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Dear Church…STOP USING VOLUNTEERS!

(Originally posted in April, 2012 – but the series was never completed. This week – we plan to complete the series)

Let’s admit it from the begining – many of you only clicked on this article from twitter, an email, facebook, or another source because of the title and the sheer audacity that I would instruct the church to stop using volunteers in services. Good. I am glad you stopped by. I hope that, perhaps YOU are even volunteering at your church. I want to ask that you stop.

“Oh boy – here is another one of those guys who thinks the church should pay musicians…” Well, that is a whole other ball of wax – but, no, this is not the same discussion. My focus is on the word – and the nature behind it.

I volunteer – and have volunteered much of my life. I spent years volunteering as volunteer firefighter helping to save life and property. I volunteered for the Red Cross, the United Way, and many other worthwhile organizations. The common denominator with these services is that I volunteered for clubs and organizations. The church…I serve because I should serve my God in an area that I am capable in serving.

I think that, often times, we find problems filling roles in the church (whether on a worship team, in a preschool, on a greeting team, or on a visitation group, etc) because we tend to view these areas as “volunteer” instead of calling it what it is – areas of servitude. I firmly believe that every believer has an area that he or she CAN AND SHOULD be serving in. It is not a responsiblity to merely “volunteer” – but an accountability to “serve”.

With that being said – we, as the church, can positively or negatively impact each member’s willingness to obey the calling to serve at our church by the things we do. This week, we are going to break apart some of the habits we create at our churches and dive in deeper into serving. Meanwhile, this week, I challenge you to rid your church’s vocabulary of the word “volunteer”.

I’ll see you tomorrow!

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