Serving Outside the Church Building – Bethel Church and Ministries

Serving Outside the Church Building


When we think about service within the church, our minds go to the “normal” ways we have seen service done. However, these days, there is not a lot of weekly “normal” going on in the church building. But is the building really the church? Is the building what we serve and build up? Does the building give us reason to serve? 

The answer is no. The church belongs to Jesus and is made up of a living building. You are the church; we are the church—all of us. So, how can we continue to serve the church even if we don’t enter the doors of the building? 

Let’s meet the community around us and be the church to them. Here are a few examples of out-of-the-ordinary ways Bethelonians are serving the church. 

Adoption and Foster Care

A couple years ago, Sarah Pena and Ashley Bult became aware of a need to support families from Bethel who are called to adoption and foster care. Bethel has always believed in the sanctity of human life and the care of those who are vulnerable in society. Our church has also encouraged families who put their faith into action by adopting and fostering. However, until recently there wasn’t a way for these families to connect, learn, and find encouragement. Sarah and Ashley decided to start a group to address this, and their mission is “to support foster/adoptive families by giving them a place to connect both physically and spiritually with one another.” 

They have met several times, created a Facebook group, and have plans to begin gathering again once things open up. Not only are Sarah and Ashley a wonderful example of serving the body of Christ in a way that is outside the box, their ministry opens the door for others who would like to serve families called to foster and adoption. To find out how you could help with this endeavor or to learn about adoption or foster care, contact Sarah Pena or Ashley Bult.

Homeschool Hangouts

During this time, many parents are considering the possibility of homeschooling, and this scares them. Melissa Anderson hosted a Zoom meeting to connect them with experienced homeschoolers to answer some of their questions and discern if this is the best option for their family. She is also planning another Zoom meeting in the future that will help moms figure out how to do both e-learning and work. 

Online Spanish Class

At the Gary campus, Hannah Berridge started an online Spanish class. She hoped to create a community of people with a desire to learn Spanish and cultivate diversity. The class is going well, and people have been encouraged to be a part of it. 

These are all out-of-the-ordinary ways to serve the body amid a pandemic. You might be wondering what a next step might look like for you. Here are a few other ideas of ways you may be able to serve:

  • If you are a former teacher, you could offer your expertise to families who need help.
  • If you enjoy making meals for people, make a meal for a family you know who is in their first week of school to provide some encouragement.
  • Send an unemployed friend a cashier’s check or a gift card.
  • Find a few families or neighbors and commit to praying for them for the next few months and let them know you are doing that. 
  • Write some encouragement cards and mail them. 
  • Mow someone’s yard.
  • Do some grocery shopping for someone you want to encourage.
  • Put some flowers and a note on the doorstep of someone to brighten their day.
  • If you are an artist, consider partnering with a local organization where you can teach your skill to children, seniors, or those with disabilities via video.
  • Give someone a call to say hello and see how they are doing.
  • Text a friend a good, clean joke to make them laugh.
  • Share your love for Jesus to those around you that they may know who and why you serve. 

Or…brainstorm your own ideas that will use your spiritual gifts to encourage, inspire, or help someone in need and spread the kindness and love of Jesus in your little corner of the world. 

Let’s be the church that hits the ground running. Let’s be the church known for serving and building up others. Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus in the big and small ways. It’s time to put our agenda and thoughts aside and put Jesus’ agenda and truth to work.