I have been part of a ministry in my local church since I was 14 years old. That would be 17 consecutive years (as of writing this post). I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly side of ministry, and yet I still believe serving in a ministry of your local church is one of the best ways we can serve.
We are called to serve and do good both within the body of Christ and as an extension of God’s hands and feet. In other words, in and out of church. Our ministry isn’t limited to within the faith community. We have a personal ministry, too, and that is to glorify God with whatever gifts He has given us and in every phase and season of life we find ourselves in. You have a ministry as a stay-at-home mom, as a high-powered executive, as a school teacher or school bus driver, as an actress, as a retail worker, as a writer.
There is also the kind of ministry that first comes to mind when we hear that word. The ministry carried out by the local church through different types of ministries, like the children’s ministry, the worship team, the greeters and ushers, etc. I believe that we are also called to that kind of ministry. Just like God separated the Levites to take care of the Tabernacle, we are the hands and feet of Jesus within the local church.
There are many ways to serve in the local church with varying degrees of commitment and skill. I became interested in joining the children’s ministry because I loved kids and teaching interested me. One of my first friends in the church was a Sunday school teacher, and through her, I saw how exciting it is to teach kids about Jesus. How crafts can point to the Word of God. How games helped you learn life lessons.
If you want to serve in a ministry at your church, here are things to think about first:
- What are your church’s requirements for volunteers? What are the volunteer requirements for the ministry you’re interested in joining? Do you or can you meet them?
- What are your gifts and/or skills? Consult a pastor or church leader about spiritual gifts.
- What are you passionate about? Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you’re passionate about it.
- Where are you in life right now? Can you commit the time and energy? Saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else. Can you commit the money? It might surprise you how you’ll end up putting in your own money. When we’re passionate about something, we usually back it up with our own finances. Be honest about the level of commitment you can give.
- Are you open and flexible? Serving in a ministry means wearing different hats. There will come a time when you’ll be asked to do something you “didn’t sign up for.” Like I didn’t sign up to clean a stall where a boy had a horrible bowel accident, but I couldn’t leave it as is for the one day a week the janitor shows up to clean. You may be asked to juggle more things than you think you could, expand your skills, learn a new technology, or train, train, and train. Can you adapt?
And some reminders.
- Always put God first. Put your family and yourself second. Don’t allow serving in the ministry become a source of stress for you and your family. God will provide the laborers for His Kingdom. If you need to stop serving to take care of yourself or your family, do it.
- The ministry is a team effort. Don’t go at it alone.
- Serving in the ministry is a source of joy and you are reaping rewards in heaven. Labor for the Lord, and remember that you are doing your part to expand His Kingdom.