Posted By Aaron Marcelli on June 5, 2012
A couple years ago my church launched an additional service on Thursday nights. I was among those who were the initial volunteers for the service. I started as a once a month usher, a couple months later became the head usher, and am now the service captain for the service where I oversee almost all the volunteers for this service. As “Rock Bridge PM” has grown (up to about 400 people) I believe my leadership confidence and capacity has grown as well.
It would always bother me when I heard pastors speak of our need to obey God with more than our money and get involved in personal, sacrificial ministry, and then their application of that was to volunteer for the church. Surely carrying our cross means more than handling out bulletins or singing in the choir.
That being said, not only has working my way up and serving as a volunteer within my church allowed me to serve the church, it has also been a great growth opportunity for me. Being a consistent volunteer leader has allowed me opportunities to manage and lead others. I have gained experience in dealing with basic problem-solving and manpower issues. The position has also allowed me to have insight and impact on service planning and church growth responsibilities. In many ways, my volunteer position at church has given me experience and satisfaction that not even my day job provides.
Realizing all of this has caused me to see that allowing people to volunteer is actually a ministry of the church (and a core value at Rock Bridge).
I believe churches should work diligently to raise up leaders as well as disciples. And when a church is willing to provide the training and opportunities to work your way up (even in volunteer capacities), it will draw many who desire to lead but lack the experience. Churches with healthy volunteer systems will give chances for growth that many people don’t get at work. And by serving the church, successful volunteers may find themselves getting the leadership and interpersonal experience needed to take the next step at work.
Certainly you should be serving in ministry and obeying God in ways beyond just the opportunities within your local church. But I would also challenge you to look for a place to also serve within your church; not just to do ministry, but also to receive the ministry of the personal growth you will experience.
Where are you currently volunteering and do you feel it is adding to your personal growth?