Does anybody have an hour this week to help me with something? I just need someone to come and hang out with some children for an hour while their parents go hear a life changing message from God.
No?...really? Not one hour? So you’re telling me that out of the 100 plus hours that you have each week you don’t have ONE single hour that you can help care for some kids with me?
What if I told you that the Pastor appreciates it! What if I tell you that we desperately need you? What if I told you that it’s for God? Would that matter? No?….. Really?
Why can’t you help? – Oh…because you have a lot going on right now! I see….and serving in the church is just a bit too much in your life right now. Got it!...hmmm!
Let me get this right – out of all of the things that take up your time in life, the one hour at church is one the most overwhelming. Goodness – I hate to hear that you don’t have enough time in your life right now to serve the Lord. You must be really busy! You must have a lot of really important things going on right now that trump God.
Ok…the rather harsh imaginary dialogue above was courtesy of a culmination of many conversations my wife and I have had over the years with volunteers and church attendees. In this imaginary dialogue I did not use my inner filter so please forgive the sarcastic and rather ungraceful tone of the dialogue. If you are a children’s ministry leader, then you can relate to this completely. It’s what you want to say but you know better because it’s not what the Lord wants you to say. Thank God for Grace and our inner filter!
The Problem: It’s that one hour out of the week that has been and will continue to be under attack from Satan who will find ways to prevent volunteers from serving the church. He’ll use emotional issues, marital issues, work issues, family issues, money issues and of course time management issues to rob those people and the church of that one hour! These are simply real life tricks that he uses to mess us up!
The Solution: As children’s ministry leader there is little we can do to make people serve but there are some things we can do to help keep volunteers from leaving. We can remind them that:
1) They are valuable – to the kids, the parents, to the pastor, to you and mostly to God!
2) If they give up that hour and they let Satan win. Don’t let that Jerk win.
3) The hour that they give up to serve the Lord will be given back to them by the Lord…if they don’t try to fill it with something else!
4) They are there because God has them there – to use their unique gifts and abilities.
5) Their serving is an act of worship and that there are eternal rewards for the things we do for the Lord here on earth!
I suppose I can help my volunteers with growing in the Lord by feeding into them and investing in their lives and the lives of their families. I can help them to understand the importance of Christ in their lives and guide them to spiritual maturity by various means but ultimately it’s the decision of the volunteer to prioritize that one hour of the week so that they can exercise their faith and honor God.
Honestly, if most “Christian’s” really wanted to mature in their walk, they will find serving as one if not the most important pathways to getting there. One hour in reality is not even close to what we should be doing to serve the Lord, yet in the church world that’s all we ask for.
Now on the other hand, as church leaders we have some folks who find that hour of serving to be the most refreshing hour of the week. I am inspired by those folks! They keep me going on those days that I don’t want serve. The people who get up early and help me set up, the people who show up every Sunday without fail and come in with a smile on their face! The people who for one hour…give it their all! Those people fire me up!!!
I wish I could bottle up that spirit and energy and give it to all of my volunteers in their coffee each morning!!!! Can I get an Amen?
Let’s all try to remember this: “But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24.
Oh man could I go on and on about this BUT that’s enough for today!