Are You a Volunteer, or Do You Have a Calling?

While going through some old papers over the holidays, I came across some notes I presented to the Choir at my first full-time church, Memorial Baptist in Grapevine, Texas. They are now called The Church at the Cross. It was my first full-time assignment as a Minister, and I was the first full-time Minister of Music the church ever had. I know it’s a cliche, but it truly was a “match made in heaven.” It was a rich five years for me and Jennifer, and “Baby Mitchell,” as well as the young and energetic congregation . . . they would try anything, which is a good thing if I’m the one leading!

In the Old Testament, God led David to  “appoint” the Levites as the worship leaders in the temple and for His people. They were given a “calling” from God to serve. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul goes into great detail regarding the gifts of Spirit, given to believers to serve and support the entire Body of Christ, each with his or her own particular part (body-part, in Paul’s metaphor) to play.

I believe that God gifts people in the church with musical abilities and a heart for worship and then, “calls them out,” to serve, just in the same way as he calls pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets (Ephesians 4:11-12). I hope that as choir and orchestra members, you have a strong sense of “calling” to the worship ministry in our church, and that it’s more than an “activity” or “personal interest”. 

At any rate, these are the notes I found from twenty years or so ago that I wanted to share:

1. Volunteers give up what they believe belongs to them (time, finances, etc.) to serve the organization. Called Worship Leaders are giving back what they know belongs to God – He gave them their talent and love for musical worship in the first place.

2. Volunteers look at their schedule to see if their service fits their personal agenda. Called Worship Leaders adjust their schedule and personal agenda to fulfill their calling. 

3. Volunteers seek to help and serve the cause of the organization, or sometimes, the leader of the organization.  Called Worship Leaders are ultimately serving one person – the Lord Jesus Christ. 

4. Volunteers “move on” to other activities when organizational change occurs, or difficulties arise. Called Worship Leaders remain faithful to their calling, no matter what. 

5. Volunteers receive the satisfaction of knowing that they “did their part” to help the organization. Called Worship Leaders receive the deep spiritual blessing that only comes from being obedient to the call of God on their life. 

Here’s the bottom line:

The church doesn’t need more volunteers. She needs more called-out servants of Christ.