Stop Apologizing


by Carey Nieuwhof

If you’re a typical church leader (and I’m sure you’re not; you’re an exceptional church leader), you probably feel a twinge of guilt every time you recruit someone into your area to serve. After all, these people work forty (or more) hours a week and you’re asking them to give away extra time for free.

Sometimes we drift into apologizing for inviting people to serve. We tell them it won’t require much. It’s just for a season. It’s only looking after kids or students.

If that’s even remotely your M.O. for recruiting, rethink it.

As a leader you have been entrusted with a vision from God, a vision that invites people to be part of something bigger than themselves. Deep down, that’s what every volunteer—and every human—longs for. God set a yearning for something bigger in our hearts: a thirst for Him, a desire to live with meaning and significance.

And when you call people to serve at your church, you invite them to participate in the Kingdom of God. It’s engaging. It’s got the power to change the world. It’s actually much more exciting than our day jobs. If we don’t call them to give their lives to something bigger than a hobby or another seventeen hours of television this week, shame on us.

Feel guilty and apologize if you are a poor steward of a volunteer’s time—but never apologize for asking a person to give a portion of their lives to something as powerful and potent as the kingdom of God. It’s what God designed us for, and something that we’ll be glad we were relentlessly passionate about when we get to heaven.

Carey is the lead pastor of Connexus Community Church, a growing multicampus church north of Toronto and strategic partner of North Point Ministries. Prior to starting Connexus in 2007, Carey served for 12 years in a mainline church, transitioning three small congregations into a single growing congregation. He speaks globally to church leaders about change, leadership, and parenting. Carey is the author of Leading Change without Losing It and is the co-author of Parenting Beyond Your Capacity with Reggie Joiner. He and his wife, Toni, live near Barrie, Ontario, and have two sons, Jordan and Sam. In his spare time, you can find him cycling his heart out on a back road somewhere. Connect with Carey on his blog, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Instagram.

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