Refuse to be Passive

There’s Something About Service…

In Life in General on March 8, 2010 at 10:06 am

Now, what I post here, is probably not accurate in all circumstances, and so I hope you take it with a grain of salt. But, that being said, I also believe there is an element of truth to what I write below.

There is something about giving of time that people cringe at. I’ve seen this within my church. While many people do give of their time in various capacities, there are a much larger number who prefer to show up for Sunday morning services and not be involved the rest of the week.

I run two ministries in my church, and they are incredibly supportive of me financially. If I request a bit extra in the budget, they usually say yes. If I need parents or people to bring lunch or dinner for the youth, they quickly step up to the plate. If it involves food, or stuff that can be easily given, they are there. For this I am grateful.

But if you need people to give of their time, sometimes it becomes like arm twisting. If I need an extra chaperon for the youth when going to an event, the number of people I have to ask is painful. And some of them will be straight up and say, that while they don’t have anything on the go, they just don’t want to do it.  The specific instance I am thinking of is when they youth and I were supposed to go to the Nursing Care Center and lead a small church service there. I had a cold, and as it’s a nursing home, couldn’t enter. I asked eight or so people before I went to the pastor and asked him to announce from the pulpit that we needed a volunteer. He did so, and to ensure a volunteer was found, he waited until someone raised their hand. It was one painful minute of silence. Finally, one of our members did volunteer. I remember thanking God profusely (and her of course). But later, as I was thinking about it, I was struck with how wrong this situation was.

In a church, where people claim to follow Jesus, we can’t find a volunteer for a simple afternoon activity. Should hands just be shooting into the air at the opportunity to serve? In James 2 it is written, “Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do.”

Later I was talking with one of my youth over coffee at Tim Hortons (we both lost) and I told her how impressed I was that all the youth helped with Sunday school, how most were open to being on a youth praise team, and how, if asked to read in church, they would step up and take it on. For the nursing home service, I had an 18 year old willing to give the mediation, and a 17 year old playing the piano. Way to step up! Faith and deeds go hand in hand.

Our conversation turned then towards non-Christian friends and how sometimes it’s difficult to minister to them, and even though we love them, we can’t force them to change. At some point, you feel that you’ve run out of things you can say. I pointed out to her though, that then we turn to living our lives in a Christ honouring manner. Then even without words, our friends will see we’re different and want to k now about it. I have a friend like that. This person thinks I’m fascinating simply because I live my life in such a radically different way from the rest of the people they know. That’s pretty cool.

So, ultimately it comes to this: step up! You have faith, show it through your deeds. Next time they ask for a volunteer raise your hand and take it on. If it’s not your forte, don’t worry. God asks us to be willing to serve and let Him take care of the rest.

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