The Gift of Helps / Service
It’s often the people up on stage or behind the pulpit that get noticed. But there are far more people helping in the background to make sure the people out front get a chance to minister.
Can you think of anyone like this?
The church needs helpers and servants. Someone does the work behind the scenes and the work no one else seems to want to do. Someone else notes the needs of the church and the people within the church. If not, the church will not run effectively – it may even fall apart.
While all Christians are called to serve, the Holy Spirit has given some believers the spiritual gifts of helps or service. These individuals recognize needs and go out of their way to meet these needs.
Today, let’s take some time to learn more about the spiritual gift of helps or service.
Understanding the Gift of Helps or Service
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. – Romans 12:6-8
The spiritual gifts of helps and service are often used interchangeably. According to the Spiritual Gifts Test, “There are two Greek words for [the gift of service]. The first one, found in Romans 12:7, is diakonia. The basic meaning of this word is ‘to wait tables,’ but it is most often translated in the Bible as ‘ministry.’ It refers to any act of service done in genuine love for the edification of the community. The word antilepsis is translated ‘helping’ and is found in 1 Corinthians 12:28. It has a similar meaning: to help or aid in love within the community.”
Both the spiritual gift of helps and the gift of service refer to believers who serve or help others unselfishly. Gene Wilkes explains, “Those with the gift of service/helps recognize practical needs in the body and joyfully give assistance to meeting those needs. Christians with this gift do not mind working behind the scenes.”
Chances are, if you demand to be given credit for your serving, you probably do not have the spiritual gift of service.
What the Gift of Helps Looks Like
Believers with this gift tend to find practical ways to help others and help around the church. They often see needs before others are even aware of them – sometimes even the person being helped! Then, they jump right into action.
Using their gift of helps, they alleviate burdens and joyfully serve others. They help humbly without seeking or expecting any praise. They sacrifice their time and energy, often without even being asked.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace… whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies. – 1 Peter 4:10
Think of the church member who takes home the church linens to wash them before the next service or the church member who notices a squeaky door and repairs it. These people may have the spiritual gift of helps.
These believers also do jobs around the church that are needed but often overlooked, such as driving the bus or making copies for VBS. They take meals to new moms and elderly shut-ins on their own accord. They could also work in the kitchen during youth camp or walk women to their cars with an umbrella.
By helping this way, they enable others to minister using their own gifts. For example, those with the gift of leadership will be better able to lead if they don’t have to spend time doing some of the tasks that those with the gift of helps/service are willing and able to do.
We Are All Called to Serve Others…
It is important to recognize that all who follow Christ are called to serve others. Christ came to serve, not to be served. We live by His example. It’s true; all Christians are called to humble themselves and put others first.
Although, even with this call to humble ourselves and serve others, it doesn’t mean every Christian has been given the spiritual gift of helps. Those with the gift of helps have an innate desire to help others and a unique ability to see the needs of others.
Additionally, these believers find joy in serving others. They don’t do it out of duty or because they are expected to but because it comes naturally.
How to Know If You Have the Gift of Helps
Believers with this spiritual gift may not even be aware that they help alleviate burdens and make it easier for others to use their own gifts. If you agree strongly with the following statements from the Spiritual Gifts Discovery Instruction Guide, you may have the gift of helps or service.
- I enjoy working behind the scenes, taking care of little details.
- I want to assist pastors or other leaders in having more time to accomplish their essential and priority ministries.
- I enjoy relieving others of routine tasks so they can get important projects done.
- I enjoy helping others get their work done and don’t need a lot of public recognition.
- I can recognize a need and get the job done, no matter how small the task.
- I take the initiative to serve and enjoy serving others, no matter how small the task.
- I am very dependable for getting things done on time, and I don’t need much praise or thanks.
- I enjoy helping people in any type of need and feel a sense of satisfaction in meeting that need.