7. Serve

CORe churches seek to involve every young person in serving others, in church and community life.

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. (1 Peter 4:10)


Additional Bible texts:

Isaiah 10:1-3 (Call to serve)

Micah 6:8 (God's requirements)

John 13:1-17 (Foot-washing as an example)

Ephesians 5:21-33 (Service within marriage)

Serving others is part and parcel of the Christian faith. The early church was known for its serving ministry: feeding the widows and orphans. Many churches do not actively serve the community, but young people often feel that they can contribute to community change. They feel the need to make the world a better place and can be very motivated to serve others. Inside of the church, young people are often not involved for various reasons: they are not old enough, they are not yet baptised, they don’t have enough experience.

CORe churches serve the community. They involve all members, especially the young, in this ministry. They refrain from blaming the youth for their lack of experience, instead utilising their youthful qualities.

CORe churches seek to involve every young person in serving others, in church and community life.

Thought

Janos Kovacs-Biro, United Kingdom

Is your church a talking church, or a doing church? Or is it both? Young people are tired of talking churches. ‘We are talking too much,’ they say, ‘we are just presenting the gospel theory.’

Francis of Assisi said ‘Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words!’ We have used so many words that we have gotten our young people so tired that they are tired of church and tired of Christianity. So the question is this: ‘What we can do in order to get these young people around us serving and doing something to make this world a much better place?’

Peter writes:

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)


Are we the stewards of God’s Grace? Are we spreading the good news to people while we are serving?

I have two teenagers in my home. My wife and I have realised that if we ask them to do something with disabled or disadvantaged people, they come home more enthusiastic about life, saying that it is worth doing something for people.

When we think about the giftedness that God has given us through the Holy Spirit, each one of us has certain gifts. All of our young people are gifted by the Holy Spirit and the question is are we using these gifts in order to put this into practice and of Christ to the neighbourhood?

Have you ever asked yourself the question ‘What would happen if your church disappeared from the neighbourhood?’ Would anyone go to the police and report your disappearance? Would anyone complain – the Seventh-day Adventists just disappeared and we need them back because our community doesn’t work without them?

Serving people’s needs is one of the best displays of Jesus Christ in the 21st century and this is exactly what we are called to do. Why don’t you involve your young people in these kind of ministries? You just need to think of some ministries which are very practical; which are very useful to people touching their lives and making the world around us a better place and make it immediate.

Our young people don’t want to wait for committee decisions after committee decisions; when they are on fire for the Lord they want these decisions to be taken right away and they want to go out and do this.

I met Jacek in one of the countries in our Division. He is a mountain biker, country champion. He came to me and said ‘Janos, I can’t preach but I can cycle, what I should do?’ So he went out on the streets in the city and out up a sign that said Free Bike Repairs & Servicing and he started to service the bikes. As people came to see him he said ‘As this bike needs repair and servicing so does your heart, it needs servicing. Later on I’m going to give some Bible studies and you are welcome to come and join me.’ Later that afternoon he had eighty people signed up to take the Bible studies. Can you do something like this? Can your church do this for your young people? Surely you can!

Discussion

  • Have you ever experienced someone sharing their faith through service, like Jacek.
  • Which values do we need to focus on in order to foster a serving spirit?
  • How did Jesus serve people?
  • What hindrances do we experience when we serve others?
  • What steps can be taken for church members to better serve each other?

Implementation questions

  • What do you already do to encourage serving others?
  • Are there elements of your church’s culture that need changing to create more serving in your ministry?
  • Can we implement at least 3 of the suggestions below?
  • What is achievable to encourage serving ministry within the next 12 months?

Suggestions for implementation

  • Twin with a church in another country to create mission opportunities.
  • Take part in Global Youth Day. See GC material for more ideas.
  • Organise a mission trip.
  • Discuss the symbolism of foot-washing, and couple it with an opportunity to serve.
  • Partner with ADRA to organise an event.
  • Create a committee to plan regular serving opportunities.
  • Create opportunities to share experiences of serving others.
  • Contact the local county office and enquire what you can do in your city/community. Be practical.
  • Have a car wash or tire change service for the neighbours of your church.
  • Visit an old peoples' home and socialise with the residents.
  • Read the article from Janos Kovacs-Biro under resources for more ideas.

 

How to be Relevant in the Community
as Seventh Day Adventists
256 kb download