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Servants Or Volunteers Does It Make A Difference
Commissioned by the National Council of Churches, researcher Dean M. Kelley set out to find out why conservative churches were growing, even as the more liberal churches were declining. In his 1972 book, Why Conservative Churches are Growing: A Study in Sociology of Religion, Kelley argued that "evangelical churches grow precisely because they do what the more liberal congregations and denominations intentionally reject — they make serious demands of believers in terms of doctrine and behavior.” -
Because we believe this message is so important we have created three ways to present this very important message. You can listen to the podcast or read or watch the video or do all three, whatever you choose.
You can take time and watch the video below, if that is the option you choose.
Within the last line of the quote above is found the reason why World Prayr does not ask for volunteers.
Are You Sure?
"Did I not read somewhere you have a team of over 140 pushing 150?"
"Do you pay all those individuals?"
"If the answer to the answer to the last question is "no," then does that not make them volunteers?"
World Prayr is different, runs differently than possibly any ministry you may have come across.
What would it truly look like if a ministry was aggressively working for other ministries! World Prayr is doing exactly that through it's support and promotion of other ministries and through it's upcoming store. We have also teamed with Deep Blue Marketing and EvanTell Ministries to form a team that is working to help churches build missionary teams to go into a new mission field called Social Media. Check out our Strengthening The Local progam.
Sloppy In Vernacular
Christianity has always been lazy and sloppy in vernacular. We tend to adopt words, sayings, and statements that are common to normal, every day language. Yet, those meanings fly in the face of what we may understand as truth from the Word of God.
Can you think of any that come to mind?
"Servant!" What does that word mean to you?
"Volunteer!" Does it mean the same thing as servant to you?
Do these two words have the same meaning as the word slave to you? (added italics for emphasis)
Did you know that only in the English translations of the Bible will you find the word servant? It is actually taken from the Greek word doulos (added italics for emphasis) and the proper interpretation of that word is Slave!
Are We Slaves?
Here is what popular theologian and pastor John MacArthur had to say as he was doing research for his book Slave in his interview with The Christian Post as he discussed some research that eventually led to the book..
Was looking at a journal article by a scholar from back in the 1960s in which he pointed out why the translators back in the 16th century didn’t translate the word slave. And he pointed out the fact that even back then there was so much stigma around slavery that they didn’t want to use that word. And so they started a trend and every other English translation up until today followed that trend. They will use the word slave if it refers to a physical slave, an actual slave or an inanimate slave like slave of sin or righteousness. But whenever it refers to a believer, they wouldn’t translate it “slave" So this just kept going and going. Once I began to realize this I thought how have I missed this for so long? I guess it’s just that I never was prodded into it and once I did it just became apparent that because we don’t have the word slave, we therefore really don’t understand the paradigm that defines us as Christian.
- John MacArthur
By the way …
World Prayr adopted the philosophy of not accepting volunteers before this interview or book was published due to leadership having a true understanding of who we are in Christ.
So when you look at passages like:
When the word servant is used in the above verses, what you actually should be reading is the word slave!
What does it mean to volunteer to you? What do you feel you're doing when you volunteer? Your answer to that probably is something like: “feel I am giving freely of my time to a cause I believe in”. This is how the majority of individuals would answer; don't you agree?
Yet how does that statement fit in the light of the passages we have just looked at? How does the statement fit with proper the understanding of the word servant?
Really Unpaid Workers?
How does that statement fit with the following passage? "Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." – 1Peter 2:16 Especially when you keep in mind the word servant here should actually be slave.
In light of those passages, how does the following term fit: “unpaid worker”, which is another way of saying volunteer? How does calling oneself an unpaid worker fit with the following verse? "You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." - 1 Corinthians 6:20
Wait! Unpaid Worker- - bought with a price- - can we truly claim to be an "unpaid worker" when one considers the price that was paid for us to be free from sin's bondage? Could one possibly make a case that our being saved from the past, being saved each and every day and the gift of being saved in the future is not a price that has been paid already for us and to us?
The Debt Has Already Been Paid!
If we have been bought with a price, if a price has already been paid for the gift of grace we are given new each day, can we still work and serve with the energy, results and attitude as an unpaid worker might or is it possible that a different sort of payment has ben placed to our account? If everything we do our eating, sleeping, day to day activity, all we say is to be done for Christ and He is the one who paid the price, can we still lay claim to not having a debt paid for us?
While we may be able to say "I can do whatever I want" for if there is no more condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus and nothing can separate us from the love of God, then the question can no longer be "What more do I need to do." The answer to that is truly nothing. For Christ said it HIMSELF "IT IS FINISHED"
Yet, while the above statments are true they do not change the fact that a debt has been paid, that enabled us to claim such freedom. So because of the cost of that debt payment, perhaps we need to ask ourselves a different question.
