Thank you to Matt Perman who God used through his blog to plant this blog post in my head.
We need more volunteers for the disability ministry at Bethlehem. This is not a new problem – we always need more volunteers!
But we want to recruit volunteers in ways that feed their joy in Jesus above all things.
After all, we did not earn our right standing before God through good works or fulfilling the requirements of the law. We did nothing to gain favor with God. In fact, we were running away from God as fast as we could!
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. Titus 3:3
That describes me pretty well.
Thankfully, that isn’t the end of the story!
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7
Isn’t that about the greatest sentence ever written?
And because that sentence is true, Paul is free to exhort people to do good works, for God’s glory and their joy, in response to what God has freely done for them:
The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. Titus 3:8
Not burdensome – excellent and profitable!
That leads to two very good things for those of us who see the need in the disability ministry:
- We can recruit freely, knowing that volunteering in the disability ministry could be the ‘good works’ God would have for some of his people.
- Those of us doing the recruiting, rather than being jealous or bitter when seeing people being called to do something other than the disability ministry, can be freely happy that people are doing those good works in other areas of the church and life!
And for those who are called into other kinds of good works, they can freely do those works, without any guilt at not being able to do every good work possible, including the disability ministry. Because we know that God will supply every need, according to what is absolutely best for us.
Once again, God gets the glory and we get the joy!
So, please, pray like crazy that God would call more people to volunteer in this hard and happy work of the disability ministry at Bethlehem, and everywhere else there is a need, never out of guilt, but because they want to honor God and love people.
P.S. Yes, we have all experienced that sweet irony of doing something out of less-than-purely-loving motives and discovered we enjoyed the experience and were filled up by it. And I know that some people may have volunteered for the disability ministry out of guilt and then fell in love with the work God provided for them. God does things like that all the time, turning hard hearts and bad motives into soft, loving hearts full of joy. But I never want the recruitment message to be one that intentionally uses guilt as motivation!