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Why Do You Serve in Your Local Church? (a book recommendation)

(recommended by Stephen Simpson)

Serving is part of the fabric of any healthy local church.  Most churches would cease to exist without the hundreds of individuals who serve on a weekly basis.  Nate Palmer’s book Servanthood as Worship: The Privilege of Life in a Local Church helps address the reasons for why we should serve in a local church.  I highly recommend this book.  It will challenge you to evaluate the motivations behind your service.

“The purpose of this book is to present a biblical vision of service so that believers from all sorts of churches can say, along with Joshua, ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Joshua 24:15)” (p. 12)

Some highlights from the book:

  • “Most of the time we are simply serving ourselves.” (5)
      
  • “We always serve who we see as the king of our kingdom.”  (6)
      
  • “When Christians are gathered into a local church, that form of worship called biblical servanthood can be practiced and expressed in ways that are not possible in any other context.”  (25)
      
  • “God is calling us to serve despite our inconvenience and discomfort, because his top priority is the glory he will receive as our lives become more and more conformed to his image.  He wants to do real work in the church – through us – to help clean up the mess that is our collective sin.” (29)
      
  • “One reason the church is the primary context for serving is because it is where messy people go when they know they need help.” (29)
      
  • “Through the practice of servanthood-as-worship in local churches, believers and the lost alike come to more clearly taste and see God’s provision and love.  As chairs are arranged, children watched, books sold, instruments played, local outreaches conducted, prayers prayed, and Bible studies taught, a great testimony of praise is offered up.”  (34)
      
  • “Biblical servanthood is a reaction to God, a response to a holy God’s forgiveness of our sins.  We do not serve for salvation but from salvation.  Serving is intended to magnify the gospel, not replace it.”  (43)
       
  • “When trials come knocking, we are tempted to just quit serving God and start serving ourselves again – and apart from cultivating the work of the Spirit in our lives, that’s exactly what we will do.”  (59)
       
  • “Some acts of service God calls us to may be heroic, but most are quite simple.  Meals do not cook themselves, lawns do not mow themselves, and clothes do not give themselves away.  Babysitters do not appear by magic, and taxis don’t take people to church or the grocery store for free.  But we can do these things.  They are not difficult, and when we do them our lives point to God.”  (70)

Other Recommended Books: