God’s intent for each person whom He brings into relationship with Jesus is that they would be enfolded into His Body, which is the Church. To be enfolded into the Church means to be connected both to the community and to the ministry of the Church. Oftentimes those two aspects fit together—the place where you develop community becomes the place in which you also serve, or the place you serve becomes the source of your deepest community.
Since that is often the case, why aren’t all of us serving in some aspect of ministry? In I Peter 4:10, we are told “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” Each of us who belong to Christ have been given gifts and abilities and experience that are uniquely needed in the Body. But we need to use them!
By far, the most common reason I hear for why someone isn’t serving in a ministry is that “they aren’t skilled enough” for that particular ministry. I understand that we live in a culture that values professionalism (for good reasons!), but let me make this crystal-clear: in God’s economy, you don’t have to be a professional to serve. God has given you a gift…so use it!
Now granted, in every ministry there are some kind of standards or requirements, so if you just started playing piano yesterday we’re probably not going to put you on the worship team for this Sunday, but that doesn’t mean that you have to wait until you’re playing in the LA Philharmonic before you can serve. Likewise, you don’t have to have a teaching credential to serve with the children in Church School, but we do run a background check on you. So there are standards in place in order to protect and enhance each ministry, but not for the purpose of eliminating all those without professional training or experience.
You might not know what you are gifted in until you try a few ministries and discover where you’re NOT gifted, but don’t let that keep you from trying. And you may need to stick with a ministry for awhile in order to gain some experience and then prayerfully consider if that is where God wants you to invest for a longer time.
There are plenty of opportunities to serve, and who knows, perhaps the ministry God gives to you will also become the means by which you connect more deeply in our church.