I get asked to volunteer for a thousand things, from coaching girls’ volleyball to serving at the kids’ schools, from serving on various leadership boards to attending professional functions. Usually I’m asked to help by people who genuinely care about their cause; other times, I’m asked by less enthusiastic people who were told to go find more volunteers. I’m a fan of volunteering, and I volunteer often, but that doesn’t mean that I say yes to everybody who asks. In fact, the exact opposite is true. I have learned to say yes or no based on these three key questions:
1. Is this volunteer opportunity worth the time, effort, and outcome?
2. Will I be using my spiritual gifts and strengths?
3. Does it help fulfill Jesus’ mission to make disciples?
I learned to ask these three questions after volunteering to do a thousand things that didn’t really matter and I didn’t really enjoy. God gives every Christian a spiritual gift to use to help the church body. He might give a completely new spiritual gift, or highlight an existing natural talent. Either way our gifts and talents are given to us to strengthen and build the local church. This is what Paul told the Corinthians and his inspired words still pertain to us today.
“4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. 12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink………..27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But eagerly desire the greater gifts.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-13, 27-30
If you are a Christian, you should be volunteering in some capacity. This is not a guilt trip or a mass plea to mobilize the masses; it’s an honest nudge to get you to take the next step in your faith because you need to. If you’re not serving, you are limiting yourself and hindering God’s ability to work through you. You might have to ask yourself the three questions I ask myself, then commit to the opportunities that enable you to fulfill your purpose and Jesus mission to make disciples. To find out how you can volunteer at Freshwater follow the link: http://freshwaterchurch.org/connect/connection-coach/