In my many years of ministry I have encountered very good intended individuals looking for ways to serve the Lord. Unfortunately good intentions are not enough and they have found themselves frustrated, discouraged, burned-out with a spirit of apathy that says I had enough, this is not for me anymore. So many just walked away in the middle of it all to go venture somewhere else seeking for that place and that special ministry that God has for them only to end up in the same frustration and apathy again and again.
I pray for them that they could STOP! going down that road, examine their lives in the light of God's WORD and ask! Which is the good way? And walk in it so that they could find rest for their souls. Jeremiah 6:16
If you are reading this and have asked yourself: What have I been doing wrong? Then stay with me and let explore this issue together in God's word. I believe that the Lord has given us the tools to volunteer for ministry and accomplish every task with the highest sense of satisfaction; The Joy Of The Lord! Matthew 25:23
Jesus' said: The things of the flesh belongs to the flesh, and the things of the Spirit belong to the Spirit. You cannot conform the things of the flesh to the Spirit or the things of the Spirit to the flesh. This principle must be observed always when we choose to volunteer for ministry. John 3:6
There are many Christian initiated motivations that fail to operate in the realm of the Spirit and focuses instead in the mainstream school of thought that is rooted in the flesh and is self-indulgent, self-seeking and self-centered. Such individuals are always asking "What about me" "what is in it for me" they would say "I paid my dues", instead of praying to the Father and saying "Let thine will be done" they will instead say with their actions "Let my will be done"
Deep inside, their true motives are based on the following wrong reasons:
None of these are biblically acceptable. When any of the above is what motivate a person, then s/he is trying to conform the things of the flesh to the Spirit. They may be serving for personal gain or to feel good about themselves. They may be serving to avoid someone's displeasure or feeling bad about themselves. They may be serving for appearance's sake. This person will tend to quit or get discouraged easier if they discover nothing is in it for them or what they are doing doesn't make them feel good. ---Is this the kind of person you really want to be? Usually these persons would abandon what they are doing focused on "The Big Ministry That God Has For Me", FAME, the expectation of continuous undying gratitude from those that they are serving, which revolves around self- glorification and they quit when they don't get it and when they can no longer manipulate others. What does the bible say?
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Phil. 2:3-4)"
Good reasons to volunteer for ministry.
Appreciation to God
Give glory to God
The above reasons have some biblical basis but when conformed to the flesh they could proof to be fruitless and frustrating. If the person is not careful in their intent to do all of the above they may be confronted with feelings of guilt if they think that somehow they have failed GOD. Instead of being free they may feel condemned if they fail to meet the standards above mentioned.
If potential ministry volunteers obsess on any of these reasons, then their service may likely be performance-based. In an attempt to do what is right and what is good, they may end up serving in their own strength. The focus can become on what "they" are doing to show appreciation or to give glory to God rather than what "He" (God) is doing through them. ---Is this really how you want to serve?
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(1 Cor. 13:1-3)
The Best Reason:
Love for God and love for people
If you as a volunteer believe this is the ultimate reason for people to serve, then you will be more concerned with other people's hearts. You will give people time, and approach them on the relational level because you are modeling love yourself. You will avoid coercive, manipulative, and guilt-producing tactics. ---Isn't this a God-honoring way to minister? Isn't this following after God's heart?
If the potential Christian Worker wants to serve because of love, then God will have people who will be more likely to persevere even in difficult situations. God will have people who are focusing on how their ministry helps others and not how it affects them personally. Consequently God then will have people who are patient, people who are kind, people who do not envy, who do not boast, who are not proud, people who are not rude, who are not self-seeking, who are not easily angered, who keep no record of wrongs, people who do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. God will have people who always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere. Love never fails. (This is a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.) ---Isn't this the kind of person you really want to be? Isn't this how you want to serve?
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
The Lord needs Christian Workers that will become part of an army of God disciplined in the LOVE of Christ, committed to God's Great Commission, obedient to the Lord and His Church ready to be used by His Grace, Love and Mercy to bring many to salvation through the knowledge of the truth that will set them free.
Are you that person? He is calling you! Answer!
REV. EDWIN MALAVE
PASTOR OF NEW CHURCH INTERNATIONAL
2002 NEPTUNE AVE,
BROOKLYN NEW YORK 11224