What if your reasons for not serving are exactly why you should?

Ashley Wheelon

One of the first things I noticed about NewSpring Church was the volunteers. Every week, they smiled and greeted me with a genuineness I hadn’t experienced before. 

Even the volunteers who showed up at 4am to set up our then-portable facility had a great attitude. No matter what area of ministry they were serving in, every volunteer seemed to have an unexplainable joy. 

I’ll be honest, something didn’t seem right to me. And while I was quick to point the finger at the way-too-happy volunteers, it was my heart that wasn’t right. 

To Everyone Who Feels Unqualified to Serve in the Church

I had an entire list of why I wasn’t qualified to volunteer. I was a married mom to four young kids, working from home part-time. I juggled little ones in school, a little one at home who needed therapy, and a newborn. I wasn’t old enough to actually know what I was doing, but I wasn’t exactly a spring chicken either. 

And while I’d been a Christian for several years, I still had questions about the Bible and my faith. I’d never read the entire Bible, so I certainly wouldn’t be able to answer anyone else’s questions. My circumstances were challenging, sometimes messy. Life was pretty chaotic, and giving up time to serve didn’t make sense. There was no way I was qualified to be a volunteer. 

Maybe you’re using the same excuses I did. What I didn’t realize is that each reason I used to talk myself out of serving was an area God wanted to use to bless me and those around me through serving. 

  • You can serve no matter your age. 

God wants you to find community in His church. There will always be someone older who can lead you and someone younger you can lead

1 Timothy 4 says we are to set an example in the way that we speak, love, and act. Knowing that other people were sacrificing their time and their energy as volunteers spurred me toward serving others.

  • You can serve no matter your circumstances. 

God is giving you a story to use for His glory and your good. We all go through seasons of joy, seasons of pain, seasons of survival, and seasons of peace (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). As God walks you through each of those seasons, He’s building faith in you that will point others in similar circumstances to Him. 

God is not the only one that will walk with us through life. He’s given us a family in our church that we can turn to for prayer, encouragement, and wisdom.

  • You can serve no matter your ability. 

Volunteering doesn’t mean having all the answers. It means having a heart for God’s people and wanting to love them. Making mistakes will happen; they happen to all of us. But it’s when we are weak that God gets the most glory (2 Corinthians 12:9-12). Only He can use one broken person to bring about His healing in another broken person.

You don’t have to be perfect to serve; God perfects you as you serve.

I used to think you had to be perfect to serve. The truth is God perfects you as you serve. Serving has brought me some of life’s biggest blessings. God has given me deep friendships with people who point me back to Him and encourage me as a mom and a wife. He’s given me a deeper knowledge of who He is and how He loves us. And, God has changed the desires of my heart as a mom, wife, daughter, and friend. 

God has so many blessings waiting for us on the other side of obedience. He doesn’t want us to change into a person we think is qualified to serve; He wants to transform us as we serve.

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