Dear Church Volunteer

OK – so I’ve lived most of my adult life in full time, paid ministry positions. When my second child came along three months ago, that all changed. While I still work part time (from home) directing GAFA, any involvement I have in a weekend worship service is strictly volunteer. And I just have a few things to say to all of you volunteers out there who give so much of your precious time to the work of the ministry…

  • Thank you – The church could NOT function without you! Family time, personal time, work time – it’s all precious and limited and so your gift to the work of the ministry is a valuable one. Thank you for giving what you have and understanding the our amazing God is worth every second that we surrender to Him as an offering of worship.
  • Tell someone else how amazing it is to serve! You are the church’s best advertisement for volunteer service. You’ve all heard the annoying and never-ending pleas from the pulpit for more help in the nursery or more singers in the choir. But the truth is, most of us tune out the announcements and they have never given the church great results. (I know, because I’ve made SO many of those desperate announcements!) If you are excited about serving the church – and have found fulfillment in giving your time and talents back to God – then tell someone! Bring someone to serve with you and see them find joy in their service, too!
  • Be faithful. A few weeks ago, Don and I had to hire a babysitter to come and watch my babies during pre-service rehearsals because he had to work and I was scheduled to play and sing for the service. Because I have seen both sides of this situation – as the leader of the team and now as a volunteer – I ask you to remember your commitment and do what it takes to fulfill that commitment! It’s not fair to ask your leader to make do with less than the service needs because your schedule has a glitch! Don and I didn’t want to spend $25 on a sitter that morning, but we did because we saw it as another seed that we were planting in the amazing soil of the local church. Basically – if you agree to do something – then just do it! 🙂
  • Do more than is expected. We could all “get by” with doing the minimum that is required. Some of us can “fake it” enough so that no one knows you haven’t spent the time to prepare your music or learn your children’s class lesson – but doesn’t God deserve more than that from us? Let me tell you that lack of preparation makes it hard on everyone and I believe that the lost in our cities deserve to be presented only things that are excellent and a whole hearted sacrifice of worship.
  • Have a good attitude. I don’t know how many times I presented a new piece of music to my team only to see some in the crowd roll their eyes halfway back into their brains because they didn’t like the new song or thought we should be doing something else. Or how about the team member who gets their underwear all up their crack for being chastised about being late or unprepared. Ummmm – excuse me, but we are called to a higher level of excellence and we are only going to get there with pure hearts and genuine desire give all we have….so do it with a smile, please!
  • Respect your leader – God put them there so don’t give them a hard time….
  • Serve with passion – the weekend is THE DEAL, people! If we can’t get up on that stage and look like we are excited about our God, then we should find something else to do that will ignite a fire under our butts. Passion inspires passion in other people

There’s more – but I’ll save some for later. Do you volunteer in your church? Leave me a comment and tell us what you’ve learned about serving in the church.


8 Responses to “Dear Church Volunteer”

  1. September 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I guess this answers the question some would have of commitment bring tied to compensation.

    I’ll take a servant’s heart over a mere volunteer duty any day. I love that our church is filled with people just like you and Don who are sold out to God’s vision for ROCK Church and our city.

    Sunday is Game Day for all of us. When everyone comes prepared it shows. I love what one of Noah’s coaches said recently, “If you don’t want to do the work to win, get off the field.”

    Game day is coming again in just a few days and we will win again this Sunday!

    Great post.

  2. September 29, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    “Or how about the team member who gets their underwear all up their crack”……this was my favorite part. Well said Abbye! LOL 😉

    I have been in the place where you’ve been as well, where I was paid to do what I did in the church. And although I still found joy in doing what I love while using my talents for Him, I have to say that there is nothing like the freedom of serving His people simply because you love God and want to make His name famous. There’s nothing like the fulfillment that comes from knowing that you are simply giving of yourself. The best of yourself. And the rewards that kind of attitude of service reaps in your life is the best kind of paycheck ever. You’ll never be sorry.

    About 3 months ago, I did the music and sang for a wedding. Aterwards, I had two pastors from local churches followed me out of the building to tell me that anytime I wanted a worship leader position, they would make a spot for me at their church in a second. And then proceeded to talk about paying well.

    Besides being annoyed, I looked them with a smile and gladly exclaimed, “No thanks, I’m happy serving right where God has placed me.” What I was really thinking was, “Dude, the gifts God has given me are not for sale to anyone. I will only use them where He has called me to use them.”….man, now I’m thinking I should have just gone ahead and said that. But I didn’t wanta come across as arrogant, so I with-held….lol.

  3. September 30, 2008 at 12:02 am

    My husband and I are on a scheduled volunteer program with our church (www.stonecreekchurch.org) for the nursery. We LOVE being able to touch the hearts of little one, two and three year olds! Serving in the church I feel is essential in being a member. I’m right there with you on that!

  4. September 30, 2008 at 5:30 am

    BTW…..that pic. is one of my most favs. [sigh] I remember that service. I’ll never forget it. It was amazing!

  5. September 30, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Thank you for this! Something I needed to hear today… Well, every week really.

  6. October 12, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I wasn’t sure where I could best serve my church. So I have served in a few areas, fulfilled my commitments and have made my future choices.

    I was an awanas leader last year and I realized that I don’t really seem to be blessed there. But I completed the year. I was asked to join in Stephen’s Ministry and this is amazing. I love it. It is a better fit for me.

    It is so important to serve at your church. You just need to know what you are good at!!

  7. 7 tam
    October 12, 2008 at 4:36 am

    i volunteer on the worship team. one thing ive learned is that i will not please every person and that shouldnt be my goal. my goal is to serve with humility and passion a God who deserves everything and more from me.

    “Respect your leader – God put them there so don’t give them a hard time….”

    this is huge to me. my husband is the worship/creative arts pastor and through the years, many times, he has come against some unruly volunteers. people who want what they want and refuse to embrace the vision of their leader. its made for some very difficult times and confrontations for brent, my husband, and its very unfortunate.

    im loving this post! well said and so bold! thank you…

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