Serve with Willingly Heart

Serve with Willingly Heart

(Bible Reflection from Nehemiah 11:1-36)

serve with full heart


“Christian Reflection on Church Ministry”



Within the various churches there are at least two main views regarding the church ministry carried out by the church congregation.


Including myself, there are churches that think that ministry is done by volunteers, which means voluntary action. Or in simple language without being paid.  This is the first view.


Secondly, there are also churches that argue that ministry should be done professionally. Which also means being paid or receiving "offerings of love", because there are costs incurred by the serving congregations, for example in terms of transportation costs.


I do not want too much polemics between these two opinions in this reflection paper. But I want to explain that it turns out that the act of being willing to serve voluntarily has occurred since the days of the Old Testament, when Nehemiah arranged who should be in Jerusalem.


In Nehemiah 11 it is told that the leaders certainly settled in Jerusalem which they had just rebuilt from the wall to inside.  Meanwhile, beside the leaders, one in ten people were cast in lots to choose which of them would also stay and guard the city of Jerusalem.


What is interesting is that in Nehemiah 11: 2 it states that apart from the people above, there were people who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.


There are at least two principles that we can learn from Nehemiah regarding our attitude toward these volunteers, namely:


# Applaud for Volunteers


I am always excited when people volunteer for ministry. The same thing happened in Nehemiah's day.


Jerusalem is the center of their worship, a city where the Temple is located.  After the walls were finished, the next stage for them was to build the city inside and of course rebuild the temple which had been damaged. All of this would not have happened if the city of Jerusalem did not have enough inhabitants to keep it safe and bring the city back to life.


Their motivation was to volunteer to volunteer to live there because of the temple there. They understand this mission. Even though they are not descendants of Priests or Levites, they are willing to serve too.  

Not to replace the priest or Levites, but to complement and helping them.


Because they realize that it is impossible for all services in the Temple to be done properly if there is no involvement from the lay congregation.


So I personally love it when there are new people who want to be involved in the ministry. I also praised them.  Applaud for them.


As long as they realize that this is service and their motivation is to serve; to give and not to get.


As long as they do it with a pure motivation for God and not for humans, either for themselves or others.


We must do our ministry by looking to the example of Christ, who was willing to humble himself to be a servant for all. Even though in fact Jesus is God Most High (Philippians 2: 1-11).




# Appreciation Towards Volunteer Servants.


In Nehemiah's account, he mentions the people who ended up living in Jerusalem. This record includes those who chose voluntarily to live in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11: 4-19).


This is how Nehemiah appreciated for these people. Nehemiah called their names.


I believe that this is still relevant for us to do today in church ministry.


Volunteers do not need to receive payments or awards in cash or in gifts. However, recognition for the hard work they volunteered; I think they deserve it.


Mention their names on various occasions. Say thank you for their ministry.  Let others know that there are volunteers who make the church ministry work.


I think this is a good habit and will build more people to be motivated to be actively involved in serving in our church.


Not to be acknowledged or mentioned, make no mistake.


But knowing that their ministry work is valued, has an impact, and is a blessing to many people, make others will want to have share in the ministry too. 

Read also:  Spiritual Restoration & God's House

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