By: Kevin Kindelin

After talking about the topic of volunteerism for an article with Pastor Tom the other week, I went away thinking about my own motivation to volunteer. I have to admit, like most of us, my initial thought after being asked to do something can be, “what’s in it for me?” Okay, let me do the math…will I earn enough brownie points to secure a nice little spot in people’s hearts whereby I’m regarded as a “good” Christian? Okay, let me be sure God will be pleased with me if I decide to go ahead and volunteer to be an usher. I can feel good about myself, right?

If that’s why you’re doing it then, well I’m sorry to say that you’ve got it all wrong. Don’t get me wrong. We’ll take whatever you have to offer. That’s the nature of our need, but we’d rather you give of yourself because He already gave all of Himself. Christ came to earth to establish His church by planting a seed. That’s us. We’re His seed. We’re supposed to be more than spectators. We should at least give something of ourselves. I was quite comfortable just enjoying the show, but God truly does work in mysterious ways. I’m absolutely certain he didn’t shame me into volunteering; the devil shames. I think He used my shame to get me to do something, to step outside my comfort zone.

young volunteers

Two of our young volunteers who love to serve.

There’s a lot that needs to be done at Immanuel. There are plenty of things we can use your help with. Some of the things we don’t even think about. Did you ever gaze upon the beautiful Christmas tree on the altar and wonder who put it up? Here’s a hint: The people who did donated their time and effort. If you have a driver’s license you could pick up, bring to church, and take back some folks who are homebound. Gardening outside of the building will need to be done. The signboard on the Plum Grove side of the building needs to be maintained. Those clever sayings don’t get up there on their own you know. Anyone with basic computer skills would be an enormous help around the church office. Teacher’s aides, Sunday school teachers, care visitors…the list goes on. Join a ministry; volunteer to serve on a board.

It was immensely inspiring to learn recently of the volunteer efforts that went into Immanuel Lutheran School’s recent production of “A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol” at Cutting Hall. Parents stepped up to construct the sets, provide technical assistance, manage costumes, organize ticket sales and oversee all the activities leading up to the performance as well as the events at the actual performance. Our local high school musicians gave of their time and talent to mentor the band members in preparation for the musical.

I finally figured out why it’s so important that I don’t give in to the devil tapping on my shoulder saying that it’s ok to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. It’s about giving of ourselves and being part of something greater than ourselves. We can do the math all we want. We can never earn enough brownie points to get into heaven. They’ve already been earned for us by the blood of Jesus Christ. I realized that volunteering is not about feeling good about myself; it’s about being part of the body of Christ. Paul clearly points out in Romans 12, “for as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, through many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” Let us use your gifts or talents, whatever they may be. It takes a lot to keep our church and school going. It takes us, its members, its body. Contact the church office at 847 359 1549.