Over the busy holiday season, when so many incredible volunteers gave an exorbitant amount of time, several thoughts crossed my mind. As co-leaders in the mission field of volunteerism, I’m sure they’ve crossed your mind, too. I walked among the volunteers in our facility, accosted by endless expressions of joy from those involved, and was reminded that there is true joy in giving; in this case, the joy of giving one’s time. Volunteers were serving to make an impact in the lives of not just the regular, weekend crowds, but also seasonal visitors, friends of friends and first-time visitors. I was in full appreciation mode.
Our volunteers – like yours – had Christmas gifts to buy and wrap, holiday parties to attend and families to visit. They had regular jobs to go to and all the challenges of life to face when they woke up each morning. Where did they find … er, better yet, WHY did they take the time to pour hours and hours into our weekend services?
That’s a pretty easy question to answer, so I’m going to attack the other question – why are there so many Christ followers in your church who won’t? Now, here at Granger we don’t have that problem. Naturally, every single one of our attendees is also a volunteer. In fact, we have to turn volunteers away! So, this blog post is for those of you who have a shortage of “joy bling” in your attendance. Please read on and share with “players” in your church who are choosing to sit the bench.
Are you catching the sarcasm yet? There’ll be more.
Over the next couple of blog posts, I’m going to dissect some of the reasoning people give for not getting involved in ministry. I want to try to address them with compassion, but to do so will be (begin sarcasm) a bit of a challenge (end sarcasm) so I’ll just bottom line this: If you are a follower of Christ and not involved in a ministry where you’re serving so that others will “get it” or engaged so that those “without” might receive relief, then you’re not only missing out on an incredible opportunity and real joy, but also living in contrast to the call God has commanded his followers to fulfill. Can I say that to those in our church who, for years, have closed their ears to the call to volunteer? I don’t know, I haven’t asked. But I hope you’re glad someone’s “calling out” those in yours.
What excuses have you heard? Here’s my top ten, in no particular order. Feel free to send the post on anonymously to those who come to mind. I’m not worried about calling anyone out or off the bench; it’s a gift I’ve crafted over the years. The world is watching (and waiting) for followers of Christ in your church to get out of their seats. Heck, Christ followers are watching, too! This consumerism christianity (lower case intended) thing happening in your church is driving me crazy.
I’m posting the first three excuses this Wednesday. My guess is that if you’ve been involved in leadership long, our lists will look alike. Just a hunch.