The Discipline of Service – Part 1

“Oh boy, today I get to serve people!” This is probably not a thought that most of us wake up with. In today’s society, serving people is looked down on. No one wants to do it. We enjoy being served, but not serving others. However, as always, the Lord expects differently from his followers.

If we call ourselves Christians then we should be actively looking for ways to serve others. Psalm 100:2 says “Serve the Lord with gladness!” and in Mark 23:31 we are reminded that the second greatest commandment (after loving God) is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Therefore, if we enjoy being served, we should make every effort to serve those around us. And even if we don’t enjoy being served, we are still called, not only to serve, but to serve with gladness.

There are two major ways that we can serve others. The first is by ministering at your church. Every week, the pastor serves his congregation by delivering a sermon. Every week the worship leader serves the congregation by leading music and the pianist/worship team/band serves by playing instruments. Not all of us, however, can be pastors or worship leaders or know how to play an instrument. This does not mean that we are exempt from the serving commandment. There are a myriad of ways the rest of us can serve the church body.

  • Volunteer for nursery duty. No, it’s not always fun to miss church and work in a room full of kids. Some times it can be downright stressful. But this is a huge service to the moms and dads of these young people who are allowed to fellowship with (adult) believers and worship through singing and hearing the Word of God preached because of you. Be willing to miss church once every month or so and serve the parents of our next generation.
  • Sign up for the cleaning crew! You wouldn’t believe how messy a church can get after a Sunday. Crumbs, candy wrappers, and bulletins will be scattered throughout the sanctuary and the lobby and sinks will have dirt smudges and toilet paper rolls will be empty. It’s not a fancy job and probably most people won’t know you are doing it, but it is an excellent (and always needed) way to serve the church.
  • Work in the building ministry. We have a small group of guys at our church who are working to get projects done around our building. There are too many projects and not enough workers. Be willing to give up a Saturday morning once every few months and work to improve your church building.
  • Finally, next time there is an announcement Sunday morning that a special service is needed, Jane just had surgery and her family will need some meals, Mark’s car broke down and he will need a ride to work the next couple of days while it is being fixed, Sara needs a babysitter, someone is needed to fill in here, a task needs done there, be the person to volunteer! Don’t just assume that someone will do it; actively pursue the opportunity to serve others!

This is not an exhaustive list of ways we can serve our church body, so feel free to look for other ways to serve. There is always plenty to go around and no one has an excuse not to serve.

Tomorrow, we will discuss how we can serve others outside the church body and what some motivators are to make this service easier and more enjoyable.


  1. Jasmine says:

    I just have one question, is this really Nichole or did Esme write this post? The nursery being number one sounds a little suspicious. 🙂 j/k

    Nichole, very practical. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s installment!

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