7 Ways to Build Your Own Faith while Serving Others | The Graceful Life
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7 Ways to Build Your Own Faith while Serving Others

We’re called to serve others. Jesus was our perfect model of servant hood.

In our humanness we can focus so much on serving that we neglect our own faith. And when that happens, we have no place investing in others. Our effectiveness will be drowned out by your personal walk.

Trust me! I don’t want that for you. So today I want to share 8 ways to help you never experience that. It is possible for you to build your own faith while you are serving others.


women's ministry leaders faith serving AshleyVarner.com Ashley Varner


The problem with that is that true giving can only come when it’s from your overflow. If you are giving out of your own supply, you’re just setting yourself up for burnout.

When we’re in servant mode, it can be easy to want to shun anything that seems selfish. But filling yourself up first isn’t selfish. It’s unselfish. You’re saying, “I can’t do this alone. I don’t have all the answers. If I can pour into you, then I need to be filled first.”



Recently, I was getting really discontent in an area of service. I was frustrated and didn’t feel understood or valued. I took a hard look at what I was allowing into my mind. There were shows that I was watching that weren’t extremely “bad” but they weren’t filling my mind with uplifting words. I choose to give up watching these shows, and when I did watch tv, I choose to watch uplifting shows (which ended up being older shows like I love lucy and black & white movies).

Instead, I filled those times with God’s word. I found a youtube videos that had entire books of the Bible read in a semi-dramatized way and played those while I got ready, I played only worship music, and I began to feel him speak to me. My situation with that area of service DIDN’T change. at all. But my perspective changed. And that made all the difference.



If you’re a Christian teacher, you know how easy it is to allow your study time to focus only on what you’re teaching others. Your daily Bible study can be hijacked by what you’re going to teach. I mean, you’re still in the word, right? But if you want to build your own faith – make sure you’re growing for YOU. Make sure you are seeking God about what He wants to teach YOU, not just what he wants you to teach others.

Then your teaching can naturally flow from your own growth.



I learned this lesson the hard way this year. My husband and I both serve in multiple positions in our church and we own a business, I have the blog and we also have a small farm. We know how to serve. What didn’t come naturally to us was resting.

This year we went on a 10 day family vacation. We used our phones as little as possible, scheduled things around it and rested. We didn’t schedule a lot into our vacation, we made time for sleeping in and driving to our destination slowly. It was just what the doctor ordered.

You have to pencil in time to rest and relax. Rest doesn’t just have to be vacations. We can be intentional about rest. To get ideas and figure out your resting personality read my blog post about rest.


Not planning – this past year, I unintentionally allowed my faith to slip because I didn’t plan. I finished a bible study and didn’t have anything lined up. I struggled with blog posts because I didn’t plan.

Not planning is a huge time waster. In my worship team, I failed to properly plan sometimes and wasted time at practice switching up keys and figuring out my own parts. That type of servanthood naturally neglects your own faith. And your teams see that.

Television – I shared this earlier, but television has way more of an impact that we realize. The time spent watching TV in the average household is five hours and four minutes a day. And we can all be honest and say that the quality of what we’re watching isn’t beneficial to our spiritual lives or even our lives in general.

Think about it: how often do you see the people in sitcoms or tv shows actually watching tv? They don’t have time for it, they’re out LIVING. Television costs us more than we realize.

Social Media – I used to check my social media multiple times a day. Checking followers and comments, looking at other people’s posts and comments, mindlessly scrolling through my feed. Now, I schedule all my social media ahead of time, rarely post on my personal page, and I have a Facebook ministry group that I post in that group daily with purpose. But even that page, I turned off notifications and go in for about 15 minutes each day to interact with members.



Be faithful with what you’ve been given. Comparison is a killer of our faith. We think success only comes one way. We think if someone else is doing well that it’s somehow taking away from our success.

Comparison will incapacitate your faith and it will eventually kill your ministry. It breeds discontentment. It fuels our inadequacy. it takes our focus off of God and onto someone else. The focus of our comparison ends up being either an idol or we become our idol.

Let me explain that. If you compare yourself with someone who you think is better than you, they become your idol. You focus on them. If you compare yourself with someone who you think is lesser than you, you become your idol. You get puffed up.



When we’re serving or leading we don’t want to “air our dirty laundry” we want to look like we have it all together. But the first tactic of the enemy is to breed discontentment like I just said, and then to isolate us. Make us feel like we’re the only one experiencing this stress or frustration.

Don’t isolate yourself, reach out, share your struggle.

It is possible to build your own faith while serving, but it has to be intentional. We must live and lead on purpose. Do you feel like your life is out of balance? Are your commitments as a leader negatively effecting your family time, your home or your health? If so, check out Graceful Balance. It’s a free mini-course I created to help you discover what your true goals are and how you can actually get everything on your to do list done.  Check it out!