How to Encourage Church Members to Serve and Be Kingdom Laborers

Forge

April 17, 2023

Figuring out how to encourage church members to serve and become Kingdom Laborers can be a challenge. But it helps to reframe it as something we “Get To” do for Him…

WHAT WE “GET TO” DO VS. WHAT WE “HAVE TO” DO

From a very early age we are all burdened by a variety of tasks that we have to do. We have to make our bed. We have to go to school. We have to go to work. We have to pay our bills. There are many moments in life where many of us feel overwhelmed with all the things we have to do. 

What we don’t have enough time for are the things we get to do. These are things that bring us joy and pleasure. We get to take a day off. We get to go on vacation. We get to sleep in or go out to dinner. The “Get To”s are what make the “Have To”s tolerable. 

Any one of us would gladly swap out some of our “Have To”s for some more “Get To”s. 

In Matthew 9, Jesus gives one of His most powerful and imploring statements: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

These words are a call from Jesus to be part of His mission of reaching people with the Gospel; to use our gifts and talents to serve Him and His work; to be laborers for the Kingdom and to make an impact for Christ.

As these words from Jesus jump off the page, we cannot be sure of what Jesus’ tone of voice was. However, based on the circumstances of the moment, it doesn’t seem He was angry. It doesn’t seem He was frustrated or scolding us. He had just finished a tiring and draining season of teaching, healing, and caring for people. We read that as He looked around at the crowds, He saw how desperate and hopeless they were. 

What I believe we read here is Jesus seeing, not just the pain and need, but also the opportunity. 

  • The opportunity to love and care
  • The opportunities to meet needs and bring hope
  • The opportunities to encourage and remind people they are not alone

He wasn’t ordering His followers to get to work, He was inviting them to be part of His work.

He is giving us a “Get To.” 

And that’s the key to discovering how to encourage church members to serve God—to highlight what we “Get To” do as Kingdom Laborers. 

WHAT WE “GET TO” DO AS BELIEVERS

Here are three things we “Get To” do as believers… 

  • We “Get To” use the gifts He has given us. 

In 1 Peter 4:10 we read, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” God has taken the time to design each of us with specific gifts and talents. These gifts are not meant to be used for our own personal gain, but used for His Kingdom. We use what He has given us to be part of His Kingdom work.

  • We “Get To” be part of something bigger than ourselves. 

Paul, in 1 Corinthians, gives us the description of being part of the “body.” Like the human body, there are many parts. Each part has its specific role. However, that part does not function to serve itself, but rather functions as part of the greater organism. As part of the Body of Christ, we have this amazing opportunity to use our gifts as part of something bigger than ourselves. No gift is too small. No gift is insignificant. No gift is meaningless, because all gifts are from God.

  • We “Get To” answer the call to be laborers. 

When Jesus looked out across the crowds, he recognized the depth of their needs. While these needs were recognizable physically, Jesus knew the deeper level of their need was spiritual. 

In Mark 2, while teaching and healing, a man is lowered through the ceiling right to the feet of Jesus. This man is paralyzed. His physical need is evident. If somehow Jesus could heal him and make him walk, everything would change. He would be able to have a career. He would be able to have a family and be part of society. He would possibly finally find happiness and meaning in life. So much would change in his life if we could only walk. While Jesus was fully aware of all that would change if He healed the man’s legs, He also knew there was something much more important. 

We read these words, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” Jesus didn’t start with the physical; he started with the heart.

 What good would it do if the man could walk, but didn’t believe? What good would it do if the man had a new life on earth, but would spend eternity separated from God? 

Jesus’ first priority was changing his heart, not fixing his life.

HOW TO ENCOURAGE CHURCH MEMBERS TO SERVE BY HIGHLIGHTING THE “GET TO”

When we view serving as just meeting physical needs, we are missing it. It begins to feel like “Have To” tasks. 

We can go and serve at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or even our local church. We can donate clothes, participate in service projects, and give our time. However, if we do all this and fail to give them Jesus, we are missing it altogether.

Jesus’ final words, before being taken up to heaven, did not include the call to feed the hungry or clothe the needy. They were “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

In learning how to encourage church members to serve and be Kingdom Laborers, it’s important to keep this in mind. When we serve, we “Get To” show others the powerful love of Jesus!

DON’T FORGET WHAT YOU “GET TO” DO!

Since 1986, Forge has been passionately pursuing Jesus' mission to raise up more Kingdom Laborers—people who love God, love others, and advance the Kingdom everyday, everywhere.

  • Jesus is calling us. 
  • Jesus is inviting us. 
  • Jesus is offering the greatest “Get To” of all time. 

We “Get To” be part of His work of loving people, bringing them to Jesus, and watching Him change their lives. 

What do you “Get To” do today?