Build-Your-Own Worship Service (or Series) on Service
Service is a response to God’s love for us in Jesus Christ that teaches us to live like Jesus through specific, tangible actions that contribute to the dignity and well-being of the people we serve.
Pick and choose from the ideas below to shape a worship service or plan a series. Also see our Worship Service on the Practice of Service and this list of Intergenerational Activities on the Faith Practice of Service.
- Foundational Essay: Living Like Jesus: Service as a Faith Practice
- Bible passages
- Deuteronomy 10:12-13
- Mark 10:42-45
- John 13:3-5, 12-14
- James 2:14-17
- Philippians 2:1-11
- 1 John 4
- Isaiah 53
- Recommended resources from the Faith Practices Project
(We’ve indicated the songs from our hymnal Lift Up Your Hearts with “LUYH.”)
- “Father, We Love You” by Donna Adkins
- “I Need You to Survive” by Hezekiah Walker
- “Koinonia” by V. Michael McKay (LUYH)
- “Make Me Your Servant” by Hillsongs
- “Servant Song” by Richard Gillard (LUYH)
- “Take My Life” by Chris Tomlin
- “Take My Life and Let It Be” by Francis Havergal (LUYH)
- “We Are Called” by David Haas (LUYH)
Below you’ll find ideas that can be modified and woven into a worship service as a way for people to experience this practice.
- Explore Jesus’ model. Using examples from Scripture, invite people to name the attributes they see in Jesus the servant. This can be done individually, in pairs or trios, or as a whole group. Provide time for people to personally reflect on how God might be calling them to serve.
- Make connections. Consider doing a “service” worship service on the same Sunday as the installation of new officebearers or when you are commissioning groups for a service project.
- Engage the whole body. Invite all ages to consider how God is calling them to serve with their head, their arms, their legs, their heart, their ears, and so on. You might give each person a body outline and something to write with and invite them to add their ideas to their shape. These could be placed in the offering plate or taken home as a reminder of the ways God is calling and equipping them to serve.
- Discover opportunities. Invite local community leaders to speak about their work and to share their needs.
- Read a picture book. Explore service through the eyes of CJ and his Grandma in Last Stop on Market Street.
- Tell stories. In the post Cultivating a Ministry of Presence, Charleen Katra notes that in the act of simply sitting and being with people Jesus modeled a ministry of presence. Invite people (of any age) to share a brief (3-5 minute) example of a time someone blessed them with their presence. Other ways to weave stories into worship: ask people to share (in pairs, trios, or with the whole group) a time in which they were served/helped.
Encourage and equip people to continue exploring this faith practice by providing them with a resource to take home. Some ideas:
- Body outline on which to note the ways in which their whole body can be used to serve.
- List of service opportunities within your community. Include opportunities to serve for people of all ages and abilities.
- 5 Ways to Practice Service as a Family for households with children.
- The booklet Faith Practices: Holy Habits That Help Us Love God and Our Neighbor, Listen to the Spirit, and Become More Like Jesus.
Digital Images You Can Use
Use these memes for PowerPoint presentations, social media shares, print pieces, and so on.