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We have all been in churches where they have big ideas. In fact they have so many ideas and plans that often times they don’t even know where to begin. Sadly, these ideas are usually dreamed up of one or two people who are active members in the church and are already over extended in so many projects that ultimately they are unable to give 110 percent to yet another project. The body as a whole wants these various projects and see the benefits. Yet, when it comes time to actually roll up their sleeves and get dirty those same group of people who are already elbow deep in activities are the only ones willing to serve in yet another project.
This has become a major problem in the church. Not only does it cause a stumbling block in church growth but, many of the church programs never make it off the ground floor. Yet no one seems to know why it is happening. We try convincing people that they want to volunteer and that doesn’t work. We try to continue to beg and plead when it comes time to gather helpers, surprise that doesn’t work either.
Recently I asked my friends on FB why it is that they felt people did not volunteer to do things in church? As always those ladies blew my socks off with their responses. Not because they were saying anything that I had not already heard myself but that they had hit the nail on the head.
So why don’t more people volunteer?
One of the number one reasons is in fact fear. We are so afraid to step out of our comfort zones. Now in this little fear package we can include the things like being afraid that we will do something differently then what it is suppose to be done, we are scared to mingle with the different people in the church because we don’t feel that we connect with the others.
Before I go any further let me tell you a little story about myself. I am a terribly shy person. I know it is hard to believe but it is oh so true. I don’t like people looking at me, talking to me or evening thinking of looking in my general direction (until I get to know you that is ). As a matter of fact I am pretty sure that in most social situations I will not fit in. Funny thing about God is that He knows this oh to well about me. As a matter of fact this very ministry almost did not come to be because of this fear of mine.
Last summer however, I was approached to teach a women’s group. I was terrified. My views have always been those of my own and not exactly what my church believes all the time and I have never been one to water it down. During that session I learned something about myself. I learned that no matter my fears that God was right there with me. When I approached my class I had tons of notes written out, I had research till our topic could not be researched and as I stood in front of that class something amazing happened, God took control. I didn’t look at my notes, there was no dead silence in fact we went over the allotted time!! It was totally a God thing.
Another reason is that pesky time factor. We are so busy with our day to day lives that spending a couple hours every so often will actually cut into something else.
As a busy mom who works at home tending to extra children on top of homeschooling my own children, I completely understand. There are days that I work and work. A lot of times while I am curled up on the couch with my husband at the end of the night and simply fall asleep. It isn’t because I want to fall asleep it is because I am simply a busy person. Now with that being said I find no greater joy then simply spending time working to promote God’s Word both inside and outside my church. I know that this busy season of my life is only for a little while. I also know that someday there will come a time that my services in that particular area will no longer be needed. I find it sad when we can spend tons of time on social media outlets, talking on the phone or whatever else is a time sucker, yet when it comes time to volunteer we are simply to busy.
Now I am not saying that we must kill ourselves or deprive ourselves of rest. The fact remains that there are tons of things that we can do that do not require a lot of time.
- Volunteering in the Church nursery: This takes one hour and most churches have a rotational schedule that allows you not to be in there every Sunday.
- Out Reach programs: Couple hours a month to visit elderly homes, working in a soup kitchen or knocking on doors.
- Prayer Out Reach: Dedicating a little bit of your prayer time for the lost souls that you have come in contact with, members of your church or even your preacher could use some prayers.
- In Reach Team: Visiting members of the church, sending cards to members and or putting together a small care package for those who are sick. This again really does not take that long at all.
Sometimes child care becomes an issue that keeps us from volunteering. Oh how I so get this one more then you know.
My husband and I have one babysitter which happens to be my mother-in- love. We don’t like to ask for her help often because well we feel they are our children and it is not her place to raise them only to love them. Therefore in all the activities that I volunteer for my kids simply go with me. It has always been that way even when the twins were infants and our second oldest was a toddler. Believe it or not they love it. Not only does it allow them to see mommy practice what she preaches it also allows them to get involved as well. Recently our church filled shoe boxes for Christmas. My kids were there of course because they are mom’s shadow. To keep them busy and active we had them help stuff boxes and even draw pictures to put inside the boxes to be delivered. They were so proud of their boxes. Check around at your church for things that you can do and by all means take the kids!! No one will think nothing of it and it will actually give the members of the church time to bond with your kids as well.
A lot of times we stop volunteering because we do not feel as though we get enough credit for all that we do. This leads to us feeling unappreciated and even a bit resentful to the idea of actually giving up of our time willingly.
Again this is another area that I get more than you know. So many times we get our hands busy working and then we think what is the point no one notices anyway. I feel this way a lot at home and at church, then I remember that Jesus did a lot and really He didn’t get the recognition that He deserved either. In fact we are reminded in the Bible to not seek recognition in this world. Instead we will receive our rewards in Heaven.
This still sometimes really does not help our hearts now. That is just it this is a matter of the heart. As we know the only one that can help with matters of the heart is God and God alone. Therefore if not receiving recognition is the reasoning not to volunteer then we may need to take a little time searching our hearts.
Finally there are times that we do not volunteer because we do not feel as though they are our gifts, we don’t have the proper training and well we are simply afraid that we will fail.
The truth of the matter is none of us have the proper training because we are not perfect. Will we make mistakes? Yet. Will the world still turn when we do? Yep. Not to mention in those failure moments they become teachable moments.I have found that God uses me in some of the craziest ways ever. For example writing in not a strong suite of my and yet here I am writing away because God lays things on my heart. I am not a public speaker and yet there again God threw me right in feet first. We never know if we can or can not do something until we try. I actually head up our little people’s children’s church program. We rotate the schedule out so that everyone gets a break. Anyway I remember a lady signing up and after working in there one week she informed me that particular job was not for her. I was completely ok with that because she tried it. Instead she has found what has worked for her, supplying snack for the said children on occasion. Which is also a huge blessing.
The fact remains that if we do not volunteer and are not willing to get our hands dirty we are not going to further the Kingdom of God. There is no job in the Church to great or to small. As a matter of fact it takes a lot of small jobs to make the church tick and thrive. If we are unwilling to make ourselves work for the Lord then the problem of lacking motivation in the church will never get any better.
Until Next Time Just Keep Soaring 4 Him,