Serving With Joy

Understanding the Spiritual Gift of Service

By Josie Rabbitt
  • February 17, 2015

Six of us balanced on a makeshift scaffold of old beams and zip-ties, lifting 30-pound buckets of shoveled concrete. We called ourselves the “scaff staff,” a cutesy nickname the high school students found hilarious. Though there were about 32 teens on the mission trip, our job was the most physically demanding, and so on the third day, I started to hear complaints:

“The others aren’t serving like us.”

“They probably aren’t serving at all.”

“Look at them and look at us. We’re doing more—and it’s not fair.”

As their counselor, I felt the need to address their attitudes and point out that service to God comes in all forms. “Our trip nurse has been working diligently the entire trip,” I said, “though buckets can’t measure her work, and we don't see her doing physically draining work.”

“Do you feel dehydrated?” I asked.

“No…” they replied.

“Your good health is partially due to our nurse making sure everyone is well hydrated,” I reminded them.

Not everyone enjoys behind-the-scenes work. But those with the spiritual gift of service love to meet practical needs and free others to achieve their goals. Too often, their acts go unnoticed, but their joy comes from helping others succeed, and so they faithfully persevere.

Jesus’ life was a continuous stream of selfless service: He fed, healed, and washed feet. Jesus put Himself last so others could be first.

If you have this special spiritual gift, here are three roles in the church that might be a good fit for you:

  1. Music Ministry—Think beyond the praise band. A lot goes into a worship service, including lighting, audio, instrumental accompaniment, and video. You might thrive in one of these supportive roles.
  2. Food Preparation—Whether you’re manning the kitchen during a church event or delivering meals to church members who need assistance, you’ll enjoy nourishing others by meeting their basic needs.
  3. Welcome Ministry—Holding doors and answering questions may sound a bit monotonous to some, but not to you. You love to provide what people need, when they need it.

You’ve been empowered to serve God’s kingdom in your own special way. What a blessing! Your patience and genuine interest in helping others achieve makes you an excellent member of any church. Your heart is kind, and your heavenly Father sees you as you are—a faithful servant of the living King.  

Learn more about the spiritual gift of serving in Dr. Stanley’s article “The Gift of Service.”

Related Topics:  Obedience  |  Service  |  Spiritual Life

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