Serve This

On Sundays I’m sharing something from our morning at Forefront…

So today was our annual “Serve or We’ll Jack You Up” Sunday (no – we don’t really call it that). Every church needs people to volunteer and serve, but there are some special challenges when you are a church that reaches people who are far from God.

Why? Because they are far from God for a reason. Most have negative stereotypes and deep suspicions when it comes to church. So when we ask them to serve their eyebrows raise. “Is that why you really want me here? To use me for your purposes?” “I’m already busy enough, and now you want me to volunteer for you?” “So if I do sign up, am I going to be stuck doing this forever?”

So what do we do about that? A couple thoughts:

(1) We try to make it very clear why we serve. We don’t just go with, “Everyone needs to serve,” or “How else can our church continue on without your help?” because that’s not going to fly. Instead we talk about how we serve as an act of love for God. (Now that won’t fly with a lot of people either, but at least it’s true – and it sounds a whole lot more pure than those other options.) And we talk a lot about changing the world. (This does fly with most people. Everyone can see what a mess the world is, and being a part of doing something about it is attractive. It gives life purpose.)

(2) We do the whole “First Serve” thing. If you’re not familiar, this is a deal where instead of having people sign up to serve long-term, they sign up to serve one time, as kind of a “test drive.” If that volunteer position is a good fit, they can sign up to serve for a year. If not, they can do a first serve in a different ministry.

(3) We make it fun to sign-up. We throw a huge party with crazy themes, food, music, prizes… All of the ministries are represented and you can check them out, learn about volunteering possibilities, and sign up to serve.

Of course if all that doesn’t work, just threaten to jack them up.

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