The following is a guest post by Dr. Terry Hadaway. He has just written an amazing Bible study called “Where’d the Army Go?” which is timed perfectly as churches are looking now for volunteers to fill much needed positions this fall. Be sure to go his ministry’s website (www.EquipBibleStudy.com) and consider downloading this entire study for your church or for yourself!
Here is an excerpt from “Where’d the Army Go?” Bible study:
It’s that time of year again… the time of year when church leaders everywhere desperately search for volunteers to fill a growing number of leadership positions. The optimism of the spring in which church staff members declared God’s sure provision of leaders has wilted in the summer heat. Now, with days to go before the new year begins, the problem persists. The vacancies remain unfilled and there aren’t enough new leaders to fill the void.
The problem isn’t confined to smaller churches. One church leader said that he usually has to replace 20% of his volunteer leaders. In his church, 20% translates into 18 new leaders needed for the student ministry in a church that regularly runs 4,000 in attendance each week.
What happened to the day when church members gathered together every Saturday to clean the church, mow the grass, and prepare for Sunday’s services? What happened to the day when the church was the center of social life in every community?
The consumer society in which we live has infiltrated the church. Now, instead of looking for ways to serve in their churches, many believers go to their churches expecting to be served.
It’s a trend that has spiraled out of control. Churches have fallen into to trap of “marketing” to the consumer generation. Some churches have compromised their stand on Scripture. Others have abandoned discussing touchy subjects for fear that they might offend someone. It’s a model that is taken from the business world, not from Scripture.
Jesus never compromised His stand on the issues and He never softened His tone. He called the Pharisees and Scribes hypocrites and challenged them publicly. The Pharisees wanted a religion that conformed to their lifestyles. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Real worship draws people to an authentic encounter with God—an encounter that challenges them at the point of their sins and encourages them at the point of their weaknesses. Real worship directs people to focus their hearts and their lives on God. Once we return to real worship, finding volunteers won’t be such a big deal.
- Dr. Terry Hadaway is the president of Equip Bible Study (www.equipbiblestudy.com), a conference leader, and a freelance writer. Terry and his wife, Melinda, volunteer their time and talents as team members with Next Level Worship. Terry has written study guides for Max Lucado, Billy Graham, Patsy Clairmont, Dwayne Moore, and others. To have him speak in your church, visit his web site and click on “contact us.”