Most people who know me would have opinions on what my biggest challenge is. Let me reveal it now so you can focus on this post. It’s me. My biggest challenge has always been, and will always be, me. Focusing on what God has called me to every moment or – as our Pastor has said hundreds of times – “doing the next right thing” will always be my biggest challenge.
On to my second biggest challenge: Rarely – well, on occasion…truth be told, nearly every week I vent (refer back to paragraph one) to my wife about something involving volunteerism or volunteers. I’ll express concern to her about a volunteer just not getting it when it comes to a ministry or responsibility. Relax – if you’re taking the time to read this, it’s not you.
Claudia’s default response to me of late has been “Kim, they’re volunteers.” That phrase woke me up at 2:33 a.m. recently. What I remember waking to was a teaching around here that I’ve heard more than a hundred times: “Excellence Matters to God.”
When I bottom-line Claudia’s response, I get what she’s saying…I’m the staff person, I get paid and volunteers don’t. Part of me gets that. About five percent of me. It’s in the 95% where my second biggest challenge lies: helping volunteers who follow Christ understand that they are equally as vested in the mission, vision and values as any staff member.
I’m not talking about equal hours invested in ministry. I’m speaking in terms of stewardship – the stewardship of our available time, focused with excellence to serve for the cause of Christ. Excellence in our ministries matters to God whether individuals are paid or not. Giving our best, as if it matters to the cause of Christ (because it does), will change our entire perspective of how we prepare, present and perform our ministry.
Our volunteers – your volunteers are on the front line of this battle. It’s only in games like Risk where the “soldiers” on the map have no influence on the outcome of the mission.
It doesn’t matter the ministry. If we fail to internalize and live out that what we’re participating in has the potential to impact a life for the Kingdom, then we’ll never give it our all. (As a side note, if it doesn’t have the potential to impact a life, cancel it.)
I pray for our leaders to get this, I pray for them to challenge their team members to leave nothing at their “post” when they leave, to fully engage themselves in the ministry at hand, to be focused and intentionally seeking out how God will use them in the next moment to help others take a step towards Christ.
Man, if I could get this solved I’d get more sleep.