I was talking to a Pastor friend of mine recently and he expressed the need for his church members to be more willing to help and volunteer for the various ministries of the church. His church had seen growth in numbers but not as much in willingness to serve and contribute to the work of the church.
Being a long time church member myself, I understood his frustration because I see it all the time. But as I was reading recently and was being directed to look at some of the great love chapters of the Bible, I discovered an important truth, as voiced by Curt Thompson in his book, Soul of Shame: “Love always has another move to make.”
The more we grow in love (the way, the action, the life, not just the feeling), the more creative, daring, observant, and sacrificial I become. As Thompson observes:
“…”love never fails.” It does not fail because it always has another move to make, another gesture toward connection. And there is no end to its movement. We never “arrive,” but rather are, and even in the new heaven and earth will be traveling, as C.S. Lewis bids us imagine, “further up and further in.” Where shame attempts to push us into static inertia, love bids us to move.”
I have noticed in my own life that when my ability to love increases so does my ability to serve. In those times of truly being loving, the choice to serve or take action, isn’t a chore but as easy and natural as can be.
Through growth in love, both of God and for others, comes this unstoppable movement toward doing good for others and for your community. My pastor friend’s church doesn’t have a volunteer problem, they may have a love problem.
Besides, to serve or to act but to do it without love is to “gain nothing.” For love never fails and if our actions are full of love, then we cannot go wrong.
The goal is not to do more but to love more and the doing will flow naturally out of a heart of love.