There are many ways to be a part of your church and many opportunities to volunteer whether as a Sunday school teacher, high school youth leader, front door greeter, or offering collector just to name a few. These are all great ways to volunteer your time and give back to your church. Specifically, one of my favorite volunteer opportunities was when I was in elementary school and my parents signed our family up to clean the church over the weekend.
Our church growing up had the old school pews in them. (Now, I’m not sure I should admit this next activity, but in my defense I was 9 years old and it got me excited about cleaning the church.) When my family arrived to clean the church, the first task that my brothers and I would do was divide up the pews by staking claim to the prime real estate sections. We had become skilled at our task of “cleaning out the pews” and knew the proper tools to use. The choice tool was a butter knife which we procured from the church’s kitchen. Finally, what we were all waiting in anticipation for was to take that butter knife and run it through the crack of the pews and pull up all the change that had fallen out of people’s pockets and got wedged in the pews. You would be surprised at how many coins would surface during our “cleaning.” As you can imagine we loved cleaning the church on the weekends. I just don’t think that they had our idea of “cleaning” in mind.
Looking back it reminds me of a funny, but fond memory of cleaning the church as well as also be appreciative of an early lesson which taught me to be involved and volunteer at the church with whatever the church needed. Even today I live out this early life lesson by volunteering at my church as a high school youth leader and have the opportunity to minister to high school students and help them grow in their faith. Our perspective should be not if we are going to volunteer, but rather where does the church need us to volunteer.
There are many ways that we can be involved within the church to “be” the church. As Craig Groeschel stated in his book The Christian Atheist, “God is not calling us to go to church; He is calling us to be His church, the hope of the world.” The church is at its best when everyone in the church body is a contributor to being the church. Everyone has spiritual giftings, talents, and contributions that they can make to help the church body function. Groeschel brings up the issues of a consumerist church attendee that has the mindset that they are looking for a church that meets their needs instead of looking for a place to help meet others’ needs.
So whether volunteering to clean the church on the weekends, helping teach a Sunday school lesson, prayerfully supporting missionaries, building community with members of your neighborhood, or welcoming visitors to your church are all tangible ways to be the church and a part of something bigger than just fulfilling your own needs. Being the church body is about being a part of it; not being a spectator, but rather actively participating in God’s work.
How are you involved in being the church? What volunteer opportunities are available for you to minister to others in your church community? What has held you back from getting involved?
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27