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The importance of serving in the local church

By Judy Olenik

Serving in the local church can be a real blessing. Volunteering can be a great way to get plugged into your church, feel like part of a community, strengthen your walk with the Lord and serve Jesus at the same time.

We serve out of obedience to Jesus: Mark 9:35 says, “And He sat down and called the twelve. And He said to them, ‘If anyone be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Jesus commands us to serve others. But not only does He instruct us to serve, He Himself sets the standard of what it should look like. By serving, we’re following Jesus’ example. Philippians 2:5-7 says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

As members of the body of Christ, both globally and locally, we are uniquely placed to serve those around us. With unique gifts and talents given to us by God, we all have a function and a part to play. The local church isn’t meant to be a spectator sport where we sit on the sidelines, but rather a body of believers where we all have an active role. And though it doesn’t always mean we have to volunteer in a formal capacity, we should be loving and serving the brothers and sisters in Christ with whom God has put us in fellowship.

A group of us recently helped a member of Creekside who is moving to pack up some of her belongings. In the course of the day, I was able to meet a few people I hadn’t met prior or didn’t know well. On Sunday, I noticed I had the urge to hug one of the women I had worked closely with during the course of the week when I saw her in church. Feeling connected to a spiritual community has always been an important part of my life. Additionally, being part of a “team” to accomplish a task can allow us to develop friendships that we may not normally form and that are so important to our daily lives. When we serve and offer our time and energy for someone else, we get emotionally and spiritually recharged. It can be so fulfilling helping others.

Serving can look different in different seasons of our life. There will be some times where, whether for health or family or circumstantial reasons, we don’t have the capacity to serve much. Times like those are good opportunities to both remember that our worth comes from Christ and to experience His love as our brothers and sisters serve and care for us. Then there will be times where our serving is informal and looks like inviting someone over for a meal or helping someone move. And then there will be times where we serve in a more formal capacity, like in children’s church.

If you are looking to get more involved in the functioning of Creekside, there are many options including ones that are “behind the scenes.” If there are skills that you have, let someone in the church know and maybe there’s an opportunity for you to fill a need. Some options include manning the name tag table (fun), setting up communion, childcare for morning service, Treasure Seekers (kids 2 years old to 5th grade), worship team, and lots of hospitality events.