Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Joy of a Volunteer


“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.” ~ Phil. 2:5-9

Dear Friends,

Volunteering has fallen on hard times.  Jesus volunteered, no one made Him jump over heaven’s walls.  No one bribed Him to leave His comfort zone and ask for trouble.  No one hired Him.  He didn’t have to ask what the benefits of the job were: would He have healthcare, be able to have vacations, be allowed to go and see His family during the summer and at Christmas?

The Father didn’t say, “How much do I have to pay you to go down there and sort out this unbelievable mess?”  No one twisted His heavenly arm.  He came.  He volunteered.  I can do that!  We can all do it!

I have chosen to live the life of a layperson in the church.  When we came to our church in 1970, I volunteered.  As a pastor’s wife for thirty years, until my husband Stuart stepped down from his senior pastor role, I put in as many or more hours as a paid member of the church staff.  As a volunteer, I built and led a women’s ministry that affected hundreds of women and developed into a worldwide ministry.

At not a few points along the way, I was offered a paid position.  There was not a right or wrong way to respond to this.  There was only “His way” for me!  As I prayed about it, I was clearly led to do the job offered, but to do it as a volunteer.  It has been a great journey of faith for me.  And one thing has happened as a result.  I found it has inspired and challenged thousands of men and women to do the same!  To volunteer.  All of us can volunteer to serve Jesus full-time!

There are obviously times to accept a “professional” post in ministry if the opportunity is presented.  But there are more often times when it does not harm to ask God if He wants you to be a volunteer with no comeback at the end of the day, but the joy knowing that you have done His will!

When I would ask Him about the opportunities that would come my way, He told me, “Do it this time as a member of the Body of Christ for Me, without remuneration.”  These were my instructions.  No one else’s, just mine.  I obeyed.  No one bribed me, no one twisted my arm; I doubt anyone knew about it.  I volunteered.  And God provided all that I have needed and more.

You can do that too.  Let God give you your assignment for Him whether it is a remunerated position or not.  Whether there is anything in it for you or not.  Let God give you your unique task.  It has been such an adventure for me, I would not have missed it for the world!

This mode of ministry means you depend on Him for direction, protection, and affection!  You are accountable to Him for the precious hours in the days He lends you, and you have to spend a lot of time with Jesus alone to get your marching orders straight on a daily basis.  No one is going to give you a “to-do” list.  You get that from your heavenly Father every morning of your life in “the deep place where nobody goes,” as you sit on the steps of your soul and talk to Him firsthand.  That’s what Jesus did when He was a volunteer.  Can you imagine anything more thrilling and fulfilling?  What a joy and privilege.  So my dear volunteers for Jesus, let us press on following the example of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.       

Serving God together,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine 


3 comments:

  1. Again, thank you for your continuing encouragement, Jill.

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  2. As we prepare for our mission trip, this is so wonderful to read, thank you Jill!

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  3. That was such a good reminder ...thank you!!!
    Oh the reference for the passage is Phil 2:5-9? It says Phil 1:5-9...

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