by Ken Braddy
Fall is almost here, and so are college and NFL football, basketball, and hockey seasons. Oh, and did I mention hunting season? Fall brings many new options: camping trips, hiking, and fishing are much more pleasant. Cool nights and warm days make finding things to do (especially my favorite: golf) a lot easier from September through the end of the year. As men, we can enjoy the great outdoors during this time of the year, filling our free time with plenty of great options. But have you considered investing some of your time this fall in a different way? You’ve got another option.
Fall is typically your church’s highest growth season. Summer slumps give way to “the fabulous fall” when people return in droves from summer vacations, settling back into the rhythm of school and work. It is exactly during this time that churches have a great need for leaders to step up and serve. Security teams need new recruits; your church’s Bible study ministries need new group leaders; parking lot teams and greeter ministries need new volunteers. And the list goes on. Here are a few reminders about your importance as a servant leader in your church.
- Your job as a church member is to serve. Ephesians 4:11-12 reminds us that our pastors are to equip us to serve (“…equipping the saints for the work of ministry”). We are created to be trained and to use our new skills to help our churches grow spiritually and numerically. How do you know what your church’s needs are? How do you discover where it is that your church needs new people to serve? That’s easy – just ask! As a former pastor, I can tell you that nothing thrilled my heart more than when a member of my church called and asked, “What do you have for me to do? Where’s the need?” Sometimes we pastors forget to ask for help. Just know that we always need help – so don’t wait on us to invite you. Invite yourself onto the leadership team. I promise, we’ll welcome you with open arms.
- You are gifted to serve. One of my favorite Bible passages is I Corinthians 12. In it, the Apostle Paul wrote about spiritual gifts, and how each believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has one (or more) of those special gifts. God is the giver, and we are to use those gifts to serve His people. Too many men sit on the sidelines of church, never getting into the game of leadership. Think about your favorite football team for a moment. If you were a player, would you have a different view of the game than from the sidelines? Of course you would! The action would be more intense, and you’d see the game from a whole new perspective. So it is with men who get out of the stands and onto the field when it comes to church leadership! You just don’t know what you’re missing.
- When you serve, you imitate Jesus. Jesus left heaven to serve us. We had (and have) a sin problem, and we could not save ourselves from God’s wrath. Jesus became a man, lived among us and did not sin, and willingly laid down his life, dying for us on the cross. What an act of service! Jesus told His disciples that if they wanted to be great in His kingdom, they would need to assume the posture of a servant (Mark 9:35). So many men aspire to be great, and the secret is right in front of them – be a servant leader!
Ken Braddy manages LifeWay’s adult ongoing Bible studies, plus Sunday School and discipleship trainers. His new book, Breathing Life Into Sunday School, is available at lifeway.com.