I find titles to be funny little things. For a title to be functional, it explains to the outsider a bit about what you do. If the title doesn’t really explain what you do, then I recommend you might chuck it. Anywho, I’ve never really liked the title volunteer for several reasons, yet I can’t find a better term that people would actually use.
* If you are called or see yourself as a chaperone/adult supervisor, then you tend to chaperone/supervise and that isn’t life giving on either end.
* The problem with the word volunteer is that it tends to be too “me-centric”. I volunteer, my time with….”
From a Christian perspective, do we really have a choice in the matter? Yes, we need to respond and find a place to make a difference for the Kingdom, but I’m not sure that Jesus gave us the option as Christians of whether or not we should serve.
I love the way Eugene Peterson translates Ephesians 2:8-10 in the message;
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
* If I were to use a title that explains what a “volunteer” does, I would use words like responder. I even like the image of the minutemen, minus the weapons and stiff faces. From a biblical perspective, we love because He first love us (1 John 4:19). If you and I are “responders” to young people instead of “volunteers”, think of the difference we can make for the kingdom!
I’m all about name changes, even if it doesn’t make it on a badge or website and I think Jesus liked them too.
May we respond this day to the young people in our midst in a way that lives out the Gospel, even if we don’t utter a word. Amen.