Most of us are busy. Between our responsibilities at home and at work, we’re at maximum capacity. So, the idea of serving at church can easily be overwhelming and quickly dismissed with the thought, “I wish I could, but I just don’t have time.”
But, that doesn’t need to be.
There are numerous ways we can significantly serve our churches without carving out loads of extra hours each week. To help, here are 7 simple and schedule friendly ways you can serve your church family.
7 Ways to Serve Your Church
1) Show Up 15 Minutes Early
Instead of showing up to church 15 minutes late or even right on time, love your church by showing up 15 minutes early. Be available to catch up with church members. Be present to warmly greet new visitors. Honor your pastors and leaders preparation for service by being there to receive it all, from the very beginning. Instead of rushing to church in anxious haste, show up early.
2) Own the Greeting Time
As an introvert, I am predestined to see greeting time as a time of misery, but as a Christian, I am trained to see it as a time of ministry. Instead of greeting people you’re already comfortable with or hiding in the bathroom, use greeting time to prove to visitors that you’re happy they’re there.
There is a wonderful sister at our church who seeks out new comers like a heat-seeking missile. One time, I even saw her walk across the room to say hello to a young, single Marine who was at church by himself for the first time. After introducing herself and seeing he was alone, she invited him to come and sit with her and her family. After service ended, he stuck around talking with her family and others. Now, he is in the process of becoming a church member and is being discipled by other men. Don’t underestimate the ministry opportunities at greeting time. The harvest is plentiful, but the greeters few.
3) Stay 15 Minutes Late
Instead of racing to your car after the final “Amen,” stick around for a hot second to bless and be blessed. Ask Suzy how she is holding up with her sickness. Hear the latest about Billy’s last football game. See how John’s new job is going. Take a moment to follow up with the new person you met at greeting time. Make them feel wanted and welcome. It’s almost too basic to say, but show your love for your church family (1 John 4:20) by actually offering them your time. Lunch will wait.
4) Sing With Gusto
The Scriptures command us to sing with one another and to one another (Ephesians 5:19; Col. 3:16). Nick Aufenkamp helpfully applies Colossians 3:16 verse when he says, “By singing of your sin and salvation, you are instructing your church, spouse, children, friends, and neighbors in gospel truth.” When you sing, “You are good! You are good!” you encourage the heartbroken. The guilt-ridden are strengthened when they hear, “Jesus paid it all!” Children are instructed about Christian joy when they watch you happily sing, “In Christ alone my hope is found!” Your church may never hear you preach from the pulpit, but they definitely can hear you sing from the pew.
5) Give Generously
In thinking about ways to serve your church, don’t be so spiritual that you forget about the mundanely practical. Don’t just think about parking, coffee, and conversations, think also about stuff like equipment or even money. Does kids ministry need new toys? Is the hospitality ministry well supported? Is your church’s budget adequately supplied? Are your pastors compensated generously for their continual, crucial, and sacrificial work? Your church’s ability to serve its members and community will be greatly affected by the generosity of its people. God loves a cheerful giver and so do churches.
6) Ask, “Where Can I Help?”
If your church is like most, the odds are that the existing needs outweigh existing volunteers. Seeking needed places to serve and actually serving there will powerfully encourage your church’s leadership and bless your church family. Don’t wait to serve only in an area of interest or for a voice from the Lord. Serve wherever your church’s needs match your ability and you will be a blessing.
7) Open Your Home
Warmly welcoming people into your home is a powerful way to minister to their hearts. Invite people over for dinner. Host a board game night. Collect a group to enjoy a movie and snacks together. Doing something at your home with church folks provides opportunities for God to do something in their hearts. The strength of your church is increased by the strength of its people’s relationships with one another and those relationships will grow as hospitality is practiced.
There are many more ways to serve your church, but hopefully these simple ways help you get started without having to add to your weekly calendars.