Recently, I have been challenging our members to “sit in a service and serve in a service.” Why is that important and what does it do for your spiritual life?
Serving God by serving others through a local congregation of believers should never be just an add-on to our schedule but should be a priority in our Christian journey. It is impossible to be a spiritually mature believer unless we use our gifts and talents to serve others like Jesus did. Volunteers are the lifeblood of a local congregation. Without great volunteers a church can’t fulfill the mission given by Jesus – love people and bring them into a growing relationship with Him.
So, why is it important to sit in a service and serve in one?
Sitting in a Service Protects You from Burnout
Burnout in ministering and serving is common, unfortunately. There can be many reasons for that. Sometimes we experience burnout because we do not receive God’s gift of Sabbath rest. God gave us the gift of Sabbath to help us avoid the feelings of burnout, exhaustion, and loss of passion. We must take regular days of Sabbath so that we may minister and work out of the overflow rather than be dragged under by the undertow. We must learn to say “no” to some things so we can say “yes” to better things. We may not realize it, but simplifying our schedule is a spiritual exercise. Many people simply do too many things each week, and they wonder why they are exhausted and discouraged.
I believe that the most common reason people feel burned out or worn out from serving is that they do not fill up before they give out. Psalm 100 tells us to, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Serving is a joy and it is fulfilling to us. If you constantly “give out” without ever “filling up,” however, you will get discouraged. By regularly worshipping (sitting) in a service, you are filling your soul. You worship, find encouragement, receive blessings, focus on Jesus, get a word from the Lord, and empower your service. But if we do not participate in regular worship, then we will become empty very quickly.
Serving in a Service Makes a Difference
Volunteering has many benefits to you personally. It allows us to fulfill Jesus’ command to serve. It connects us and makes us feel like a part of a team. It helps us develop deep relationships. It fulfills us and gives an avenue to fulfill our purpose. Serving makes an impact in people’s lives. You affect eternity. You grow in your faith. You use your gifts to bring glory to God. You become fulfilled and experience a profound satisfaction by serving. God has gifted you and created you to serve. When I “fill up” before I “give out,” then I find energy and joy that I never knew I had.
When I serve, I defeat the excuses and lies from the enemy. He lies to you and tells you that you don’t have time. The Bible says we are to “redeem the time.” The truth is we all have the same amount of time each day – 24 hours. He lies to you and tells you that you aren’t qualified. God says that you are his masterpiece. He gives everyone talents and spiritual gifts to use for him. You can serve somewhere if you are willing! The enemy tries to make you doubt. Doubt will drain your energy and sap your strength. God tells us “…no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed…” (Isaiah 54:17) Doubt can’t defeat you when you get filled up before your give out. By sitting and serving we avoid burnout.
I believe Avalon Church has some of the greatest volunteers in the world. I am so proud of all of you. Let’s get filled up before we pour out by sitting in a service and serving in a service.