I am blessed to be a part of an awesome church that treats everyone not as a member, but instead as part of a one big spiritual family.
The past year was difficult for me and my family. Thanks to old friends of ours, we were introduced in this spiritual family. It was the kind of environment that welcomes you with pure joy instead of raising eyebrows and whispering, “Who are these new people?”
It was only my second month of attending this church when I woke up one morning and told myself, “I want to give back.”
I looked for the perfect ministry for me — the one that I am fond of doing, or if not, the one that I will surely love to learn to do. Since I am not good in singing or playing a certain instrument, I have to disregard the music team on my choices. I was about to volunteer for the kid’s church, but I know deep down that since I was raised as an only child, I personally don’t know how to handle and teach kids even though I love playing with them. Eventually, I decided to become a part of the administrative team.
The admins are the ones who are in-charges of the order and the flow of the programs like Sunday and youth services and other big events. They coordinate with the other ministries (and sometimes even supervise them) since they have to make sure that everything goes well.
It was fun and difficult at the same time. Fun, because I get the privilege of wearing one of those comm-sets (a pager or radio with a one-piece headset) and actually, it makes one look like a director of a TV show. =)) It was also fun because I get to meet new people and immediately become friends with them. Hard, on the other hand, because there will be times that there will be glitches, like a singer’s microphone not working, so you have to attend to it without anybody noticing that there is a big problem going on.
On healthy volunteerism
After a few months of being a volunteer (and enjoying every minute of it), here are the few things that I have realized.
- It is a privilege. One of my mentors explained to me that the one specific morning when I suddenly woke up thinking that it’s time to give back, I have already felt that God’s love for me is overflowing so much that I felt the urge to share it — that is, by using His gift to me, which are my capabilities and skills. She told me that I should always see volunteering as a privilege more than a responsibility.
- All of these are not all about you, or because of you. Same thing was said by our youth service preacher to commend and encourage our volunteers. We should always keep in mind that the services will always go on even without us. We must never think that we are the reasons why the numbers of attendees continue to rise every week, and it’s never about how good the music team is, or how pretty and vibrant the lights are. It all boils down to the One who made (and makes) everything possible, which is Christ.
- Learn your priorities. Since you are volunteering, meaning you are not paid for what you are doing, you can always say no if your ministry will have a schedule conflict with other important things, such as family affairs and school or work-related activities. Above all else, never ever let your relationship with God be strained because you are so busy with your ministry. Communication with him is different from serving His people, though both of them glorify Him.
- Receive and learn. As you enjoy doing your job, there will always be errors, criticisms and failures. (Believe me, this is my struggle every single time!) It is always okay to have these things, as long as you learn from them. Excellence is always our goal. Remember, you are ushering the people into worship.
- Download. And as you learn, don’t let it stop with you. Share all of the things you’ve learned. Duplicate yourself so that there will be others who can always take over your role once you leave it. You won’t be in the same position forever. Perhaps you will be called by another ministry, or there will be a time when you will not be volunteering anymore because of your work, so whatever you have learned from your mentors, teach them to the young ones. The goal is they have to be better than you, and those that they will be training in the future will have to be a whole lot better than them. Excellence.
Volunteering for a ministry is never an easy task. But despite the demanding job, I love making time for my team. There are things that I learned in this ministry that I never got the chance to discover and develop in school. Besides, I love witnessing what’s happening behind the scenes. After a stressful week in the university, it’s nice to know that I am going to do a job that I love and God has called me to do, with good mentors and warm friends beside me.