Perhaps this passage best helps us not only determine what that question should be but what the answer might be. "Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible." 1 Corinthians 9:19 If Paul was free why would he make himself a slave again? So maybe the question that should be asked is not "What do I need to do" but "How do I now live my life in a way that reveals my awareness of the following things:"
So what can we now reasonably establish about Christians being refferred to as unpaid workers, which again is a synonym for volunteers?
- Christians are called slaves.
- Christians are to do all things for Christ.
- Christians have been bought with a price.
- Before Christ we had actually no hope, we were alienated, hostile, serving only ourselves and Satan
- Now we are eternally blessed, God's beloved, needing nothing, free to live without fear and free to be who we were created to be.
- The question has changed.
When we look at and take these facts into consideration, along with the tremendous gift of grace we have been given, we see an even better picture of why Paul pleads and begs with us Romans 12:1-2. to offer our bodies as living sacrifices.
Do We Truly Understand?
Do we truly understand these facts though. If so how do the following statements fit in with these facts and verses that we have looked at so far?
I served in the ministry with time I didn't have!
If World Prayr is looking for the amount of work from its volunteers it would get from paid workers, World Prayr is going to be severely disappointed!
World Prayr expects too much!
World Prayr should be satisfied with whatever they get!
Within these statements exist the following attitudes:
- Just Enough!
- Should Be Satisfied!
- Men Pleasers
- A lack of understanding of both our condition in Christ now, our condition without Christ and quite possibly a lack of gratitude
- Not knowing the right question to ask ...To name just a few.
What Are We Called To?
This quote from Dr. Neil Anderson reflects on what God has called us to.
The church is a military outpost under orders to storm the gates of hell. Every believer is on active duty, called to take part in fulfilling the Great Commission Matthew 28:19, 20. Real purpose is to be change agents in the world, taking a stand, living by faith, and accomplishing something for God.
-Dr Neil Anderson
Paul seemed to echo this in the following verse.
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. - II Timothy - 2:3-4
Need we say More!
Time For a Difference!
World Pray leadership recognizes this is a multi-faceted issue. Yet, we at World Prayr believe that all of God’s children have been given gifts, talents, and abilities, none more than another! Not one has greater revelation, ability to love or serve God! Our Father has chosen all of his children for a special purpose and has a plan for each!
World Prayr leadership believes it is their primary responsibility to help others discover those gifts, talents and abilities and how God may want to use them. World Prayr leadership believes that starts with coming to a full understanding of who we are in Christ! In order as Paul prayed for the Church in Philippi to grow in wisdom and understanding.
As a result, they believe that their leadership has to be at a higher level, first: a level where one does not sweep behavior, attitudes, and thinking under the rug that are contrary to what one should expect from one who understands they have been “bought with a price”
World Prayr accepts that even if the proper English translation of the word "doulos" is slave, that in the English language that does not carry over due to past failures on even the part of Christians. Yet, at the same time, we believe that calling God’s children unpaid workers does not fit with how Peter said we ought to live!
So, they choose to call those that serve at World Prayr what they really are! To challenge those who serve in any capacity in World Prayr (Starting with themselves, first!) to move beyond the accepted norm, to move beyond their comfort zone! To realize that we have all been given a purpose in Him!
That is why those who serve in World Prayr choose to be called “Servants Of The Most High God! We believe this best defines not only our relationship with our Father, but also defines what should be the result of that relationship!
We welcome you to join us in service to the "Most High God," not as volunteers, but as servants and friends of the one who gave all and the perfect performance! So let us ask you which has more significance for you and which one do you feel best reflects how you view your walk with Christ?
Which phrase volunteer (unpaid worker) or "Servant's Of The Most High God" causes you to move out of your comfort zone, to truly grasp and understand the tremendous calling God has placed on your life? The tremendous sacrifice given to rescue you from the train tracks of condemnation while the train of Eternity was just seconds away. Which terminology do you feel expresses your heart of gratitude and gives you the best way to say “I Love You” to the one who gave all and calls you HIS beloved.
We recognize that we will not always live like this or perform in such a way. To believe that we always expect others to would be to place them under the law, instead of grace. However, not challenging ourselves to live in such a way, may or may not reveals an attitude that may not quite understand our own need for the ugliness of the cross.
This is why we believe that the "WHY" of our challenge is not because we have to, must, fall under condemnation if we do not, but because none of this is true is why our motivation should be to live lives in total sacrifice to the one who calls us HIS beloved. Because HE loved us first with no expectation, no demands, no requirements, but freely and allowing us to be free as a result is why we can and do choose this challenge.