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3 Biblical Ways You Are Called to Serve in Your Church

Top of white church including steeple.  Arched window has green trim as well as steeple

Do you ever struggle with wondering how you can serve in your local church?  If you go to a large church, are you intimidated by the size and feel that there are already plenty of people to help out and your service is not needed?  Or do you attend a very small congregation, where you feel there aren't many ministry service opportunities?

I believe the Word of God shows us three Biblical ways we are called to serve in the local church.  Whether our church has 5000 people in attendance or 10, we are servants of Christ and as such there will ALWAYS be opportunities to serve the local body.

What does the Bible say about Serving in the Church

So what exactly does it mean to be called to serve in the local church?  What is it to serve God?

I believe the Bible explains what serving your church looks like...

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11

For you were called to freedom, brothers. 
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
 but through love serve one another.  
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galations 5:13-14

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, 
but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 
Matthew 20:28

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, 
he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 
You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.
 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, 
you also ought to wash one another's feet. 
John 13:12-14

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, 
“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Mark 9:35

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.   
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.
Philippians 2:4-7

Each one of these verses showcases that the chief end of man is to bring Glory to God.  We bring glory to God by being the hands and feet of Jesus to a dying world.  Not only that, we glorify God by being of service to our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Jesus sets the example for service in the local church.  On Maundy Thursday, we celebrate the last supper where Jesus humbled Himself and washed the feet of His disciples - His church if you will.  When we serve in the local body of Believers, we are following the ways of Jesus, in humble service.

We are ALL called to this type of service - humble service.  Indeed each one of us holds a special gift bestowed upon us by God to be used for His glory, but ALL of us have the Holy Spirit that resides inside to move us to serve with humility within the local church body.

I believe we are ALL capable and gifted to serve in the following Biblical areas of service.

Service in Discipleship

No matter what stage of your Christian walk you find yourself in, you still have the ability to disciple a brother or sister in your church.  Discipleship is such an important way to serve in the local church body.  The more each of us who are mature in the faith disciple those who are immature in their faith or brand new in their faith, we set in motion the opportunity for them to ultimately disciple others.

Seek out those in your church who are new in their faith or who have not grown in their knowledge of God and start a conversation.  It's that simple.  You don't need to have a gift to teach in order to disciple.

Share with a brother or sister in your church what God has done and is doing in your life. Ask them how their walk has been and if they have any questions you could answer.   I always say "Your story is your story.  No one can take offense at that."  I mean, talking to a fellow congregant in your church should not be taken as an offense anyway by that person.  When we are in church, to fellowship means to talk about the things of God.  You shouldn't be afraid to ask someone in your church how their walk with the Lord is going.  When you are genuine and humble in your approach, you will be amazed at the opportunities to disciple that will open up.

The Bible gives the following exhortations on how we are to disciple:

Brothers Serving Older Brothers

Teach the older men to be temperate, 
worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, 
in love and in endurance. 
Titus 2:2

A man may be physically older than his brother in the church, but that does not necessarily mean they are spiritually older.   Here we see a younger and wiser brother can teach either by his own example or through discipling what it means to be a Godly man.

Sisters Serving Older Sisters

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, 
not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 
Titus 2:3

In the same way, a woman may be physically older than her younger sister in the church, but that does not mean they are spiritually older.  Let the way you conduct yourself be a means by which you teach older sisters who may be spiritually immature.  

It is also okay to humbly and gently speak the Truth in love to an older sister who may be participating in what the above verse warns against.  In so doing, you are building up your sister and creating more opportunities to disciple her so that she can ultimately disciple others.

Women Serving Younger Women

Then they {older women} can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 
 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 
Titus 2:4-5

There is something so comforting about the picture of an older, spiritually mature woman taking a younger woman under her wing, modeling a walk of obedience with the Lord, through her gentle, wise ways.

As older women, we should seek out the younger women in our congregation to come along side of them in a loving way to encourage them in their walk of Faith.  There are so many blessings in mentoring a younger Believer.

Men Serving Younger Men

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.  
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. 
In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness 
of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose 
you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Titus 2:6-8

In today's world, the older, spiritually mature man has such a significant role when it comes to discipling younger men who are being bombarded by all manner of temptation in this sinful world.  I am not implying that women don't struggle, but it just seems like men, especially young men, are vulnerable to falling prey to Satan's tactics that the world just throws in their faces.

I encourage spiritually mature men to seek out the younger men in your congregation and develop meaningful relationships with them so that they can learn from your God-honoring ways.  

Serving in Truth and Love

As we seek to serve in our local church through discipling, may we do so as Timothy explains...

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, 
younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, 
younger women as sisters, in all purity. 
1 Timothy 5:1

Service to Others

It is so amazing how the Lord has covered all manner of provision in His Word, especially provision through His people, the church.  So then, what does the Bible say about service to others?  


Honor widows who are truly widows. 
1 Timothy 5:3 

Many churches in America and probably the world have contained within their sacred walls a majority that are elderly, many of whom are widows.

