6 Creative Ways To Serve In The Church
By: Vanderbloemen March 26, 2018
When I joined my church a few years back, there were less than 100 people on a typical Sunday gathering. When I joined the staff as an associate pastor, we were up to about 300 and growing quickly. It was a season of all kinds of transition. We frantically sought out new spaces to meet as we had clearly outgrown the art gallery / community space we started in. As we added to the staff, divided up ministry responsibilities, and things kept growing.
It wasn’t until about a year later when we realized that in this time of transition and addition of staff, we had taken many responsibilities originally held by volunteers and given them to those staff members. This limited the opportunities to serve in the church to simply setting up and tearing down chairs. While this was definitely needed to make our Sunday gatherings happen, we couldn’t help but feel like there were a myriad of gifts and passions that were under-utilized in our community. We then made it our regular practice to try and find creative ways that people can use their unique gifts, passions, and experiences to help and serve the church.
This is by no means a complete list of options, but here are 6 ideas to make use of your congregation’s unique gifts and passions through the church.
1. Craft / Art Auction
As you get to know the people in your congregation, you will find that many have hobbies like crafting or specialized creation of materials. This may not seem directly relevant to your ministry, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be leveraged for the mission of the church. Holding an auction or market day where members can sell crafts, art, or homemade goods is a great way for members to share their work while also raising money for good causes by donating a part (or all) their profits.
Another great way to involve your members in your ministry is by giving them a chance to write and share their voices via a curated church blog. These can be written testimonies, bible studies, or general reflections. In my previous church, I would often recruit leaders in the church to write specific pieces and (after review) share it on our church blog. This gave some members a chance to share their voices and exposed our congregation to various thoughtful perspectives.
3. Skill Training
In a society that has gotten more and more automated, there are fewer and fewer of us who know how to do skilled work like machine repair or basic construction. These are skills that not only save people money but can also enrich lives. Beyond manual labor, graphic designers and computer programmers have a lot to share in a high-demand field. By giving members a chance to teach and share these skills, you can empower your people (teachers and students). Who do you have in your congregation that has skills that others would like to learn?
4. Community Service
Where are the opportunities for your church members to serve others in need in the congregation and community? I’ve seen this done well in churches who post labor needs like gardening, construction, cleaning, etc., either online or in a central place in the church. Members would then have the opportunity to choose needs they are uniquely suited to meet. This is a great way to show how your church is living out the mission of the church as the hands and feet of Christ.
Free Template: Community Needs Assessment for Churches
5. Teaching Opportunities
While it’s not realistic for every church to let members of the congregation preach on Sunday, there are many other spaces in which people can share a teaching gift in the church. This may mean giving members the chance to lead Sunday school classes, new member classes, or in other ministry settings.
6. Hospitality Opportunities
While many members may not have preaching and teaching gifts, many are willing to host events in their homes or a central location. This is a great chance for them to serve the community while simultaneously taking a big burden off of the church leaders. You will likely find that many members have space to share and love hosting, whether it’s a youth small group, a staff dinner, or Christmas party.
What opportunities has your church created for the people in your congregation to use their unique gifts?