Reasons to Serve and Excuses Not to

Before doing the actual enlisting of a worker, a leader needs to realize why people do accept a position of service in a church. There are many reasons, and not all of them are good. Sometimes the person doing the enlisting appeals to reasons that are not the best ones. The list below lists many of the reasons that people do serve in a church. The better ones are at the top of the list.

1. Desire to do God’s will and answer His call
2. Desire to learn and grow
3. Desire to use skills, abilities, and knowledge to help others
4. Desire to achieve self-fulfillment
5. Desire to support a cause
6. Desire to belong to a group and be accepted and loved
7. Desire to develop new interests and abilities
8. Desire to make new friends
9. Desire to test out career possibilities
10. Desire to come to terms with one’s conscience
11. Desire to support a friend who asked them to serve
12. Desire for status that goes with the position
13. Desire for recognition
14. Sense of habit
15. Sense of duty, obligation, or guilt
16. Sense of debt

Excuses people give for not serving

People have a number of excuses for not serving in the church. The person enlisting should be aware of these, and be prepared to discuss them.

1. Lack of confidence. This causes many individuals to hesitate, even refuse, to accept a position of leadership. We must seek to discover the source of this feeling and endeavor to bring them new assurance. We may explain that others with no more ability than they have are doing the job successfully. A more thorough explanation of the task may also help to remove a lack of confidence.

2. Indifference. This can be overcome by finding out the cause of the indifference and then presenting the needs of the church in an effective manner.

3. A misunderstanding of the task itself. This causes many to say “no” when asked to serve. Some make the work seem much more difficult than it actually is. We ought to be careful to explain in detail the work they are to do, and show its relationship to the task of the church.

4. Never asked. Some are not working because they have never been asked to serve. It is very easy for us to deceive ourselves and think we have given every individual in the church an opportunity for ministry, when in reality we may have missed several who have leadership ability.

5. Burnout

6. Lack of time

7. Lack of respect for the leader

Obstacles to recruitment

1. Changing view of volunteerism where people want to be paid
2. Women with full-time jobs in workplace and little time to volunteer
3. Men working away from home, commuting long hours, and/or working a second job
4. The success of adult classes has people wanting to stay there
5. The social isolation of children’s teachers
6. A strong “me” orientation in our society
7. Lack of an understanding of a theology of service
8. A project orientation in our culture, desiring short-term commitment
9. Feeling that it is someone else’s job to do it
10. A vacuum of prayer
11. Expensive hobbies that demand time be given to them
12. Long distances some drive to church
13. Indifference of Christians

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