Have you ever heard someone ask, “What do I get out of it?” or “What is in it for me?” Life is more than making money, having fun, and building your own network. God blesses when we invest in others.
“…Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:32
A volunteer is a person who serves willingly and without pay. Volunteering is freely giving your time and/or resources to help a person or cause. Churches and ministries often need volunteers for many of their outreaches and programs to be successful.
What Can I Offer? – Many people feel they have nothing to offer to their church. Not only pastors and leaders are gifted. You have special talents, skills, and spiritual gifts that make you unique. That means there are some things that you can do better than others!
Spiritual Gifts – God has gifted Christians with spiritual gifts such as Prophecy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leadership, Mercy, Discernment, Helps, and Administration (Rom. 12 and 1 Cor. 12). These are needed in each church, ministry, and organization. You should learn your gift and how to use it. Use your special gift for the Lord.
Natural Abilities – Have you noticed that some children can dribble a basketball at a very young age? Some people are born with natural sports ability, but others must work hard to be good at sports. Other people memorize things quickly. Still others have mechanical or technical ability. (My family used to tease me about getting a flashlight each Christmas and immediately taking it apart to see how it worked.) You, also, have natural abilities – things that are very easy for you. You may think everyone can do the things that come naturally to you. But they may not have those abilities. Your natural abilities make you special.
Learned Skills – Teachers help students learn basic skills and knowledge to have a productive life. Parents can teach their children new skills. Mentors challenge you. Even though many skills are not easy, they can be learned through practice and hard work. Learned skills are necessary to be productive in life and ministry. You can use your learned skills for the Lord.
Your Character – Good character comes from a lifetime of good decisions and right actions. Great ability, skills, and gifts cannot help a lazy or unfaithful person. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Good, biblical character must be taught to children. It is difficult (some say impossible) to teach character to an adult. Make good decisions early and often. You cannot change the past, but you can change the future. You can start today.
Learn What You Can Do – Your Spiritual Gift(s), Natural Abilities, Learned Skills, and Character combine to make you a unique person. Learn what you can do with each of your gifts, abilities, and skills. You may not be able to do what you want to do, but you can do what you should do. Jesus honored a woman saying, “”She hath done what she could” (Mark 14:8). Also, learn what you cannot do. Learn to overcome your areas of weakness and fear, but wisely use your areas of strength. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Learn to depend upon the Lord for help when you are weak (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Make Yourself Valuable – It has been said that 10% of the people do 90% of the work. As a unique person, you can be a great blessing to people around you. Churches and ministries need help. You can help carry the load. As a layman, you can volunteer and make yourself valuable. How much are you missed when you are absent? Silent Word Ministries depends on volunteers to help in many areas. Proofreading, printing, cleaning, maintenance, landscaping, grading Bible courses, and sending this newspaper, are just a few examples of the valuable contributions by volunteers. When they are absent, they are missed!
How to Make Yourself Valuable – Realize that no one knows your abilities unless you allow your gifts to be seen. Begin volunteering for tasks with which you feel comfortable. Often these will be areas of your strength. Stop talking and start doing (Matt. 21:28-31). When you notice something that needs to be done, and you have the ability and permission, do it. Invest in other people. Do not seek praise for your actions. Serve without an agenda. Be a team player. Make someone else successful and increase your value to the team. Learn the value of sacrifice. Invest in something beyond your own goals. Always be learning and always be growing spiritually.
What is in it for you? When you invest in heavenly goals, you will reap heavenly benefits (Matthew 6:19-21).
For more information about Silent Word Ministries, email JBarr@SilentWord.org or call 706-657-8000.