What wonderful opportunities for service lie for ANYONE to minister to the widows of their church.

Young and old alike can help widows with household matters such as fixing things or yard work.

Younger and older women can be a comforting support whether through a listening ear, visiting, helping out with household chores or groceries.  The list goes on and on.

Serving the widows in our churches will not only bless the widow, but oh how blessed the servant of the widow will be.    


“For in You the fatherless find compassion.”
Hosea 14:3

Although this isn't a typical mainstream issue in the church today in the truest sense of the word, there are, however, many who seek out churches who have been disowned by their families for whatever reason and are looking for acceptance and love.

What an opportunity congregations have to serve the 'fatherless/motherless', by being a father and/or a mother to them in Christian love.

Invite that person to your home to be a part of your family's Sunday dinner.  Include them in family events.  Develop a relationship with them where they see the love of Christ through your actions.  You may win a brother to Christ through serving inside your local church in this way.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: 
to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, 
and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
James 1:27

Weak and Needy

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; 
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 
Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 82:3-4

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 
If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” 
but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”
James 2:5-16

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way 
we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
 how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35

Churches are filled with weak and needy people.   I would venture to say we are all weak and needy, but in Christ we are strong and provided for.

In the same way Christ has served us through His great love and provision, we too can serve others by providing, love, support and strength to those who are weak and needy in the church body.

In a practical sense, if you know your brother or sister is struggling financially, seek out ways to direct them and help them through the social service process OR send along an anonymous check to help them in their time of need.

If you know your fellow church member is weak in their faith or falling into temptation often, encourage them in the Word.  Set time aside to study with them and to minister to them.

If you are aware that someone in your church is suffering due to a difficult home life, serve them by directing them to a professional whether it be your Pastor, a counselor or law enforcement.  Support and encourage them through the process.

As you see here, serving others indeed can be done by ANYONE.  All it takes is a compassionate, intentional spirit that desires to show the love of Christ.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, 
and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galations 6:10

Serving in Church Ministries

I would say that this category of service is probably intimidating to some.  It was to me at one time. But when I realized that attendance at church wasn't about what I could get out of it, but how I could serve the body of Believers, it changed my perspective and increased my desire to serve in ministry.

How can you know what ministry in the church you are best suited for?

Sometimes it's as simple as a tug that the Lord places on your heart toward a particular area of service within the church.  Something that you find great joy in doing.

You can also take a spiritual gifts test to determine where your strengths lie...

And most especially, you can pray for the Lord to show you where He would like you to serve within your church body.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, 
the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, 
for building up the body of Christ
Ephesians 4:11

Just a note, if you attend a small church where there aren't many formal ministries, but let's say you have a gifting and call to women's ministry, talk to the Pastor and see if you can start a women's ministry at your church.  I'm sure you will be overjoyed at the response you will get!  And this, of course, would go for any ministry the Lord has placed upon your heart.

If you attend a very large church, look at the church's website to see what ministries are available to serve in.  Even if there aren't any openings, seek out the ministry leader and see if you can volunteer.  Whether you are formally on a ministry team or a volunteer, you are still serving and that is all that matters.

The Importance of Serving in the Church

I hope you have been encouraged that you don't need to be a certain age or have a certain gifting to serve in your local church.  Each one of us has a capacity to serve, placed there by our Heavenly Father.

Just like they say that our homes are the perfect training ground for sacrificial service in a Believer's life, when we serve in our local church body, we are training ourselves for Heaven, where Christ's bride the church will one day be united together with Him in humble service and adoration.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have 
for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:16  

Serve the Lord with gladness! 
Come into his presence with singing!
Psalm 100:2

Let our service in the church here on earth reflect the Glory of the church that will be in Heaven.

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  1. Thank you for this timely reminder that there is a place for all of us to serve, and this applies even in these strange times - more than ever, people need encouragement and mentoring. It is so easy to compare ourselves with others we deem more "spiritual" or deeper in God than we are and use that as a cop-out and excuse not to serve. But, God has a job for all of us to do, and when we walk it out, it brings a blessing that only we can provide. I am so thankful for your dear posts and your continual obedience to the call God has placed on YOUR life, sweet friend. Sending much love to you today!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank you so much for adding these valuable words of wisdom here in the comments. I always appreciate the insights you share here! You are such a dear blessing to me!

      Happy Lord's Day sweet friend!

      Sending you much love and gratitude.

  2. Very informative and practical! I've been struggling to find a way to serve for quite a while, but you make it pretty straightforward. I don't have to be part of any special committee to serve

    1. Hi Valerie, Praising God you found encouragement here! May the Lord bless your service abundantly.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

  3. What a privilege it is to serve the local church! There is room for us all to be part of the church family—thanks for these practical reminders. 🤗 Stopping by from #faithonfire

    1. Hi Laura, Indeed! There is room for all of us to serve. :-)

      You are very welcome!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.


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