“Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant.” Mark 10:43b (NCV)
As I am contemplating what to write for an article, my mind keeps returning to the word “volunteers.” Volunteers impact almost every level of service in our community. They are the ones who are there to greet you at the hospital, who dedicate their time to serve on community boards, who give up hours each week to tutor children at local schools, who pick weeds and plant seeds at the Agape House, who serve meals at the Alpha Center, who teach classes at Elizabeth New Life Center, who are role models for kids in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, who coach children in sports at the YMCA, who volunteer their time for Red Cross, the United Way and other organizations. There is so much more that volunteers do that I cannot begin to name every area that is impacted, but I so appreciate everyone who chooses to serve others in some capacity.
The world tends to define a person’s greatness by their position in society, their power and prestige, and the amount of possessions they have accumulated. Yet, Jesus takes a different approach. “That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” Matthew 20:28 (MSG) Greatness is defined by being a servant and having a servant’s heart. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
So this week, I want to honor all of the great servant-hearted volunteers we have in the community. Some volunteers use their experience, education, and skills to meet community needs. 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Some volunteers have compassion on the poor and seek to serve in this capacity. Isaiah 58:10 declares, “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in the darkness and your gloom will be as the noonday.” Others are just there when we need them. They are the ones to pick up the trash on the sidewalk, to stack chairs, to just do what needs to be done. Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive an inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
May God bless each of you as you serve others in your family, your neighborhood, your church, and your community. We appreciate all you do!
The writer is the pastor at Connection Point Church of God, Sidney.