Serving is a major part of discipling your current members. As they grow closer to Christ, their actions should be showing fruit through serving others (John 15:5). Finding out the maturity of your current members in regards to serving others and sharing their faith will give you a good start to know what types of service they will be comfortable starting to do and then you can grow them to more mature service opportunities. Plus if you have a more mixed congregation in terms of service maturity, you will know what variety of service opportunities you should offer them.
In many cases, churches have members who thirst for community service opportunities; in others, people will serve if asked. In still others, members have never participated in community service. It is clear from scripture that God built us all for service to others. Jesus’ teachings reinforce this in numerous areas.
Knowing where your members currently are in terms of serving, will help you to find projects, partnerships, outreach opportunities that best fit the maturity of your congregation. Before you even begin to research the needs in your community, first research your congregation. Let the passions and experiences of your people guide where your church serves. Go where God is already, instead of trying to create something and bring God to it.
Here are a few questions to help determine where your congregation is currently.
1) Are you already active in serving the community? What organizations do you serve? Are you able to serve needs AND share Christ at these organizations?
2) Who do you have a heart to serve?
Women in need Business community Disabled
Troubled Youth Orphans Abused
Homeless Less Fortunate School System
3) Do you feel equipped to share the Gospel of Christ with others?
1 not at all 2 a little 3 not sure 4 fairly 5 yes
4) How often do you share the Gospel of Christ with others?
1 not at all 2 once before 3 infrequently (yearly) 4 fairly often (monthly) 5 frequently (daily/weekly)
5) Who do you feel most comfortable sharing your testimony with?
1 unbelievers 2 curious about Christ 3 new believers 4 growing in Christ 5 mature believers
6) How many of your neighbors do you know?
1 none 2 a few 3 several 4 most 5 all
7) On average, how often do you talk to the neighbors you know (more than just a hello)?
1 never 2 once a year 3 monthly 4 weekly 5 daily
Some ideas to gather information are:
- an online survey (Facebook, Vertical Response, Constant Contact, etc)
- a survey by snail mail
- simply ask some questions via email
- have them fill out a form and turn it in during service.
Answers to these questions will serve three purposes:
1) to know what types of projects/partnerships to offer serving opportunities to your members
2) to know what equipping your congregation needs to learn to share their faith more confidently
3) this will be the benchmark for you to measure your outreach “success”