Stop Volunteering!

There isn’t a pastor or church leader out there that has read this title and hasn’t thought to themselves, “how can we stop people at our church from reading this post?” Short of crashing the internet or stealing your fellow Christ follower’s internet enabled devices you can’t guarantee that people won’t come across this post. If you are willing to continue reading you may even find yourself encouraging them to do so.

I have heard it too many times and quite frankly I am sick of it.

They’re just a volunteer.

They don’t get paid to do this.

They shouldn’t be expected to do a great job.

Be careful not to demand too much of them, they may not come back.

If you want to run your secular charity this way that’s fine with me (as if you needed my permission). If you want to offer people the opportunity to obediently take on the responsibilities God has set aside for them, it’s time to change the way we define the role of all Christ followers.

As a pastor I am expected to do my job and do it well because I am not a volunteer, I am paid.

There seems to be a misunderstanding about paying pastors that I would like to clear up.

A pastor pastors because God called them to pastor not because of the pay (I can imagine the chorus of “Amens” coming from all the pastors reading this).

A pastor is paid because the job they are doing requires time that would otherwise be spent earning money elsewhere.

A pastor gets paid because they need to provide for themselves and their family.

A pastor is hired and retained because of their competency; they are not paid as an incentive to do a good job.

A paid pastor is a better provider not a better pastor although not working extra jobs to make ends meet should allow for more time dedicated to pastoring and a better outcome.

If we have freewill then all are volunteers in God’s predestined plan.

I am not trying to start a theological debate on the finer points of Calvinism. If you are a “T.U.L.I.P.” the following may contain ideas that are disturbing to you. I do not consider myself a pastor by force but instead I volunteered to carry out God’s calling on my life. His calling was so strong I couldn’t say no (okay there’s a little bit of Calvinism in me).

I do what I do to carry out God’s call on my life, just like every Christ follower should.

I do not choose my level of effort, the quality of my work or the time I put in based on the money I get or the praise I receive, just like every Christ follower should.

I base what I do on fulfilling the roll that God called me to take on and I agreed to accept, just like every Christ follower should.

The world defines volunteering and being a volunteer as something above and beyond.

Outside of the Christian faith volunteering is a noble act that is not a part of our normal responsibilities. Volunteering is done to help a cause that cannot function unless someone comes forward to fill certain roles. The volunteer is considered such a blessing that anything they do is applauded even if it is not done well or is not complete. The volunteer has nothing to lose and everything to gain because just showing up is rewarded with praise.

Make no mistake, God does not need you but He has created a need for you to fill.

When we volunteer to accept God’s call on our lives (paid or unpaid) we agree to fill a need that God created for us to fill. Unlike the world’s system of volunteers, if you do not volunteer nothing is left undone, it is just left undone by you. Unlike the world’s system of volunteers, if you do not put in the effort, if the quality of your work is poor or the time you are willing to give is not enough, nothing is left undone or improperly done, it is just left undone or improperly done by you.

Stop volunteering and start serving.

They’re just a volunteer.

They are an obedient servant of God.

They don’t get paid to do this.

They are called by God to serve regardless of pay.

They shouldn’t be expected to do a great job.

They are servants, there is no other way to serve but to do a great job.

Be careful not to demand too much of the volunteers, they may not come back.

[Jesus said] “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” Luke 17:7-10 (NIV)

View this passage and much more at BibleGateway.com

7 comments

  1. My brother, if he were still alive, would agree. He was a pastor of small churches who could not afford to pay him for his entire career. He worked a full-time job during the week, going straight to the hospitals and nursing homes from there. He seemed to never get any rest. And he always did his best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that it is all about serving. Personally, I dislike the term ‘church leader’ because it implies something more than serving, and some folk become fixated on the importance of position and status.

    In our fellowship we have a good number of dedicated volunteers who serve excellently in their various church roles on top of and after working full-time (or longer) hours in their day jobs. That fact sometimes seems to be forgotten by pastors (I have only served with paid pastors).

    We don’t have a full-time pastor at the moment as we are between pastors, but we have always paid our pastors above the local wage and provided good housing with all bills paid. Many of those who give financially in the church do not have this level of income or housing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:
    “Outside of the Christian faith volunteering is a noble act that is not a part of our normal responsibilities. Volunteering is done to help a cause that cannot function unless someone comes forward to fill certain roles. The volunteer is considered such a blessing that anything they do is applauded even if it is not done well or is not complete. The volunteer has nothing to lose and everything to gain because just showing up is rewarded with praise.”

    A thought provoking read!

    (please add any thoughts under Live 4 Him – they are closed here, thank you)

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen to this. Well said.

    A couple of my favorite pastors never got paid anything at all. They saw themselves as missionaries, as servants in a very secular area. It’s not right, it shouldn’t be like this, but in the process they did manage to teach me a few things about having a servant’s heart and storing up treasures in heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Truth in Palmyra and commented:
    The other day I wrote a little something about church members actively serving, and not just sitting around waiting for the guy we pay to preach to do it all. I think this thought ties in really well with that. We aren’t just volunteers; Jesus bought us, we are His, and He has every right for us to serve Him with all of our heats and energy. Comments closed here; blessings and enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree! We should all work as working for the Lord, and we should do so wholeheartedly, not because we must, but because we love God and we love our brothers and sisters in Christ, and because we want to serve them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I do love this! My husband and I pastored for over 20 years and for the past 3 years have been full time missionary/evangelist. We went from being “paid” to pastor to just being the recipients of what God passes our way. It’s all about serving …. every bit of it. ….if only people would get it…

    Liked by 2 people

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