Season to Celebrate

Season to Celebrate

May 31, 2024 by Gregg DeMey

What’s the difference between church staff and church volunteers? To me, it’s simple:

Volunteers carry out the ministry of Jesus’ church by sharing gifts of time, energy, effort, and love. Church Staff, on the other hand, organizes and empowers the strong army of volunteers.

In other words, volunteerism is where our witness shines the brightest. The volunteers of the church are what makes all the difference. Let me give you a couple of examples.

  • Youth Ministry. Elmhurst CRC has more than 200 middle schoolers and high schoolers. That number is way too big for a single youth pastor to personally reach. Volunteers and family support are essential ingredients in discipling our young people!
  • Sunday morning music and tech. Every Sunday morning worship service is possible only because our community is so willing to share gifts of time, technological, and musical expertise to honor God. While some of our full-time staff is very visible on Sunday morning, the real action is still going on at the volunteer level. Every single Sunday, far more volunteers than staff are involved both upfront and behind the scenes in leading worship. Since hiring Erin Pacheco, our new Director of Worship, it’s been a joy for me to be able to shift my gifts of music into volunteer mode.

For the last four years, ECRC has designated this moment at the end of the ministry year as Celebrate Ministries Week. It’s good for us to pause and look back at all the good things that God has accomplished through our church over the past year. And it’s good for us to honor and celebrate the people who have voluntarily shared such beautiful contributions of time, talent, and treasure along the way. This is the way that the church was designed to work. It’s all about the volunteers.

Let me say it again, pastors and staff do not DO the ministry of the church, but rather mobilize and empower an army of dedicated volunteers. This is the way that Jesus desires his church to work - it’s entirely Biblical! Check out these words from Ephesians 4:11-13, The Voice translation:

It was the risen One who handed down to us gifted leaders—some emissaries, some prophets, some evangelists, as well as some pastor-teachers— so that God’s people would be thoroughly equipped to minister and build up the body of the Anointed One. These ministries will continue until we are unified in faith and filled with the knowledge of the Son of God, until we stand mature in His teachings and fully formed in the likeness of the Anointed, our Liberating King.

If you’re eager to identify how you could serve or become more involved in “building up the body” which is the church, I invite you to take five minutes and use this link to ECRC’s

Volunteer Survey.* Church is better when we all serve together. Spiritual life is brighter when we are all putting our God-given talents and experiences to use. I’m so thankful to be part of a congregation where this happens in so many ways.

– Pastor Gregg

*If you are questioning what gifts, skills, and talents you’ve been given, I invite you to do a deeper dive into the topic and take this Spiritual Gifts Survey. If you complete this survey, our staff would love to follow up with you and help you interpret and apply the results!

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