119. Volunteer Culture

119. Volunteer Culture

We just had a youth winter retreat and it was great. Physically, it was the most challenging retreat in my life. My voice changed the day before the retreat due to flu. I had a stomach problem on the first day, and I started having body chill on the second day. On the last day, I felt so drained that even two quick power naps didn’t help at all.

But emotionally, I felt most joyous because of our staff and volunteers (11 in total, the largest number by far). I felt like I didn’t have to do anything other than preaching thanks to them. (other than preparing instant noodle while everyone was sharing haha) I honestly felt like a guest speaker. Though I was part of the planning team, every organization was done through staff and it was well executed through the help of volunteers. I felt such joy because of it that it sustained me even through physical challenges.

Thanks to the staff and volunteers, I think I was able to spend more time observing. Our youth genuinely seemed like having a great time. I think the main reason was that our staff was well prepared, and our volunteers were united. It was as if everyone was playing the song called “retreat” in such precision and harmony, which produced beautiful music called “excellence”. They set the tone for the retreat from the very beginning.

I remember my old mentor telling me that, “ministry fades but people remain.” It is so true. Jesus’ numerous healing and miracles faded away from people’s memories quickly, but the few people he raised took the gospel to the ends of the world. That is why it is a much better goal to be a better leader that raises people than to be a better performer that dazzles people.

If leadership is a driver in a car, volunteers are the wheels that move the car. Without clear leadership, wheels can take the car to the wrong place. But the car is not going anywhere without the wheels. I’m very thankful for all our volunteers serving in various capacities in this church. Without them, we would be so limited in what we can do to reach people for Christ.