There is always more to the story than what we see. Some of the most successful TV and Movie franchises have exploited this thought – using a type of storytelling which doesn’t add new story elements or plotlines, but goes back and gives greater insight and depth to the original story. We find greater connection and buy in when we understand what is happening behind the scenes. This is true in entertainment, and this is true in the church.
When a person begins serving in a local church, they are agreeing to use their time, energy and talents to make a difference. People jump into volunteer opportunities for that very reason – they want to make a difference. Many can assume that what they observe is all there is…”I see a need, I will jump in and meet that need.” When we allow people to serve with this limited perspective, they miss out on the great story of all that is happening behind the scenes. Here are 3 big things every volunteer needs to know about serving:
“Wherever you start to work, God is already at work” – God is the originator of all good things. When we begin serving in the church, we are joining God in what He is doing. He is at work building His Church, and an invitation to beginning serving is an invite to join God in His work. We work with God when we serve.
“God will work through you” – Our energy and efforts are limited, while God’s are unlimited. The results of what one person can produce on their own can vary based on a number of factors such as personality, gifting or previous experience. Even the strongest gifting can only produce limited results. When God works through a person they are able to experience greater impact than they could have produced on their own. When we begin serving, the potential of what we can do it exponentially higher than we think, because it is God who works through us to accomplish great things.
“Greater than what God does through you is what He does IN you” – When we serve we put our attention on the difference we can make in the lives of others. When we understand God works through us we know that we have the potential to make a big difference. When we embrace that God works in us we allow the greatest impact of all – our personal transformation from the inside out. No matter how great the work God does through us, it is exceeded by the work God does within us. External results can be stewarded well when there is internal stability. God desires to do a great work within us, and that work takes place as we serve others.
Teach new volunteers these 3 realities, and you allow them to see the depth of what they are invited into when they say “yes” to serving.