by Sharon Ely Pearson
By definition, a volunteer is someone who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest. Volunteering as the general public knows it, is the charitable work done within an organization or group by an individual without monetary pay or compensation. Often within a church, volunteers are members that want to use their talents or their background, to aid the church and fulfill its needs with service and actions rather than money. Without volunteers, our churches – especially in the educational arena – would be a shell of what they are. After all – it is the people who make the church!
There have been lots of articles written about how to call volunteers, including many right here on Building Faith. Naming it a “call” is important. We don’t “recruit” – we (hopefully) listen to the Holy Spirit in seeking those who have the gifts to lead and participate in a particular ministry.
- Calling Volunteers, Part 1 by Sharon Ely Pearson
- Calling Volunteers, Part 2 by Sharon Ely Pearson
- Need Church Volunteers? by Liz Perraud
- Volunteers: Discerning Your Ministry by Jenifer C. Gamber
Hopefully by now, all the Church School and Youth Ministry volunteers are getting ready for the coming year ahead. They’ve got their curriculum and resources and have attended an orientation training – or will soon. Have you put on the church calendar a time to dedicate or install these important ministers in the midst of your worshipping community on a Sunday? If not, check that calendar today!
So let us pray and give thanks to all those who have heeded the call to volunteer in our churches!
Everlasting God, strengthen and sustain all those who volunteer in our churches; that with patience and understanding they may love and care for your people; and grant that together they may follow Jesus Christ, offering to you their gifts and talents; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (adapted from the Collect at a New Ministry, 1979 Book of Common Prayer)
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, the privilege is ours to share in the loving, healing, reconciling mission of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, in this age and wherever we are. Since without you we can do no good thing. May your Spirit make us wise; may your Spirit guide us; may your Spirit renew us; may your Spirit strengthen us; so that we will be: strong in faith, discerning in proclamation, courageous in witness, persistent in good deeds. This we ask through the name of the Father. Amen. (from the Church of the Province of the West Indies)