I hear you.
You’re saying, “No, I’m not. There’s no way I’m the best leader for my church.”
But you are.
You saw this post, and you clicked to read it because you have at least some desire to serve in your church.
And after fourteen years of being married to a minister, I’ve heard all the excuses.
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I don’t like talking in front of people.
Kids don’t like me.
I don’t know the Bible well enough.
I’m just totally unqualified.
And those are just some the ones I’ve given as an excuse to not serve.
Because that’s what those are.
They are excuses.
If God has laid it on your heart to serve, every reason you give to not follow through is an excuse.
And if you’re saying that God hasn’t laid it on your heart to do anything, maybe you’re not listening.
As Christians, we are called to serve others. We aren’t called to just show up to church on Sunday mornings, dressed in our best clothes, and be ministered to.
Please, don’t misunderstand me.
It is great to have people pour into you. It’s great to show up and be filled through the music and worship and message that are brought to you by the called staff of your church.
But to only do that is robbing not only the church, but also yourself.
Service is part of being a Christian.
“And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” – Mark 9:35
So now that we’ve agreed that you should definitely be serving somewhere in your church, let’s address the top two reasons that people have for not serving.
1. You’re Not Qualified
This was my excuse for years. So I totally get it. Feelings of inadequacy kept me from serving for a long time. I always felt like there was someone who knew the Bible better than me or spoke more eloquently than me or was better at interacting with people.
I’m sure there was.
There will always be someone more knowledgeable or likable or whatever.
But are they showing up every Wednesday night to teach the 4th and 5th grades girls?
I do. (Well, I did. I haven’t figured out where to serve at our new church yet.)
And it’s hard.
I hate talking in front of groups, even groups of kids. Every time I lead a lesson, I get sweaty and my face turns bright red.
Honestly, I don’t really like kids.
As a stay-at-home mom, I spend my entire day around four rambunctious kids. The last thing I want to do after dinner is to teach 15 little girls.
But I do it. Not only because I believe that God has called me to do it, but because I love those girls enough to want to tell them about Jesus.
And honestly, most of ministry is just showing up consistently and loving on people.
I’m not saying that all we do is play games. I definitely teach a lesson. But I am saying that the girls probably don’t remember most of the lessons I teach. They may keep a portion of it in the back of their minds, but mostly they’ll remember that I was there every week and I loved them.
Maybe you’ve heard the quote, “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.”
I love that.
It takes this huge idea and succinctly summarizes it. (I’d love to give credit to the author, but couldn’t find a definitive answer. There were about ten people credited with saying it)
Consider this – when Jesus needed disciples, he gathered fishermen, tradesmen, and a tax collector.
He didn’t go to the temple and recruit Pharisees and Sadducees even though they were the most learned men of the Bible during that time.
Jesus wanted regular people to work alongside him.
Have you ever thought about why He did that?
I’m not claiming to know the mind of God, but maybe he did it as a model to us. Maybe he recruited fishermen to show us that we can reach people with the love of Christ without attending seminary.
The twelve men he recruited left everything and followed him, and together they changed the whole world.
We’ve got it way easier.
For most of us, God isn’t calling us to leave our jobs and families to follow Him. He just wants us to serve right where we are.
Secondly, you’ve got access to the internet and Google. If you get stumped during a lesson (which happens to everyone), just look up the answer and move on.
2. You Don’t Have Time
If your life is truly so busy that you don’t have time to minister to others and share the amazing news of Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice thus saving people from an eternity in hell, there’s a real problem.
Your job, your work, everything that you do, should just be to enable you to minister.
If you’ve lost sight of reaching the lost and sharing Christ’s love, it’s time for a realignment of the priorities in your life.
That’s not to say that you can’t have fun or that you should spend every spare moment witnessing to strangers, but you should keep the calling to share the good news at the forefront of your life.
Or maybe kids really do hate you and run screaming every time they see your face.
Could you help with the senior adults? Could you help with the college ministry? Could you drive the van to pick people up for church?
In most churches, most of the work is done by about 10% of the people who attend.
Or maybe every single position at your church is currently filled with able-bodied people who need no help or support.
Talk to your pastor.
I am 100% sure that they have some ideas for ministry that they’d love to start and just need people to do it.
You are the best leader for your church, even if you don’t know it yet.
This is so timely for me! (Side note: What you said about 10% of the people attending doing the majority of work reminds me of how many churches have only 10-25% of the members tithing. Where are you, Church?!)
I pray the Church steps up to be The Church. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. I love that, too. I’ve heard many say, “work with kids? no way. I do that all week, I already raised my kids, or I would loose it with kids,” etc etc. Or maybe it’s a skill (using a computer, driving, organizing, cooking, knitting…. do we just stop learning after we finish school?! It is possible to learn new skills). I realize God doesn’t call everyone to a given task (I don’t see a 10 year old to drive a car for Meals on Wheels or a sex offender working with children), but there are other ways to serve – the kid can go with a parent for meals on wheels and a sex offender can prepare materials for VBS or help with the organizing of boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Really, God doesn’t always call us to something comfortable, easy, or that feels good. Jonah sure wasn’t excited about his calling. A widow probably isn’t excited for God’s call of singleness on their life for a season or the rest of their life. But accepting a call is obedience to Him. God has a way to sanctify us through obedience and also work through us for His glory.
Halee Anthony says
Preach it! 🙌
But I totally agree. Being a Christian means being a servant of all. Showing up for church is awesome but it’s just a piece. I love that you said God calls us to things for a season. I think people are scared to commit to serving in a ministry because they’ll be there forever! That’s absolutely not the case. If you serve in the children’s department for a school year and hate it, try something different the next year!
Thanks for your thoughtful comment! 😘