Have you ever taken time to appreciate the beauty and complexity of a volunteer run organization? The Church is not the only type of organization that is volunteer run, but it is my favorite! It is an amazing thing to see various volunteers (whether handfuls, hundreds or thousands) working in different areas of gifting and specialty to accomplish something big.
It makes sense why the apostle Paul would refer to the collection of Christ-followers as a “body.” Paul speaks of a group that is both unified (one body) and unique (many parts). Each of the unique parts are bound together as one body by a series of muscles, organs and vessels. A hand is a part of the body because of the skin, muscle tissue and blood vessels that intricately connect it to the rest of the body.
Similarly, while a volunteer might serve in a unique ministry area or specialty, they are ultimately first and foremost a part of the larger body. When it comes to the human body we have a general understanding of those things which bind each part together. What about in a volunteer run organization like the church?
What are the common threads which bind a group of volunteers together? What common DNA runs through the mind and heart of a greeter, as well as a worship team member, over to a children’s or student volunteer, and across the many other volunteer teams at your church?
While individuals serve in a variety of roles there are 4 common values that every great volunteer lives by:
- Be Kind – In a world that is harsh and fast paced we are marked when someone takes time to express kindness. (Click to tweet) You rarely know a person’s back-story when you begin serving them. Perhaps they are having the best day of their life…or perhaps they are in one of the darkest seasons you could imagine. You cannot control how they come to you, but you can control what they experience as they encounter you. Be Kind.
- Be Aware – There are always opportunities to serve people around you. Keep your head on a swivel and your eyes open for the needs that pop up. One of the greatest things Jesus did during His time on earth was stay keenly aware of the people around Him. He was constantly aware of what God was doing around Him.
- Be Quick to Respond – Make sure your gear shift is locked into “drive” instead of “neutral.” A person might not always remember what they were taught from the stage, but they will always remember the way they felt when they were well served. The speed at which we respond when people have a need communicates the value we place on them as an individual. (Click to tweet)
- Be Prepared – Show up ready to serve. This has to do with being prepared both spiritually and physically. You cannot pour out into others unless you have first been poured into. Ask God to pour into you and use you to make an impact in the lives of others. Showing up prepared is about being ready to be at your best.