One of the most challenging and yet freeing steps in Christian discipleship is when you are able to make church about something other than yourself. It’s a pivotal step, but not everyone gets there. Church leaders struggle to get people to think about what they can give rather than what they can get when it comes to church. We have honestly trained ourselves for years to approach church the opposite way.
When authentic service does happen, it is beautiful to behold. It is so rewarding when people begin to use their gifts to serve one another (1 Pet. 4:10) and do good things for the household of faith (Gal. 6:10). I long for the day when our churches are full of people who realize that God has crafted them for specific good works and watch them walk in them (Eph. 2:10).
If you’ve ever spent any amount of time within a church, you probably have been encouraged into serving in some capacity. You might have even had your arm twisted to do so. While you may have a desire to help, you probably know the frustration of serving in an area for which you have no passion.
Have you ever been guilted into serving in a ministry position for which you were not passionate? I’m not talking about laziness. I’m talking about misalignment.
Maybe it’s a job that you know someone in the church should do, but you just don’t feel like you are gifted for it personally.
It’s better to have a person fulfill a call rather than fill a position.
Unfortunately, so many churches can’t even think about getting the right people in the right positions because they are so desperate just to get the needs met. We don’t need the best person; we just need a person.
While I understand the pressure to get all positions filled, it is more important to raise up leaders who are passionate about their positions rather than sheer submission to a generic need.
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.Ephesians 4:11-14
He gave some to be apostles, but He didn’t expect all of them to fill that role. Why? Because God wired some to be prophets. He equipped others to be evangelists. He put a shepherd-like heart in some. He inspired others to serve as teachers.
Sure, I could function in any of those roles, but I can flourish in one of them. You are the same way.
While you can function in numerous ministry positions, you will flourish in certain ministry passions.
Within the many volunteer needs a church has, it is easy to fill a generic position, but it is better to fulfill a specific passion. Our churches need people serving in areas for which God has equipped them.
While I know your current needs feel urgent, and you want to make sure all your volunteer needs are covered. But the more important need is to develop people and deploy them into ministry contexts for which they are called, equipped, and impassioned.
Don’t just seek to fill positions in your church; work to fulfill God-given passions.