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Serve

Loving Your Church with Your Heart, Time and Gifts

from 13 reviews

Let the gospel of Jesus and the example of Jesus motivate you to serve your church sacrificially.

Part of the Love Your Church series.

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Description

This book looks at the gospel of Jesus and the example of Jesus to motivate us to serve our church family sacrificially with our energy, time and gifts.

This is a great book for Christians who have grown weary over time, those who need help in identifying their gifts and gaining the confidence to offer them, and church members who are lacking the motivation to get started.

As we look to the example of Jesus, who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45), we will be excited and equipped to use what God has given us to serve others with a renewed sense of purpose and joy. We will also see that we do not need to have any particularly impressive gifts or emulate anyone else in order to answer Jesus’ call to love one another.

Written by Steve Robinson, Director of Acts29 UK.

There are discussion questions at the end of every chapter with action steps, making it ideal to read as a small group or even a whole church. Accompanying free downloads are available that can be used for small groups. There are downloadable worksheets, a PDF version of the book's discussion guide, introductory videos for each chapter and more.

This book is part of the Love Your Church series, a collection of thoughtful and practical books that will inspire every church member with a biblical vision of what it means to be a local community of God’s family. Church members can explore together what it means to belong, to welcome, to gather, to care, to serve and to honour one another, and to witness and send people out to spread the gospel.

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Contents

  • Section One: Why Would I Serve?
    1. You Were Saved for This
    2. We Serve Because He First Served Us
    3. Good and Faithful Servant
    Section Two: How Can I Serve?
    4. Serve As the Person God Has Made You to Be
    5. Serve with What God Has Given You
    6. Serve Where God Has Put You

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Specification

Contributors Steve Robinson, Brian Howard
ISBN 9781784989163
Format Paperback
First published October 2023
Dimensions 129mm x 198mm x 12mm
Weight 0.14 kg
Language English
Pages 128
Publisher The Good Book Company
Endorsements

Michael Reeves

President of Union School of Theology

Wise, clear and fortifying, here is a book that proves we can serve Christ and his church with love and joy even through the tough times. Steve Robinson shows how the gospel enables us to serve wholeheartedly, whatever our situation, even in our weaknesses and failures. Read and be encouraged!

Carolyn Lacey

Author of 'Say the Right Thing' and 'Extraordinary Hospitality (for Ordinary People)'

One of the wonderful privileges of belonging to God’s family is that we get to serve him by serving one another. But it doesn’t always feel like a privilege. It’s easy to lose our sense of purpose and motivation, and become weary and discouraged. In this delightful book, Steve reminds us of the ‘who’ and ‘why’ of our serving. This book left me humbled by my Saviour’s example, grateful for opportunities to reflect his servant heart and determined to joyfully follow his example.

John Stevens

National Director, Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, UK

Drawing on 20 years of church leadership experience, Steve teaches us how and why we should serve in the church, motivates us to follow the example of Jesus from a heart of love for him, and encourages us to persevere in service. Study questions make this short book ideal to read and discuss in small groups. Every church will be strengthened if they read this stirring challenge.

Customer reviews


26 Apr 2024

“Another good addition to the “Loving Your Church” series!”

Steve writes with honesty and humility, encouraging the saints to serve wholeheartedly, despite circumstances or weaknesses. He begins by detailing who we serve (God, the church, the world) and why we serve (because we’re called to) before spending a few chapters discussing what service looks like for Christians.

Steve reminds us that the gospel enables us to serve the Lord despite our weaknesses, pointing out that service isn’t about us at all, though we often make it out to be. God grants us gifts according to His grace to be used in the time and place He’s put us. We can truly serve without hesitation because it’s the Spirit within us that empowers us to serve in the first place.

This is a well-written book, full of Scriptural support, and includes additional helpful resources. Each chapter ends with “action steps” so that you can begin to put into action what you’ve read. I also really like the discussion questions at the end of the book. This would make a great book to go through with a small group. There’s even a free kit you can download that can help you with that.

