“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25. NLT
Week after week, I see committed volunteers prepare for and run our worship services. A number of them are professionals with a lot of work to do on weekdays. Some are students with exams, school projects, and assignments to complete. There are mothers and fathers who go out of their way to contribute. Even kids are eager to help! These volunteers don’t just do tasks assigned to them. They offer nothing less than excellence, springing from a heart to serve. They volunteer not because they have plenty of spare time. They extend help because they love God and everyone God loves. Elizabeth Andrew is quite right, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
God always looks at the heart. It is not about how much we can accomplish for Him, but the size of our hearts as we work for Him. We all have been given gifts or talents – things we do well or excel at. These are meant to be used to benefit others. Without love and the heart to serve, we’re only completing tasks. We’re not serving at all.
I volunteer for KIDS Ministry at least once a month. It’s something I look forward to, a highlight of my month! I terribly miss the kids when I don’t get to teach - their honest and witty comments, their determination to get a prize, their super funny “knock knock” jokes, the sweet smiles, the way they remember my name, their colorful outfits, out-of-this-world ideas, and a lot more! Yes, it can be very physically tiring at times. Children know very well how to be a “cute challenge” to your patience. But it’s amazing how every Sunday I teach, I go home refreshed, inspired, and ready for work as Monday comes. And the KIDS Church lessons always become God's special messages and encouragement to me. My involvement in this ministry keeps bringing me back to the basic and most essential - "Love God. Love Others." - this is what we hope to impart to the children.
The more you give of yourself, the more you get enriched. That's the paradox and beauty of serving.
So, do you want to please God and make a difference in people’s lives while being refreshed and blessed at the same time?
Serve. Serve with all your heart. Serve in love! :)
(originally written February 27, 2011)