It is possible to be a member of a church, but never be part of the team that makes the church function properly. Spiritual growth happens when you move from being a receiver to being a reproducer. A church of 100 people could not function if there were 100 pastors, but neither can it function well if only 1 person does everything in the ministry.
Here are 20 ways you can be involved in the ministry of your local church . You probably won’t be able to do all of these, nor should you. It is amazing to me to see the way some people enjoy serving (and doing a good job) in ministries that others would hate to do and probably would not do very well. God made us all in a different way. That is so that He could prepare us to be one body in Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). Therefore, if one ministry doesn’t suit you well, try to find one or two others where you can excel in service.
Teach a Class
It is a great honor to teach a class of children or adults. See what the requirements are for you to teach a class and get involved. Ask your pastor to help you find the best class suited for your teaching abilities.
You may have a greater impact in a one-on-one teaching opportunity. Many young people today are growing up without good role models. Find a young person in your church (with the guidance of the pastor and permission of the parents) and invest your life into theirs.
Many churches have either an active discipleship  ministry, or would like to have one. Talk with your pastor about teaching the basics of Christian growth to others in your church. This is a ministry which people feel unqualified to do, yet disciplining others is also one of the best ways to grow to spiritual maturity.
If you are outgoing and can strike up a conversation with others you can became an official, or unofficial, church greeter. Seek out visitors and do what you can to help them feel welcome and comfortable. Help them find their proper Sunday School class and get them the things they need to have a good experience at your church. You don’t have to be given a title to be friendly.
Visit People in the Hospital
Find out from your pastor who is in the hospital and would like a visit. When my mother was in the hospital for an extended stay, it was an encouragement to her to have people from the church, whom she did not even know, spend a few minutes with her. If your regular job causes you to be at a hospital for whatever reason, try to spend a few minutes just letting people know that your church cares and is praying for them.
Jump in a volunteer to help widows. It was encouraging to see the men in our church recently step up and help a new widow lady in her time of need. Her husband worked from home and had a lot of equipment that needed to be properly disseminated. The men in the church have been helping her give away and sell her husband’s unneeded equipment without others taking advantage of this hurting lady.
Don’t forget those who have been widowed for many years. While they have probably learned to handle certain situations on their own, they may still have a need for someone with a strong back to come in and move some things around her house every so often.
Send Cards and Letters
A timely card  can be an encouragement to someone who has had to be out of church for a while. This may be due to illness, discouragement or an extended trip. As a foreign missionary, I was always encouraged when someone in one of our supporting churches sent a birthday card to one of my children. Of course, a phone call or email are appropriate too even if they are not as long lasting as a handwritten card or letter.
Those who have lost a family member appreciate having a church family who can provide a few meals. This gives them one less thing to worry about when dealing with so many other needs and emotions. Single parents could probably use some help trying to provide regular nutritious meals for their children.
Your church may have a bus or van ministry that needs drivers and workers. Even if your church does not, you can volunteer to give people a ride to your church services and activities. Many times people who are interested in a ministry like this already have people that they are bringing to church, but if you do not, then ask your pastor if there is someone you could pick up. There may be a homebound person who would love to come to church if they only had a way to get there.
Invite Others to Church
We should all be involved in sharing our faith. One of the best ways you can do this and serve the church at the same time is simply invite your friends and acquaintances to attend a church service with you. Invite your neighbors and the people you meet in the store to any special activities your church may be presenting.
Your church may be looking for volunteers to help keep the property looking nice. Again, this does not have to be an official position. Take it upon yourself to tidy up when you notice something needs cleaning. Get with your pastor and find out if there is a day you can come in and straighten up before the next public service in the church.
Lawn care can include anything from mowing the grass to pulling weeds. You may be quite good at landscaping. However, please clear any projects with your pastor first. Because the outside of the church is not behind a lock and key, it can be frustrating to the pastor to have someone take it upon themselves to redo all the flower beds at church without telling him about it first. Be conscientious and consider that there may be plans in the works for a landscape upgrade before taking it upon yourself to enact your own design.
Don’t assume that the pastor will notice or fix something that is broken. If you see a need to repair something at church take the initiative and fix the problem. This is an area where you don’t necessarily need to get permission to fix something that is broken. However, you should clear any big changes with the leadership of the church.
Set Up for Events
There is always a need for people to arrive early at events and help with decorations and setup. Don’t assume that you will be called “if you are needed.” Many times, whoever is in charge of setting up the event may not want to bother others to help them with the work. Take it upon yourself to contact those in charge and offer to help with setup or cleanup after an event.
The ministry of prayer should not be taken lightly. It is often said, “I can’t do much, but I can pray.” That is a sad way to think about prayer. The truth is, not everyone will pray. And, prayer is never the “least you can do,” but should always be thought of as the most important thing you can do. Pray for the church, its leadership, and those in the church who have needs. Don’t just pray for situations to be resolved in a positive way, but pray more deeply than that. Pray that people will be changed and become spiritually stronger. Read the first chapter of each of the books that Paul  wrote. He prayed less for situations and more for people to become strong in the Lord.
It is easy to sit back and criticize that the audio is too loud, or too quiet. Or that guy running the projector seems to be asleep half the time. Volunteer to help with the A/V ministry in your church. Even if you don’t have much experience with audio and video, you can probably learn all you need to know if you have any interest in helping your church do better in this area.
Some churches have certain requirements for their ushers and therefore you may not qualify. But find out from your pastor what you need to do to become one of these important people in the ministry of the church.
It is unfortunate to see so many churches doing away with having a choir. Whereas 30 or 40 people could have been involved in the worship ministry of the church, they are now depending on 4 or 5 very talented people (even if they are of questionable spiritual maturity) to lead the church in musical worship. If your church still has a choir, jump right in. If you can’t sing well, then at least be there as visual support for the music minister.
A church full of young couples with babies is a good sign of a healthy church. No one wants to be pulled out of every church service to tend to the needs of others. However, the more people who will volunteer for this needed ministry, the less likely it is that you will have to miss too many services in your church.
The church I grew up in was on a major highway through town. Sadly, on a rare occasion, someone would pull off the highway and rummage through any unlocked cars in the parking lot while we were all involved in a church service. It was necessary for one of our men to walk around the parking lot during all services. If you can get a small group of people to help you with this task, then you would only have to miss 1 or 2 church services a month to give the congregants some peace of mind while learning about the Lord.
I trust that these 20 ways to serve at church are a good start to helping you see things you can do in your local church ministry. The more involved and invested you are in your church, the more you will work to make its ministry a success in the community.
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