Favorite quotes:
Pg32 “As Christians, the “why” of our serving can’t be a less (and needn’t be any more) than…Jesus—because, if it is, when the circumstances of our lives or the conditions of our service change, we will walk away—either literally or emotionally.”

Pg49 “Faithful service to God will bring suffering—be it the suffering of persecution or the more ordinary costliness of service that takes us out of our comfort zone or demands our time when we’re tired or asks us to do something we don’t naturally enjoy.”

Pg58 “You are not defined by what you do or do not bring to the table; you are defined by the fact that the one who created you and has your days within his hands has invited you to the table because of his Son, Jesus.”

Pg104 “God does not ask us to do what he does not equip us to do. And he does not ask us to go where he will not go with us.”


22 Feb 2024

“An Encouraging Read”

Being in a season where I have taken on a greater responsibility in ministry, this book was timely and refreshing as it encouraged my heart and set my eyes on Jesus, who is “our great example of a true servant of others” and reminded me that “what sustained [him]—a love for his Father, his people and his world—is what will sustain us too.”

I believe this book is a must-read for the new believer, an encouraging read for the weary believer, and a solid read for a group of believers growing together through discipleship.

Thank you, The Good Book Company, for my copy in exchange for an honest review.


5 Dec 2023

“A great intro to the subject”

What does it look like to serve the Lord and serve Him well? Steve Robinson argues that service to God starts with us serving in the local church.

In this short and easy read, Robinson walks the reader through effective service in the local church by helping us to first understand who and why we serve.

He shows us what it looks like to be a good and faithful servant before directing us on the best ways to serve—as the person God has made you to be with what He’s given you right where has placed you.

The book did what it aimed to do. It was convincing, but it didn’t feel like it was new or fresh material. I suppose it felt like common sense in many ways. This is why I didn’t rate it higher, but I do still think it’s worth the read—especially for new believers or those discipling others.

I received a copy of this book for free from The Good Book Company in exchange for this honest review.


27 Nov 2023

“Helpful introduction to serving”

Serve is a nice little book that explores what the Bible says about serving, who we serve, why we serve, and how to use our gifts and weaknesses. The book initially piqued my interest because I love serving and have never seen a book exclusively on this topic.

Of the book’s interesting insights, one that struck me most was the motivation for serving. Robinson explains we must serve because of Jesus, not our love for good works or other people, but Jesus alone. If our motivation for serving is others or pleasure in the work, we will stop serving when we don’t love the people or the work becomes cumbersome.

Robinson writes, “As Christians, the ‘why’ of our serving can’t be any less (and needn’t be anymore) than Jesus—because, if it is, when circumstances of our lives or the conditions of our service change, we will walk away—either literally or emotionally. We need to remember that the ‘why’ behind our perseverance is something and someone that never changes.”

I also appreciated Robinson’s encouragement to serve and trust God’s grace despite our weaknesses. My main criticism of this book is the excessive use of personal stories and anecdotes to illustrate points—at least two or three per chapter. Most of these stories were unnecessary, and I was not interested in learning that much about the author’s personal life.

Furthermore, at 112 pages (20% of which are anecdotes), this book is quite elementary and does not provide a deep analysis of serving.

Overall, Serve is a useful book that explains how to serve well for the glory of God. I recommend it primarily to new believers or Christians with little knowledge about serving, as the material is a bit basic.

*The Good Book Company graciously gave me a copy for an honest review.*


23 Nov 2023

“In the Strength that God Supplies”

What is it exactly that God’s people are supposed to do? In Serve, Steve Robinson writes on loving your church with your heart, time, and gifts. Robinson begins by boldly declaring that we are supposed to serve God and not ourselves.

I was most moved to read about the reason or why we serve. In church settings, Robinson says he typically hears that people serve because we love God’s people. While that is a good reason, it simply is not good enough. He pointedly asks: What happens when you stop loving the people? He takes us to Romans 12:1, explaining that it must be God’s mercy that moevs us to serve. We serve because Jesus first loved us, and so we serve because Jesus first served us. I was convicted to check my motives and recalibrate them towards Christ.

