Why Volunteers are Essential to the Church

Have you ever noticed how easy it is for our perspective to get out of whack? I experience this a lot in parenting. I sometimes get so focused on doing things around the house to take care of my little girl that I can miss the most important moments.

I’ll get so focused cleaning up her dishes (taking care of her) and miss the moment where all she wants is for me to come read her a book. Then there are those times she just wants me to sit with her and watch a movie, but I am busy paying the bills. The point is I can easily miss the most important thing going on in my house because I am busy taking care of the house.

If we are not careful, that will become the story of the Church.

As a leader it is possible to be busy doing the work of God and actually miss the biggest activity of God among us…we can miss the work of God here and now.  This is a problem of perspective that plagued the people of Jesus’ day, and it is a struggle for us today.

In Matthew 25 Jesus delivers a series of parables to help the disciples adjust their perspective.  He tells this really weird and interesting story about sheep and goats.  In the passage when the King (Jesus) returns He begins inviting followers to take their inheritance and honors them for their acts of service to the King. To the people in the story these were just simple acts of service – yet to the King they were everything. The followers were confused because they did not see the bigger picture happening all along.

The disciples needed a change of perspective…and sometimes so do we.  You see we have a tendency to invite people to come make a difference (serve) and miss the difference that is being made within them as they serve. God designed our acts of service to be a main vehicle for our spiritual growth. (Click to tweet)

We can miss this fact because we are busy, or because we have our attention on other things.  When we focus too closely on the pressure we feel or the need that exists we distort our perspective.  Under pressure we can manipulate serving into something it is not. Asking people to serve is not about getting things done – it is about helping people grow closer to Jesus. (Click to tweet)

How does God go about changing our lives for the better? How does he transform us from who we were to who He created us to be? Conventional wisdom says knowledge is power – the more a person knows the more they will change. If information and knowledge were the key than Google and an iPhone would have already made this world a better place.

God created us with a capacity to learn and understand. Experience shows that spiritual growth does not come from the amount of content we have consumed, but rather through transformation as we serve. (Click to tweet)

Some of the best works of God happening in your church are likely the ones being birthed right now by people who are greeting, or parking cars or teaching kids or running technical equipment. As you seek to invest and build God’s Church be careful you do not miss the biggest thing God is doing – because as you serve Him you are likely to find that the greatest thing God is doing is not through you, but in you.

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