How serving in the church grows your faith
After several years of neglecting my relationship with Jesus, I knew it was time to go back to church. I searched online for a church nearby and found NewSpring. I started listening to services online and eventually attended in person.
Week in and week out, my family and I had an incredible experience. Parking attendants directed me to a spot, and warm, smiling faces greeted us as we approached the building. Volunteers helped check in the kids and guided us in the right direction. We grabbed free coffee then went into the auditorium where creative videos, and practical teaching kept us engaged and informed.
A talented team of musicians led us in worship. One of the teaching pastors then took the stage and delivered an inspiring message. After service, we were always invited to connect with volunteers in the VIP Room or pray with someone in the Care Room.
At first glance, it’s easy to believe you are not needed in a church like this. When every environment is welcoming and every volunteer seems eager to serve, it’s easy to think, They’ve got it covered without my help.
A year later, my family relocated, and uncoincidentally, NewSpring had a growing portable campus about 12 miles from our house. My initial experience was the same. But this time, I felt God leading me to start serving.
It took a few months to find the right spot, but God was faithful to lead me where I needed to be. Through serving on the Care Team, I discovered that serving was about so much more than filling a need. Serving is how God changes us.
Four Ways Serving in the Church Changed Me and Can Change You
1. Serving directly increases our faith.
Through serving, God gave me a front row seat to seeing Him change people’s lives. That sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s true.
Serving allows us to experience His power firsthand ...
Watching God work in someone else’s life increases our faith. In John 2:1-11, Jesus performs His first miracle at a wedding in Cana by turning the water into wine. Other than Mary, Jesus’ mother, only the servers at the wedding witnessed this miracle. The wedding attendees received the benefit of the new wine, and the wedding party saved face because of the miracle, but it was the servers who had the first opportunity to witness Jesus’ power. Serving allows us to experience His power firsthand and that naturally produces faith in us.
2. Serving helps us see and experience what we’re made for.
Through serving, I have learned that my fullest joy comes from serving others. Ephesians 2:10 tells us why: “... we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.”
You have been gifted by God, and you are incredibly valuable to Him and the church. Ephesians 4 goes on to explain how important each individual is to the church. Instead of trying to look, speak, and act the same, we are called to train each other up using the gifts, skills, and abilities God has given us. When we do, we’ll find “we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ” (Ephesians 4:7-13, MSG).
You have been gifted by God, and you are incredibly valuable to Him and the church.
God also uses our serving, and those we serve with, to reveal our gifts to us. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” When we are operating in our gifting to serve God and others, we experience the kind of joy we were made for!
3. Serving draws us into authentic community.
If I had to choose one word to describe how serving has affected my life, it would be “community.” Not long after volunteering, I was invited to a group with a couple on my serving team. Four years later, I consider them family. God has used the people I serve with to encourage me, pray for me, and teach me. My relationship with Jesus and others has flourished as a result.
In John 17, Jesus prayed for God to protect us so we would be one as He and the Father are one. This oneness is best experienced in and through participation in the church — by serving and loving one another well.
4. Serving requires obedience and redirects our focus to Jesus.
The simplest way to follow Jesus is by doing what He did. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus tells us He came to serve, not be served. By being obedient to follow Jesus in this way, we get to know Him on a new level because we experience firsthand His love for others.
When we begin to care for and serve others, God redirects our focus.
When we begin to care for and serve others, God redirects our focus. As my friend, Chip, says “I can’t think of a better way to diminish the significance of my problems than to get the focus off of myself and to place it on others.”
Believing the lie that the church doesn’t need you will rob you of the joys God designed for you to experience through serving. Take a risk and get involved. God will honor that step of faith and grow it into so much more!
Is serving your next step? Join us at Connect or stop by the Next Steps Area any Sunday.