Serving is More than Volunteering
The term volunteer is a very good word. We use it to describe hall monitors in public schools, Earth Day workers, and blood donors. Our world needs good volunteers. You have likely been asked to volunteer dozens of times in your life, with varying degrees of satisfaction.
I like the word volunteer, but I don’t think it’s the right word to use in the church. A volunteer is known as someone who offers to perform work for an organization without getting paid. This emphasizes the idea of doing something for nothing. Volunteers commonly have the attitude, “They better appreciate that I am doing this for free.” Volunteers come when they can, work as long as they want, and leave when they please. This is understandable, since they are doing something for nothing.
The church of Jesus Christ does not need volunteers. When we as believers use our time, talents, and treasure to perform good works for the body of Christ, we are not just volunteering. We are serving.
When we work in the church, we are not doing something for nothing. We are acting as servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our pay has already been received. We have been chosen by God, born again, washed from our sins, and given eternal life. Jesus washed your whole life with His precious blood. How do you repay Him? By washing His feet. The local church is the body of Christ. When you serve one another in the local church you are washing the feet of Jesus.
A servant owes his master his life. We work in the world for pay. We serve in the church for love. Don’t ever volunteer for church again. Take the initiative to become a servant of Jesus, and then do whatever tasks His body asks or needs you to do.
Church is a team sport. It’s one thing to have a great preacher and a great worship leader, but to have a great church you have to have everybody involved, serving others by giving their time and treasure to the local church. Jesus told us exactly how to be great, when He said, “Whoever wants to be great among you, let him be a servant.”
If you want to be great…Serve.
I believe that we all are called by God to serve. I’m not saying you’re called to be a preacher and stand behind a pulpit. Yes, some people have vocal gifts; they’re encouragers, they’re teachers, they’re exhorters and that may be in the public arena or it may be just “one on one.” But, many are called to serve behind the scenes in many different ways in the Ministry of Helps such as: Ushering, Youth, Audio and Video, Music, Children’s Ministry, Outreach and in Hospitality.
People who have great ability, talent and skill are of no benefit to the Kingdom of God until they first of all have “availability.” Do you know that there are people that have a “call” on their life and they never obey? Leadership begins by saying, “I accept responsibility” and I am making myself available to serve.
We want to hear Jesus say to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” But that means that we must be “faithful” if we’re to hear it. If we want to receive God’s best, we must give our best.