In almost every edition of the weekly church bulletin there is a call for some kind of assistance. Sometimes it is for teachers or some person to help clean the building. At other times, we need a member to visit the sick or bring communion to a brother or sister who is a shut-in. Whatever the situation we are usually asking someone to give up their time and energy, perhaps even spend some money in helping someone else.
In the past, the word “volunteer” was used to describe the person we were looking for to help out. This word describes an individual who helps willingly and without charge. But in the church, we should use another word that goes beyond the idea of helping for free. The word “servant” describes one who not only helps willingly but does so as a response of faith in God.
I.e. “Tychicus (...) is a beloved brother and faithful helper who serves with me in the Lord’s work...” Col. 4:7
The word servant in the New Testament comes from the Greek word “diakonos” from which we also get both English words deacon and minister. You see, what we need in the church is more than someone who is willing to help for free. We need helpers who see their service as ministry, as an exercise of spiritual service to God whether they agree to teach a class or sweep the floor. Perhaps with this view of helping we can get more volun... oops... servants to minister to God’s people when we call out for help.