Why Churches Should Be Glad They Are Volunteer Intensive

Tomorrow morning all around America and the world, hundreds of thousands of churches and literally hundreds of millions of people will gather to worship Jesus Christ in gatherings called churches. And while they are all very different and unique, they all share one thing in common. All these churches depend on volunteers to function.

The church is a volunteer-intensive organization, more so maybe than any other organization in the world. And yet it’s grown and flourished for that very reason. Remember this saying, “There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer set on fire with the passion of a noble cause.”

Why is it in America, when our churches grow we automatically go and hire professionals to do what we’ve been depending on volunteers to do? Why is it that we take things out of the hands of people who are motivated by love and passion, who are energetic and enthusiastic, who are overwhelmingly positive and generous, and turn it over to someone who’s been to seminary or sacrifices another career to “come into the ministry” for low pay, long hours, and little appreciation?

Bottom line: you better be glad that your church is volunteer-intensive. You also better have a philosophy of volunteerism, how you’re going to take care of volunteers, what you’re going to do for them and with them once they step up to the plate.

Volunteers need to be honored and respected for who they are and what they bring to the table. The church wouldn’t exist without them: both men and women who give of their heart and soul to advance the Kingdom of God.

Let me ask you this question. Do the volunteers in your organization – church, social, civic, or otherwise – feel valued and respected? Do they walk away receiving more than they’ve given? Do you value volunteers in your organization? Do you complain and whine when they fail as we all do? Even people who get paid to be good aren’t always trustworthy.

I am absolutely amazed at the number of staff people I’ve hired who are basically lazy, and how many volunteers I’ve seen work a full week investing many hours without pay or thanks, but they do it for God, for good; not for glory.

Yea God for volunteers!

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