Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The V Word

It may be the worst cuss word out there. It makes my hairs stand on end. It makes me shudder. Makes me angry. Makes me want to confront the one who said it.

There's no such thing as Volunteering in Church.
I said it.

Whenever the travesty took place that put "paid staff" opposite "volunteers" was a dark day in history.

The word volunteer is not biblical. Those who claim to belong to God's community...in other words, those who have had life transformation take place because of the cross are CALLED TO BELONG and COMMISSIONED TO SERVE.

The word that appears over and over in the New Testament is doulos...this notion of slave or servant...I don't volunteer to help out my church...I serve to further the kingdom.

If a church is having trouble with 'recruiting volunteers' its because they have dropped the ball on clearly stating what it means to be part of the church. There are no volunteers. There are PARTNERS. People who follow Christ find a community of faith that they want to be a part of and that they can be blessed and be a blessing at, then they go after it. They partner with the church.

Volunteers are optional. Partners are invested. Volunteers quit when they're tired. Partners see it through to completion. Volunteers hold leverage. Partners surrender themselves to a higher cause.

So...which are you?

3 comments:

Kevin Rush said...

This is a really good point. I've never been a big fan of the "V-title" either. To big of divide between invitation and mission that Jesus never intended.

I'm always trying to incorporate a healthy amount of invitation and challenge into our church and CityGroups. I often call people to serve (no matter where they are on their journey with God). I find that is a better place to start. What are you finding with people far from God, who are not ready to 'partner' but has desire to 'serve' others?

Ben said...

Frame it simply as serving others and you can't go wrong.

Partnership is more of an identifying mark of those who are saying they want to 'join' C3...We steer clear of the loaded terms like 'becoming a member' because there seems to be a train of thought that says "If I pay my dues...whether by attendance, time or money, then I get the religious goods and services that are owed to me."

But for those who are loosely connected to who we are and what we are doing...invitation to serve or to be change is language that they resonate with.

lorimoyer said...

Well said! Totally agree, now for everyone to understand and to participate in blessing others at church!