Thursday, April 17, 2008

I have no use for "Volunteers"

I met a friend for prayer yesterday. Church is exciting, plans in the works, good things happening, praises abound. Then with exasperation he mentioned his prayer request, I have a couple, who are not reliable. They both serve in vital ministries and when they are not present, the whole church suffers. When I talked to them, they indicated that they were "volunteers" and not required to be there, and excused their absence.

From time to time, people in the church see themselves as volunteers rather than members of a body. Christ never describes our service for him as voluntary. In fact, the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5, that the love of Christ compels us. There is nothing voluntary about being compeled. This same word in the origional Greek is also translated "arrest." We are not volunteers by a long shot, we are arrested by the Love of Christ and placed in His service. What "volunteers" fail to realize is that their lack of faithfulness actually hurts the whole body of Christ. Often, we think that it is only the faithfulness of the pastor or staff, or deacons that affect the church, but more often it is the faithfulness of the people that make or break a church. I pray for my friend, and I pray for our church as well. In today's world, there is no use for volunteers. God's church must be served by faithful members of the body, so that it can function properly and remain healthy.


Anonymous said...

Your insight about volunteers is a good one. Here are two other thoughts that come to my mind, as well: (1) What a mess might we be in if our volunteer fire department would just respond when it was convenient! (2) Isn't it true that volunteers will sit on the right and left hand of Christ in glory--just like the One sitting there between them?