At my church we have a beach volleyball pit. As you can imagine this requires a fair amount of maintainence to keep grass and weeds from growing in it. This morning I noticed that there was very little stuff growing in it. Last time I looked at it I was talking with a man in my church about just that. He was expressing his frustration that nobody seemed willing to help. He was mad that no one else could see the problem and would show up to do something about it. As ministry leaders we often feel the same way.
- “Don’t people know how important children’s ministry is?”
- “Don’t people care about youth ministry?”
- “Why wont anyone volunteer”
- “Why can’t I get any help”
As I looked at the volleyball pit this morning I thought, “I wonder if he ever asked anyone to help him with this.” It seemed that he was taking the same approach my wife often takes in regards to dirty dishes or laundry, “You should just know.” Well, my wife is probably right (don’t tell her I said that). I SHOULD see the dirty dishes and know that something needs to be done about it. I should see the overflowing laundry hamper and know that SOMEBODY has to wash them and it can be me. BUT, the truth is that my mind is usually on a million other things and the thought of doing the dishes really doesn’t even cross my mind.
I think the same is true with many people in the church. They probably SHOULD be able to see the needs of the children’s or youth ministry and they probably SHOULD offer their services to help. BUT, just like you and me they have a million other things on their mind and they really don’t see the needs. It has been my experience that many people in the church are willing and even have a desire to help, but just need to be asked.
So, where does this leave us?
Ministry leaders: Ask them. Many are willing to help, but the old pulpit cattle call just isn’t that effective in getting most people to serve. Help them to see the needs. Show them your vision for addressing the needs. Then invite them to be a part of this exciting vision.
Church members: Ok, church people, I’m giving you a little break here. I am excusing you for not stepping up prior to now. But, now is the time. Look around you. Pray that God will help you see the needs that exist within the church. Talk with the leadership of different ministries. Talk with your pastor. Trust me, there are needs and the leaders do want and need you to help. But, be careful. As you look around for the needs that exist around you, remember that you are looking for YOUR part in addressing these needs. As you pray for God to help you see the needs around you know that when He does show them to you it will be for YOU to address them. Don’t take the needs that you see to the ministry leaders or your pastor and walk away expecting them to address these needs. After all God showed them to YOU.