What compels people to serve? It’s a question every ministry leader asks when trying to attract volunteers. Some people serve because it makes them feel good. Others because they believe in the “cause”. Some serve out of a sense of obligation. A few because they don’t have anything better to do. Figuring out how to motivate people to serve is like trying to hit a moving target!
But there is one common denominator for every Christian. One thing that should motivate every one of us to serve—gratitude. Lavish gratitude for the countless ways Jesus serves us should be what compels each Christian to serve others.
Remember the story of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law? Mark says that Jesus, along with James and John, heads to the home of Andrew and (Simon) Peter following a time of teaching and casting out demons in the synagogue. There they find Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with a fever. So Jesus does what Jesus does—he heals her. And her response? Immediately she gets up from her sickbed and fixes the evening meal for Jesus and his companions.
I’m guessing that she was so grateful that she couldn’t wait to serve Jesus! Her response to the lavish love of Jesus was to allow that love to flow through her, and out of her, as she prepared the meal and met Jesus’ need for nourishment.
Help volunteers discover their motivation for serving by asking:
- When has Jesus served you?
- How does that make you feel?
- What is your response?
The lavish love of Jesus compels lavish gratitude. An appropriate response to lavish gratitude is following the example of Jesus and serving others as he has served us.