It was about a month or so ago when Pastor Gary Parker, president and CEO of Life Rebuilders – Midwest Challenge (LR-MC), approached me with a simple question: Would I be interested in serving on the organization’s board of directors? My heart was saying, “Yes!” My brain was saying, “Um … can we talk about this in private?”
The call to serve is a wonderful thing. But, it’s one that sometimes must be given a great deal of thought.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. - – Mark 10:45
Working with LR-MC has been a truly wonderful experience. For over seven years, I’ve worked with LR-MC as a life coach, helping men who have been released from prison begin to put their lives back together. The mission of LR-MC is “to combat high rates of recidivism and relapse by offering an alternative to men struggling with the difficulties of transition after competing chemical dependency treatment or incarceration.” It’s a cause that I believe in and am grateful for being a part, but to be involved in a leadership position was something on which I had to heavily think, sleep and pray.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. - – Luke 6:38
As Christians, it’s in our nature to give. But, do we sometimes take on more than we can handle in the excitement to serve? I have, and I’m sure most of you have too. It’s easy to agree to assist with a church fundraiser or to donate so missionaries can take a mission trip. Usually, the time commitment is minimal and the goals can be accomplished easily.
But what about serving in a leadership position? My job has me sometimes working over 60 hours a week, which unfortunately doesn’t leave much time for volunteering.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. - – 1 Peter 4:10-11
I ultimately agreed to serve on the board. It wasn’t something I could say no to.
My concerns were mainly time related. As I stated earlier, I had to pray on it. I asked, “Lord, can I make this work?” The last thing I wanted to do was agree to serve and then not follow through on my commitments. LR-MC is a great organization that means the world to me, and if I was going to assist in a leadership role, I wanted to do everything I could to do the best possible job.
And I will.
What to ask before agreeing to serve
Accepting the opportunity to serve in any function is an honor and should not be taken lightly. Here are some questions I asked myself before I accepted the board of directors’ position.
- Will I have the time?
This is unfortunately an all too common reason why many don’t accept leadership and volunteer roles. If you believe in and love the organization, I suggest you do everything you can to make the time to help out.
- Can I make a difference?
Many may not accept these roles as they feel they can’t make a difference. Like anything else, you only get out of serving what you put into it. If you want to make a difference, you can. You just have to put in the effort.
- What if I’m not a good leader?
In my day job, I’m the manager of design, sales and marketing for Titus Contracting LLC. I can tell a crew of contractors how best to remodel a space. But, can I help effectively lead a group of volunteers in this endeavor? Leading to complete a job is one thing. Leading to complete a mission is an entirely different animal altogether.
Answer the call after serious deliberation and prayer
Don’t immediately decide against serving just because, on the surface, you won’t have the time. Come to the answer after a great deal of prayer and deliberation. Confer with family members, friends and fellow parishioners and seek their input. Serving in any position is a big responsibility, and you want to make sure the decision you make is the right one.
Scott Rajavuori writes from Lakeville, Minn. where he lives with his wife and their five children.
To find out more about our guest, please visit his website HERE. Please feel free to share your thoughts below!