Thursday, June 28, 2007

Casualties of Volunteering

I thought about my rendition of Syntyche and Euodia, about them being caught in an explosion of competing self-promotion campaigns. It hit me that there was another scenario that we more likely to get caught in within the walls of our churches. I call this scenario "Casualty of Volunteering."
Syntyche and Euodia belong to a church with 2000 members. Their youth ministry/children's church has an attendance of 250 children each Sunday in grades K-8. They have a children's church staff of only 8 dedicated churchmembers---and one of them is not really member, just a regular attender. Syntyche and Eudio are both trying to do their best to have a wonderful, dynamic and growing ministry---against impossible odds. The stress causes them to bicker. The stress causes otherwise great ideas to be frought with misunderstandings. The stress causes them to mistaken their differences of opinion for a dislike of one another.
This is one of the biggest issues plaguing American churches and our Christian community today--because this breeds Apathy and Distrust in the church. In the age of the mega-church, self-serving intentions of volunteers (glory seeking, and otherwise) as well as the understaffed volunteer hurts the family called the church. A nation, a community, a ministry, a family, a home--none divided will ever thrive--it will fall.

I'm going to end with Paul's admonition for us all...
2I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow,[a] help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

And, then, I am going to ask...What have you done in your church/ministry to save off the Casualty of Volunteering syndrome?

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