Top Ten Reasons to Volunteer
- When you stay home, you get too many telemarketing calls.
- Your family could use a break from you.
- You might need to help yourself some day.
- It’s hard to win a game of solitaire.
- Soap operas all sound alike.
- If you don’t go out each day, you get old.
- Why let your boss have all the fun in life?
- The car needs a workout.
- Your mom would be proud of you.
- Who cares about money?
— Unknown Submitted by Joy Pople, Baldwinsville Volunteer Center, Baldwinsville NY
I once heard a Baptist preacher say, “There are two things I would never want to be. The front pew of a Baptist church or the third verse of a Baptist hymn, because neither is ever used.” As a Lutheran, our front row doesn’t suffer too much wear and tear either.
We have an innate desire—even a need, you could say—to be useful and to be used. Most disgruntled employees are disgruntled because they feel that their employer isn’t maximizing their skills. People want to be helpful, and they want to be used. Ask any player in the NFL if he would rather be the highest paid back-up or the lowest paid starter, and the overwhelming majority would certainly say, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.”
SOMETHING TO OFFER…
We want to be useful, and we want to be used, and in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us about how God seeks to use each one of us. Listen to his words…
(v. 7) He [God] has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ. Eph 4:7
The word translated gift can also be translated grace or even ministry. One commentary I read said this verse can be translated, “to each of us ministry has been given…” [The NIV Application Commentary, Ephesians, Klyne Snodgrass]
Paul is talking about our usefulness. He’s saying, “As a member of the body of Christ, you have been given a special gift, a special grace, a special ministry, that Jesus designed especially for you.”
A TEAM OF LEADERS…
Whether your gift is or isn’t obvious at this point, it does exist. To help you maximize your gift or ministry, Paul teaches that God has given the church a team of leaders whose job it is to shout to the world in word and action the full reign of Jesus Christ and his church to a hurting and lost world. This is how Paul said it…
(v. 11) He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ… Eph 4:11
God’s ultimate plan for the church is that we become like Christ. God has a plan for you, a ministry for you. He has given you a special gift to accomplish it. He has empowered you with the Holy Spirit to give you the power to achieve it. Maybe your ministry exists within the parameters of this local church, serving in one of our established ministries. Or maybe it exists beyond our boundaries—in the workplace, or in your neighborhood, or even halfway around the world.
You are useful. You are valuable to God. You can be used by God and His Church to help accomplish God’s mission. He has a place for you to serve him, and he has given you the grace you need to do it. The strength you need to accomplish. He has also given you a community of believer around you to encourage in it. And all the gifts necessary to achieve it. So never lose hope in living out the mission you were called to fulfill.