The Spiritual Gift of Service Defined
to identify undone tasks in God’s work, however menial, and use available resources to get the job done
Examples of the Importance of Gifting Accomplished Behind the Scenes
Servant #1: She helped with cleaning the church, even when she wouldn’t get paid to do so. She showed up at church work days helping to paint, plant flowers, or whatever was still undone. She offered to set up for or clean up after special events. Whatever needed to be done, she would pitch in. And, she enjoyed it!
Servant #2: When the facilities needed to be renovated for the children’s ministry, he was there with his hammer and saw. He wasn’t afraid to get dirty and do hard manual labor. No one knew the countless hours he invested into this project.
What these servants did was usually behind the scenes. They may or may not have been noticed or recognized. The work they did was not glamorous and didn’t directly result in souls being saved or people being discipled. But, if they and others like them did not do these kinds of tasks, it certainly would be noticeable. That first impression visitors get would not be so good if the facilities were unkempt. The learning environment would have been less ideal.
Lesson to be learned:
Everyone’s contribution to the Body of Christ is important and needed. Whether we have speaking gifts or serving gifts, we need to faithfully exercise them with the strength He provides to His glory. All gifts are distributed on the basis of grace and to be administered as His grace into the lives of others. People with the spiritual gift of service should not view themselves as any less important or less needed in the Body of Christ. Watch for comparing yourself with someone else.
If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. (1 Cor. 12:15-18)
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet. 4:10-11)
Get this example of the ways the spiritual gift of service can be used, along with 20 other gifts, in the Ministry Handbook: Spiritual Gifts in Use. In addition, the handbook suggests spiritual gifts most typically used in 16 broad ministry areas and 27 specific tasks that may need to be accomplished in most of those areas.