Pastor Steve Makofka from the Centerville, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church (and one of my favorite bloggers) recently manned “Ministry” booth for the local high school’s College and Career Fair. Below is the text of a little pamphlet that he wrote to help encourage people in ways to move ahead in spiritual service. See his blog at http://revpharoah.blogspot.com/2006/03/simple-steps-to-spiritual-service.html.
1) Prepare yourself spiritually for service. Jesus prayed to His Father, “Not my will but yours be done.” This is a good place to start. The word “minister” originally meant servant. “Pastor” is from the Latin for “shepherd” implying someone who leads and cares for people.
2) Take initiative. If you are at your church and see trash on the floor, pick it up. If you see a child crying, ask what’s wrong. If a person looks lost, offer your assistance. If someone looks overwhelmed in what they are doing, ask if there is some way you can help them. Hold a door open for someone whose arms are full.
3) Listen for a call for volunteers. Church leaders are always looking for volunteers. Volunteer to do something. The younger you are, the greater the variety of things you should try. Help set up chairs. Take a turn in the nursery. Offer to be a greeter. Do some weeding or cut the grass. The more you do, the clearer the picture will be of what you are good at. Some jobs will be more satisfying than others. Some you will be better at than others. Your efforts will be more appreciated in some areas than others. Take note of all these things. This is how God directs people to different areas of service.
4) Wait for an invitation. If you are regularly taking initiative to improve areas that you are sensitive and volunteering to help wherever help is needed, then eventually someone in leadership should approach you with an invitation to serve in a particular area that they think you would be good in. When this invitation comes, say, “Yes.” If you have questions about whether or not you are qualified, then discuss those questions with the person offering the invitation. Don’t be afraid if you feel overwhelmed by the invitation. Faith is always required for ministry. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
5) Seek training. The responsibility you accept will probably require you to get some additional education or training. Do it. It could be from someone else in your church who has more education or experience than you have. Continue learning, growing and training until you can do the job well. If you find that you can do the ministry well and you still have time and energy left for more, then God may be preparing you for even a higher level of ministry. Go back to step 1.