May 31, 2017

Where would the church be without volunteers? I look at a typical week on the church calendar and find myself gratefully amazed at the time commitment of our volunteer staff. It would be difficult to add up the hours, but the number is very large.

The journey begins as you enter the campus. In the dead of winter, the grounds are kept clean and the plants trimmed back properly. Now in late spring, the flowers are magnificent – there is color everywhere. As I write this “Ponder,” I hear mowers as several men, most of them retired from their careers, are hard at work.

Nearly all of our Sunday and weekday ministries are planned and carried out by volunteers. Youth events, after-school coaching, Easy English classes, music preparation, ushers, greeters, Safety Team personnel, managers of receptions and dinners, van drivers, translators, IT work .  .  . all involve mostly volunteers. These are examples of areas of ministry, and there are others.

When Jesus said He would build His Church, He did not indicate a plan to hire a bunch of professionals to do the work. He placed it in the hands of individual followers who would be guided by His Spirit. While I appreciate the privilege of working full-time while supported financially by other members of the body, I feel a strong commitment to volunteer alongside others – over and above the work I am paid to do.

Working with volunteers carries a unique privilege. These people do not mark a timecard, will not receive a paycheck, are not required to complete a job description and unfortunately may serve without a lot of appreciation. Telling them “The Bank of Heaven” will pay them is true, but this does not buy groceries. Volunteer work is a choice over a variety of involvements they could enjoy – maybe even getting a financial reward. They could be careless about showing up to volunteer, but they are not.

Whether in a church community or in other places that care for people, “Thank You,” volunteers. You make a vital contribution to our world.

Pastor Bill Ehmann

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