A church doesn’t thrive without volunteers. You see the proof all the time. Look around Messiah on a Sunday morning and start counting the number of tasks getting done by volunteers. Ushers, greeters, breakfast bar helpers, Sunday School teachers, praise team singers, …..and the list goes on. And that’s just the volunteers you can see!

What about that family that set up all the chairs on Saturday morning? Or those women who came in and worked feverishly to get the fingerprints off the front of the altar? Or prepared communion for 850 people? All volunteers! And all a part of making worship on Sunday morning the experience we’ve come to love.

Serving in this way achieves a goal; it gets something done! But there is more to it. Those same people who are busy doing tasks are often times building relationships with others while they serve. What an awesome benefit! Time and time again I hear of people working together and forging friendships while they work.

We see it frequently with mission teams, as well. God brings a group of people together who all have a passion to serve Him on the mission field, but who may come from many different places in life. Through the hours of meetings, travel, and working together in a new place, bonds are formed that can last a lifetime.

I often look at the members of a team and think God must enjoy bringing such an eclectic group together! Sometimes I wonder if that mixture of personalities will mesh: are there too many different age groups? Not enough men? Too many extroverts? Not enough leaders? And always He proves my worry a waste of time.

Team members come together with a common goal of serving and by day 2, they are a united force to be reckoned with! Sharing stories, lifting each other up, encouraging each other when they’ve had a tough day – glorifying Him through their acts of serving others.

Mission team members often tell me that the friendships they make during a trip are their biggest surprise. There are people serving all over Messiah who have become friends through their volunteerism. An unexpected gift from God, these relationships are to be treasured. I thank God for granting us this unplanned gift as we obey His command to serve others!

Find a way to serve! God is ready to use someone just like you to bless someone through your service – and you just may make some new friends along the way.

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.


Julie-Stroder-webJulie Stroder is Messiah’s Missions Coordinator and also the Missions Coordinator at Hearts & Hope for Uganda. She writes about missional living on Messiah’s blog.

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