I am a Volunteer fan–in both the literal and figurative realms. Spending several years living in East Tennessee, we quickly embraced both UT football and basketball. But, as much as we love those Vols, they are not what I’m thankful for today. (But now I can’t get “Rocky Top” out of my head.)
Today, thankfulness for those who volunteer, specifically those who volunteer in children’s ministry, and even more specifically those who volunteer in the children’s ministry at the church where I serve is fillin’ my KidMin leader heart.
For most of my adult life, I was a KidMin volunteer. Paid ministry has only been a part of my life for the past 8 or 9 years. Since I’m just beginning to get to full time status, more than 1/2 the time I have put in, even as paid staff, has been as a volunteer.
Here’s the thing about children’s ministry volunteers.
They don’t serve for the money.
They don’t serve for the prestige.
They don’t serve because they have nothing else to do.
But. . . .
They do serve because they love Jesus and they love kids.
They do serve because they see the bigger picture of spreading the gospel.
They do serve because they want to make a difference.
They do serve because they look forward to a challenge.
They serve because the love being part of a team.
They serve because they understand the rewards, both now and eternally, are great.
I love my volunteers. They are a treasure–Each one of them. From the person who comes and helps once or twice a year at special events to the person who is at church every week as a small group leader to the one who has committed to making a difference in our baby nursery or preschool departments.
I appreciate my volunteers. I know they are busy. I know they are balancing work, kids, families, illnesses, trials and challenges every day. Yet they look to the power of God to give them continued strength to continue on–with joy!
I need my volunteers. They make everything we do better. As God is the heart of what we do, volunteers are the backbone. Each one reaches, loves and connects with kids I could never have the time to reach. It has been said that every kid needs 5 people pouring into their lives at any given time. No children’s minister in the world can morph themselves into 5 people. Volunteers are needed to be that “other voice” saying what God, parents and a children’s minister is saying in a kid’s life.
So today, I am especially thankful for my volunteers. You are blessing. You are making a difference. What you do matters. It’s important. You are important, and I thank God every time I think of you.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6
Where ever you may be today, maybe you are being called to step up, step in and step forward to begin making a difference as a volunteer. Maybe it’s in children’s ministry, maybe it’s somewhere else. No matter where God calls you to serve, I’m confident that there is someone this Thursday who is waiting to be thankful for you!