My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The major encouragement I found with this book is a simple point: Christian service is a wonderful and good thing, therefore helping more people serve more is also a wonderful way to help their growth in godliness.
It’s not a drag to serve, or ask people to serve. There’s no need to apologise for providing opportunity, not for expecting believers to contribute. We follow the Lord who came to serve, and who taught that the greatest among us will be the least.
This is a reminder I needed.
Searcy’s book is largely practical in outlook. It is a ‘how to’ as promised by the subtitle. He has some theological and biblical material – and helpfully insists that the starting point is to clarify our theology of ministry. But most of the book is about systems, and tips on using those systems.
He writes of getting people to make the first step of service, of the need for clear expectations, of ‘ladders’ of service from the simple to the most dedicated, of celebration and thankfulness, and of many other practicalities.
The systems might work in your church setting, or they might not quite fit. In either case, reading Searcy’s principles and practice should help you reflect productively on your local situation.
Sometimes I found the practical bent unduly influenced the theological reflections. For instance, Searcy noted that human bodies have systems, that people are made in God’s image, and therefore God loves systems. This is backwards Bible-reading (humans image God therefore God images humans).
So don’t be naive about the theological rationale offered – a true warning for any writing! – but benefit from Searcy’s love of getting people involved in humbly serving the Suffering Servant.