mother-in-law at the hospice, so I asked her to say a few words in a video, which we played at the hospice center. It meant the world to my mil.

    *Have a well-behaved dog? Call the nursing home where a church member lives and arrange to take the dog during a visit.

    *Have photography skills? Take photos for use on your church’s website, brochures, or phone directory.

    *Do you grow your own vegetables? With food prices rising in response to gas prices, hold a gardening workshop to help people who are interested in gardening but have no idea where to start.

    I can go on and on, but only because you began the avalance of idea with your post. The point is, everyone has a talent, and if nurturing or hospitality isn’t one of them, don’t worry. That talent or hobby you’re passionate about can still be used to benefit the lives of your congregation.

  2. @ Carolinian

    “everyone has a talent [which can] be used to benefit the lives of your congregation.”

    You hit the nail on the head! Hebrews 10:24 reminds us to CONSIDER how to spur one another on…it’s amazing how many opportunities a person can come up with just by taking a moment to examine their own abilities and the unique needs of those around them. A servant’s heart can certainly manifest itself in variegated acts of Christan charity–this, I would argue, is the true beauty of diversity.

    Tangentially, I want to point out the emphasis added by the writer of Hebrews in vs. 25 “encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” A growth in works should be accompanying our growth in grace as Christians. It is logical that if we are failing to live up to our callings and bearing good fruit, then we will naturally begin losing assurance in our salvation. We know our flesh is weak, which is why it is imperative for us to fellowship together and bolster each other during difficult trials and temptations. The surrounding chapter(s) of Hebrews emphatically reminds the church of the sure salvation found in Christ (vs. 19-22) and the faithfulness of He who promised this salvation (vs. 23). What hope we have in Christ! “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. ‘For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But my righteous one shall live by faith and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul” (vs. 36-39). Let us show our faith by our works.

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