When you are a volunteer… what does it mean to be a volunteer? To be a volunteer in the ministry, to be specific.
I have been a volunteer for as long as I can remember. Started out to be part of the children’s ministry, did musical plays of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. Part of a ladies group singing Joy William’s I Surrender & some songs of Barlow Girl, Mary Mary & a lot more in high school, involved myself in different fellowships- youth, young adults & at present, by God’s grace leading worship in the Sunday afternoon services of Citichurch in Cebu, Philippines.
So here I am today thinking about VOLUNTEERISM in the ministry.
For the past years, here’s what I’ve come to realize.
IT IS A CALLING
Being part of a ministry is never by force. Not because your parents or siblings are serving in the ministry, you should. Not because all of your friends are serving in the ministry, you should. Involving yourself in the ministry, full-time or being a volunteer is a calling from the Lord given to us by His grace.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12:6-8
YOU ARE SERVING GOD
Since being a volunteer in the ministry is a calling from God, you’re in service to God. Whatever work you do, procedures you follow, standards to attain, you serve the King of kings.
Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace. Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
IT IS A PRIVILEGE
Because you are serving God as you do volunteer work in the ministry, it is a privilege. To fully understand this, you ought to know WHO you are serving. Getting to know Him through spending time with Him- reading the bible & meditating His word, listening to His voice, allowing Him to move in every second of your life, helps you to fully embrace that it is truly a privilege to be serving Him.
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11
You are serving God, the King of kings, Lord of Lords, the Great I AM, the Creator of the heavens & the earth, the blood of the Lamb, I could go on. HE IS GOD. And it is a privilege to be serving Him.
IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU
The moment you feel entitled, is the moment you should check your heart.
Who says you are better than others? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as if you did not receive it as a gift? 1 Corinthians 4:7
Being part of the ministry as a volunteer requires a lot of time, effort & sacrifices but it has never been & will never be about you. Go back to number 2 or the 2nd point.
Some people think that because they are serving in church, they ought to be treated special because they are giving to the church. NO, go back to number 2. Special than probably those who are serving full-time or special in such a way those things around them ought to be adjusted because they are volunteers. The moment you commit yourself to being a volunteer, you commit yourself to God through the ministry you are in.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
LET YOUR YES BE YES & NO BE NO
As a volunteer it is understandable that you’re are not full-time, meaning, you have other priorities but you are given the question CAN YOU…? And once you say YES, much will be expected from you & when you say NO, that won’t be taken against you.
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
HONORING AUTHORITY IS HONORING GOD
You are serving God, it is for God through the ministry you have committed yourself into who have leaders in authority.
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Romans 13:1-5
Truthfully, who wants to be told? to be corrected? When you are a volunteer, you have to swallow your pride, be humble & honor God by honoring the authority.
You have to understand that as a volunteer, you serve God not only through the talents & gifts that you have, honoring authority is a big part of that. Honoring authority in systems, procedures, standards & etc. God is a God of order. Without order, things will not fall into place & there wouldn’t be any direction to move forward to. Leaders have been placed by God for a purpose. You being a volunteer have to submit yourself to the person God has called to be on top of you. And just a thought, if you were in their shoes, don’t you think it’s challenging to handle volunteers… because they are volunteers? Think about that.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:3-8
EVERY ROLE IS OF GREAT VALUE
You have to understand that every part, small or big, is of great value to God. You, doing your part in the best way, whether you’re arranging seats, attending meetings, brainstorming for the events, doing display, greeting people or leading worship is a great deal because, it is for the Lord. Which leads us back to number 2, YOU ARE SERVING GOD.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Romans 12:4-5
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
ENJOY THE PROCESS
When you volunteer, you may not automatically do what you love to do or be in the position where you love to be. As a worship leader, I started singing in choir & understood why I had to be there. The process is all part of God’s mighty hand moving through each volunteer. Through the process, not only your talent or skill will be stretched but more importantly, your character. Enjoy the process, learn in every situation & position so that when the time comes that you are rewarded with what you love to do, you are able to truly give back the glory to God.
A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. Proverbs 18:16
Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. 1 Corinthians 14:40
TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS REQUIRED
Some people think that being a volunteer or being in the ministry is a having a glamorous life. Being a volunteer, as what I’ve said, requires a lot of time, effort, sacrifices & so much more. So before you answer to His call, pray hard about it because it will cost your life. It’s not glamorous but it is glorious because you know that what you’re doing is for God’s glory.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7
WHAT IS DONE IN LOVE IS DONE WELL
As you get to know God, you get to know His heart. He loves us deeply that is why He sent His son Jesus to save us.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
You doing ministry work should be an outpour or an overflow of His love. Because of this, every time you serve, you think of His love for you, your love for Him & for His people.
What is done in love is done well. Let His love be the air that breathes you to move forward for His glory.
JESUS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH
As a volunteer, you do a lot of things, make a lot of sacrifices & human as you are, you may think you need people to notice, to give you words of affirmation but JESUS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
Photo taken from Citichurch
These things I have learned & gathered today & I am excited with what God has to reveal even more in the years to come.
Are you ready to answer His call?
Production & Intune (Music) Volunteers of Citichurch during UN1TE Team Night (Photo from Felmar Caranzo)