I want to serve… What do I do? To whom do I talk?
You have a Spiritual Gift
Every believer in the Lord Jesus has been enabled by the Holy Spirit to serve God in a unique way. We want to encourage the discovery, development and deployment of your spiritual gift within the local fellowship of believers. Perhaps you aren’t sure yet how God has equipped you to serve, but the key is your prayerful interest in knowing and doing the will of God. Over time and with the feedback of spiritually mature Christians it will become evident where the Holy Spirit has called you to focus your efforts. In the mean time, you should offer to help as needs arise and seek to be a blessing to others.
In the Markham assembly we have developed a few guidelines which we trust will enhance the work of God and give direction to those interested in serving.
Are you “new” to the assembly?
We are delighted you have chosen to fellowship with the Lord’s people at Markham Bible Chapel. It may be that we already know you but, if this is not so, in order to avoid misunderstandings and difficult situations we ask that we get to know each other for the first six months without committing to involvement in a particular ministry. After this period, you will understand the people involved and the scope of ministry and we will know you better. This is not to restrict general participation in the life of the assembly. We simply believe it is better that we know each others abilities and approach to ministry so that harmony might prevail.
How old do I have to be?
Generally, those who participate publicly in meetings of the assembly should be in fellowship in the assembly and those involved in a responsible position within a ministry ought to be sixteen or older, and a baptized believer in a local fellowship. There are some assistant roles where younger believers may be considered but it is on a case-by-case basis.
I don’t belong to the Markham assembly; can I still serve?
Where do you belong? All believers ought to be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus (Matt 28:18) and belong to a local fellowship of believers somewhere. All Christians need to recognize that they must be under the authority of spiritual leaders (elders). If you are a baptized believer who is part of a Christian fellowship you may be considered for work in a ministry at Markham Bible Chapel. If we don’t know you very well, you will be asked for a reference from your local church.
Ministry to Children and Vulnerable Persons
The Markham assembly has implemented a Plan to Protect. This is designed to take reasonable measures to ensure that all those involved with ministry to children and vulnerable persons are properly screened and trained in how to interact with them. For example, this requirement would apply to: Sunday school involvement, Youth Group, Awana, Summer Day Camp, Babysitting or Child Care, etc. The Plan to Protect involves the following:
(a) APPLICATION - Each person (not commended from elsewhere) having been associated with Markham Bible Chapel for a reasonable period of time and wishing to serve in a ministry is required to complete a MINISTRY APPLICATION. The application includes providing some personal information and two references from individuals who can provide a clear picture of his/her ability to work with children or youth. Completion of this application is critical in protecting the Assembly from legal action should a case of child abuse occur in which a volunteer is involved.
The references will be contacted and an interview held with the applicant to review his/her spiritual condition in terms of his/her walk with the Lord, spiritual gift(s) as they relate to a ministry and suitability to the particular ministry.
(b) BACKGROUND CHECK - Once approved, the applicant will be required to complete a VULNERABLE SECTOR SCREENING APPLICATION, have it signed by an elder and take it to one of two offices of the York Regional Police for review of his/her criminal record. Markham Bible Chapel is registered with the York Regional Police and the cost of processing the application is presently $20.00 which will be reimbursed by Markham Bible Chapel.
(c) The Training - It is mandatory for each person to attend the Plan to Protect Course where there will be a combination of verbal instruction and a video presentation. Again, it is absolutely necessary that this course be completed prior to being considered for any ministry service. We believe the training is helpful in terms of serving, but is also necessary in order to obtain reasonable liability insurance to cover the assembly ministries.
(d) Once the aforementioned forms have been completed satisfactorily the leader of the ministry in which you wish to serve will be advised. He/she can now discuss with you specifically the details of where and how you might serve within the specific ministry. The final decision about your involvement is up to the leader of each ministry as they prayerfully consider the needs and your possible contribution. We trust you will respond positively regardless of the outcome and understand that if not at this time, then God may have planned another opportunity for you to serve Him.
The Police Check screening and Plan to Protect course is not required for adult ministries, but each of the elders have gone through it and you may wish to consider doing it to expand your future sphere of service within the assembly.
If you are interested in serving in an adult ministry within the assembly, your request will be reviewed by the elders prior to your involvement.
Leadership of Ministries
You should be aware that the leadership of each ministry has been carefully selected and appointed by the elders to provide direction and take responsibility for that ministry. Like each of us, you will notice imperfections and weaknesses, but you are encouraged to pray for them and seek to help in any way you can for the glory of God as they discharge their responsibilities. At some point you may serve in a leadership capacity and would definitely appreciate support!
The responsibility of the elders extends to knowing and guiding believers into the ministries of the assembly. As those who will give account at the judgment seat of Christ we take this work seriously and trust you see the importance of it. When each one is serving as they have been gifted, called and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus is glorified, the saints are built up and unbelievers are brought to Christ.
To whom do I talk?
One of the elders would be happy to speak with you if you have any questions.
The names of leaders responsible for various ministries are printed in a quarterly supplement with the bulletin.
Prepare well in advance if you plan to offer your help to a particular ministry. It creates a very difficult situation when someone approaches a leader at the last minute without being properly screened or interviewed.
If you are interested in serving with the Summer Day Camp which is usually planned for July/August you should have your Ministry Application completed and approved and your Police Check carried out by the end of April at the very latest.
Sunday School and Awana begin in September so you should have all your checks done by May so that planning can begin 2-3 months before a ministry commences.
What should I do to prepare for service?
Continue to grow in your relationship with the Lord. Continue to read and study the Bible. Continue to serve as opportunities arise. It may be helpful to your spiritual growth, to ask someone to meet with you for accountability or mentoring. If you don’t know anyone, the elders may assist you in this.
Thanks for your interest in serving the Lord! May He bless you.