By Pastor 

Ryan Stockstrom  

Harvest Fellowship Church

I hear frequently these days that there is a shortage of volunteers. It doesn’t matter what sector of society, people aren’t coming out as much as they used to. Whether results of the pandemic or a societal shift, people are less apt to be involved to volunteer or serve.

I want to believe that in our little neck of the woods, it’s not that way. I do see regular evidence of people giving of their time, talent, and treasure toward a greater cause in the community.  However, I think the general societal pull is towards individualism, and people are well, inherently self-focused. 

Sometimes people simply need something greater to believe in, in order to offer their time. This is why a compelling vision and passionate leaders are necessary for an organization to be able to continue to effectively recruit volunteers.  

But let’s say those things are in place. You’ve found a vision worthy of your service. (By the way, there are many great organizations worthy of such in our local community) Sometimes, the hold up can be ‘how do I get involved?’ The answer can be obvious- you see your skill sets matching an advertised need. But the issue can also be that you don’t feel that you have much to offer.  

In the New Testament book of Philippians, Paul spoke about a man using verbiage of very high praise. He called this man a “brother,” “co-worker” and “fellow soldier.” Wow. Now, in the Christian world, to be called those titles by the apostle Paul was huge praise. What did this person do that he was so lauded by him? 

Well, in essence, he delivered some packages. That’s it! His name was Epaphroditus, and the main thing he accomplished that Paul was referencing; was to bring a care package to Paul from the Philippian church, and bring Paul’s letter back to the Philippians. Of course that letter is now a book of the Bible, and Epaphroditus almost died from illness in the process. 

In addition, the distance from ancient Philippi to Rome where Paul was in prison, was about 800 miles—a 7 week journey. But ultimately, Epaphroditus had the heart of a servant, put other people’s interest above his own, and served Paul and the Philippians well. From what the Bible tells us, we don’t know whether or not Epaphroditus did anything else but faithfully deliver what was entrusted to him—which as it turns out, was vastly significant—both in the eyes of Paul and God. Jesus said in Matthew 10:42 (NIV), “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Friends, you may not feel like you have much to offer. But what I do know is this: whether big or small;  your service is significant. There’s a mission to serve bigger than yourself—Get out there and go for it!