Everyday Equipping: What's Your Score?
You impact volunteerism in your church more than you think. We all do. Even those of us not in a position of authority, with no leadership gifts or inclinations; we influence others. Of course, leaders play a major role in recruiting and retaining church volunteers. But the health of volunteering in your church, for better or worse, is also shaped by ordinary, everyday actions of ordinary, everyday people. (And if you are a leader, your everyday actions either build or diminish your influence.)
The good news: it's easier than you think to be an equipper, someone who invests in people to help them use their gifts in service to their Lord. Maybe you're a better influence than you realize.
Let's see how you're doing as an equipper.
Although chocolate and equipping are two of my favorite things, I've never found a connection between the two before now. But this video is both sweet and unsettling. Scroll down the linked page to the video of cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast getting their first taste of chocolate. Then consider these questions for reflection, preferably with others at your church.
How often do you see the fruit of your labor at work? at church?
Name one thing you can do to help others see the fruit of their volunteerism labor at church.
Describe some of the differences between the world of these farmers and the world of the average middle-class North American church member. Describe some similarities.
Are there communities in or near your local community where the residents experience a different world than that of the people who worship in your church?
What are we as a church doing to bridge the gap between those who are rich in material things and those who are not? What could we, should we be doing?
Recommended reading as you think about equipping alongside vocation and serving in the community:
Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work by Tim Keller
The Externally-Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor . . . or Youself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
The Chicago are Equip4Impact network meets on Thursday, Sept. 11, 10am to noon at Trinity Lutheran in Roselle. Contact Sue Piske, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more info.
Is there a volunteerism network in your area? Email email@example.com and I'll include the info in upcoming newsletters.
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