14 September 2007 ~ 2 Comments

Monterey Aquarium – Unpaid Staff (Part 3)

Ok, so maybe I wasn’t completely honest in the first post when I said "in no particular order."  That was the case for the first two.  The perks are probably a big draw to volunteering at the aquarium.  Staff know that they are appreciated.  The vibe – I sure as heck wouldn’t mind hanging out there with people a couple of hours every week.

But this last reason is perhaps, in my opinion, the number one reason people volunteer their time for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  People volunteer at the institution for the sake of…

The Cause

Everywhere you go at the aquarium, every exhibit, every show, reminds you that there is much to be done to save our planet.  To take care of our oceans.  To care for the animals.  And every volunteer I came in contact with seemed to openly share this vision, this mission, with unbridled passion.

And not only did it appear to be a valuable cause to each volunteer, but perhaps even more importantly, the aquarium is clearly making a positive difference for the cause.  People donate money because they know it will make a difference.  People donate time because they know it will make a difference.

I guess this was just a good reminder to me…nothing I didn’t already know.  We can share all the vision in the world.  We can serve Jesus and talk about the God we all serve.  But unless we produce results, people are going to lose their own passion for it and go somewhere that is.  People want to know that their effort matters.  The leadership lesson for me: I have to be unapologetically passionate about doing everything I can to set our ministries and our volunteers up to win!  i have to be so passionate about seeing people experience life change as a result of Christ’s faith, hope, and love that I will stop at nothing to do all I can to see it happen.

To be honest, this scares me sometimes.  i have some amazing leaders who have gone out on a limb in a way to get behind our vision of Life Groups at CLC.  Right now, many of them are passionate as a result of the vision.  But I know that it is the evidence of changed lives that will continue to motivate them and encourage them to keep going.  I trust that God is at work and this will happen, but I also recognize that I need to make sure that I do my part in the deal.  And the funny part is, I need my volunteers to see God come through.  We can’t accomplish it without them.

So perhaps when people began to disappear from the ranks of our ministries (especially if it’s a pattern), before we find fault in their reasons for not stepping up we need to ask ourselves if we are being effective in our mission.  Are lives being changed?  Are people coming to Christ?  Are there tangible expressions and evidence that what we are doing is truly impacting the Kingdom?  If not, that may explain the lack of excitement to sacrifice…and understandably so.

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