27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
God mentions three times that He created us in His image so it must be important. What does it mean exactly? First of all, we are more valuable than all of creation. We are His pride and joy, so to speak. We did not evolve; we were created. Though there may have been animals alongside Jesus when He was born, he did not come into the world for them. He came for us. That significantly sets us apart from them.
Being made in His image signifies that we have the moral and rational awareness of things around us. We can distinguish right from wrong and good from evil. The rest of creation does not have this ability.
We certainly have a higher calling on our life and more is expected of us (than the plants or animals). And yet, He is pleased when we come to Him and worship Him and do things on His behalf. None of that is “required,” so to speak, but He likes it.