(July 1, 2020)

NOTE: My devotionals will be sporadic the next couple weeks, in part due to upcoming summer vacation.

No Volunteering

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be 
an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.”
– Romans 1:1

One struggle many churches claim to have is that they need more volunteers.  How you ever thought that?  Does something come to your mind, or a specific church?

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I have heard it many times, and I have one question:  Why do we call covenant partners “volunteers?”  Show me where this word “volunteer” is used in scripture.  I have read the Bible cover to cover and I have not seen it once.

I have a suggestion: Let us altogether ban the word “volunteer” from church.  May we never use it again.  It has no place here.  We are believers, covenant partners, slaves, servants, brothers, sisters, chosen, loved, forgiven, Spirit-filled, justified, sanctified, redeemed… we could go on. Just do not say volunteers because volunteering is an inappropriate response to the crucifixion of Jesus.  And that is not who we are.  We do not say, “I believe Jesus died for me, therefore I will help out a little.” Can you imagine Paul writing, “Paul, a guy who helps out from time to time to the church in Rome…”  “Paul, a sporadic helper for the Gospel.”  Instead, to the Capitol City of the most powerful empire that the world has ever seen – an empire with millions of slaves – to the City that craved power – Paul claims his identity: “I am a slave.”  That is the claim that the Gospel of God has on us.  It claims every inch, every moment, every thought. Following Jesus is the fabric of our very life.  Everything else must fit into that pattern.  “Volunteer?” No, that cheapens our identity immensely.

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Do you know what most people respond to?  It may seem counterintuitive, but do not ask for something small.  That’s an insult to our identity.  Dream big.  Because what God is doing is big.  God has laid claim not only to us, but also to nothing less than the salvation and renewal of the whole world.

Does this thought sounds big, or all-encompassing, or good?  It is.  It’s the Gospel.

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Father, what do You want to show us about who we are today?