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by Mike Williams

We have all heard the call for volunteers. It happens almost continuously from one source or another and Americans, in general, answer that call by opening their hearts and pocketbooks in astonishing ways. From political to civic, to service clubs, to emergency relief, hospitals -- you name it -- folks generously help with dedicated time, sacrifice and funds. Nobody forces us, it's done voluntarily. Volunteerism is looked on as something to be admired. We think of an all volunteer military as an asset. People enter into the military life because they want to serve and we admire them for that attitude. We all know individuals who spend many long, often tiring hours working in service or civic organizations with no fiscal recompense and we admire them for their dedication. That's just the way we are!

Most of the attitudes expressed above arise from the basic foundation of what it means to be a Christian. Christianity is a way of life, but it too is all voluntary. No one forces us! We become a part of the Christian Family because we want to. But just belonging or hanging around the periphery of the family is not really a good option. Just as being a volunteer in a civic organization takes activity, being a Christian takes activity in the family. Christian is an action word! We are always looking for ways to serve one another and in turn bring glory and honor to God. It's not really the responsibility of any other person to find a job for me, it's my responsibility and I placed the burden squarely on my own shoulders when I submitted myself to my Lord and became one of HIS! Paul indicated that we are in the family for a reason and that each of us has a unique part to play (Rom 12:4-8). That is all good and many will agree, but until we each address the need for action in our own lives and make application individually, it's just so many words.

How can I get involved? What is there that I can do to be a part in serving the family that God may be glorified? There are some really obvious ways we can serve and by doing so individually we have a tremendous collective impact. 1. Give -- the budget for this church family was designed to help us carry out programs for the body. We all benefit from those programs, thus, we need to support them! 2. Be conscientious about your attendance -- it brings encouragement and blessings to those who see us and to us for being there. 3. Be an encourager, develop deep friendships with family members -- I need to put myself out to help someone who may not be in a position to return the favor. God sees and He will bless. 4. Look for ways to be a servant. -- Recently the ministry leaders developed a list of more than 20 activities which often go undone because no one is 'assigned' to do them and because they are inconsequential, thankless tasks. Pick one of them and then quietly go about making sure that it disappears as a recurring 'need'. God will see and He will bless! When we all become action volunteers, God will smile and say, "That's just the way they are!"

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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