Serving others in need and telling people about Jesus is the example that Jesus set for us while he was on the earth (John 4:1-26– the woman at the well). He commissioned us to continue that service and sharing of the gospel when he left (Matthew 28:18-20). As shepherds of the flock that has been entrusted to us, it is our responsibility to encourage and mobilize our flock to serve others. Jesus said the best place to start is in our “Jerusalem” (our city) Acts 1:8. There are hundreds of thousands of needs in any one city.
Finding the passion of your church and going where the Holy Spirit already is will be the beginning of changing your culture to a lifestyle of serving others in need.
Passion is what we desire more than anything. It energizes us to the point that it is our reward. It is the flame that burns inside of us that cannot be extinguished. A great way to start finding the passion within your church is to ask your congregation where they are already serving. Finding their passion and utilizing the relationships they have already built with community agencies will help to build a foundation.
Conduct a survey (by email or by paper) asking the following questions of your members (leaders are a great place to start). There are many ways to conduct e-surveys through companies like Mail Chimp, Vertical Response, Constant Contact, Facebook, and LinkedIn, etc.
- Do you currently serve in the community? If yes, where do you currently serve? (organization, school, sports, a family in need, etc.).
- If you are not currently serving, would you like to be more involved in your community?
- If you have been serving, how long have you been serving at each organization? What is your frequency of service (weekly, monthly, a few times a year, seasonal, etc.)
- If you have been serving at an organization, would you consider being a liaison between this organization and the church and take others with you to serve?
- If you have not been serving, at what frequency would be best for you to start serving (weekly, monthly, a few times a year, seasonal, etc)?
- Is it important for your family to serve together? What ages of children do you have?
- Is it better for you to serve during the day, in the evenings, and/or on the weekends?
- What people groups do you serve or would like to serve (see a comprehensive list IDENTIFYING YOUR PASSION).
- Where do you feel most comfortable serving? Check one or both. 1) serving behind the scenes (sorting items, administration, preparing food, etc) 2) serving directly with people in need (giving items, tutoring, visiting, etc.)
- If currently serving, are you able to freely share your faith at the organizations you serve?
- How many times have you shared your faith testimony and/or the gospel of Christ with another person in the last year (not necessarily while you were serving)?
- How equipped do you feel to share your faith with others? 1 not at all 2 barely 3 not sure 4 somewhat 5 always ready
- Why do you serve/want to serve?
From the answers to these questions, you will begin to see who their passions are for, when they can serve, how equipped they are to share their faith, and why they are being led to serve? Bringing this information together will help you as a church to find your focus where God is already moving in your church body.
This survey will also lay the foundation for the equipping you may need to do with your members on sharing their faith. There are many resources available to teach about sharing your faith – here are just a few:
- You Tube Videos – How to Share the Gospel
- Rick Warren – How to Share The Good News Through Your Testimony
You might find that majority of your church body is being led to serve the homeless and that is where you will focus. Or maybe there are a few pillars for service like the youth, elderly, women, etc. Or maybe you simply give a wide variety of opportunities and let the Holy Spirit lead each individual, family, and/or group to serve. No matter the number of pillars, you will be ready to connect with organizations that match your passion and vision and give opportunities to your members to serve others as a lifestyle.