“Alright!” you say, “We’ve been talking about service and serving all month. First the Servant King, then attitude, then why we serve, and then about serving as worship. BUT GUYS! You haven’t explained how to serve!”
You are correct, O observant reader, and that is the purpose of this article: to show you how to serve.
Before I get too far into this article, let me preface what I’m about to say with this: I cannot tell you how exactly you are supposed to serve. Everyone is different, as you will see, and because of that and because I don’t know all of you personally I cannot give you specifics because everyone’s service will look different. Please don’t click away from here just yet; hear me out. Basically, there are three basic ingredients to practically serving…
#1: Acquire a Servant’s Heart
Unfortunately, this isn’t something that you can just go out to Target and purchase. A servant’s heart is something that can take years to form. The phrase “servant’s heart” is one that may be overused by a lot of Christians as a reason to make someone stack chairs or clean the grease trap in the church kitchen sink, but such is not the case. It is so much more than that. A servant’s heart, as nebulous as that sounds, is simply this: a heart that has an unquenchable desire to selflessly serve however possible.
Your heart, the immaterial, spiritual part of you, should have an insatiable desire to serve other people and more importantly your Master, Jesus Christ. People with a servant’s heart would shrivel up and die without serving and ultimately to serve is the key to this person’s essence and livelihood.
How do you form this? By growing closer to the Master. The deeper your relationship is with Christ, the more you want to serve Him. You acquire a servant’s heart by copying the Servant King. And one of the best ways to get this servant’s heart and this love for serving is to simply serve and get a taste of the joy of service.
#2: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts
Everyone has spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 12 talks all about it and gives one of the best explanations on this topic. Spiritual gifts are something given to every believer and something that God wants us to use to glorify Him as stewards of His grace (Check out 1 Peter 4; this passage lays it out clearly). As reborn Christians, we’ve all got gifts and it is God’s desire that we discover what these gifts are and use them.
After all, what good is a gift if it is never used? A wrench still in the toolbox won’t fix the faucet and a bike in the garage won’t get you anywhere. The only way these things help is if they are used; the same is true with spiritual gifts.
Find out where you can best serve. 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 makes it clear that not everyone is gifted at all the same things. We’re not all arms and there are some people that were meant to be feet or eyes. So how do you find out what your spiritual gifts are? Part of this is just trial and error in serving; finding out what you are good at and not good at is all a part of serving and finding the best way for you to serve.
#3: Get Involved in Your Local Church
If you don’t have a local church to get involved in that would be your first step. But if you do have a local church that you go to, get involved in ministry and service there!
Find out what the church is doing in the area of outreach. Is there a big outreach event going on at your church? Get involved and help out in any way you can! Is there a group that goes out every week and shares the gospel with people? Get involved and spread the good news!
Find out what your church doing in the area of in-reach. Is there a Sunday school class that needs a teacher? Get involved and disciple the church! Is there a big church fellowship event this weekend? Get involved and see if there is any way you can be of assistance!
The church was built for serving and it is the best place to get into service. Serving the body of Christ brings Christ the most glory, because you are helping and beautifying His bride. So find a church and get involved. And the best way to get involved with a local church is through service.
You may have noticed that in all of these “prerequisites” for how to serve I have also tacked on the end of each of them that most of these elements for serving come through serving, meaning they’re not really prerequisites, but things that happen before/ during/ after serving. So I guess what I’m really saying is that these three elements should be a part of your service at one point or another. Your longing for service should always grow stronger, your spiritual gifts should always be in use, and your actions of service should always be to build the Church through building the local church.
So how can you serve? The answer is actually quite simple: Just do it. Find a way to serve and serve. It’s not complicated. Look for needs and attempt to meet them. If you can’t find any needs, talk to your pastor or someone in leadership at your church and ask them how you can serve. Warning: They may look at you funny. People who serve are unfortunately a rarity in our churches. But the truth is that they are desperately needed. Find needs and meet them; that’s how you can serve.
So to recap:
1. Find a servant’s heart.
2. Find out how you can best serve.
3. Find a local church to serve at.
4. Serve; just do it.