Translate The Cause

One of the best things I have learned in recent months is the concept of translating the cause.

I gleaned these ideas from our friends at Newell & Associates and their High Impact Volunteer Training.

It’s not quantum physics, but it is a way of inviting people into ministry that I had never considered before.  It may be old hat to you but it’s revelatory to me.

Anyway, here’s how it works.

At Good Shepherd, the cause is inviting all people into a living relationship with Jesus Christ.  We evaluate everything we do through the lens of that mission.  We repeat it, we write it, we bleed it, and one of these days, we might even sing it.

To translate THAT cause means that we re-frame every single volunteer ministry in terms of how it enables our church to live into that mission.

Nursery volunteers, for example, don’t simply rock babies and change diapers and take up a spot in our monthly slate; they are inviting nervous parents into a living relationship with Jesus Christ by allowing them to sit in the Worship Center knowing their newborn is safe, secure, and clean.

Guitarists don’t simply play a cool solo on a great song; they invite all worshipers into a living relationship with Jesus Christ by creating an environment in which voices sing and spirits soar.

Greeters don’t merely hand out name tags and bulletins; they invite all first time guests into a living relationship with Jesus Christ by being that first point of contact for someone who wasn’t sure they could walk through the doors of a church after 30 years away.

So we no longer say to volunteers:  Thank you for serving today.

We instead say:  I thank God for the way you helped people know more about a living relationship with Jesus Christ.  

Because the remarkable people who make up Good Shepherd would much rather contribute to a cause than fill in a spot on a list.