In the Strength that God Supplies

In a memorable and practical chapter, Robinson shows how God shapes us for service. Surprisingly, Moses and Paul both served out of their experiences and weaknesses. I was reminded that God can use anyone for his purposes. Moreover, God has given each a spiritual gift to exercise for the good of God’s people. I was motivated to celebrate the gifts of others more than my own – especially the gifts that we might not see on a stage – by offering encouragement and support.

Robinson closes with a call to serve where God has placed you, especially in regards to your local church. He exhorts us to serve in the strength that God supplies. This book is clear and compelling. I am motivated to spur each other on in love and good works, and to continue serving – eager to hear my King say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

I received a media copy of Serve and this is my honest review.


5 Nov 2023

“Great for a small group”

Serve: Loving Your Church with Your Heart, Time and Gifts by Steve Robinson. I found this to be an easy and helpful read when thinking about serving. Robinson paints a picture of who we serve, why we serve, and how to serve. I especially appreciated his focus on serving where God has placed you and with the gifts he has given you. It is so easy to compare yourself to others and wishing you had their gifts to serve with but that diminishes how God has uniquely gifted you. There is great Biblical support for each topic covered in the book allowing the reader to have a strong Biblical foundation for serving.
At the end of each chapter there are some questions for action steps and then an entire small group resource at the end of the book. This book would be great to go through as a small group and is a great introduction book on serving your local church.


25 Oct 2023

“Simple, Encouraging Advice”

3.5 stars, rounded up.

In this new addition to the Love Your Church series, Steve Robinson addresses theological ideas and practical considerations for how Christians should serve the church. He encourages believers to recognize that even though it's tempting to highlight our love for others as the main motivation for our service, our primary motivation should be to serve and honor Christ, since loving other people won't be enough to keep you going when things get hard and those people let us down. He writes about what faithful service means, and he explores ideas for how you can discover gifts, get started with service, and contribute in a way that fits with your current life season. I appreciated Robinson's acknowledgement of how people with disabilities and other challenges can still participate in the life of their church and help others.

This book is short, simple, and practical, but it is also very basic. Robinson doesn't engage with deeper issues like dealing with burnout, conflict with ministry partners, guilt trips, or spiritual manipulation. Also, even though he mentioned many different ways that people can help out, I felt that he focused too much on the activities of the local church alone. That's an understandable focus, given the nature of this series, but I think this book would be stronger if he had addressed ways that local churches and nonprofits often join together to help people in the broader community.

“Serve” is a basic introduction to how Christians can serve God by contributing to their church communities. It could be helpful for small groups to read this to talk about service and recognize different people's gifts and contributions, but because this is fairly basic, I would mainly recommend it to new believers, and to people who have never really thought about serving in church.

Note: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


16 Oct 2023

“Encouraging”

This quick and easy read brings about motivation and encouragement to serve the church and our communities.
With a focus on who and why we serve, Steve Robinson does a great job at using scripture to teach biblical wisdom, and motivate readers.
I think this book would be a great resource in a small group study, as it has the potential for great discussion points!


16 Oct 2023

“Encouraging”

This quick and easy read brings about motivation and encouragement to serve the church and our communities.
With a focus on who and why we serve, Steve Robinson does a great job at using scripture to teach biblical wisdom, and motivate readers.
I think this book would be a great resource in a small group study, as it has the potential for great discussion points!


16 Oct 2023

“Would be great for a small group!”

Sometimes you read a theology or Christian book that is mostly conceptual and ends up being hard to apply to real life. Serve is not one of those books! The length is short enough that it's not intimidating. The writing is engaging which keeps your attentional well. And most importantly, the content is biblically solid and so practical.

I think this book would be a great read for a church to have small groups go through together or to have new church members read as they join the church.

Even though I've been part of a church body for many years and actively serve on a weekly basis, this book offered me many good reminders and encouraged me with who I'm serving and why I'm serving Him.

I definitely recommend this one and am excited to read more in this series.

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Serve | Steve Robinson, Brian Howard |
£9.99 £5.99