Feeding his sheep: Learning to serve others in your congregation

We can heed Christ's call to, "Feed my sheep," as we serve others in our local congregations.

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  • In the Bible in John 21:17, Jesus instructs Peter to, "Feed My sheep." This call resounds with all Christians today as we search for ways to lift up those around us. While Christ refers to all mankind as his sheep, one of the first places we can look for lives to bless is in our own church congregations.

  • As we reach out in service to our fellow worshippers, we become more in touch with the needs of others. Eventually, this habit of service leads us to feel charity towards our fellow-man. Use these suggestions to get involved in finding those who need your help right in your own congregation.

  • Broaden your circle of friends

  • The first hurdle to providing help is knowing who needs you. As you make more friends in your congregation, you'll come to know more about the needs of families and individuals. If your church offers Sunday school, play groups or potlucks, attend these functions as often as you can and make an effort to meet at least one new person each time. As your circle of friends grows, so will your potential to do good.

  • Get involved in auxiliary and service organizations

  • Many churches have established charitable, service-oriented or women's auxiliaries. Volunteer your talents in these noble organizations. This will help you plug-in to the charitable activities of your church and help you get to know other members better.

  • Start a service initiative

  • Once you've identified a need in your congregation, put a plan in place to solve the problem. For example, if couples in your congregation need more time to develop loving marriages, you could organize a date night babysitting co-op. Or, if you know a family in your congregation that is struggling financially, you might organize a clothing and food drive where only the leader of the congregation and you know the intended recipients.

  • Be a good friend

  • Often the best service you can give is the gift of kindness. Go out of your way to introduce yourself to new members. Find small but meaningful ways to celebrate someone's birthday. Send sympathy cards to mourners and flowers to new mothers. Your actions don't have to be grand to make someone's day.

  • Pray

  • When someone is facing a difficult situation, often the only help we can give is to pray. Remember individuals and families from your congregation in your personal prayers. If it is appropriate, you can also organize prayer chains within your church. Miracles occur when an entire congregation uses the power of prayer to bless one individual or family.

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  • As you start on your path of service, it may take some time to find opportunities. The more involved you get in the lives of others, the more you'll start to see the vital role you play in your church community. It won't take long until you find yourself surrounded by chances to bless your fellow congregants.

  • You have something good to give. Every person is capable of doing service and being a miracle in the life of someone else. The need for your kind, loving soul is infinite.

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Heather Hale is a fourth-generation Montanan and mom to three crazy boys.

Website: http://moderatelycrunchy.blogspot.com

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