The heart of the volunteer serves out of joy, never compulsion. The heart of the volunteer revolves around passion, purpose, and trust.
Every volunteer wants to experience passion when they serve. They want to feel confident that they are serving on a team that utilizes their giftings. There is nothing worse than feeling stuck in a ministry that you don’t enjoy… I’m sure we’ve all been through that. Serving week after week without feeling like we can say “no.” Feeling guilty if we back out because there is a need. God didn’t design us to survive through our servitude, but to thrive.
To thrive, we need only to rest in this promise: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NIV). We have to believe that God will send people to fill the position that you weren’t designed to be in. We also need to believe that God will affirm you when you step into a role that you’re passionate about.
Every volunteer was to have a purpose and make an impact. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to see our work change lives. It’s only natural that we want to see the results of this stewardship and servitude.
Even when in a role that suits our passions, it can take time to see results. Sometimes you see impact immediately as a greeter when you’re able to direct an individual who is new to the church. But, I think the moments we all hope for are the ones that take time and move your heart. For instance, when you finally hear a heartfelt “thank you” from a youth student that you’ve been discipling for months who was too blindsighted to realize what you’ve done for them. That’s when you feel that rush of purpose.
Every volunteer wants to be able to trust leadership with their gifts. They want to know that they are serving under healthy leadership. They also want to be entrusted with some level of responsibility with the intention of healthy growth.
It’s easy to be taken advantage of when we have significant giftings. We want to make sure that the foundation of our service to the church is built upon honest, clear communication. Leaders need to be able to trust that we are being honest and upfront on our side. It’s our responsibility to be clear about availability and time commitments to avoid conflict later.
In all aspects of our service let us remember, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:10-11, NIV).