The fact that we as Christians are servants is not a doubted fact.  The bible is filled with illustrations depicting God’s children as servants.  Paul called himself a servant on numerous occasions (Rom. 1:1; II Cor. 4:5; Gal. 1:10).  Jesus even used the servant to teach in various parable (Luke 12:41-48; Matt. 18:23-35; Matt. 25:14-30).  Jesus even commanded us to serve as he told as that the greatest of men shall serve (Matt. 23:11).  But none of this tells us what acts of service we are supposed to engage in.
One such passage that many have thrown out to explain the service God demands of us is the occasion in which Mary washed the feet of Jesus.  After the apostles (specifically Judas Iscariot) had sought Christ to rebuke her, Jesus said of Mary,
“She has done what she could… (Mark 14:8).”  Is this all that God demands of us, whatever we can do?  Certainly this can’t be true.  What if we can play the piano beautifully, does that means that you can play the piano to worship God with the saints?  What if you were a woman who excelled at public speaking.  Does that permit you to be a preacher?  What if you were a dynamic cook, does that mean you can hold church bake sales to raise funds for the church?  We should know the answer to these questions is no.  Doing what we can does not authorize us to do what we want.  We know that we still have to do what God has authorized.  Furthermore, we do need to realize that doing what we can is not permission to do as little as we can.  To often Christians use the excuse “I can’t.”  As my grandfather used to say, “Can’t never did nothin’.”  Brethren most of us can do a lot more than what we actually do.  Just as we realize that we are authorized to not engage in certain activities we need to realize that God commands that our service be found in certain activities. 
God demands what we serve in the church.  No, you won’t found passages that speak of this directly.  Speaking unto the men of the church Paul writes,
“When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying (I Cor. 14:26).”  This is not to say that each person had each of these, but that each of these things were put forward an “act of worship” they engaged in.  Notice that Paul said, “each one of you.”  These seems to imply that someone not being engaged in the service would have been out of the norm.  Furthermore, Paul taught that we all play a role in the edifying of the saints in Eph. 4:16.  While one could argue that this is done outside of assembly time, it should be noted that one of the  purposes of the assembly according to I Cor. 14 was to edify (I Cor. 14:3-5, 12, 17, 26).  As such our service to one another is edification.  As a baptized male in the church you have the responsibility to edify the congregation.  While I realize we do not all have the voices of angels or presence of a Dee Bowman neither did Paul.  He even had to defend himself because others thought he was weak in person (II Cor. 10:10).  Our boldness should not be in our own abilities but in the word and power of God!  So men, serve by taking an active role in the worship hour. 
For the woman, the service in the assembly times will be different.  They are not authorized to serve like the men (I Cor. 14:34; I Tim. 2:12).  But this does not mean that there are not ways that you cannot edify.  There are children here that need teaching.  (Yes we parents should be doing it at home).  While we do have several  women taking part of this service, I know that they would not mind sharing in this work too. 
Of course, serving the church does not have to be limited to what is done in the worship hour.  One can serve the church by taking care of physical needs (this is why deacons were assigned).  The building needs someone to help with the upkeep (cleaning maintenance, lawn care, etc).  If non one cleans the building, if no one mows the lawn, of no one repairs what is broken it won’t be long before no one will want to visit and no one will want to worship here.  While have a nice building is not commanded by God, not taking care of it is being poor stewards of what we have been given.
There are other needs for the church as well such as getting the bible class material ready, bulletins printed, flyers of the Gospel Meetings mailed and/or passed out, assigning duty rosters, preparing of the Lord’s Supper, etc that need done so that everything goes smoothly when we do gather.  While those that serve in this capacity may not always got the recognition they deserve, it is quite noticeable when they are not done.  These acts of service are just as vital to the wellbeing of the church as taking care of the spiritual needs!
-WTK
 

Grinnell church of Christ
 
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What Kind of Service Does God Expect of Us
Part 1


The Light
Volume 4 Issue 8