Peek into any Church on a Sunday and you will see lots of volunteers running around performing a variety of functions. Some take just a few minutes, while others have spent hours in preparation and will volunteer yet another hour or more during classes or services. Yet most of these people go unnoticed and unappreciated by the members they are serving. When they are noticed, it is often by someone wanting to criticize their endeavors.
In the Biblical model, the leaders of the church are called Elders. They are men who are required to have a long list of qualifications to even be considered for this volunteer position (I Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9). God expects these men to lead the congregation, which often includes teaching, counseling and solving the most difficult problems. They are also to make the decisions that affect the spiritual lives of the congregation. They oversee (in fact one of the names for this position is overseer) everyone in the congregation including ministers, staff, deacons, ministry leaders and members.
I can’t imagine how many hours Elders volunteer each week. Yet often, they receive more criticism than anyone in the Church. Rarely do members show their appreciation for all of the time these men (and their wives) spend helping and guiding everyone.
This week we decided to educate our children about the role of Elder and also the roles many Elder’s wives play in the Church. We discussed the qualifications and the many functions of Elders. It was amazing that for many, this was the first time they had been taught about Church leadership.
After the brief lesson, the children put together gift bags and made cards for each of our Elders and their wives. The bags contained small yellow items and handmade cards from the children. The Elders and their wives joined us for the last ten minutes of class. The kids were absolutely spellbound as each shared a way they served God in their role and something unusual about themselves. Many also shared additional tidbits about the role of Elder.
What other volunteer roles in your church could use some encouragement? Have your children make them a card or bake some cookies for them. I can almost guarantee you will make the entire week for whomever you choose to appreciate. I would love to hear what you did and for whom in a comment below. You may give some other families a great idea and bless Christian volunteers all over the world.