Tag Archives: volunteer

Useful Service

When I first started working for my boss, he asked me, “What do I need to know about you to be an effective leader for you?” I replied, “I hate busy work. I don’t like doing things for the sake of doing them. I’m happy to do anything productive if there’s a reason for it. I don’t want to put my effort and energy into something only to be told later, ‘Thanks for doing that. We don’t really need this right now, but one day we might.’” I tend to think that all of want to do something that has purpose and meaning.

When you think about the work you do for the Lord, do you see it as meaningful or busy work? As a person who leads volunteers at a church, I sometimes get people who want the spotlight jobs. Holding a sign for people walking by, or opening a door or picking up trash around the parking lot can seem insignificant to them. To me, nothing you do for the Lord is insignificant. All of us have a role to fill. All of us joined together doing our part, no matter how small it feels, is what makes the Body of Christ work. Preaching can only be effective if there are people in the seats listening. The rest of the teams who serve are the ones that make sure people are parked, feel welcomed and find the sanctuary effortlessly.

1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless” (GNT). No matter how big or small you feel your work for the Lord is, it is never useless. Don’t do it for the spotlight or so that others will praise you. Do it as work for the Lord because that’s what it is. God has called each of us to play a role in building His Kingdom. The approval of others is not what makes your work significant. The fact that you keep doing it for the Lord, even when no one seems to notice, is what matters. Don’t give up. Your Father in Heaven sees and will reward you when the time is right.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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Pick Me


When someone on stage asks for a volunteer, are you quick to raise your hand? Not me. Maybe because I ask for volunteers in my job, and it usually involves that person having to do a role play in front of a room full of people. In several cases, the volunteer is used as a deficit learning exercise to show that they are lacking the skill I’m about to train. Yet, when I ask for a volunteer, people usually raise their hands. 

Of course, if no one raises their hand, I say, “If I don’t have any volunteers, someone is going to get volun-told!” That’ll usually get at least someone, but they’re pretty skeptical. For me, I don’t like to volunteer unless I know what I’m volunteering for. If I know, I don’t mind raising my hand usually. I just like to know what I’m getting into. But if someone is just looking for a volunteer, and there’s no reason given, I’m not your guy. 

In Isaiah 6, he describes being in Heaven and realizing how small and sinful he is. After an angel touches his lips with coal to purify him, God starts talking to the assembly of heavenly beings. In verse 8 he hears the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” Then he said, “Here I am. Send me” (NLT). Can you imagine it? God was looking across Heaven for a volunteer, and Isaiah speaks up.

I believe God is still looking for volunteers. Sometimes, like Isaiah, it’s to carry His message. Other times it may be just to encourage someone. Sometimes it’s to buy a meal for someone. Even if you don’t know what you’re volunteering for, I believe we should all be willing to pray, “Lord, I know you need volunteers today to make yourself known. I want you to know I am here and available. Pick me.” 

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Busy Work


I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand busy work. I hate being given a task just for the sake of having something to do. I see it as a waste of time rather than a time filler. Nothing truly productive comes from it. I’d rather save my energy, brain power and time doing nothing rather than doing meaningless tasks. Whether it’s at work, home or wherever, we’ve all been given busy work since we were kids.

Sometimes doing things for God feels like busy work. I can’t see the purpose behind doing what He’s asked, so it feels like busy work. Whether it’s busy work or not, I obey because it’s God who is asking. Many times it’s simply to go somewhere, pick someone up, say something to someone, serve at an event or something like it. When I don’t get to see the impact or reason, it can feel like busy work to me.

I was discussing this with one of my pastor friends recently. Then I recalled a couple of events that really I could barely remember doing, but the people I helped acted as if I had saved their life. The “busy work” on my part had a significant meaning to the person God was directing it toward. It was a great reminder that often what we do for God may feel like busy work at times to us, but to others, it’s life changing stuff.

Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 15:58, “Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless” (GNT). If you’re feeling like God has given you a lot of busy work lately, take heart. Nothing you do for Him is useless. It’s not a waste of your time, talents or resources. Often you’re changing lives without even knowing it. God doesn’t give out busy work to keep us occupied. He gives us work that we’re to stay busy at because eternity is at stake.

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Debt Forgiveness 


“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back.” “You fly, I’ll buy.” “Quid pro quo.” “You buy this time, I’ll buy next time.” Ever used any of these expressions? Of course you have. We all do favors for favors. It’s an offer to help in exchange for help. You’ll give them what they want if they’ll give you what you want. Everybody wins. We all play the game, but what we forget is that Jesus changed the rules on it. He expects us to do for others who have no ability to pay us back. 

You see, there’s no reward in doing something for others who can pay you back. It’s not really a favor if you get a return favor. Part of our Christian DNA should be to do for others who can’t pay us back. It should be a part of who we are and be a regular thing we do. When Jesus was describing who got into Heaven, this is what He said in Matthew 25-35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me” (AMPC).

In all of these examples, it was about helping someone out who couldn’t return the favor. He went on to say that when you do something for the least among us, you’ve done it to Him. There’s no reward in helping those who can pay you back. Of course, you can still help your friends out in a quid pro quo fashion, but you can’t just do that and expect to be rewarded for doing good. You got your reward when they paid you back. The life Jesus is calling us to is doing things for those who can’t pay you back.

