A Retreat in Small Bites: Service

Service Windowpane

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

City Church Tallahassee discovered that the most effective things a church can do for the community are not big events or ‘service days;’ rather, they are relationships that take time to establish and commitment over a long term to flourish.

Encouraging members to join life in the city, village or town where things are happening is where they can most effectively invest long term in areas of need that fit members’ passions. This meets a goal of ‘decentralizing’ the church, and takes the ministry to the people, instead of expecting the people to come to the church.

According to City Church, and those who work on church vitality, a healthy church is not where members ask, “What can we do for the community?” because they are already on mission in the community. People who call City Church their home are serving frequently. The relational trust this service builds leads to gospel conversations.

We at Squaw Valley Chapel, as many other churches, may be uncomfortable with the word ‘evangelism,’ the same way we may not be comfortable with the word ‘mission.’ But what do we really mean when we use these terms? We are talking about the work we are inspired to do in the community, with our neighbors and friends, because we want to share the love we know comes from God. We love, because God loved us first.

And when we serve, we serve the living, Still-Speaking God as we serve ‘the least of these.’

How do we at the Chapel serve? We serve…

  • As Individuals who serve the Community
  • As Individuals who serve the Church
  • As the Group of Us who together serve the Community
  • As the Group of Us who serve the Church

A copy of the document is available here.