For more than 100 years the Seventh-day Adventist Church has sponsored social work, disaster relief and public health services in North America and around the world. It views the church as a servant body. Created for service, Christ’s followers serve the Lord in praise, serve one another in love, and serve the world in humility.

Christ modeled for us the life of service. He “went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed” (Acts 10:38).

Christ identified with the poor and oppressed. “He fed the hungry and healed the sick. By the good He accomplished, by His loving words and kindly deeds, He interpreted the Gospel to men,” comments Ellen White. “Christ’s work in behalf of man is not finished. It continues today. In like manner His ambassadors are to preach the gospel and to reveal His pitying love for lost and perishing souls. By an unselfish interest in those who need help they are to give a practical demonstration of the truth of the gospel” (Welfare Ministry, pages 56-57).

God calls every man and woman to service. Every believer is called to ministry, gifted by the Holy Spirit, and in baptism ordained for ministry. (Eph. 4:11-12) The church is a kingdom of priests set free to minister for Christ. Our priesthood is to each other within the church and to the world. A community services volunteer is a ministering servant of God.

Duties of a Community Services Volunteer

The program varies from place to place, based on local need. In about 500 cities and towns across the United States, Canada and Bermuda, Adventist Community Services (ACS) centers operate. In thousands of other locations ACS projects work out of church basements and borrowed facilities. The work of a community services volunteer might include any of the following activities:

Adopt a grandparent

Adoption services

Advocacy program

Alcohol program

Baby care class

Bible study group

Big brother/sister

Blind camp

Blind services

Board member

Branch Sabbath

School Camping for children Child care

Children’s story hour

Clothing/bedding program

Community cupboard

Community surveys

Cooking school

Counseling services

Craft class

Deaf services

Disaster Response

Divorce recovery seminar

Domestic violence program

Door-to-door contacts

Drug abuse detox

Drug abuse prevention

Drug abuse rehabilitation

Families of prisoners Family camping

Family counseling

Family finance seminar

Family life workshop

Field trips

Financial counseling

First aid class

Follow-up contacts

Food bank/pantry

Food distribution

Foster child care

Foster grandparenting

Free clinics

Fund raising

Furniture program


Grief recovery seminar

Handicapped services

Health appraisals

Health education

Health screening

Home nursing

Home nursing class

Homeless shelter

Homemaker services

Immigration program

Information and referral service

Inner city program Intake desk

Inter-agency liaison

Interviewing clients Job-finding service

Job training program Layettes

Legal aid Literacy tutoring

Literature rack

Marriage seminar

Meals on Wheels

Migrant ministry

Newcomer ministry

Operation Overcoat

Operation Paintbrush

Parenting seminar

Pathfinder Club

Preparing for baby class

Prison ministry

Public relations


Refugee ministry

Runaway shelter

Self-help groups

Senior citizen group

Senior citizen lunches

Sewing class

Shoes for Little Shavers

Smoking cessation program

Soup kitchen Stress seminar

Suicide prevention

Support group

Tax assistance

Telephone friend program

Transients aid

Transportation assistance


Vacation Bible School

Van ministry

Videos, educational

Visiting the aged

Visiting the sick

Weight control program


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Responsibilities in the Local Church. North American Division Coorporation of Seventh-day Adventists. Copyright © 1997, Revised 2017. Permission to copy for local churches use.