In Luke 14:13, Jesus said it another way. He said, “But when you give a banquet or a reception, invite the poor, the disabled, the lame, and the blind.” He mentioned several times in the Gospels that we were to give to those who couldn’t pay us back. When you think about it, Jesus did that for us. He set the example of giving at a high cost for those who couldn’t pay Him back. If you’ve accepted Him as your savior, then He paid your debt for sin in full. There’s no way to repay Him for that. The best thing we can do is to follow His example. Give to those who can’t repay you, and don’t hold it over their head.

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Volunteering


At work, I’ll often ask for a volunteer without saying what it’s for. Sometimes someone will ask, “What does the volunteer have to do?” Other times, someone will say, “He will do it!” Everyone laughs because the person they pointed to usually isn’t paying attention. Other times, if not one raises their hand, I’ll just pick someone and say, “You just got volun-told.” But the best is when someone simply says, “Hey, I’ll do it!” Sometimes the assignment is difficult, but other times I take it easy on them because they’re the only one to volunteer.

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah was taken to Heaven where he saw the Lord and His train filled the temple. After Isaiah saw the Lord, he felt the guilt of His sins. An angel flew over to him carrying a live coal from the altar, touched his lips with it, and said, “Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” It was then that God asked for a volunteer. Verse 8 says, “Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” (NLT)

Isaiah didn’t hesitate. He said, “Here I am. Send me.” He didn’t look around to see if anyone else was going to raise their hand first. He didn’t look at the ground trying to avoid eye contact. He didn’t even think an angel might be more qualified than him. He simply volunteered because God needed someone. I don’t know if he was scared or second guessed himself. I often wonder what I would have done in that situation though. Would I have been so quick to raise my hand?

Today, God’s call for messengers still goes out. He’s still looking for volunteers to carry His message of love and hope to a desperate world. Are we willing to say, “Here I am. Send me”? Are we willing to volunteer to show His love to the least of these around us? He’s not always asking us to go around the world. Often times He’s asking us to go across the street. That doesn’t require a passport or hundreds of dollars. It simply requires you to volunteer. When God asks, “Whom shall I send,” what will you do?

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Be Generous


Every time I read a story about someone going above and beyond to help someone, I always read the comments. Without fail someone will write something like this, “People like this restore my faith in humanity.” It’s upsetting to me that we have gotten to the point that being selfless and generous is a rare thing in today’s world. It’s so rare that people have lost faith in humanity over it, and when it does happen, the story goes viral. That bothers me.

You and I, as Christians should be the most generous people the world has. If we truly believe that God is our source and everything we have has been given to us by Him, then we should be generous with what we have. In Matthew 10:8, Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give” (NIV). Our generosity of love, time, money, kindness, selflessness, and goodness should be evident to all around. In a world where it’s the exception and not the rule, our generosity will help show the love of Jesus to the world and point them to Him.

Here are some verses in the Bible on generosity.

1. Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped.

Proverbs 11:25 GNT

2. The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil. They plot crooked schemes. They lie to convict the poor, even when the cause of the poor is just. But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.

Isaiah 32:7-8 NLT

3. Generous hands are blessed hands because they give bread to the poor.

Proverbs 22:9 MSG

4. [Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others], In this way laying up for themselves [the riches that endure forever as] a good foundation for the future, so that they may grasp that which is life indeed.

1 Timothy 6:18-19 AMP

5. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 ESV

6. Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.

Deuteronomy 15:10 NLT

7. Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns.

Ecclesiastes 11:1 MSG

8. Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood–being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2 AMP

9. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Proverbs 19:17 ESV

10. Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands—all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.

Luke 6:38 GNT

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Coach Jesus

I ran into my junior high basketball coach this weekend. We were talking about the good old days and how things change. He was mentioning how much coaching has changed in the past few years. One of the ways it has changed is that kids don’t ask to be put in. I was shocked. I can remember being pulled out of a game to rest and arguing with him. “Coach, I’m fine! Let me stay in a little longer,” I’d say. When I was on the bench for a few minutes, I’d look down the bench at him trying to catch his eye.

I wanted to be back in the action. I wasn’t content to sit on the side lines and watch. Not much has changed I guess. I’m not content to watch things happen. I want to be a part of things, especially good things. I want to help out in ministries. I want to go to other countries and be the hands and feet of Jesus. I want to stand in front of people and tell them what a difference Jesus made in my life.

I think Peter was a lot like that. He was the first to volunteer and the last one who wanted to be sat down. When Jesus asked, “Who do men say I am,” it was Peter who answered. When the guards came to take Jesus, it was Peter who grabbed his sword and swung it. When they were in a boat and the storm was raging, it was Peter who asked to walk on water. When the Holy Spirit came down and the people gathered around the upper room, it was Peter who stood up and preached.

Was he perfect? No. Did he often have to be corrected? Yes. He wasn’t afraid to go out and do something for Jesus, even if he made a mistake. He’d rather make a mistake in ministry than to make the mistake of sitting on the side lines. It was the other eleven who stayed in the boat sitting on the side lines. Every one of them had the opportunity to get out of the boat and join Peter. They could have known what it felt like to have water under their feet.

I don’t want to be one of the eleven who sat around a campfire asking Peter what it was like. I want to be the one telling the stories. I want to be the one experiencing the miraculous. It all starts with a desire to do something for Christ. It starts with not being content to sit in a pew Sunday after Sunday watching as others experience a move of God. It starts with me saying, “Put me in, Jesus.”

Where are you? Are you content to sit in a pew with the other eleven? Are you willing to step out of the boat and to walk on water? Are you looking at the other end of the bench, staring Jesus down, trying to get His attention? I am! I want nothing more than for Him to look down the row at the members of His team, give me a head nod and say, “Chris, go check in. I need you on the court.”

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