The Equipper Newsletter
October 1, 2011
Churches Equipping Saints for Service

 Acts of the Non-Apostles
For action-packed drama, read Acts. The early church titled this New Testament book Acts of the Apostles because Luke highlights the ministries of Peter and Paul. But a great many believers other than apostles also populate this history of the early church. Their experiences and actions demonstrate the exciting action and experiences God might have in mind for us "regular" Christians, too.

Non-apostolic believers in Acts include a variety of people. The church as a whole is frequently mentioned . . . . Many non-apostolic believers are named, including women and people of low social standing, such as Jesus' mother Mary, the paralytic Aeneas, and the servant Rhoda. Others are key figures, such as James, Ananias, Stephen, Barnabas, and Mark.

What can this disparate group of characters teach us? (Continue)

Click to rest of article, including:
1. The Holy Spirit creates and leads the church
2. God wants all people to be saved.
3. Non-apostles played both key roles and support roles.
4. Apostles and non-apostles were together.
Six-session "Acts of the Non-Apostles" Bible study by Nancy Kuhlman available for free download.
In-depth paper, from which this article was drawn, available here.
 National Trends and Implications
How did volunteerism in your church last year compare to overall volunteerism in America in 2010? How can you improve volunteerism in 2012? In "Volunteering in America 2011," writers from the JJ Fixler Group look at key findings from 2010 volunteering statistics and insightful questions to help us apply these findings to our organizations.  Excerpts:
  • Americans are committed to serving and, if cultivated and engaged meaningfully, will contribute even more to a cause that is meaningful to them. Are you offering opportunities that match people's interests and availability?
  • Gen X members (born 1965-1981) have dramatically increased their volunteering rates. What are you doing to reach skilled volunteers in their 30's and 40's?
  • Retention rates have decreased -- or is it a shift from ongoing to episodic volunteering? How can you shift from a volunteer program to an engagement culture?

 Good Stuff on the Web
  •  The Power of Amazing Service -- A friend commented on this story on his LinkedIn account. It's a long story, but a good read. If a steak house can go to these lengths to serve, how much more can and should we in the church be going 'above and beyond' to serve people, considering the Servant for whom we are named. Exceptional service gets noticed.
  • Speaking of LinkedIn, LinkedIn members can now add "Volunteer Experience and Causes" to their profile. This blog notes how volunteering can advance a career. Encourage your church members who use LinkedIn to add volunteer experience to their profile. It's an opportunity for them to share their commitment to your church and its mission, and you'll see other causes and organizations they're supporting. 

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The Equipper Newsletter published monthly by
Karen Kogler, Equipper Church Volunteerism Resources