I love the world of church volunteering—the many faithful volunteers, the infinite variety of tasks done by volunteers, the way God works through us when we volunteer, and the blessings that multiply as leaders recruit and support volunteers well.

But church volunteering is just one piece of the Christian life of serving. Our Kingdom impact grows as we each grow in serving among our neighbors and community.

Here’s a starter list to get us thinking about the “big picture” of serving. For each, I’ve included a resource or two that I’ve found influential and helpful.

  • Vocation

We each have many “callings” from God. Martin Luther’s teachings on vocation are as radical and life-changing today as they were in the 16th century. (See Gene Veith’s God at Work and Timothy Keller’s Every Good Endeavor.)

  • Leadership

We all have influence; we all work alongside others. How we use that influence and how we build or dismantle trust impacts everyone around us. (See Servant Leadership and Trust and Teams, both written by Jane Fryar.)

  • Why Volunteer?

Couch potato or volunteer? Maybe it’s time to get off the couch and give our time to a good cause, within and beyond the church. (See Get Off Your Donkey by Reggie McNeal.)

  • Time Stewardship

Most of us are over-scheduled, overworked, and just plain tired. Cramming as much as possible into the 24 hours we’re each given each day does not make us good stewards of our time. (See Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung.)

  • Serving as Evangelism

Serving, in essence, is simply “doing good” for others. Jesus went around “doing good” and telling people about God’s Kingdom, and he continues to do it through us. (See Joining Jesus on His Mission by Greg Finke.)
How can church leaders and members incorporate these and other “big picture” aspects into the Christian’s life of service?

  • We can educate ourselves.
  • We can share what we’ve learned through sermons, teaching, and everyday conversation.
  • We can teach Bible studies on these topics.
  • We can lead book clubs on these topics with small groups or virtual groups.
  • We can use these topics as volunteer themes throughout the year.

We have many fruitful topics in the area of serving, and many ways of exploring them together in the church. Which one will you choose?


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