Step Up: Serve

Step-up-serveLet’s face it: we men have difficulty serving.

I work hard to provide for my family. I pay the bills, and I keep the cars maintained. I change light bulbs and fix leaky toilets. I make sure the trash is taken out. I wash dishes fairly regularly. I even get the kids ready for bed most nights.

But do my boys see me serve in church? Do I tell them I serve my Lord and Savior, but only in words and not in deeds?

I came across a website that included some interesting facts about men and their service in church. There are quite a few statistics, and feel free to go to the website (click here) to get all of them, and see their footnotes. I will include just a couple:

  • This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands.

  • Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.

  • Over 70 percent of the boys who are being raised in church will abandon it during their teens and twenties. Many of these boys will never return.

  • Fewer than 10% of U.S. churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry.

  • A study from Hartford Seminary found that the presence of involved men was statistically correlated with church growth, health, and harmony. Meanwhile, a lack of male participation is strongly associated with congregational decline.

Even more than attending church, we need to serve. I find it a little funny how we refer to our Sunday morning gathering as a “Church Service,” yet so few of us serve there. I am challenged to look at the “Service” as a verb and not a noun. How I serve others in the church body is a response to how I understand the heart of Jesus Christ. On his final day, before He was crucified, Jesus served.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13.3-5 (NIV)

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13.14-17 (NIV)

What a great picture of the master serving others! Our sons need to see us serving. Maybe it is serving as an usher. Maybe it is serving as an elder. Maybe it is serving as a janitor. Maybe even serving in the nursery (doesn’t sound very manly, does it?), but we need to serve. We are called to serve. We need to validate our words.

If possible, find opportunities for you to serve with your children. Let them see you actively serve, and give them a chance to pattern their lives after yours, and find the joy in serving your church as a family.

Is God worth serving? Or do I have other things in my life that I would rather serve, that take priority over God’s command to me to serve? Our sons will see right through our words, and either they will believe us when we say we serve the one true God, or they will see us serving something else.
It is not easy. It may even seem awkward. But it is time to step up, and serve.


  1. Daniel says:

    Good words. I think the strongest churches we see today are the churches where the men are actively serving. The church needs us, and our sons need our example. Thanks for writing this!

  2. Andrew says:

    Even more importantly, our children and families need to serve with us. They need to see us server not just our body (and definitely not just in a church building, that is not the church, we are the church) they need to see us serving the church and the lost on a regular basis outside of Sundays or Wednesdays. They need to serve along side us. I think we can start movements when our men lead our families to serve the widows, the poor, the broken outside of our bodies and bring our families, even small children, along side us to serve with us.

  3. Philip says:

    I agree totally that we men need to be active in our service at church (and I am) but there don’t appear to be enough opportunities to serve. I’m not saying there aren’t areas to serve but there doesn’t APPEAR to be a need. Everything gets done, typically by the same core group of guys, so none of the other men think they’re needed to help.

    Also, the few times someone in the pulpit asks for men to volunteer to help, it seems like they want that help between 9-5 on weekdays. Obviously that’s not going to work for most men unless we’re willing to use vacation time to go help. It’s frustrating…

    Finally, lately I’ve seen a lot of articles bemoaning the lack of a “vibrant men’s ministry” in most churches but nobody seems to define that. It sounds like a great thing but I don’t know what it is, how to start it, or if we already qualify as having it! Can someone point me to what they’re talking about?

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