Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Tip of the Sword

Our team spent last Friday in and out of workshops at the North West Christian Education Conference. (As a side note... it really made me look forward to the Promiseland conference!) One of the work shops I went to was on becoming a volunteer champion. Craig Miles, the speaker, made a great point about recruiting--we should recruit not because of a need, but because it gives people an opportunity to further the Kingdom of God. Give the people in your church the chance to say, "I teamed up with God today."
To help make his point on the importance of volunteers, he showed a clip from the movie, Pearl Harbor. A crew of soldiers was preparing for what, most likely, would be a fatal mission. Two of the soldiers were talking about why they're going, and one said, "We're the tip of the sword." The scene then cuts to the officers, one of which says something like, "We may not win this battle, but I know we'll win the war. Because there's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer."
God is the warrior, and the volunteers serving in our ministries are the tip of the sword. While yes, God's power is stronger than a volunteer, but what can be stronger than God using the heart of a volunteer? Hoping to express to our church that volunteers aren't there purely to fill a need, I asked some of our elementary leaders what satisfaction they get from serving. Their answers were wonderful (and you won't see that they only do it to fill a need). Here is some of what they wrote:
"I have seen God use me by being a familiar face—someone who is genuinely interested in the kids. They bless me MUCH more than I bless them. I get hugs, reminders of biblical principles, tugs at the heart when we sing, and I see kids of all ages standing and worshiping God without reservation."

“After trying various ‘jobs’ in Children’s Ministries, I finally found my gifting as a large group leader. God has taught me so much. I love connecting with the kids and teachers as we serve together. God gives us great moments when a child is touched by the Truth, or a teacher is convicted by something that is taught.”

“I was outside my comfort zone when I started teaching in Grow Zone, but God allowed me to be an effective leader from the start because the lessons were easy to teach—even for a simple person like me. God allowing me to play a part in a child’s spiritual growth is not only satisfying, but spiritually grows me as well. I’m closer to Christ because of it.”

“I did not feel capable when I first volunteered. I brought only my love for children and my love for our Lord. The possibility of making a difference in one life draws me back. Being recognized by the children and being their friend for that one hour each week is rewarding in and of itself.”

“I know I’m in the will of God, I’m serving His body, and that’s a joy. I’ve seen several from my first fifth grade class, now juniors in high school, come back and teach! More than ever, kids need God’s truth preparing them to be young men and women of God.”

Our volunteers are ordinary people being used for extraordinary purposes. I'm blessed to serve alongside them.

1 comment:

Wayne Geer said...

Sorry, this post has nothing to do with your post.
I read your post on Kidology about "Killing the Sacred Cow" and then read your newsletter article. Both were very helpful to me as we are "killing" our midweek children's ministry programming.
Thanks for your insight.

Wayne Geer
Children's Pastor

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