In The Volunteer Revolution, Bill Hybels expresses the importance of getting all people to see themselves as ministers, whether car mechanics or hairstylists, small group leaders or seat repairers. It is the job of the pastoral staff to ask & equip lay people to be pastors to one another – to love & care for one another & to use their gifts for the glory & service of God.
The challenge starts from the beginning, “What would it feel like to lay your head on your pillow at night & say ‘You know what I did today? I teamed with God to change the world’?” We may or may not be fulfilled in the marketplace, but by using our gifts & abilities for the church can single-handedly bring hope to a dying world.
“Spectating never compares with the thrills & chills of being in the middle of the action.” Mr. Hybels confronts the churches notion that pastors do the work that the laity pay them to do. Church members need to stop standing on the sidelines & get in the game. We have a consumer mentality where we come in, get fed, say hi to someone & leave. We all need to get in the game. It turns out to be more rewarding, will enhance the ministry of the church & is our mandate from the Savior.
The first two chapters are geared toward paid staff. They deal with casting the vision for volunteerism, equipping laity & the rewards of volunteering within a local body.
Chapters three & four shift focus to speak to actual lay volunteers. Real life begins when we are serving, so “grab a towel”. We get more than we give in giving of ourselves to others & to the church, & our hearts will change in the process.
If two chapters were better designed for first-time volunteers, I do not know of any than chapters five & six. Every beginner volunteer, every volunteer for that matter, should have a copy of these chapters in their possession. They speak brilliantly to the priesthood of all believers & experimenting to find the best place for you to serve.
Mr. Hybels shares stories of Willow Creek volunteers in their church in chapters seven & eight - emails & letters written to Mr. Hybels detailing the amazement that they had when they could use their skills to minister in the church. People groups which people are also drawn to make for a good ministry to be involved in. There is a great story of a couple who stretches well beyond their comfort zone to help build racial bridges within the church.
The concluding chapters speak again to paid staff encouraging them to challenge their members – to ask, to cast vision, & to debrief, debrief, debrief.
The Volunteer Revolution is a good resource for ministers & a helpful encouragement for laity. I would recommend it for both pastor’s libraries & church libraries.
“Every revolution demands revolutionaries, high-spirited people who dream of a day when things will be different, better. But revolutionaries do more than dream. They give their best to the cause.” Challenge yourself & your people to fulfill their mission in life for the church. We can revolutionize the world for God one volunteer at a time.
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