What motivates people? Hundreds of millions of Americans will get up tomorrow morning and go to work to make some money. Others will head off to school to gain knowledge and job skills for a higher standard of living. But what motivates volunteers? Some lend a hand to others for self-satisfying reasons. Yet, the follower of Christ has a different motivation. Christians volunteer because they long to see lives changed.
Our church recently conducted the annual Vacation Bible School outreach. It takes over 100 workers to make this event happen. As the coordinator of the outreach, I was bombarded daily by volunteers asking “How many kids have trusted Christ for salvation?” or “How many kids come from families with no church home?” I was never annoyed by these questions. The volunteers simply wanted to know: “Am I making a difference here?”
It is the Lord God who changes lives. When He works in the heart of a person who is broken over sin and ready to submit to Christ, the result is a miracle. In His Grace, God chooses to use His people as an instrumental part of this transformation. Every believer has a call to serve in a life-changing ministry. Every leader is called to equip believers for this ministry. Helping people evaluate their ministry service is a part of Christ-honoring leadership.
Helping believers see the life-changing results of ministry is an essential role of a church leader. This requires creativity, effort, and intentionality. Leaders are always looking to “catch someone doing something well.” Yet, the acknowledgement should be more than merely appreciation, but recognition of something greater.
Churches must choose to become more celebratory. In sports, the home team’s fans rejoice at every positive play on the field, not just the win at the end of a game. Likewise, church leaders should give praise to God for every win, “large” and “small.” Volunteers need to hear leaders voice this praise to God. Volunteers also need to know that their obedience to the call of God made a difference. They need to see that obedience to God equals results that are beyond what any person can do without Him.
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