Just a couple of weekends ago, my adult Bible study group served in our church’s Fall Festival. Our assignment: staff the giant inflatable slide called “The Kraken.” In the weeks that led up to the Fall Festival, I encouraged my group members to sign up for 45-minute time slots. They did, and we had a great time serving together.
If you are a Bible study group leader, here are four reasons to lead your group to serve:
- Serving others mimics Christ – There is no doubt that Jesus served people with His life. Scripture says He came to “seek and to save that which was lost,” and He served humanity by voluntarily laying down His life. As we serve others, we mimic the selfless attitude held by Christ. Our Savior told His disciples that if they aspired to be great in His kingdom, they would have to learn a new way of thinking and acting. In Jesus’ kingdom, the greatest citizens are those who serve others. They do so not to earn Jesus’ favor, but they serve as a sign of thanks to their Savior who served them when they were helpless, laying down His life and making a way to be reconciled to God even possible.
- Serving others is a way of tangibly expressing Christ’s love – It’s one thing to say you love someone, and it’s something else entirely to put feet to the feeling and actually do something! Groups that get outside the church walls and serve others set a great example and tangibly express Christ’s love in practical ways that give glory to God. As the authors of Transformational Groups noted, “The end result of community must be mission” (p.29). As we are transformed by God’s Word as we relate to other believers, our transformation results in missional acts of service to people who are in need of the gospel.
- Serving others creates a bond between people – Just ask anyone who has been on a mission trip with others – something special happens between people who serve together and share an experience. People who might have once been strangers to each other suddenly have a common experience and a long-lasting bond forms between them. This coming Saturday morning, my Bible study group is gathering together again to serve a family in our LIFE Group. We’ll serve this family by doing a host of odd jobs around their home – and we’ll have a great time doing it. There is no doubt that at the end of the day, my group members who participate in the workday will all be happier and will feel closer to one another because they will have shared a service opportunity. We’ll build a great memory together, and we’ll strengthen the bond between us.
- Serving others helps people mature as disciples – In the research project that led to the creation of the book Transformational Groups, it was discovered that people who regularly served others experienced a depth of maturity much greater than those who were not a part of a group and who did not practice serving others. In other words, serving others helps you grow up in Christ. The research proved that one of the marks of a maturing disciple is the desire and practice of serving God and others (see Chapter 2 and the 8 attributes of a disciple).