Volunteer "Thank You!"s

Jerry Lawrence's picture

Entering the room immediately put me in a fiesta mood. The room buzzed with laughter and excitement as we stood in the buffet line waiting to fill our plates with Mexican fare. A mariachi band wandered around the room serenading us as we ate. I had looked forward to this night since I received the invitation….

For all the times we asked you
To help with a second shift…
For all the dirty diapers you changed,
Noses you wiped, and hugs you shared…
For all the children you have faithfully,
Patiently and lovingly presented Christ
So that God may call them to Him…
For all the times you held out helping hands…
We invite you to the
2nd Annual Orange Awards Banquet
In honor of you…our faithful volunteers!

We enjoyed our meal and conversations at each table. Then came time for the awards for things like welcoming children, being missional, serving as a family, faithful attendance, etc. As each person accepted their award, it struck me how many of them expressed they were grateful for the opportunity to serve our kids. Why should they be saying, “Thank you for letting me serve?” We were trying to express our gratefulness to them. So while we were trying to say “thank you” to our beloved volunteers, they were saying “thank you” to us.

In Ephesians 2, Paul tells us because of God’s great mercy, we are saved by grace (v. 5, 8). It’s not because of anything we’ve done, but purely because He first loved us. God’s gift of salvation cost His Son, Jesus Christ, everything. Yet, Christ willingly sacrificed His life for us. What is our response? When we trust Christ for dying for our sins, we are saved and eternally secure. We can add nothing to that. Our works do not save us. We are saved simply by God’s great grace.

It’s interesting that Paul continues by saying that “we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them” (Eph 2:10). While there is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor, He created us to do “good works” and He also “prepared beforehand” those good works for us to do. Wow!

We should ALL be grateful that God allows us to serve. The Lord does not need us to carry out His purposes, but He graciously allows us to be part of His plans. He gives us gifts to use in serving Him and His church. What He asks is our willingness and availability to follow where He leads. It’s a grand journey.

My heart echoes the psalmist: “How can I repay the Lord for all his acts of kindness to me?” (Psalm 116:12). And like my friends and co-volunteers in Children’s Ministry, I too, thank the Lord for the privilege of serving the children He has entrusted to us. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to serve You and Your children!
 

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